I’d better confess right away that I’m not a native American English speaker.
If you could hear my accent, you’d spot in a jiffy that my native variety is British English. But stop, come back, because I can tell you about the most important word to get your head around if you’re communicating with Americans. I know this because I’ve lived in the U.S. for more than a decade now, and it’s still the word that I have to think about every time I use it.
What’s the word? It’s “quite.”
It’s such a common word. Americans use it, Brits use it, and it’s the same word, right? Well no, not quite.
Have a look at these sentences. Both Americans and Brits could say them all. But two of them mean different things, depending on whether an American or a Brit says them. Which ones?