What the British say, and what they mean

24 Sep

If you have watched American and British TV or movies, you may have noticed a difference in the way people express themselves. Americans are usually very “direct” – they say exactly what they mean. If an American thinks that you have a stupid idea, he will say so, for example “That will never work”, or “That idea sucks” (*).

A British speaker will often not be so direct. Instead, he will try to be polite and say something like “Not bad, but let’s think about some other options”. In fact, sometimes they are so polite that they say almost the opposite of what they mean. So, be careful when you hear a compliment – it might really be an insult…

The picture shows some examples of this “polite language”.

(*) When something “sucks”, we mean that it is really bad, for example stupid or unpleasant.



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