Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 24
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Hong Kong
      • Current Location:
      • Hong Kong

    • Join Date: Jun 2008
    • Posts: 2,139
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #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.

  1. 5jj's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • Czech Republic

    • Join Date: Oct 2010
    • Posts: 28,135
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #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.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Apr 2009
    • Posts: 11,818
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #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).

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

    • Join Date: Mar 2007
    • Posts: 18,884
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #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.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Hong Kong
      • Current Location:
      • Hong Kong

    • Join Date: Jun 2008
    • Posts: 2,139
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #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.

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

    • Join Date: Mar 2007
    • Posts: 18,884
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #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.

  4. 5jj's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • Czech Republic

    • Join Date: Oct 2010
    • Posts: 28,135
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #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.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Apr 2009
    • Posts: 11,818
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #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."

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Hong Kong
      • Current Location:
      • Hong Kong

    • Join Date: Jun 2008
    • Posts: 2,139
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #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.

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

    • Join Date: Mar 2007
    • Posts: 18,884
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #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.

Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. would Americans say this
    By ostap77 in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 06-Mar-2011, 20:04
  2. do Americans happen to use it?
    By ostap77 in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 25-Jan-2011, 14:54
  3. European-Americans
    By GUEST2008 in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 22-Oct-2009, 14:50
  4. americans
    By Unregistered in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 19-Jan-2007, 08:35

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •