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  1. Newbie
    Student or Learner
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Swedish
      • Home Country:
      • Sweden
      • Current Location:
      • Sweden

    • Join Date: Jan 2011
    • Posts: 1

    Instead of foul language?

    After watching to many gangster movies i think that my vocabulary has become a bit rude and I need to improve it. I realize that ordinary educated people doesn't talk like the drug dealers in the movies.
    I don't think it is suitable for me to say things like "what the f**k is this?" or "s**t" when something goes wrong.
    What words and expressions can I use instead when I need to express frustration or mild anger?

    I guess that in a pub full of construction workers, they tollerate quite strong words, but when I talk to fellow engineers, they might get offended.

  2. Barb_D's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Mar 2007
    • Posts: 19,062

    Re: Instead of foul language?

    Hi and welcome to the forums.

    You can just say "What IS this?" with the emphasis on "is." You don't need to say "What the *** is this?" If you really need to be emphatic, What the hell is this or What the heck is this, if you want to avoid the very mildly offensive "hell." There are so many: What on God's green earth is this? What in the name of all that's holy is this? What in heaven's name is this? What in the world is this? Good lord, what IS this?

    Damn (still offensive to some, but not many)

    Or you can be really creative and make your own up.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

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