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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68
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8answers
20k views

Why do native speakers say 'Come on in' rather than 'Come in'?

Today I passed by a restaurant and got attracted to its menu sticking on the window, so I stopped and had a look at it. Then a staff standing at the gate said to me,'We have nice food. Come on in!' I ...
40
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6answers
207k views

What does “Nailed it” mean?

I came across a few combinations of 'nailed it' or 'nailed down' in various contexts. According to the blog-posts, it seems to be widespread on the internet. However, I have never heard these ...
26
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18answers
19k views

What is a non-vulgar synonym for this swear word meaning “an enormous amount”?

How do I say "shitload" or "shit-ton" without cursing? Ideally, I'm looking for a term for casual conversation but without any cursing, the word you can use with kids and teens, or just adults you ...
22
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3answers
8k views

What does “my name was down for Eton” mean?

My name was down for Eton, you know, I can't tell you how glad I am I came here instead. Of course, Mother was slightly disappointed, but since I made her read Lockhart's books I think she has begun ...
17
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5answers
1k views

Simple present for speaking about the future the way natives do

I searched the whole internet but couldn't find anything else than the standard rules/guidelines as to how to use the simple present for future events. I understand that when something is scheduled, e....
15
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5answers
11k views

How common is it to use the word 'bitch' for a female dog?

Today I was exposed to the fact that the female form of dog is bitch (just like bull (m) and cow (f)). But I have never heard someone who called his female dog a bitch. So I suspect that in fact it ...
15
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5answers
2k views

“You first” “You second” “You third”

Suppose I'm telling a bunch of people to do something. I'm about to tell a person :"You first", can I say to the others :"You second", "you third" ... ? And is there another way to say that ?
11
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5answers
3k views

Someone said to me, “We basically literally did.” What were they trying to express to me?

Someone said to me, "We basically literally did." What were they trying to express to me? Also, can basically and literally be used in the same sentence? My points to my language partner: ...
11
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7answers
1k views

Which version is correct and normally used, “between you and me” or “between you and I”?

I was listening to the song Superman by Eminem. I've listened it before many times but from the time I've started learning English grammar I am getting confused while reading or listening English. ...
10
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2answers
30k views

When to use “easy” over “easily” as an adverb?

It's my understanding that "easily" is the regular adverb for "easy", e.g. "He makes friends easily". But in some collocations one still uses "easy", e.g. "Take it easy", "Rest easy" or "Slow down ...
9
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2answers
845 views

I heard this very often, “…aren't I”

I hear this sentence very often, for example: "I am right, aren't I!" I wonder if that is the colloquial way or it is a correct English.
9
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3answers
10k views

The word “times” instead of “multiplied by”

A shorthand English word for 3 multiplied by 4 is: 3 times 4 I am aware that this comes from spoken language as in "we have 3 four times", a version I know from my native language as well. I would ...
8
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10answers
5k views

What does the word “just” mean in this context?

It was written on a T-shirt: "Do not disturb. Just don't." What does "just" mean here? Does it mean that all I want is that you don't disturb? There is a difference of opinion ...
8
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7answers
12k views

Can “me” be a subject?

Me and my friend, Tim, are gonna predict the winners of the next dancing with the stars! I found this sentence from a book. I wonder why we don’t use “I and my friend” since I think it must be the ...
8
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11answers
3k views

A term for a situation when something illegal, unjust, immoral and socially unacceptable becomes a standard pattern of an individual's behavior

When I was a teen, in a summer camp we enjoyed a sort of game that we played during so-called naptime after the midday meal. Split into pairs, the boys decided who would be horses and who horsemen, ...
8
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5answers
3k views

“Has me and the wife in fits every time.”

