When it comes to the English, mastering it and understanding it in its fine details can be a daunting challenge for any foreigner. The language has many grammar rules.  Although there is no denying that the rules are necessary, remembering all of them is difficult. Don’t worry, though; you’re not alone! Even people who are born and raised in the UK and the United States can struggle to master the English language, so it’s not surprising that foreigners struggle even more to learn it.

Getting to a level where you are fluent in both spoken and written English takes a lot of practice, but the outcome of learning it properly will be more than worth it. It will open up many doors for you in the future, in your personal life and the business world.

Learning a new language is always a worthy challenge to undertake, but you need to know what you’re getting yourself into in advance before you embark on learning the English language. As long as you’re aware of the journey ahead when it comes to such challenges, you won’t be surprised when you encounter some of the trickier parts of the English language.

English Language Words Specific To The United States Of America

When learning about the English language, you’ll realize that many words are used exclusively in the United States. These words aren’t made up, they’re real words, but they are only used in American English. There’s no real reason behind this; it’s just how the language has evolved in the United States.

Such words and phrases can be complicated to understand to none Americans, so let’s just start with one to get a basic understanding of what we’re talking about here.

An Example Of An American English Word

The word we’re going to be focusing on today is “mainland”.

“A large contiguous land mass that includes the greater part of a country or territory, as opposed to offshore islands and detached territories.”

What does mainland mean?

That’s the grammatical definition, but what does mainland mean when it is used in the United States? You’ve probably heard this word before, and might even be wondering where mainland USA is. Well, the United States is broken up into a few sections, and the main section of its land is home to 48 states, Alaska is a separate piece of land, and so is Hawaii. So, when we refer to the mainland, we’re referring to that large chunk of land that houses the bulk of the North American states.

So, if you hear someone say that they are from the mainland in the USA, all they mean is that they live in a state that isn’t Alaska or Hawaii. It is that simple, but it can also easily lead to a misunderstanding if you aren’t entirely familiar with the English language or the United States as a whole. Mainland can, of course, also be used the way it is formally defined, but when using the word in the United States, you will be referring to the section of land with the 48 states.

However, the definition for mainland does not limit to the 48 states of USA (or the whole USA, in that sense). In Western countries, the term mainland also refers to the people of China. You may be familiar with the terms “mainland China” and/or “mainland Chinese”— both refer to the same usage, as mainland is a term for Chinese people (used popularly in the Western cultural countries). In other words, the appropriate use of the word mainland will vary depending on the place and region you are using it for.

The English Language

The English language is a colossal task to learn. With all of its subtle rules here and there, it can often take years to get a truly solid understanding of it.

The topic of when to use the term mainland comes up quite a bit, so hopefully today we were able to clear that up for you. Although this is just one of thousands of words you will need to grasp fully in the English language, we hope that you are at least more comfortable with what mainland means and how/when you should use it.

While the ‘one word at a time’ approach can be time-consuming, it can be extremely useful when trying to master words.

Happy learning and if you know anybody who has been as confused as you about words like the mainland, please share this article with them!