Like everyplace else, Ohio has its own regional dialect – words, phrases, and grammar that are uncommon in other regions. This language is considered acceptable in Ohio, but may seem incorrect or confusing to outsiders. This article highlights some features of this dialect and gives tips to avoid confusing those who don’t speak the local language.

Infinitive Verbs

Folks in the Midwest tend to drop the “to be” from infinitive phrases like “needs to be washed.” Outside of the Midwest, dropping infinitives is considered grammatically incorrect.


◦Needs washed


◦Needs to be washed OR Needs washing

Irregular Verbs

•Incorrect use of irregular verbs is common here in Ohio, but cringe-worthy elsewhere.

Present   Past                  Past Participle

Run       Ran                     Had Run (not had ran)
Go         Went                   Had Gone (not had went)
See       Saw (not seen)   Had Seen (not had saw)

Unneeded ending prepositions

Once, it was considered incorrect to end any sentence in a preposition. Today, most language experts and even many style guides say that ending sentences in prepositions is all right. However, Ohioans tend to insert unnecessary prepositions at the ends of sentences, a practice still considered incorrect.

◦Where’s my coat at?
◦What day is the party on?

◦Where’s my coat?
◦What day is the party?

Spoken Word

If you record video or audio, consider these:

•S-l-o-w d-o-w-n! People in the northeast United States tend to speak very rapidly, making it hard for people from other regions to keep up.

•Mind your consonants:

◦Changing is not pronounced changin’.
◦Didn’t is not pronounced dint.
◦This isn’t pronounced dis.
•If you aren’t sure how to pronounce a word, entries on sites like Dictionary.com and Wictionary.org frequently include an audio file with the correct pronunciation.

By Brigid Brockway

Enjoy her photo. Do you know where she took this photo?














The photo is of the Cleveland Arcade/Hyatt.