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American English

American and British Words That Mean the Same Thing

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American and British Words That Mean the Same Thing

Many common objects and ideas have different names in American and British English. Today we’re going to compare some of these words. The left column in the chart below contains twenty Standard American English words, the ones you learn in our English classes in Atlanta. The right column contains their Standard British English equivalents. American…

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Words Whose Meanings Have Changed Over Time

English, like any living language, continues to grow, change, and evolve. New words are created, old words fall out of use, and existing words take on new meanings. Many common English words have very different meanings now than they did in older forms of English. Knowing these older meanings can make reading earlier English works…

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Negative Questions

A negative question is one that is worded in such a way as to require a “no” response for an affirmative answer and a “yes” response for a negative answer. In other words, negative questions switch the “yes/no” response order of regular, or positive, questions to a less intuitive “no/yes” order. The following is an…

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Comma Usage Quiz

This quiz covers some of the most common uses of commas in the English language. Add commas where you think they are needed to the dozen sentences below. Not all of the sentences require commas, so be careful with your comma usage. Check the end of the quiz for answers and explanations. While she was…

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Politeness in Modern American English

Modern American English has few official rules for how politely you should address a given individual in a given situation. While there are a handful of basic courtesies that you should consistently employ (please, thank you, you’re welcome, etc.), the structure of the language itself contains none of the signifiers of politeness commonly found in…

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