Collocation refers to the appearance or occurrence of groups or pairs of words, particularly when more frequent than random chance would suggest.

learn more… | top users | synonyms (1)

2
votes
2answers
1k views

What is the difference between the adjectives/adverbs “broad” and “wide”? the nouns “breadth” and “width”? [duplicate]

Broad and wide are near synonyms but only near, since "a broad smile" is a more common collocation than "a wide smile", and you can say "eyes wide open" but not "eyes broad open". Breadth and width ...
2
votes
3answers
601 views

Do you “hit” or “press” a button?

I am currently writing an user manual for a software tool, providing step-by-step usage instructions. I am aware that pressing a button is a perfectly fine expression. However, I'm trying to find ...
1
vote
2answers
57 views

'Blowback' with 'much'

Jawad Sukhanyar & Rod Nordland, In Prison Release, Signs of Karzai’s Rift With U.S. (NYT): The amount of people advocating for a long-term relationship with Afghanistan is pretty small in ...
3
votes
3answers
154 views

What preposition do we use with the adjective 'telling' when it means 'revealing'?

Example I: "How telling this is [of/about] the way international students continue to be perceived by their American peers on U.S. campuses?" Example II: "Public opinion is telling ...
0
votes
2answers
3k views

“Following a suggestion” vs. “taking a suggestion”

I am going to be following your suggestion. I am going to be taking your suggestion. Do they mean the same thing? If not, what is the difference between them? If they do mean the same thing, ...
3
votes
4answers
888 views

“Enter a market” vs. “break into a market”

Could you please shed light on the difference, if any, between "enter" vs. "break into" a market? Are they synonyms and interchangeable, or does the latter of the two imply more force?
2
votes
3answers
1k views

“Brunette” vs. “brown” and “blonde” vs. “yellow”

Why is that we never use these terms interchangeably? I.e. one wouldn't say "I've painted my walls a deep brunette". Why is it that "brunette" and "blonde" are used exclusively in reference to hair ...
-1
votes
2answers
374 views

Can a regret be expressed? [closed]

I know that interest, dissatisfaction, condolence, apologies can all collocate with express, but I am not sure if regret can. I am thinking about the following sentence in particular: I would like ...
6
votes
5answers
3k views

“desert island” versus “deserted island”

What is the difference between "a desert island" and "a deserted island"? Are they synonyms?
0
votes
2answers
58 views

“Get a scare” or “catch a scare”

A friend of mine insists that you can 'catch a scare', but I've only ever heard 'get a scare'. I googled the expression and mostly got 'catch a scare card' or 'catch a scare crow', with only one ...
0
votes
4answers
1k views

Do you shoot a gun or fire a gun? [closed]

He shot a gun. He fired a gun. Do these sentences mean the same thing? I often hear the former, but it has always felt wrong to me (as if another gun were the target). 
4
votes
3answers
8k views

“Excel at something” vs. “excel in something”

I've come across a question while writing an exam Roger really excelled ___ sports A) at B) on C) in D) for My first thought was 'in', later I remembered using 'at' also. I've ...
3
votes
3answers
115 views

“Build a PC”, “assemble a PC”, or something else?

When you have all the parts of a PC and you need to connect them into a working PC, which is the appropriate verb to describe this action: build, assemble or something else?
2
votes
4answers
128 views

What do you do to a gap?

I failed to find a way to reconcile the gap between reality and my ideal. I tried two expressions, 'bring down the gap' and 'overcome the gap', but I realized that the gap cannot be brought ...
0
votes
2answers
203 views

What is a better antonym pair than “upmost” vs. “deepest” for blood vessels?

I’m thinking about the opposite ends of a blood vessel, so perhaps the “upmost” blood vessels and “deepest” blood vessels. My problem is that I like neither word quoted in the previous sentence. ...
5
votes
5answers
1k views

Does a laser “etch” things, or does it “engrave” them?

Which (if any) of these adjectives would you use for describing a surface that has been cut using a laser beam: a laser-etched surface a laser-engraved surface a laser-(something else) surface a ...
3
votes
2answers
2k views

“High aspirations” vs. “large aspirations”

When you intend to say someone has a strong desire to achieve something high or great, is it proper to say they have "high aspirations"? Or would it be "large aspirations", or something else?
0
votes
3answers
105 views

“Seek the truth in X” vs. “seek the truth with X”

Ran into the phrase to seek the truth in love meaning "seek truth without hurting others in the process". I feel it should be "with" rather than "in." No rule in this case?
1
vote
1answer
83 views

Is it correct to say “source to” instead of “source of”?

Is it correct use to as preposition in the following sentence? Books are the best source to knowledge. I have mostly seen of as being used with source, for example "source of knowledge". But I ...
0
votes
4answers
160 views

does “sluggish” have a negative connotation?

Context: The Processing Speed for situations requiring immediate attention is sluggish I'd like to know if this sounds acceptable in a neuropsychological report, or if there's a more suitable word. ...
0
votes
1answer
108 views

suitable positive alternative to unimpaired (e.g. in neuropsychological function)

I'm translating a neuropsychological assessment report into English and I'm not sure which word/phrase to use here: The neuropsychological functions related to the performance of volitional and ...
1
vote
1answer
165 views

What is the most common collocation to describe the seven trumpets blown in Revelation?

Revelation 8:1-2 (of the Bible) says the following (KJV): And when he had opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven about the space of half an hour. And I saw the seven angels which ...
5
votes
4answers
30k views

“Elder brother” or “older brother”?

