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British English: "not any longer"


NinjaTurtle
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Hi everyone,

 

I have a question about British English. Please consider these two examples:

 

He doesn't live in this apartment any longer.
He doesn't live in this apartment anymore.

 

I have heard that British people don't say "any longer" whereas Americans do. Is this true?

 

(I speak American English.)

 

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1 hour ago, NinjaTurtle said:

He doesn't live in this apartment anymore.

 

In British English we would spell that "any more".

 

I've heard Brits say "any longer", but we would probably be more likely to say "any more".

 

 

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I would say

He no longer lives in this apartment    

or

He doesn't live here any more

 

Using this apartment is not needed, its implied. I think it also scans better without it.

 

I might say He doesn't live in that apartment any more. 

 

From a Canadian who has also lived in USA but has spent the majority of my life in the UK.

 

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The nice thing about English is that often the written version is not too far off from the spoken version. A search of site:.co.uk “any longer” turns up a decent amount of British news publications using “any longer” in their copy. Honestly you would be better off using corpora to answer this type of question.

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1 hour ago, NinjaTurtle said:

In American English we make this distinction:

 

A. He won’t drink anymore. (He will never drink alcohol again.)
B. He won’t drink any more. (He is finished drinking alcohol for today.)

 

Is this distinction made in British English?

 

 

Yup, however I'd think "He won't drink ever again" is probably (slightly) more common for A. (A declaration I have made many times!)

However, if it's after the fact, then "He doesn't drink anymore (i.e. he quit drinking)" seems better

 

On 10/28/2018 at 9:06 PM, mungouk said:

I say it all the time.

 

But 'flat' is more common.

 

English usage is far more internationalised than it used to be.

 

 

Agree,  You don't often see flats for sale in estate agents 😉, sounds fancier to sell an apartment! I hardly ever say "apartment" in UK but here in China I started using it, as no-one seems to understand flat. I have started using "chips" and "crisps" incorrectly (by British English) too! 

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1 hour ago, DavyJonesLocker said:

"He doesn't drink anymore (i.e. he quit drinking)" seems better

 

This. I agree that this is what I would expect to hear.

To me there is no distinction between your 2 examples, A & B mean the same.

 

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15 hours ago, NinjaTurtle said:

A. He won’t drink anymore. (He will never drink alcohol again.)
B. He won’t drink any more. (He is finished drinking alcohol for today.)

 

Is this distinction made in British English?

Yes that's in fact correct in English and American English. It's interesting how many don't distinguish between that and also 'maybe' and 'may be'.

 

13 hours ago, DavyJonesLocker said:

Agree,  You don't often see flats for sale in estate agents 😉, sounds fancier to sell an apartment! I hardly ever say "apartment" in UK but here in China I started using it, as no-one seems to understand flat. I have started using "chips" and "crisps" incorrectly (by British English) too! 

What, you don't speak Chinese in China? :wink:

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I don't think I have ever had a student in China who knows the difference between "maybe" and "may be" or knows the difference between American "chips" and British "chips" (nor is familiar with British "crisps"). But to be honest, I only found out what British "crisps" were because I was researching the differences between American English and British English.

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11 hours ago, NinjaTurtle said:

I don't think I have ever had a student in China who knows the difference between "maybe" and "may be"

Just out of interest, what age range or level are you teaching at? Of the Chinese students I've known over the last few decades I'd say the linguistically sensitive among them do tend to recognize distinctions such as this one.

 

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13 hours ago, NinjaTurtle said:

I don't think I have ever had a student in China who knows the difference between "maybe" and "may be" or knows the difference between American "chips" and British "chips" (nor is familiar with British "crisps"). But to be honest, I only found out what British "crisps" were because I was researching the differences between American English and British English.

I found Chinese aren't really that familiar with anything that is not American. It's fine to learn American English but the American accent doesn't suit them because there's a lot of rrrr in Chinese, what with all the 儿化 and the like, so with the extra rrrr in the American accent added on as well they seem to get some rrrr in almost every word they say. I swear so many seem to even say 'yes' with an r in it, like 'yerss' or something. Hard to write what it sounds like.

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23 hours ago, XiaoXi said:

What, you don't speak Chinese in China? :wink:

 

No where near as much as I'd like unfortunately . I'm required to speak non accented English in my job and outside class I feel like I should  communicate with them in English. I know it can be frustrating trying to learn Chinese when native Chinese speakers insist on speaking English so I'd like to do the same for them. I force them into English all then time. 

