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

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191 views

“Putative” vs. “surrogate” [closed]

How similar or different is "putative" to "surrogate"? The term "surrogate father" is common, "putative father" is fairly so, too. But what may be the difference in connotation?
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1answer
105 views

Qualifying a profile

Which of these adjectives is better used to qualify a profile (the width of an elongated object, such as in crossing profile)? low or small large or high Low crossing profile seems more common ...
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2answers
5k views

Do we “resolve a doubt” or “dispel a doubt”?

When writing in a academic setting (think of a letter to your professor), what is the most appropriate way of saying this? I will be grateful if you could resolve this doubt in your paper. I ...
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5answers
240 views

A word meaning collaborate [closed]

Looking for a short(ish) word approximating "collaborate." The word might also be a clever metaphor or symbol for the idea of collaborating / working as one.
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2answers
199 views

Rephrasing “patient with suspected cancer” [closed]

Is it possible to form a sentence like A patient who is suspected for/with/?? cancer and if so, what is the correct preposition after suspect?
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4answers
9k views

“To be assigned to” usage question

Many years ago I translated a document and wrote "he was assigned to an operation" (context: hospital operation, the assignee is undergoing one). An English professor who volunteered to copyedit my ...
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11answers
3k views

“School Students” — what, like there's any other kind of student?

I think this might be a Pennsylvania thing: every so often, you'll see a van or small bus labeled, not "School Bus" or anything sane normal like that, but "School Students". Whenever I see a van ...
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3answers
542 views

The wrong group to be “in” Or “on”?

'They either participate with some decorum, or recognise this is the wrong group to be on!' Is that sentence idiomatically and grammatically correct? Can on and in be used in this sentence?
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2answers
194 views

Which preposition to use with “forum”

I would hugely appreciate your help thinking through the tagline for a new online forum we are creating. The current version reads: A Forum on Our Economy, National Security and Sustainability. ...
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1answer
61 views

GOT: “twins to the first”

Yo, I got stucked in reading game of thrones song of ice and fire at prolog part on this sentence: They emerged silently from the shadows, twins to the first. Three of them....four...five... ...
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2answers
542 views

Is “release stress” acceptable in English?

Would it be correct English to say "release stress", for example: "If you do not find a way to release stress, you will get tired, you may even fall ill." Is "release stress" an acceptable ...
0
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1answer
272 views

What do “a bare foot” and “flat on his belly” mean in this context?

In the opening prologue to the novel A Game of Thrones, two sentences left me with questions: The great sentinel was right there ať the top of the ridge, where Will had known it would be, its ...
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2answers
2k views

Do I take a small nap or a light nap?

I heard a friends say that he's going to take a small nap. Is this correct usage? I thought we only take light naps.
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3answers
5k views

Use of preposition “with” after the word “marry”

Is it right to use the preposition "with" instead of "to" after the word "marry or married" under any given circumstances if we change the position of gender being mentioned? For example: "She is ...
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3answers
2k views

Is there a difference between “anatomic” and “anatomical”?

I want to say "anatomical context". Google tells me that anatomical in that context is preferred. An online dictionary claimed that American English does not have anatomic but only knows anatomical.
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4answers
972 views

Is it right to say “before since”?

I wonder if "before since" is right in my sentence. If not, could you please help me improve it? This company provides products since 2010. Consequently, there is no record of this product before ...
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3answers
124 views

Any reason why the collocation “the wound healed” is more common than “the injury healed”?

"The wound healed" gets 890,000 hits when googled, whereas "the injury healed" only gets 525,000. Is there any reason for the difference? Whether the damage to someone's body is deliberate – wound – ...
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1answer
169 views

“Appear” instead of “look” in compounds (good appearing, cheesy appearing, etc.)

As far as your English variety goes, is it OK to substitute "appearing" for "looking" in compounds without altering the meaning? ... for a business to want good appearing, well dressed, healthy ...
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1answer
10k views

Which is correct — “email me [on/at] x@y.com”? [duplicate]

Which variant is the correct one: email me on xxx@xxx.com email me at xxx@xxx.com email me to xxx@xxx.com Or should another preposition go there?
2
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1answer
7k views

“Take on responsibility” vs. “take up responsibilty”

I now have to take _ additional responsibility. Are both on and up grammatically correct? Is there a difference in meaning? When to use which one?
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3answers
2k views

Dreams come true or they are fulfilled. What about 'hopes'?

Let's say things went the way we had hoped they would. Would it be appropriate, then, to say, 'our hopes were fulfilled' or is there a more acceptable or better expression? Apparently, 'things went ...
2
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2answers
4k 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 ...
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4answers
2k 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 ...
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2answers
59 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 ...
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3answers
372 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 [of/...
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2answers
10k 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, ...
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4answers
4k 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?
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3answers
4k 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 ...
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2answers
2k 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 ...
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4answers
10k views

“desert island” versus “deserted island” [closed]

What is the difference between "a desert island" and "a deserted island"? Are they synonymous?
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2answers
97 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 ...
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4answers
5k 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). 
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5answers
32k 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 ...
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3answers
275 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?
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4answers
211 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 down ...
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2answers
276 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. ...
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5answers
4k 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 ...
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2answers
6k 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?
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3answers
120 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?
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1answer
154 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 ...
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4answers
305 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. ...
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1answer
149 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 ...
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1answer
244 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 ...
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4answers
76k 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?
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2answers
2k 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 ...
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4answers
3k 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 "...
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2answers
172 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?
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5answers
78k views

What's the difference between “speak” and “talk”, grammatically speaking?

There are a number of questions e.g. What is the difference between “speaking” and “talking”? and “Speak to” vs. “Speak with” that deal with the slightly different connotations of the words "speak" ...
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1answer
445 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 ...
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1answer
149 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 ...