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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149 views

Are prior, previous, and preceding interchangeable?

If I have four moments in time (A, B, C, D), where moment D is the present, would previous, preceding, and prior be interchangeable as adjectives to refer to moments A-C? Is one of them more likely to ...
2
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1answer
43 views

Can circumstances arise?

Is it correct to say: At the time, circumstances arose such that I had to leave the city. in the meaning that situation got such that the speaker could not stay in the city anymore? ...
0
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1answer
31 views

Opinion/advice/knowledge/information: which to use?

I chose a wrong answer in a test from http://www.cambridgeenglish.org According to Richard's ...... the train leaves at 7 o'clock. opinion advice knowledge information I chose ...
0
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1answer
39 views

“Pain to” vs. “pain in”

Is it correct to say: He couldn't stand for long because of pain to his leg. or should it be: He couldn't stand for long because of pain in his leg. or are both acceptable, or is neither?
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2answers
45 views

demanded by or demanded for

I doubt about the correct preposition here. Which sentence should I use if it is the engineers themselves who are clamouring for the equipment? This instrument is highly demanded for engineers ...
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2answers
50 views

Adjective/ Collocation with 'Caution:' — Why does 'huge' sound odd?

Simon Johnson, Scottish Political Editor, The Telegraph UK, 11:08PM BST 07 May 2015: Nicola Sturgeon: I'm treating exit poll with huge caution Nicola Sturgeon tweeted: “I’d treat the exit poll ...
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6answers
1k views

“Finnish Swedes” or “Swedish Finns”?

In Finland, there live 5.6 % Swedes (https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/fi.html). They have lived there for many generations, being standard Finnish citizens, just ...
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2answers
89 views

“Habitat selection in/of birds”, “concept in/of statistics”, “theme in/of evolution”

It seems to me that in and of work equally well in sentences such as these: Habitat selection in birds is frequently studied. Habitat selection of birds is frequently studied. ...
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2answers
42 views

What does “the young go getters” mean?

I came across this colloquial phrase: "the young go getters". What does that actually mean? Does it refer to a young child/adolescent who is supposed to be a creative thinker?
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2answers
56 views

Collocations of “Uncertainty”

I'm trying to find the right preposition to go after "uncertainty", as in statistical uncertainties. I'm guessing that it might be "the uncertainty on the prognosis", but I'm not sure. Can anybody ...
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1answer
37 views

Is a value something to “indicate” the valued thing?

Sorry for the confusing title. I came across the following sentence and am wondering if the word "indicate" collocates with the word "value" as in this case: The PCS (Print Contrast Signal) is a ...
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1answer
22 views

usage of dissimilar

This sentence is grammatically correct. But does it make sense to use word dissimilar to avoid repetition of different here? the results would be absolutely dissimilar if there is any slight ...
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1answer
39 views

using amidst in mathematic [closed]

I use a very formal writing style. If I want to say that I calculate a function between 5 times between each two points, can I use amid these ways? The function f(t) is calculated 5 times amidst ...
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1answer
29 views

usage of amid instead of between [closed]

Can I replace between with amid here? The engineers need to design the relationship between these function blocks. Turning into The engineers need to design the relationship amid these ...
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1answer
94 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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3answers
149 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
109 views

“Two parts to it” versus “two parts of it”

What's the difference between “there are two parts of it” and “there are two parts to it”? My student asked me this question and I'm not quite sure what the correct answer is. Any advice would be ...
2
votes
2answers
144 views

Why can you not “improve your English ability”?

I hear a lot of Japanese people say "I want to improve my English ability" but I can't explain why this sentence is wrong. Could anyone tell me why you shouldn't say "I want to improve my English ...
0
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1answer
34 views

Receive a prize in/on/for a contest

What is the proper way to say that someone received a prize / achieved a certain rank as a result of his participation in a contest or competition? I would also like a brief explanation, if it's more ...
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3answers
14k views

“In the market” or “on the market”

I am trying to help a friend of mine proofreading an English email and she has a preposition there that I am not completely certain is correct. The original sentence was this: [Name of the ...
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0answers
31 views

“live on government aid” or “live off government aid”? [duplicate]

Is there a difference in meaning between "live on government aid" and "live off government aid"? Are both correct written forms?
2
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1answer
61 views

Usage: “Having children by/from different fathers”?

In the phrase having children by/from different fathers, is by British usage, and from American usage? The collocation with by, I could find in the Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English, but the ...
4
votes
2answers
118 views

Does “trial” collocate with the verbs “win” and “lose”: can you “win/lose a trial”?