Found this in a YouTube video and people were commenting on his, apparently terrible, English skills. What's wrong with the sentence “Has me and the wife in fits every time?”
8
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3answers
3k views

Meaning of “you'd of thought”

I am reading The great Gatsby and there is one part that says: I had a woman up here last week to look at my feet, and when she gave me the bill you'd of thought she had my appendicitis out. I ...
8
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6answers
1k views

Use of “constellation” to mean “situation”

I was reading this question on the Personal Finance and Money site: How close is the fate of Berkshire Hathaway tied to Warren Buffett? Will Berkshire Hathaway remain a good investment in the long ...
7
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3answers
1k views

Is “how you do you” grammatical?

I read this on the Stack Overflow blog: Computer security is always evolving. Passwords are “what you know.” Smart cards are “what you have.” We decided to ask “how you do you.” Is the ...
7
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2answers
10k views

Did I ever! — what does this emphatic statement exactly mean when you say it?

Example: — Did you see how Bill came in to work this morning? — Did I ever! Boy, was he hot under the collar! — What brought that on? — He said that he was extremely angry because he got ...
7
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2answers
12k views

Do you work or are you a student?

If someone is asked the question below, Q: Do you work or are you a student? A: Neither. I had a job couple of months ago, but I lost it because... does this answer above sound correct?
7
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2answers
2k views

Referring to oneselves in plural

I am originally from Poland, but am living in the UK for a long while now. One of the first "thing" that struck me after my arrival, is that some of the people are referring to themselves in plural ...
6
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4answers
2k views

What is the English word(s) for “eating salt and sour fruit”

What is the English word(s) for a true experience when someone has been through a learning process during her/his life. In my native language, it's commonly said: She/he has been "eating salt and ...
6
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2answers
212 views

Meaning of the word “good” in context

It is from this video. It is at 21 minute. Take a rat. Train it to press a lever ten times, it gets its food. Ten times it gets its food. Ten times it doesn't get its food. Ten times, you are not ...
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2answers
2k views

Most common adjectives to describe the intensity of drunkenness [closed]

There are several degrees of intensity of drunkenness, ranging from a state of slight euphoria to total oblivion, which may be recognized by the way someone is speaking, moving and behaving. In the ...
5
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5answers
8k views

Is it alright to say good afternoon Sirs and Madams in a panel interview?

I will be attending a panel interview (with two men and two women). I don't know their names. I want to be more polite, but I am not sure whether it is alright to say Good afternoon, sirs and ...
4
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4answers
872 views

Improve translation: You are nobody and your name is no one

In Russian culture there is a saying: Ты никто и звать тебя никак Which means that the person is of no importance (in this society) and even his name doesn't mean anything (to this society members)...
4
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2answers
760 views

But may be you might of heard tell 'bout the price on her head

Well, she ain't no John Wilkes Booth. But may be you might of heard tell 'bout the price on her head. This is a quote from QT's movie the Hateful Eight. I am aware that this is not supposed to be a ...
4
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3answers
3k views

Can “version” be used as a verb?

In a software development environment, things have versions, or historic snapshots of how they evolve over time. Can I say "You need to version this or that" so as to refer that something needs ...
4
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1answer
41k views

Is “you was” correct to say?

I've always learnt at school that we have to say: "You were + (add something)" either if the "you" is actually one person or more. But sometimes I heard or read "You was + (add something)" especially ...
4
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1answer
59 views

A phrase understood as a request to step aside to not block out the view/panorama you are looking at

What may be the phrase, playful or polite, that when heard by the one it is addressed to, tells him/her that they are blocking out the sight you are looking at? For example, in Russian, it is a ...
4
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1answer
65 views

Not stopping at a STOP sign

Is there a street verb or an idiomatic saying that's used to say that a vehicle passed the (red traffic) light or a STOP sign without stopping?
4
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3answers
339 views

How square is a square

I've recently heard the follwing sentence in a text for children learning English: The blackboard is square. It got translated to the German equivalent of “the blackboard is quadrilateral”. The ...
3
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3answers
42k views

Who is he? Who he is?

Can we say ... "Do you know who is he?" To me, it sounds very unnatural and grammatically incorrect. Though, I think we can say ... "Do you know? Who is he?" in conversation. Is that ...
3
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3answers
1k views

Expressions used to boost someone's energy/enthusiasm in doing their work

Suppose you see someone you set to doing something are doing it half-heartedly, without much if any enthusiasm. What could be the expressions to boost their energy/enthusiasm? Searching for the ...
3
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2answers
177 views

Is “firsthand smoker/ first-hand smoker” standard English?

I was wondering if "firsthand smoker" or " first-hand smoker" is a standard formal English or I should use "active smoker". When I looked up "firsthand smoke", "first-hand smoke", "firsthand smoking"...
3
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4answers
7k views

How do I ask about “remaining time”?

Let's say the cooking time for a dish is 50 minutes. I want to ask how much time remains between now and when the dish will be done. What is the right way to ask that?
3
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1answer
1k views

“She would of been a good woman”

"She would of been a good woman," The Misfit said, "if it had been somebody there to shoot her every minute of her life." Source: A Good Man is Hard to Find by Flannery O'Connor ...
3
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2answers
1k views

Usage of “wanna”, “hafta”

In "THE MORPHOLEXICAL NATURE OF ENGLISH to-CONTRACTION", Pullum quotes four examples of usage of "wants to"/"wansta": (5) a. Teddy is the man Mike wants to send. b. Teddy is the man Mike wants ...
3
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1answer
892 views

If + simple tense, would + bare infinitive (First conditional with would?)

In a reply to the comment below in this topic: difference between won't and wouldn't If you ask me nicely, I will/would come with you. why here both will and would are correct? The answer was: ...
2
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2answers
71k views

Is it correct to say “no need of thanks”?

Is it correct to say "no need of thanks" when someone says "thank you"? I think you're welcome, no problem, any time and nothing at all are quite often. And I think no need to say thanks is also ...
2
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2answers
438 views

What's the meaning of “Dad had damned near taken someone’s head off”?

I checked the idiom "take someone's head off" in three online dictionaries: TFD, Phrases.net, and Wiktionary and it means: "to scold or berate someone severely." But I still don't understand the ...
2
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2answers
193 views

two-fifty will get you on the E train

There's a case in which a woman fell into the water. A key witness is missing. The female officer wants to focus on the case itself, but another male officer wants to focus on finding the missing ...
2
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1answer
739 views

Is it OK to use “heck” in public occasions?

The dictionary gives the following definitions: fuck: to have sex with someone. used when expressing extreme anger, or to add force to what is being said. heck: an expression of usually slight ...
2
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2answers
23 views

Make the comeback

I was talking about the time I hurt myself and had to stop going to the gym and how I recovered and started lifting again. I said: "The only thing that helped me to make the comeback was his ...
2
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3answers
86 views

Is there a word “Pisser” in English gambling?

I have happened to see a Japanese anime, which is about a natural born gambler, (with English subtitles) And they (The honcho group and other "workers") are gambling dices. From 22:51 ~ The honcho ...
2
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2answers
3k views

“Toned” and “Endless” Pins

In Dictionary.com listed at number 14 is this definition of pin: Informal a human leg. "Legs that go on forever: Kylie showed off her enviable pins in the dress, which she teamed with black heels" ...
2
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1answer
70 views

Using “lay-by” as verb for buying goods

lay by, 1 : to lay aside : discard, 2 : to store for future use : save, 3 : to cultivate (as corn) for the last time (Merriam Webster) Considering that Merriam Webster's definition of "lay-by" as a ...
2
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1answer
805 views

Is “Suppose you did …” guessing that 'you' already did?

571 suppose, supposing and what if (...) A past tense makes the suggestion sound less definite. Daddy, can I watch TV? ~ Suppose you did your homework first. M. Swan, Practical ...
2
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1answer
876 views

Someone who lives in a working-class neighborhood

How would an American native speaker refer to someone whose house is located in a bad part of town where some poor people with a lower social / cultural level live and where the dwellers' average ...

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