I've read both forms in newspapers and online news: elder brother and older brother. What's the difference between them? When should I use which?
-1
votes
2answers
438 views

“Confined in the case”, “confined on the bus”

The preposition “to” is widely used in the phrase “be confined to”. My question is, can I use “in” or “on” in the following sentences? Someone is confined in the case. Someone is confined on ...
1
vote
4answers
695 views

Preposition for “to be qualified”

Would you please tell me whether the following fragment is grammatically correct? ...led me to be qualified in various science Olympiads. For instance, I ranked 21st among... I know that ...
0
votes
2answers
83 views

“Delinquent” to describe something non-monetary

Can delinquent be used to describe something like a school assignment? You still have some delinquent assignments. Or does the word only apply to monetary matters?
0
votes
1answer
174 views

we take safety measures, do we also 'take' control measures?

Someone provided me with a PowerPoint presentation and instructed me to convert it into a word document with sentences rather than point form notes. Here is what the PowerPoint slide said: "Control ...
0
votes
1answer
78 views

“is” or “play” for a role?

i heard someone say "Music is such an important role in my life." I have always thought "role" should be used with "play / have / take", so it goes like "Music has an important role in my life." Is it ...
0
votes
1answer
44 views

“Arguments to the topic” or “arguments for the topic”?

I'm not sure whether it is possible to say "arguments for the topic" or "arguments to the topic" when I want to express opinions that would relate to the given topic.
0
votes
5answers
802 views

Is “almost exactly” correct English?

Is the collocation "almost exactly" grammatical, when one is trying to express that something is almost at the edge of being exact? E.g.: ...and it's almost exactly like...
1
vote
1answer
3k views

Is it “query on …” or “query about …”

Which is grammatically correct? Query on Physics Final Query about Physics Final Say if this was a subject field in an email you're about to send to a teacher. Which would be better ...
2
votes
2answers
7k views

“Nervous” vs. “anxious”

Are these words interchangeable? When would you use one over the other? For example, is it correct to say you "feel nervous" or "feel anxious"? Is it correct to say you are an "anxious person" or a ...
0
votes
1answer
152 views

“Dedicated”, “intended”, or something else in “tomorrow is dedicated for the registration”

Tomorrow is [dedicated/intended/?] for the registration. The context is the first day at a university. Does either sound okay? If they both sound weird, what verb is a better fit?
0
votes
1answer
104 views

“Gained the academic title of professor”

I have a bit of a problem finding the right way to say/write the following: Gained the academic title of professor of xxx. Is the choice of gained fine, or should I use some other verb that is ...
6
votes
12answers
1k views

What vivid verb should I use when someone “turns into” a zombie?

In conversation, when someone says they appreciate my brain, I need an effective comeback. I was going to say: "I hope that you are not turning into a zombie with your love for my brain." But I ...
4
votes
3answers
2k views

Is “with respect to” wrong?

My English professor suggested yesterday that the expression "with respect to", despite being frequently used is simply wrong. He said that one should rather use "in respect of", which in turn is not ...
0
votes
2answers
407 views

“The distance is great” vs. “high” vs. “large”

I don't want to change the structure of the sentence. So please tell me which adjective works better in this sentence — great, high or large. Due to the resolution of cameras, vehicles are not ...
0
votes
1answer
478 views

What does “putting your head into my mouth” mean?

The following passage is from the novel Ivanhoe by Walter Scott. "By St Dunstan," answered Gurth, "thou speakest but sad truths; little is left to us but the air we breathe, and that appears to ...
0
votes
2answers
1k views

“Hold the hope” vs. “keep the hope”

I'm trying to decide whether I should use "hold the hope" or "keep the hope" in a composition I'm preparing. It seems to me they are equivalent. Personally I like "hold the hope" better because sounds ...
3
votes
2answers
856 views

Where did the expression “achievement unlocked” come from?

Why achievement is unlocked? Achievement is not a lock, door or safe. You don't get anything after unlocking. I have an assumption that it came from gaming history, word "unlocked" just transferred ...
0
votes
4answers
205 views

Electrical/electric [duplicate]

Which is correct: Electric power engineering student Electrical power engineering student
0
votes
0answers
15 views

“An answer to the question” vs. “an answer for the question” [duplicate]

Which is grammatical: She had no answer to the question. She had no answer for the question.
0
votes
2answers
99 views

Usage of “convivial”

Is "convivial" a formal and uncommon word? Can I say "a convivial community"?
0
votes
3answers
89 views

“Hospitable transition”

In a resignation letter, would it be right to say: Please let me know how I can assist to make a hospitable transition. Specifically, does the combination "hospitable transition" make sense in ...
1
vote
1answer
114 views

“Come of a royal family” vs. “comes from a royal family”

Is it correct to say "She comes of a royal family"? Or should it be "She comes from a royal family"? Both sound correct to me. Could someone explain?
1
vote
2answers
250 views

A dictionary that systematizes commonly accepted combinations of words

Where can I find a dictionary that contains words along with their commonly accepted "neighbors"? I had one, but it's not for English language. The structure of this dictionary is the following. Take ...
0
votes
2answers
232 views

What is the difference between “in times of” and “in time of”

All the two phrases, "in time of" and " in times of" are in use on the Internet. But I can not distinguish between them correctly. Here are some examples I have come across: How did Hawkwood ...
2
votes
3answers
968 views

What is the correct verb for 'driving' a ferry?

The captain of a ferry appears to steer or drive it. What is the correct verb for this?
1
vote
4answers
9k views

“Cool water” vs. “cold water” [closed]

We often use "cool water". But can we use "cool water" or "cold water"? Which is correct? Examples: I drink cool water only. People always like cool water. In the above examples, ...
1
vote
1answer
521 views

“Function defined on/over the set A”

For the mathematically inclined fellows: If f is a function whose domain is the set A, do you say that f is defined on A or over A? Do both prepositions apply here or is the use of one of them ...