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95 votes
Accepted

What's a polite way of asking "who are you?" on the phone?

"Who should I say is calling?"
JeremyC's user avatar
  • 5,668
82 votes
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What does "ima" mean in "ima sue the s*** out of em"?

Ima is an informal contraction of I'm going to when it's used in going-to future construction - not in sentences like I'm going to London etc. It's also written i'ma or imma in informal conversations. ...
Void's user avatar
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50 votes

What's a polite way of asking "who are you?" on the phone?

As far as politeness goes, the following examples, along with what JeremyC has already suggested, would also be some of the safest ways to ask people for their names when talking with them over the ...
Michael Rybkin's user avatar
47 votes

What does the ‘thank you very much’ mean in “they were perfectly normal, thank you very much”?

To add 'thank you very much' at the end of a statement can be a sarcastic way of dismissing someone or something, or of implying indifference or lack of interest. It expresses the opposite of ...
Michael Harvey's user avatar
40 votes

What does the ‘thank you very much’ mean in “they were perfectly normal, thank you very much”?

It emphasizes how perfectly normal they insist they are (thank you, John :). I was wondering if I would be able to find this specific definition of the phrase, but Wiktionary actually has an entry for ...
Joachim's user avatar
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33 votes
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Can I replace 'have not' or 'haven't' with 'ain't' in oral English?

Speaking descriptively, the facts are simple: This is a typical and long-established use of ain't. Often, complaints against ain't have less to do with the sentence and more to do with the word itself....
Luke Sawczak's user avatar
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25 votes
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Is it okay to say "We are no more in the 20th century"? Using "no more" with periods of time

no more can have the same the meaning as no longer and, up until 1840, it was more widely used. Here is a typical example: He instantly determined to be no more a slave. - The works of Hannah More, ...
JavaLatte's user avatar
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23 votes

Does saying "Keep it up" put me in an authoritative position?

To be honest, nobody really minds this kind of vague congratulatory message. Few people are going to analyse or dissect the grammar or meaning. However "Keep it up" really means "...
James K's user avatar
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23 votes

Can I replace 'have not' or 'haven't' with 'ain't' in oral English?

If you don't currently use the word ain't, you will have trouble using it and sounding natural. It's part of dialectic English and its usage varies by locality. Forcing the word ain't into your ...
EllieK's user avatar
  • 9,205
20 votes

What is the English equivalent of the Russian word тормоз which is used for very slowly working software?

If software is тормоз because too many poorly implemented features have been added, then it is "bloated." This bloating might be the result of feature creep, as many 'small' features get added on one ...
Adam's user avatar
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19 votes

Can traffic lights "turn red" for ten minutes?

Can you say traffic lights "turned red for ten minutes" According to the dictionary: turn (verb) to become changed, altered, or transformed, such as to change color : the weather turned Source:...
J. Taylor's user avatar
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18 votes

What's a polite way of asking "who are you?" on the phone?

In my experience, "Who is this?" is generally perceived as more polite than "Who are you?" or similar. I don't have a good reason for it. There are other more-polite forms, as noted in the other ...
R.. GitHub STOP HELPING ICE's user avatar
17 votes

What does the ‘thank you very much’ mean in “they were perfectly normal, thank you very much”?

“Thank you very much,” is a phrase often used to end a conversation politely. In this context, the phrase would tell someone that the Dursleys don’t want to discuss the topic any further. You might ...
Davislor's user avatar
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16 votes
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Can traffic lights "turn red" for ten minutes?

"turned red for" is perfectly appropriate in the context of "became red and stayed that way for a time period" Here are a few more example of "turned red for" He furrowed his eyebrows and I thought ...
SovereignSun's user avatar
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16 votes

What is the English equivalent of the Russian word тормоз which is used for very slowly working software?

