Alternatives to the phrase ‘I was like..’

In recent times I have encountered the phrase ‘I was like…’ a lot. Examples include He told me something, and I was like dude really? I was going along the street, and suddenly something happened, and I was like WTF! Is this a correct form of English? If not what do you think is a … Read more

Is it correct to say “that place is like 5 miles from here”?

Is it correct to say “that place is like 5 miles from here”? I’m not sure if the use of “like” is correct? Answer In this sentence it is informal or slang and means “about” or “approximately”. e.g. “How far is it to McDonald’s?” “It’s like 5 miles” In the right context, it could also … Read more

“You know” in spoken English

Possible Duplicate: How to use “you know” Why is “you know” most commonly used in spoken English. Or to phrase it differently, why do native speakers use this expression a lot in spoken English? Is it a good way of speaking? Does it have to do anything with a particular country, culture, etc? Answer In … Read more

Sentences beginning with “so”?

This also came up on either a BBC or CBC science program, but not as a linguistically-oriented discussion. Over the last two or three years I’ve noticed a lot more people starting a sentence with “so”: “so when we take the …”, “so I have this …”, “so the basic idea …” and (uh) so … Read more

What makes “like” and “so” popular?

So, I was like, why does everyone say like and so in every sentence? Where did this trend come from, like, what started it, and is it actually grammatically correct to like, insert like into our speech in just about any position in a sentence? Reward for anyone who can tell me the cause of … Read more

What does “I’m like, c’mon guys. I’m the president of the United States.” imply?

The Washington Post (April 14) reported President Obama’s off-the-cuff remark during a meeting with donors in Chicago held on April 13th under the title: “Obama riffs with donors: Where are the cool phones, and did you hear about the emir?“ In this remark, he said: I’m like, c’mon guys. I’m the president of the United … Read more

Garbage/stuff words

I’ve watched two interviews. One with Grace Park, one with Eliza Dushku. What one can’t miss is that Eliza uses an awful lot of garbage words (or what these are called) — um, so, like, you know, actually, I guess, I mean, kind of… — whereas Grace doesn’t use them much. YouTube links: Grace Eliza My questions … Read more

Is it bad behavior to add filler words such as “so”, “um” in business speak?

Sometimes when I speak with my fellows at work, I start my sentences with “so” or “um”. I don’t know if this a bad behavior in business speak or not? If so, how can I get rid of those filler words? Answer It’s a bad speaking habit in general; however, most people do it, myself … Read more

How to use “you know”

For a non-native speaker like me, I am always wondering how to use you know correctly, as in the following sentence: Alright, well, for example, like on Saturdays, y’know, what I liked to do was probably what any, y’know, little boy used to do. I liked to go out, play with my friends, y’know, play … Read more

Starting an independent statement with “I mean, …”

A friend was noting that his daughter would occasionally start sentences with the phrase “I mean, ” simply for emphasis, not for clarification: Friend: How was the Miley Cyrus concert? Friend’s daughter: I mean, it was the best concert ever! I have typically seen “I mean” used to join two statements – for example, as … Read more