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Hi
I have some doubts about some expressions I have been noting down:
1) how do you call the natural SPOTS of darker/lighter fur on an animal? "Spots" perhaps?
2) "Man history HAS BEEN CHARACTERIZED by many acts of violence." Is the expression correct? Is there a better version?
3) "An EDIFYING episode". Meaning: an episode of morally correct behaviour. Is the word ok in this context?
4) "the two armies BATTLED OVER that hill." Meaning: the two armies fought each other to conquer the hill, to gain possession of the hill. Is it ok?
5) Can you say "JOHN" if you want to say "toilet" with a vulgar accent? Wordreference.com mentions this among other possibilities (bog, loo,
shitter...). Which is preferable in american english?
6) Can you turn the sentence: "Please prepare a meal to me" into "Please prepare me a meal", as you would do with "write (a letter)"?
7) "When will 'The Hobbit' be in the theatres?" "I CAN'T TELL. Pretty soon I guess." Or is it: "I can't say"? Or: "I couldn't tell". Or none?
8) "Can you give somebody a MOMENT OF FAME"? Ex.: you interview somebody on tv.
9) "SAY NO MORE". Meaning: "You don't need to tell me, I already know". Is it correct? Ex.: "It's difficult to find a stable job today." "Say no more: I have been unemployed for 7 months now." I've heard the expression in a movie, but I'm not sure.
10) Can you say, for ex., that "Einstein was A STEP AHEAD IN HUMAN EVOLUTION", meaning that he was the most intelligent human being at his time?
Thank you in advance for your help.
Antonio.
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1) how What do you call the natural SPOTS of darker/lighter fur on an animal? "Spots" perhaps?

Yes.
"You are making my spots ache," said Painted Jaguar.
-- Rudyard Kipling, Just So Stories.

Dalmatians have a lot of black spots on a background of white fur.

2) "Man history HAS BEEN CHARACTERIZED by many acts of violence." Is the expression correct? Is there a better version?

The history of man has been characterized .... Correct.

3) "An EDIFYING episode". Meaning: an episode of morally correct behaviour. Is the word ok in this context?

It's OK. A little unusual to my ear, but OK.

4) "the two armies BATTLED OVER that hill." Meaning: the two armies fought each other to conquer the hill, to gain possession of the hill. Is it ok?

OK.

5) Can you say "JOHN" if you want to say "toilet" with a vulgar accent? Wordreference.com mentions this among other possibilities (bog, loo,
shitter...). Which is preferable in American English?

'john' is not particularly vulgar, and you can use it among friends. I don't advise saying it in the company of a man named "John", though. I don't hear those others you mentioned, but once in a very great while I hear 'head'.

6) Can you turn the sentence: "Please prepare a meal to me" into "Please prepare me a meal", as you would do with "write (a letter)"?

Yes, but note that 'prepare' is in that group of verbs that take 'for', not 'to'.

Please prepare a meal for me > Please prepare me a meal.

Also, for example, 'cook me a meal', 'bake me a cake'. (These take 'for'.)

7) "When will 'The Hobbit' be in the theatres?" "I CAN'T TELL. Pretty soon I guess." Or is it: "I can't say"? Or: "I couldn't tell". Or none?

I can't tell. I can't say. I couldn't tell. All inappropriate answers. Use I don't know.

I can't tell is used differently. It's used when you don't know, but you are trying to find out. Something has not yet 'come into focus' in your mind.

-- Who is that way down the street? I think it's Susan, isn't it?
-- I can't tell. Whoever she is, she's too far away.

-- I'm taking those new weight-loss pills.
-- Really? Are they working?
-- I can't tell if they're working yet. I only started taking them yesterday!

I couldn't tell is the past tense.

8) "Can you give somebody a MOMENT OF FAME"? Ex.: you interview somebody on tv.

Yes, I suppose you can say that. I don't recall hearing it much, though.

9) "SAY NO MORE". Meaning: "You don't need to tell me, I already know". Is it correct? Ex.: "It's difficult to find a stable job today." "Say no more: I have been unemployed for 7 months now." I've heard the expression in a movie, but I'm not sure.

That is the correct meaning. Yes.

10) Can you say, for ex., that "Einstein was A STEP AHEAD IN HUMAN EVOLUTION", meaning that he was the most intelligent human being at his time?

Again, it's not a common expression, but it's a meaningful grammatical construction.
_______________________

Too many questions in one post. In the future, please limit yourself to fewer questions. Make multiple posts. Thanks.

CJ
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1) How do you call the natural SPOTS of darker/lighter fur on an animal? "Spots" perhaps?
Stripes (long, thin markings) or spots (round markings)

2) "Human history HAS BEEN CHARACTERIZED by many acts of violence."

3) "An EDIFYING episode". An episode that instructs in some way.

4) "the two armies BATTLED OVER that hill." Meaning: the two armies fought each other to conquer the hill, to gain possession of the hill. Is it ok? yes

5) Can you say "JOHN" if you want to say "toilet" with a vulgar accent? Wordreference.com mentions this among other possibilities (bog, loo, shitter...). Which is preferable in American English? In polite company, use "rest room" or "bathroom" "John" is informal, not particularly vulgar. "Potty" is for very small children. Loo or WC is British English.
Most of the vulgarisms are for the actual acts of urination or defecation, not the facility.

6) Can you turn the sentence: "Please prepare a meal for me" into "Please prepare me a meal", as you would do with "write (a letter)"? Yes, but it is not as natural. Some English ditransitive verbs can have the two objects next to each other, (indirect, followed by direct), but others must use the to or for prepositional phrase for the indirect object.

7) "When will 'The Hobbit' be in the theatres?" "I CAN'T TELL. Pretty soon I guess."
I can't tell is used when you see something, but cannot see it well enough to give an answer. It does not mean "I don't know."
How many stars can you see in the night sky? I can't tell; there are too many to count.

8) "Can you give somebody a MOMENT OF FAME"? Ex.: you interview somebody on tv. Yes.

9) "SAY NO MORE". Meaning: "You don't need to tell me, I already know". Is it correct? Yes; it gives the idea that you know it better than 99.9% of your friends.

10) Can you say, for ex., that "Einstein was A STEP AHEAD IN HUMAN EVOLUTION", meaning that he was the most intelligent human being at his time? No. We don't know what result evolution will have in the future.