Questions tagged [colloquial-language]

for questions about colloquial language. Colloquial language, colloquial dialect, or informal language is a variety of language commonly employed in conversation or other communication in informal situations.

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What preposition should I use after " unknown"?

You are unknown to them? Or you are unknown for them? Any trick to find it out?
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Meaning of “on the low side”

I was talking to a recruiter and she said that “ your maths skill is a bit on the low side”. Did she mean that my maths is very low in the score distribution of all candidates (i’m thinking about the ...
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Is it correct to answer the question “who is there?” by “I”?

Somebody on quora stated that “I.” is a possible answer to the question “Who is there?”, making “I.” the shortest English sentence whatsoever. I'm not a native speaker but wouldn't the natural answer ...
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They Was Gonna - Colloquial Language

I heard some people saying "They was..." instead of "They were...". Also, it seems that this is usually used with gonna (e.g. They was gonna use it). Is this a common colloquial ...
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which of "the pizza wasn't quite up there with the rest" or "the pizza left something to be desired" more natural to say? [closed]

The chicken and pasta were delicious. They were excellent. However, the ______________. (a) the pizza wasn't quite up there with the rest (b) the pizza wasn't quite on par with the rest (c) the pizza ...
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'Unhide' Is Commonly Used, Why Doesn't It Appear on Any Vocabulary?

I noticed that the word 'unhide' it's widely used, though a quick research on multiple vocabularies didn't bring anything relevant up. This word is extremely common in IT when talking about files, for ...
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Is it natural to say "exchange contacts"?

Example: She wanted to exchange contacts with him. (e.g. email, instant messaging, phone number.) Is it natural to use this phrase? As a short way of saying: "exchange contact information?"...
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Stepped into the kitchenette [closed]

Can you use into (rather than to) when talking about a kitchenette—even though a kitchenette isn't a place that you enter? Note: Google Ngrams says that "stepped into the kitchenette" is way ...
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Stepped out onto the balcony

"Stepped out onto the balcony" is more common than "stepped out to/into the balcony." Why is "onto" used even though, usually, the floor of a balcony isn't higher than ...
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Why is "that" more suitable in the following?

"If I lie to you, I'll lose your trust forever. That's/it's the last thing I want." "I'll search for Mary. That/it was my original plan anyway." I know "that" is more ...
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isn't going anywhere vs. [pronoun]'s not going anywhere

he's not going anywhere has 49,600 results. he isn't going anywhere has 5,650 results. (I performed a similar search in a private library, and the difference was more or less the same.) Is the second ...
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"Drinking coffee," "haven't had coffee," etc

"Drinking coffee" is more common than "having coffee" on Google Books. "Haven't had coffee" is way more common than "haven't drunk coffee." "He'd had food&...
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Live in a state/situation/circumstance

Do you think we can say someone is living in a situation/state/circumstance? If things are going bad in our life and we have bad life circumstances etc, can we say any of these sentences? I live in a ...
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IWhat is the meaning of the beat in this paragraph?

I have been reading an essay about Joan Didion from New Yorker (https://www.newyorker.com/culture/postscript/joan-didion-and-the-voice-of-america) I would like to ask multiple questions in this essay. ...
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"to do good with change""

She doesn’t do good with change, so we try to keep the routine in the house to avoid boosting her anxiety. It seems that “do good” is a synonym for “adapt/bear/accept” and the like. Can anyone ...
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cheer up / buck up / perk up /. Which makes more sense in the given context?

Not only did I not get tired, I rather cheered up/perked up/bucked up. Not only did I not tire, rather I was/felt invigorated. Do any of these seem natural to you?
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TA (Abbreviation, AmE) [closed]

Context: in a book, two college girls are talking about their lives in a quite colloquial, friendly tone. One of them says: "I made out with my girl TA last week". Does anyone know what &...
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Overtake, cut off usage

I have two questions: Relating to the usage of the word 'overtake'. Is this word common in colloquial English? If I say 'I overtook the truck in front of me', does this sound unnatural or very formal ...
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Why is "struggled to process" more common than "struggled processing"?

In many cases, you'd write verb + gerund: His eyes stopped to sting/stinging after a while. Google Ngrams What is it an exception with the verbs struggle and process? He struggled to process/...
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Is the following "what's" contraction similar to these other cases?

What's he doing? Is this "what's" contraction the same as: What's his last name? What's the last time he showered? Why or why not? I ask because the first sentence sounds a little ...
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"Go back being friends" vs "go back to being friends."

Google Ngrams says that go back to being friends is a lot more common than go back being friends. Is the reason grammatical? Or there's another reason? (Or maybe they are equally correct?)
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How do I respond when someone asks, “How do you feel about {food name - pizza, bowl of…} etc.”?

Question is specific to office environment. Is answering "I feel awesome" or "I would love to have that" good enough? Also, how to respond if you are not down for it or prefer ...
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"How about you start tomorrow?"

Does this a common phrase? Or at least does it sound natural? I know this is quite common: "Okay, you have the job. How about starting tomorrow?" But I'm not sure about this: "Okay, ...
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Can I say "Whatever You Did Do?"

I am writing a song about forgiveness and "It does not matter what you did do" perfectly fits into the rhyme scheme while "It doesn't matter what you did" does not. How awkward ...
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Which of the two sentences is grammatically correct on sounds natural?

I've been remembering this picture for as long I've been remembering myself. I've been remembering this picture since I've been remembering myself. Which sentence is right? I think they have the same ...
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“How do you not…”

How do you not doomscroll without turning a blind eye to the injustices happening around the world. Is the “how do you not” construction awkward/unnatural in a colloquial context? Also, does the ...
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A little [noun/adjective] vs. a bit [noun/adjective]

I'm not sure if I'm correct, but I think "bit" is used more in informal speech. I think to avoid this kind of confusion? He is a bit cuckoo. (Crazy.) He is a little cuckoo. (Bird.) Or ...
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Natural ways to mean someone is stalling another

Example: If a woman is asked to get married and tries to get time to answer because she feels insecure but doesn't want to say it. I could tell she's stalling the man. But if I wanted to sound more ...
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What is the opposite of "a soft spot"?

If one can have a soft spot for cherished things, one can have a ________ for dreaded ones. I've thought about words like "imperviousness" or "immunity", but they sound more formal ...
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Meaning of "having a high game" [closed]

I know that there is an idiom "being at the top of their game". I wanted to know if this sentence makes any sense-Everybody here has a high emoji game. It's referring to people on a certain ...
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Is "there" often omitted in colloquial speech?

I am reading Post Office by Charles Bukowski. The writing style of the book is quite conversational and colloquial. This sentence came up in the book. I think he wanted to use the word “hygienics” ...
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Do these sentences have the same meaning: "I don't think he is a student." and "I think he is not a student."

1-"I don't think he is student." 2- "I think he is not a student." The speaker has the opinion that "he is not a student". But in order to say this in English, we make up ...
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"is you" or "you"

I have seen an interview with Justin Bieber, and there he said, “I just love the fact that what you do so brilliantly is you create such an amazing atmosphere for me,” and so I have a question. Why ...
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"How are you doing?" Why do we answer "good" instead of "well"?

When someone asks me "How are you doing?" Why do we answer "good" instead of "well" (adv. for doing) ?
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Is there a word referring to something that motivates you?

One of my pupils wanted to express that there is a song that gives him motivation to create things. He referred to the song as a "kicker". I looked the word kicker up and the OED says it ...
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What does "block" mean in "That chemical-engineering block..."?

What is the meaning of the word "block" in the following context? Is it logical that anybody should be expected to be afraid of the work that they feel they were put on this Earth to do. ...
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Is "it’s like men’s shirts" an idiomatic expression?

I came across the expression on a JapanToday webpage. Why it's hard to make vaccines and boost supplies "We think, well, OK, it’s like men’s shirts, right, I’ll just have another place to make ...
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Do the British use words like "batso" or "nutso"?

Today I encountered the word "batso" and I understood from context it meant "crazy". It interested me because it sounds like an Italian word "pazzo" which means "...
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What is the colloquial way to say one will log into one of those famous streaming video services to choose any TV show to watch?

I am not sure whether "put on" is the right one as I am getting anything inside a DVD player or any other device. Nor I do believe the verb play is suitable in this particular case. Here are ...
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"What you've been doing?" and "What have you been doing?" Are they both the correct way to ask?

Can I ask someone: "What you've been doing?" with proper intonation? Will it be considered ok the same as "What have you been doing?"?
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meaning of "you wanna know"

In conversation, Hagrid said "first thing you wanna know about hippogriffs is that they are very proud creatures. you do not want to insult a hippogriff." I think nobody said to him like &...
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"What do you mean?" vs "what you mean?"

I looked it up online and came across the same question asked on different forums online, and all the answers say the only correct way is "what do you mean?", as a stand alone question. But ...
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Response to "How you doing?"?

What is a natural response to "Good to see you. How you doing?"? Will a natural response include "doing" as in "I'm doing okay" or will "I'm okay" be more ...
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"I am cooking", "I have to cook", "I am going to cook", and "I will cook"

I have a situation. I am watching the TV at noon, then I make a telephone call with my husband for a while, then it is time to cook. Which of these is correct? I am cooking (now), bye. I have to cook ...
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Well done you legend!

Well done you legend! When I translate this phrase, it looks little exaggerated. What does exactly this phrase mean? Can I use this phrase in a serious content or can I only use it in just a casual ...
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"Didn't have no" or "didn't have any"?

I have a question about whether "I didn't have no plans" is correct or not, since I think that it's a double negation and therefore not correct, so it should be "I didn't have any plans&...
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Growing up/ From a young age

"From a young age we aren't taught to help others. Growing up we are taught to play it safe and avoid risk at all cost." Are the sentences correct? I'm not sure about 'from a young age' and ...
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How to ask a restaurant if they provide take out

If I go into a restaurant, and I'd like to know if they provide orders to go/take out? Can I say: "Hi, can I take out?" or "Hi, I'd like to order to go?" Also, I'd like to know ...
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Gives me the creeps

Does 'gives me the creeps' mean that someone/something scares you? Or does it mean something more than just to be scared?
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Grab or pick up?

Gaming on consoles is more convenient than computers. You can just pick up/grab your controller and start playing right away. Can you grab/pick up some chips from the grocery store? Do 'grab' and '...
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