A software application that is relatively small in size, works quickly, and probably has a somewhat limited feature set could be referred to as lightweight. So more full-featured software that moves ...
cjl750's user avatar
  • 3,003
14 votes
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"Who you don't know their name" vs "Whose name you don't know"

This type of construction is incorrect, but still somewhat common, at least in Canada and the US. It is used self-consciously where the speaker cannot figure out a grammatical way to phrase something ...
gotube's user avatar
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12 votes

How do people count weeks or months?

There is no hard rule here. People can and do use both methods. In casual speech people will frequently count by whole weeks, and round up. The listener will accept the ambiguity, as a precise count ...
relaxing's user avatar
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12 votes

What is the English equivalent of the Russian word тормоз which is used for very slowly working software?

Sluggish, as in "Microsoft Word is very sluggish", or "Compared to Linux, Windows runs sluggishly". Merriam-Webster: 1 averse to activity or exertion :indolent; also :torpid 2 ...
htmlcoderexe's user avatar
11 votes

Informal question construction: "Anyone know what...", "Everyone finished?"

Formally, questions often start with "does" or "do" - does anyone know where my hat is? Do you want a cup of tea? The verb (e.g. "know", "want") is the base (infinitive) form. In informal conversation ...
Michael Harvey's user avatar
11 votes

Does saying "Keep it up" put me in an authoritative position?

"Keep it up" can be used by a boss or other authority figure. It can also be used in other contexts. It is commonly used by sports fans to or about an athlete after a successful performance....
David Siegel's user avatar
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10 votes
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Unusual grammars in the slang

None of these uses is "slang", which is language (typically words and phrases rather than syntactical constructions) currently fashionable among a relatively small speech community (typically young ...
StoneyB on hiatus's user avatar
9 votes

How do people count weeks or months?

As your answer hints, after two weeks have elapsed, we can look at this in one of two ways. We can either indicate how long you have been living there: I have been living here for two weeks. or ...
J.R.'s user avatar
  • 110k
9 votes

Why sometimes in the U.S.A do they skip verbs?

These are features of the dialect the rapper speaks, African American Vernacular English (AAVE, aka African American Language: AAL): Deletion of verbal copula (not as dirty as it sounds). This means ...
Laurel's user avatar
  • 15.6k
8 votes
Accepted

It is better to~ vs It is better off~

A quick look at MiCase shows a difference in usage. Better + infinitive follows the impersonal it: It is better to take a bus at night. It is better for the school to offer more courses. Better + ...
fjack's user avatar
  • 1,443
8 votes

Delete the phrase "I'm" from the sentence by native speaker

This is called conversational deletion. To quote the excellent answer from JLawler, (quote from Thrasher, Randolph H. Jr. 1974. Shouldn't Ignore These Strings: A Study of Conversational Deletion, Ph....
M.A.R.'s user avatar
  • 7,351
8 votes

Looking for a phrase to use when asking someone to leave a task to you

A British English speaker would probably say either Leave it to me or I'll take care of that.
JavaLatte's user avatar
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8 votes

What is the English equivalent of the Russian word тормоз which is used for very slowly working software?

We could say "it runs like a dog". On phrases.org.uk: Re the phrase - "my computer is 'running like a dog'". I understand this to mean that my computer is running very slowly. Anything that is '...
rjpond's user avatar
  • 23.1k
8 votes

Does saying "Keep it up" put me in an authoritative position?

I share the perspective of the person who gave you that advice. Care should be taken with this expression I would expect to hear this only from someone with a vested interest in the activity, and who ...
CCTO's user avatar
  • 2,086
7 votes
Accepted

Delete the phrase "I'm" from the sentence by native speaker

In informal speech, pronouns may sometimes be removed in sentences, together with some other words, especially copulas and auxiliaries: [Have you] ever been there? [I'm] going to the shops. [Do ...
Yuri's user avatar
  • 7,583
7 votes
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What expression should I use in these situations?

It' s OK. Relax. Remember to breathe. 1) Tell them to "Hold the sauce on the other." It means I don't want sauce on the other. It's common usage in a restaurant. 2) This is fine. 3) Americans ...
Cascabel_StandWithUkraine_'s user avatar

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