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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2k views

Is there a difference between “depressive” and “depressing”?

Is news depressing or depressive? In what situations would you use these two words? According to dicionary.com: depressive - tending to depress depressing - serving to depress; inducing a ...
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1answer
245 views

Is “low physique” idiomatic?

Is "low physique" idiomatic? If not, what is the adjective to be used with physique?
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5answers
20k views

”Demand in/on/for something”

I am not sure whether to use in, on, or for after the word demand in the following sentence: The continuing demand on high-quality software that is reusable and easy to maintain and modify after ...
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0answers
5k views

“Particular” vs. “specific” [closed]

The Free Dictionary lists particular and specific as synonyms, but there still seems to be a subtle distinction between the two. What is that distinction? In a phrase along the lines of: the ...
3
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1answer
143 views

switch genders or gender?

Recently I read an article on Wired.com "Apple Hires Hacker Who Helped Save Windows From Security Hell", http://www.wired.com/wiredenterprise/2012/12/apple-hires-hacker/ Here is a sentence I'm kind ...
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3answers
18k views

“Gain/acquire/gather/get experience”

According to my Longman dictionary, gain experience and get experience seem to mean the same: gain/get experience: The programme enables pupils to gain some experience of the world of work. But ...
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5answers
1k views

What does a door do on its hinge?

In general sense of the language we would say that a door "opens" or "closes". But I am looking for a one-word answer (preferably) that would indicate its motion around the hinge. Does it swivel, ...
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2answers
572 views

What does “to be caught in a controversy” mean?

Can I use something like "I am caught in a controversy" to express that I am witnessing and confused by the controversy between other entities?
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2answers
2k views

Is “sound approach” an accepted phrase?

English is not my first language, and in my language (Bosnian) we write just as we speak ; so from time to time, I encounter phrases which I know I have heard before, but am not sure if I am writing ...
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1answer
213 views

“Slit one's wrists” vs. “cut one's wrists” [closed]

Which one is used more often? You can cut your leg, hand etc. but do you slit or cut your wrists? Is the correct word related to the method of action that causes wrists to bleed?
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3answers
11k views

“Quick question” vs. “short question”

Which one would you prefer: "quick question" or "short question" for a question that you know is simple and will only take a moment to answer? Or maybe "simple question"? The problem I have with ...
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5answers
170 views

“Photo playback” — can photos be played?

The phrase "photo playback" has about 35k Google hits, especially in production descriptions, but is it correct English? It seems that “playback” can be used with video and audio, because we can play ...
2
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3answers
432 views

“Broad surface” or “large surface” [closed]

When comparing the total surface area of (geometrical) bodies, can I describe it as "large surface" (or "largest") or, as an editor suggested, do I have to use "broad surface"? Edit: Example ...
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4answers
789 views

What is the correct word to describe a turn or a bend — “hard”, “sharp”, “heavy”…?

If there is a very sharp turn or detour or bend — in a piece of plastic, for example, — what is the correct word to describe it (hard, sharp, heavy...)?
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3answers
385 views

Extend or go beyond a promise

Can one fulfill “beyond” a promise? Is it possible to say “extending the fulfillment of a promise”? I am trying to express that I hope I fulfilled a promise and then some. This is for the ...
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4answers
3k views

“Big budget” vs. “large budget” — which one to use? [closed]

What is the difference between big and large? I am trying to use one of these words but I'm skeptical which one is the right one. The context I intend to use one of these words in is: Small ...
2
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1answer
243 views

“Imitation jewelry” or “costume jewelry”

I've looked up the translation of the word bisutería in Spanish and it translated to imitation jewelry or costume jewelry. Which of the two is mostly used in British English?
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2answers
315 views

“Rotate image” vs. “spin image”

I need to title an application button that moves an image 90 degrees clockwise/anticlockwise. Which of the following fits better? Spin image Rotate image
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1answer
14k views

“No point in” vs. “no point of” vs. “no point to”

Point in, point of, point to. (Point in the sense of "purpose".) What are the differences among these — in meaning? in usage (each is used in certain constructions or with certain ...
9
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1answer
333 views

Use of “medicine students”

Recently I used the term medicine students to mean students of medicine. This was corrected to medical students. I googled and found that the term I chose is not really used. However I still hear ...
23
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6answers
110k views

“Call me through/at/on this number”

What is the difference between the following when referring to telephone calls? Please call me on this number. You can reach me on this number. Please call me at this number. You can reach ...
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2answers
368 views

What are proper collocations of 'revision'?