I know that "case" collocates with the verbs "win" and "lose". But do these verbs also collocate with the noun "trial"? Are the phrases "win/lose a trial" and "win/lose a case" synonyms?
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1answer
50 views

Inanimate nouns used in the phrase “want/need somebody to do”

I don't need [this document ] to contain a disclaimer formulated in such a straightforward way. I want [my words or my assertion] to sound convincing in the meeting tomorrow. Having done a ...
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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 ...
2
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2answers
182 views

How exactly is “to checkmate” used as a verb?

Merriam-Webster has this definition of checkmate: checkmate transitive verb 1: to arrest, thwart, or counter completely 2: to check (a chess opponent's king) so that escape is impossible ...
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1answer
112 views

“Check that mate” : OED on usage of 'checkmate'

In a recent post How exactly is “to checkmate” used as a verb?, the answer given by @WS2 listed some OED examples of metaphorical usage of 'to checkmate'. Among them: [1649 A. Ascham Bounds ...
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2answers
9k 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
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3answers
308 views

“Feasible”, “possible” or “potential” solution

I am trying to understand the difference, if any, between feasible, possible and potential. Most online dictionaries report them as synonyms. Is this right? More specifically, I want to use these ...
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4answers
11k 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, ...
3
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4answers
931 views

If I can “fall in” love, can I “fall in” depression?

In Italian we say essere innamorato (to be in love) whereas the English idiom, to fall in love, expresses the idea of abandonment, of letting oneself go. mi sono innamorato = I am in love, and ...
2
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1answer
217 views

“it took quite a lot of courage to..” What is the collocation?

I need some help! I've found this sentence in my CAE book. There was a word missing, I wrote "took". My answer was correct. In my opinion John needed a lot of courage to sing that time. However, the ...
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1answer
134 views

How to say “in the strict … of the term”?

I am not quite sure if the following expression makes sense in English: in the strict meaning of the term Is it right? Should the word meaning be replaced by sense? The meaning of the phrase ...
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2answers
118 views

collocation with over, down, out [duplicate]

I'm completely confused when it comes to the combinations with over | down | out: Thank you for coming over | Thank you for coming down | Thank you for coming out. Come over here | Come ...
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6answers
100 views

What is the verb used with 'repentance' when the subject is God responding to someones repentance? [closed]

A person repents to God. Then God responds to their prayer and (v) their repentance. What verb goes here? What is the correct collocation? The only examples I can find on the internet are : 'I was ...
5
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2answers
419 views

“Please be considerate of…” vs. “please be considerate to…”

We have a sign on a door at work which slams when people aren't careful. It originally read: Please be considerate of those here and close this door quietly. Someone crossed out the of and ...
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5answers
147k 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?
3
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3answers
328 views

“Attendant with” vs. “attendant to” vs. “attendant of”

Can the adjective attendant be used with the prepositions with, to, or of, and, if so, which is preferable? For example, I could say, "This manual describes the operation of the product and its ...
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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
168 views

Connotation of the phrase “bidding big”

Is it correct to say that a bid is "big"? What connotations does the phrase bidding big come to the average native speaker's mind? Is the phrase, "bidding big" positive or negative? Is it daring or ...
0
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2answers
113 views

Irradiate, illuminate and shine to mean “throw light”

All the three words are used to mean "throw light" in a document explaining principles of a barcode reader which I am checking. They are all used in sentences to explain "Throw LED to barcode". I ...
4
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3answers
3k 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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1answer
183 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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1answer
232 views

“In my career as” — is “as” correct here?

I have this fragment: ... the experience and knowledge gained will be helpful in my career as a neuropathologist. Is the "as" here okay? It somehow does not sound right to me. Obviously I want ...
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2answers
53 views

Can “probability” be used interchangeably with “rate”?

In a document about a barcode reader, I came across an expression "scanning probability" to indicate the percentage of successful reading of barcodes by the barcode reader in question. I would use ...
0
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1answer
61 views

“A teaching assistant in/of/for Applied Quantitative Methods”

I am a Teaching Assistant in/of/for Applied Quantitative Methods Which preposition is correct this context? And why?
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4answers
2k 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 ...
0
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1answer
564 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 ...
2
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1answer
90 views

“What X is this?” vs. “What's this X?”

What's the difference between "What color is this?" and "What's this color?". If someone is asking a kid, which one is more appropriate? Should he use "Which" instead of "What"?
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4answers
38k 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?