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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“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
7k 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?
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1answer
5k 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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1k 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 ...
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2answers
3k 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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1k 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
309 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 ...
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2answers
7k 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
2k 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
3k 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
1k 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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5answers
8k views

“desert island” versus “deserted island”

What is the difference between "a desert island" and "a deserted island"? Are they synonyms?
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2answers
81 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
4k 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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4answers
22k 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
201 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
180 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 ...
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2answers
260 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
3k 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
4k 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
117 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
122 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
260 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
141 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
222 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
63k 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
1k 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
2k 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
146 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
67k 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
339 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
132 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 ...
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1answer
54 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.
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5answers
2k 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...
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1answer
7k 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 ...
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2answers
15k 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 ...
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1answer
235 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?
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147 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 ...
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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 ...
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3answers
7k 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 ...
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2answers
1k 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 ...
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1answer
852 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 ...
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2answers
3k 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 ...
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2answers
1k 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 ...
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4answers
301 views

Electrical/electric [duplicate]

Which is correct: Electric power engineering student Electrical power engineering student
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0answers
16 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.
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2answers
123 views

Usage of “convivial” [closed]

Is "convivial" a formal and uncommon word? Can I say "a convivial community"?
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109 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 ...
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1answer
146 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?