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Andrey
Ballpoint pen/Biro Hello. The question is basically for Americans. Which one of those you tend to use in your everyday speech? Thanks in advance.
3 nov 2016 14:25
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Answers · 12
I've never heard the term "biro" until you mentioned it. I'm guessing it's a British term. In everyday speech, I would just call it a "pen" unless there was a need to specify what kind of pen it is. In that case I would say "ballpoint pen." Hope this helps!
3 novembre 2016
If you'll forgive a non-American for answering: The term 'biro' comes from the name László Bíró, the Hungarian inventor. It is an everyday, informal term for a ballpoint pen, used exclusively in Britain. It is almost unknown outside the British Isles , so you are unlikely to find many Americans who are familiar with the term. It's also used by Australians (who share a lot of everyday language with the UK) and to a limited extent in Italy. Note that we wouldn't use it in formal situations, even in the UK. An official form would be printed with the words 'Please complete in ballpoint pen' - you'd never see 'biro' in such a context. If I were you, I'd keep this word in your passive knowledge. You need to understand it if you happen to work in an office with British colleagues, but otherwise, it's not much use. Just stick with the universally understood term 'ballpoint pen', and you can't go wrong.
3 novembre 2016
Andrey
Language Skills
English, Russian
Learning Language
English