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    #1

    I am going to defecate. - Would this be appropriate to Americans?

    If I want to go to the toilet to defecate, how should I phrase it?

    I am going to defecate. - Would this be appropriate to Americans?

    I believe to the British, this is fine. I was told that the Americans do not like to describe what we do in the toilet.

    Thanks.

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    #2

    Re: I am going to defecate. - Would this be appropriate to Americans?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tan Elaine View Post
    I believe to the British, this is fine.
    No it's not!

    In all-male groups you may hear some such expression as "I'm going for a dump", but generally we do not explain precisely why we are going to the lavatory.

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    #3

    Re: I am going to defecate. - Would this be appropriate to Americans?

    Unless I am your doctor or nurse, there is no reason for you to be telling me any of this. TMI. Too Much Information.

    When potty training children we have them refer to "#1" (urinating) or "#2" (defecating).

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    #4

    Re: I am going to defecate. - Would this be appropriate to Americans?

    Just say "Excuse me for a moment" and leave. No one wants to know what you're going to do.
    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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    #5

    Re: I am going to defecate. - Would this be appropriate to Americans?

    If my house has one toilet, and my brother wants urgently to use it when I am using the toilet, how would he ask me what I am doing?

    Are you defecating or passing water? I think the latter is fine even to Americans, but how would the former be phrased?

    Thanks.

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    #6

    Re: I am going to defecate. - Would this be appropriate to Americans?

    I have observed this cultural difference before. An American is just very unlikely to say what they are doing and would never ask.
    "Are you almost done in there? I really, really need to use the bathroom" is what the person on the outside would say and "Oh, um, we'll, I'm going to be a few more minutes" is what the person on the inside might reply. Or "Don't worry, I'll be out in a second."

    "Passing water" sounds hopelessly outdated to me. If you really must be explicit, saying "pee" as in "I really have to pee."
    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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    #7

    Re: I am going to defecate. - Would this be appropriate to Americans?

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    An American is just very unlikely to say what they are doing and would never ask.
    The same is true for most British people.

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    #8

    Re: I am going to defecate. - Would this be appropriate to Americans?

    I agree with Barb, but note that there might be a little less formality among family. "I'm pooping, go downstairs."

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    #9

    Re: I am going to defecate. - Would this be appropriate to Americans?

    Thanks, Barb.

    I believe the British are not particular about what one does in the toilet. I think the Americans are more sensitive to this matter.

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    #10

    Re: I am going to defecate. - Would this be appropriate to Americans?

    Yes, I agree with Dave that with family, you are likely to get more explicit replies.
    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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