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More questions about some english expressions There are two expressions that confuse me. "it sucks" and "pain in the ass" The thing is that if I translated such expressions into my language (RUS), they would sound extremely rude. I want to learn the level of formality of these expressions. I realize that they are informal but how much? Can I use them just among my close friends or also with a shop seller or in a conversation with an airport employee or with a doctor? Thank you for your attention.
Aug 29, 2019 6:59 PM
Answers · 4
I think it depends on the formality required in different cultures. Here in the US, you can definitely use those expressions in all those situations. They're informal, but then again, many interactions in the US are informal. Unless you're a service provider, then you should definitely be more formal when speaking to your guests and customers. In the UK however, you might want to use more formal speech in situations such as with a doctor, or an airport employee even if you are the customer.
August 29, 2019
Hello, Bogdan. That's a good question. In the United States, these expressions are definitely informal, but they are not necessarily rude. I would be careful about using 'pain in the ass' with a supervisor or a doctor (although it depends on how informal they are). 'It sucks' could definitely be used with an airport employee, shopkeeper and doctor. I doubt you would offend anyone (in the U.S.) using 'pain in the ass', but remember it is an informal expression. You should use it when you are already on friendly terms with someone. It's probably not a good idea to use it with someone you just met.
August 29, 2019
Hello, Bogdan, I bet you will get many different answers depending on the age of the respondents and maybe where they live. I'd say these are very rude expressions, but also they are very common. In the US we hear them on TV, in the movies, etc, even relatively small children sometimes use them, and teenagers, definitely. I would not use with anyone I do not know very well, or someone to whom I want to show respect. They are not terms I would use with older family members, other professionals, or anyone in a business or professional setting, even though the expressions might be tolerated.Just my two cents' worth!
August 29, 2019
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English, Russian
Learning Language