Can I say: I will do/make revision of the material that we have covered so far. Should I say : I will revise the material that we have covered so far.
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5answers
5k views

“Director at”, “founder of”. What is the correct usage of “at” and “of”?

I have a twitter account and I see some people having in their profiles mention: Company Director at ABC and others Company Director of ABC Also, I come across: Founder of ABC and ...
4
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3answers
655 views

Construction of to cheat

I am not a native speaker and I would like to write a sentence using the verb "to cheat on". The situation I want to describe is that someone (Mr X) has lied to someone else (Mr Y) convincing Mr Y to ...
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4answers
10k views

“Take a degree” or “do a degree”

In university I learned that we say to do a degree in X but I saw many other sources where it says to take a degree in X. Which is correct? Is there a regional difference?
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5answers
18k views

When to use words quite, rather, pretty, fairly etc

Is there any logic to this or just decision? I would use the following combinations: quite amazing rather large pretty good I would not use the following combinations: pretty amazing quite large ...
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3answers
889 views

“Write out a prescription” vs. “make out a prescription”

Are "write out a prescription" and "make out a prescription" used more or less interchangeably?
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4answers
4k views

Can you say “raise an animal”?

It was said as a way to comfort someone who had just broken up with her boyfriend, and someone said something like "go raise a dog". I know it's okay to say raise an animal; I just feel so weird ...
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2answers
488 views

What is ‘a bell-covered hat’?

Harry looked up and saw, floating twenty feet above them, Peeves the Poltergeist, a little man in a bell-covered hat and orange bow tie, his wide, malicious face contorted with concentration as he ...
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4answers
1k views

Can “shrugging” only be done with shoulders?

Please compare He shrugged. and He shrugged his shoulders. Is there anything else that can be shrugged, besides shoulders? To me it sounds like duplication when used in this way. I'm aware ...
6
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7answers
58k views

Is there a difference between “vice”, “deputy”, “associate”, and “assistant” as descriptive job titles?

When vice, deputy, associate, or assistant is collocated with a job title, such as vice manager, deputy manager, associate manager, assistant manager, I wonder how to rank or differentiate their ...
16
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5answers
154k views

What is the difference between “sardonic” and “sarcastic”?

Basically, sardonic and sarcastic both stand for mocking gestures, but what is the difference in their contextual use? Are there any other words that represent a similar gesture?
8
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5answers
72k views

“Centered on” or “centered around”

I have often heard presenters talking about something centered around another thing, but it seems a bit illogical and hence improper to talk like this. Am I right about this?
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1answer
513 views

“give me five” and “slap me five”, any difference?

What's the meaning of "slap me five"? Any difference between "slap me five" and "give me five"? There is a book called Slap Me Five.
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4answers
3k views

Does “freak somebody out” has the meaning of “make somebody angry”?

This is an excerpt from the LDOCE. freak out phrasal verb informal to become very anxious, upset, or afraid, or make someone very anxious, upset, or afraid : People just freaked out when they ...
3
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2answers
469 views

What does this sentence mean by “my cold came out of remission”?

What does the part "my cold came out of remission" mean in the following sentence? It seems that my cold came out of remission… I'll work from home today and hopefully kick it before Monday.
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4answers
896 views

How can I learn to get collocations right?

I read an article about collocation which includes an example: We can say highly sophisticated, and we can say extremely happy. highly happy and extremely sophisticated would be wrong. How can I ...