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TOP-5 English words that no one speaks in the USA

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TOP-5 English words that no one speaks in the USA

Language is a dynamic and living phenomenon: it develops together with society, reflects the changes taking place in the material world and social relations. Keeping track of changes in your native language is easy - it's built-in so that a sensitive internal linguist automatically updates your language settings. We do not say "portomoya" or "wardrobe", automatically replacing them with "washerwoman", if we suddenly meet in the era of washing machines a person who makes a living doing laundry, in the second, we choose a neutral colored version of the word - "wardrobe".

With a foreign language learned outside the conditions of natural existence, everything is different: the internal linguist is silent, school textbooks become outdated, ordinary teachers do not have time to update their knowledge. So students from 5 grade pass from generation to generation, who ask: "How are you?" according to the rules of 50 years ago.

Words not used in the US:

  • Pupil - Americans do not call students with this word, preferring the lexemes schoolboys / schoolgirls or students. Context is a great power, so native English speakers will understand, but in isolation, pupil means pupil.
  • Form is the second obsolete word from the school vocabulary. English-speaking students of the 2020s call the form (uniform) school uniform, the obsolete meaning is the class at school (grades 5, 6, 7 - 5, 6, 7 forms). The word grade is now used to mean "grade".
  • Telephone was the name of the telephone on which Mr. Bell spoke. Gadgets for mobile communication are called phone for short. Lexemes cellphone, smartphone, brand name are actively used.
  • Refrigerator - today in America, few people call the device its full name: it was said so in the second half of the 20th century. The general trend towards shortening long words has touched the "refrigerator" - now it is called a short fridge.
  • The next "weak link" is the future tense modal Shall. Its exclusion from everyday speech is associated with a general trend towards unification of forms: will is universal, it applies to all persons, and shall is when the sentence is in the first person (I / we shall). Also, shall is used to formulate assertive questions ( Shall we go to the party? ), But this is also rare.
  • The question How do you do was used instead of a greeting to strike up a conversation. But since the 1990s, How are you / How have you been is more commonly used.

A few more tips 

  • Autumn or Fall ? These words are interchangeable, both are used in American and British English, but Fall is more often used in America, the name Autumn is considered the formal name of the season (for example, for printed calendars, and even then not always).
  • How to say "Please" and not look stupid? Do not translate literally Russian-language formulas of politeness and the Russian "Please" in the meaning of "To your health" as Please. Correct options: You are welcome, My pleasure.
  • It is incorrect to clarify what has not been heard with What?. Use Excuse me? or Sorry?
  • The phrase Give me a cup sounds rude to a foreign person - this sentence has an imperative connotation. Tell me: Could you give me a cup, please?
Current material has been prepared by Egor Eremeev
Education: Kuban State University, Russia (World Economics); Westminster University (Business & Management), London.
Egor studied and lived in the UK for 8 years and graduated from the university of Westminster. He is currently the co-founder and the director of business development at Smapse Education and personally visits foreign schools and universities, interviews students studying in those institutions.
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