 

I do point out the differences between British and American English but don't have any opinion on which one Chinese should use. I think British have an advantage that we would know more American English through media exposure but Americans maybe not have the same awareness  on British English. Another one was " jelly" and "jam"

 

I noticed recently that more and more Chinese (OK 3 people  haha) seem to be picking up some odd American slang phrases. Someone said to me yesterday jokingly "why are you dissing on me" 

Not something anyone would ever say in Britain (perhaps I'm too old and out of touch! ). It seems like American black English or might be used in rap music. Seems a bit off sounding to me for a Chinese to use this type of English. Can anyone confirm?

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20 hours ago, Zbigniew said:

Just out of interest, what age range or level are you teaching at?

 

I am talking about college-age students. I think one of the big things here is that many of my students have been studying English for almost ten years. They been taught that "Maybe I will go to Japan" is the only way to say it. When I come along and say that we usually say it a different way, this goes against what they have been learning for the last ten years.

 

They. Do. Not. Like. It.

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23 hours ago, DavyJonesLocker said:

No where near as much as I'd like unfortunately . I'm required to speak non accented English in my job and outside class I feel like I should  communicate with them in English.

Ok I see. So what does non accented English actually sound like? Like Jean Luc Picard or something?

23 hours ago, DavyJonesLocker said:

I do point out the differences between British and American English but don't have any opinion on which one Chinese should use. I think British have an advantage that we would know more American English through media exposure but Americans maybe not have the same awareness  on British English. Another one was " jelly" and "jam"

 

I noticed recently that more and more Chinese (OK 3 people  haha) seem to be picking up some odd American slang phrases. Someone said to me yesterday jokingly "why are you dissing on me" 

Ok so you're British I take it, me too.

23 hours ago, DavyJonesLocker said:

Not something anyone would ever say in Britain (perhaps I'm too old and out of touch! ). It seems like American black English or might be used in rap music. Seems a bit off sounding to me for a Chinese to use this type of English. Can anyone confirm?

I think the young people in Britain may be using more American phrases than in the past. Although it's possible the same thing may be happening in the US perhaps to a lesser extent but still. Anyway it's all thanks to the internet, particularly youtube making the world smaller in this sense.

 

4 hours ago, NinjaTurtle said:

They been taught that "Maybe I will go to Japan" is the only way to say it. When I come along and say that we usually say it a different way, this goes against what they have been learning for the last ten years.

 

They. Do. Not. Like. It.

There's a LOT of stuff taught incorrectly in English classes in China. Otherwise I can't explain why so many from completely different cities, use the exact same phrases. Like for example they seem to use 'almost' to mean 'mostly' or I can't count the amount of times I've heard "where are you come from?" etc. And they all say "I'm a Chinese so I can...". That one seems to be unfixable. They hear Americans saying "I'm an American" so they think it's the same for everything so you can say "I'm a Scottish so I can..", "I'm an English so I can.." etc.

 

If you've ever met any Chinese born English teachers you'll know the standard is extraordinarily low to be a teacher. It's very far from the C2 ability and teacher qualification requirement in the west. In fact normally C2 is not enough, we tend to prefer natives to teach a language.

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2 hours ago, XiaoXi said:

Ok I see. So what does non accented English actually sound like? Like Jean Luc Picard or something?
....

Ok so you're British I take it, me too.

 

well no, Irish but moved to Britain after finishing school many years ago. 

 

Well I suppose I mean speaking "standard English" (whatever that means), without any Irish colloquialism or idiosyncrasies. It's pretty much the same for many scots and northern English too. They sometimes say some words like "wee", aye etc without thinking. We Irish often don't pronounce "th" in "the", "there" etc, often speak too fast, have too strong accents  so I make a mental note of these.  My accent is very different with I return back to my native country. Given I worked in international banks in London and traveled a lot globally for many years I needed to quickly dampen down my accent due to the multitude of nationalities in the work environment.

 

6 hours ago, NinjaTurtle said:

I am talking about college-age students. I think one of the big things here is that many of my students have been studying English for almost ten years. They been taught that "Maybe I will go to Japan" is the only way to say it. When I come along and say that we usually say it a different way, this goes against what they have been learning for the last ten years.

 

They. Do. Not. Like. It.

 

 

Although i am not an English teacher, i hear this too. I teach finance and mini MBA courses. The audio tapes can really confuse them. Their English level is high (C1 - C2) but most still seem to think many American, British, Canadian CEO interviews are speaking incorrectly. When it comes to  Middle Eastern, Indian, Turkish accents it really causes problems. I, time and time again have to say. "This is real english that you will hear everyday in an international business setting". The point is that I supposed to train them to deal in business discussions outside China. In fact the biggest problem is the too much focus on the English language and not the actual cultural differences nor focus on the business. That can often be a primary reason why there is little success with business ventures. 

 

 

 

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