Talk:Comparison of American and British English

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edit·history·watch·refresh Stock post message.svg To-do list for Comparison of American and British English:

Count and mass nouns. Plurals.

Ellipsis of articles.

Modal verbs. Aspect; more on tenses. Complementation.

Adverbs and prepositions (about, round, around). Disjuncts. Determiners, hedge words, intensifiers. Word order.

Rewrite vocabulary section.

Inline citations.

Tag questions.

General cleanup.

Priority 3


"I couldn't care less"[edit]

The article says 'Both BrE and AmE use the expression "I couldn't care less" to mean the speaker does not care at all.'

But, we very often hear Americans using "I could care less" when they really mean "I couldn't care less". The former, which is heard often (e.g. on US TV and films) is logically incorrect, and confusing to British ears, so possibly worth mentioning?— Preceding unsigned comment added by 212.44.19.62 (talkcontribs) 17:51, 7 November 2011‎ (UTC)

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This article has a wrong sentence[edit]

I found a wrong sentence which is wrong in this article. It reads:"Phrases such as the following are common in Britain but are generally unknown in the US: 'A week today', 'a week tomorrow', 'a week Tuesday' and 'Tuesday week'; these all refer to a day more than a week in the future". The following video (taken by an American senior citizen called Stephen Adler) proves the sentence wrong because, if you listen closely, you will hear him say:"Today is Tuesday, and it was a week ago last Monday": [1]--Fandelasketchup (talk) 13:45, 24 May 2016 (UTC)

One (or indeed a few) specific examples do not disprove a generality. Mr Adler sounded to my ears as coming from the northeastern US. Would someone from the deep south or the western seaboard have used the phrase? Martin of Sheffield (talk) 14:18, 24 May 2016 (UTC)

Possibly incorrect information about "proved" vs "proven"[edit]

On the article it says that "proven" is very rarely used in British English, however around half the people I know, in particular younger people (in the UK) use it in the context that the article claims would be "proved" outside of American English. Is "proven" becoming more commonly used, or is the article wrong? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 80.229.230.86 (talk) 16:11, 7 August 2016 (UTC)

Not only does the article have wrong information about that, but the following sentence is also wrong in section 2.3 "3 Presence or absence of syntactic elements":"Where a statement of intention involves two separate activities, it is acceptable for speakers of AmE to use to go plus bare infinitive. Speakers of BrE would instead use to go and plus bare infinitive. Thus, where a speaker of AmE may say I'll go take a bath, BrE speakers would say I'll go and have a bath. (Both can also use the form to go to instead to suggest that the action may fail, as in He went to take/have a bath, but the bathtub was full of children.) Similarly, to come plus bare infinitive is acceptable to speakers of AmE, where speakers of BrE would instead use to come and plus bare infinitive. Thus, where a speaker of AmE may say come see what I bought, BrE speakers would say come and see what I've bought (notice the present perfect: a common British preference)." This sentence is wrong because, in the song Eternal Flame by The Bangles, an American band, lead singer Susanna Hoffs sings in the chorus:"Say my name, love shines through the rain/A whole life so lonely, you come and ease the pain". Isn't that weird being the article says that the British would say that, not Americans? --Fandelasketchup (talk) 12:50, 8 November 2016 (UTC)
A couple of points: first it's not one but five sentences (better say a passage or section), and quoting any lyrics is dangerous. there is a long history of adapting grammar to suit metre, you can start with Virgil, pass through Chaucer, Shakespeare and end up with W S Gilbert and probably include every lyricist in between. I expect modern pop bands will similarly take liberties to ensure the rhythm is preserved so no, this does not prove your point. Incidently, is Hoffs the lyricist as well as performer? Martin of Sheffield (talk) 13:59, 8 November 2016 (UTC)

Improvement tags.[edit]

I agree that this article would benefit from improvement, but I find it a useful article. Perhaps critics could point out which sections in particular we could start work on? Dbfirs 22:01, 24 April 2017 (UTC)