Choosing the best phrase for a particular context or meaning.

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2
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3answers
45 views

“Don't teach somebody to do bad things” - is there any expressions in English?

In Russian there's a sort of expressions like "Не учи его/ee плохому". Literally, "Do not teach him/her to do bad things", usually used, when somebody gives an advice, that could be harmful for the ...
0
votes
4answers
29 views

Another expression for cultural fit or likeness

I'm looking for another way to say that I doubt if person X is a good cultural fit for a certain club, but it's important for me to imply that the problem is in X and not in the club. Just to get my ...
0
votes
1answer
29 views

Need a concise term to denote “request to borrow”

The context is that I am developing a web application, in which there's the concept of allowing one party to request to borrow items from another party. Up to this point, we have been calling it ...
0
votes
0answers
26 views

“He returns home next Sunday” vs. “He will return home next Sunday”

"He returns home next Sunday" vs. "He will return home next Sunday" What's the subtle difference?
1
vote
1answer
43 views

Word or phrase describing on/off state

English is not my primary language so I have hard time with this problem. I am currently writing comments to computer code. There is setting that enable/disable some functionality. What would be ...
3
votes
3answers
760 views

“He will come back in two hours” vs. “He will come back after two hours”

He will come back in two hours. vs. He will come back after two hours. What's the subtle diff?
0
votes
1answer
43 views

in fact, in point of fact, as a matter of fact

Today I was tempted to write "in point of fact" and immediately wondered if this expression differed at all from "in fact" or "as a matter of fact." Dictionaries define one with the others. ...
0
votes
4answers
78 views

What's the oral address of “fellow student”?

I have known "fellow student" is a formal address and we used this in somewhere formally. But in oral situation, how to introduce a senior student to my friends when we face to face? If I say "this is ...
-1
votes
0answers
25 views

Are “is to be” and “will be” interchangeable?

As in the following examples? Example 1: Click this button, then a new window will be open. Click this button, then a new window is to be open. Example 2: On the corner of the ...
1
vote
1answer
94 views

Is there a term for saying 'all countries outside the United States' without using the word 'foreign'? (used with international audience)

I have to come up with a short description/label/identifier to describe two geographical groups: United States All countries except the United States The description would be read by a global ...
1
vote
1answer
38 views

Roll Up/Wind Up/Coil Up

Are the three equivalents? can you say: Roll the cord up Wind the cord up Coil the cord up Are the three equivalents?
0
votes
1answer
69 views

Why do we say 'last Monday morning' but not 'last morning'? [duplicate]

There was a very similar question asked about 'last night' and 'yesterday night' here but I didn't really think the question was answered that definitively. Also, I thought about how we use other ...
0
votes
1answer
36 views

heat - heat up, using the phrasal verb, spoken English

what is the correct one in spoken English? she heats the soup she heats up the soup I saw a similar question in the forum but it didn't help me
0
votes
0answers
28 views

Use of “off/off of” in speech [duplicate]

Why do Americans say off of when they tell someone to get off them?
2
votes
1answer
45 views

What does “So you are going to be famous ?!” express? [closed]

My teacher gave us a dialogue the other day and the boy said he was playing in a band so his friend said : Oh, that must be exciting! So you are going to be famous ? Then she gave us a question : What ...
0
votes
1answer
26 views

Would you write “an error was fixed” in scientific work?

I am not sure if Error ABC was fixed by preprocessing algorithm XYZ. is "slang". Can it be written in scientific work? Is there a better way to say it? The context is in machine learning, where a ...
0
votes
2answers
51 views

Is there a shorter way of saying “Not knowing what else to do?” [closed]

Does the English language provide a shorter form of the phrase? Example: Not knowing what else to do, I kept walking through the corridor.
1
vote
2answers
47 views

can a discussion be “contentious” [closed]

Not a native speaker, so not sure if this question is appropriate for this forum. Is there a difference between "a contentious discussion" and " a discussion on something contentious". Apparently the ...
3
votes
3answers
58 views

Does “to be on the surface” mean to make something known to the public?

Can I use the expression "be on the surface" to mean that somebody finally makes himself known to the general public? For example They have been ignored so far by the public, but they are now ...
0
votes
2answers
63 views

Is there a generic expression for a “universal product”?

In Lucky Luke vol 38, some character named Doc Doxey tries to sell a product that works for almost everything (elixir) like a Swiss army knife with very general reported usage. Is there a name for ...
8
votes
8answers
890 views

Term for situation where alternative choice is not really one [duplicate]

What would you call a situation where the current one sucks but you have a 'choice' to an alternative, however the alternative is not really one. Such as, "Sure living in an area under a ...
1
vote
3answers
83 views

If a character is boring and predictable, is he one-dimensional, or two-dimensional?

Let's suppose you have a character that's cliche, boring, and uninspired. Would you call the character one-dimensional, or two-dimensional? Both uses seem to make sense to me. For example, if a ...
3
votes
4answers
57 views

Word for a decaying and renewing system, like a coral reef

Jungles and coral reefs are built in a piecemeal way: parts of them are always decaying, being patchily replaced by the fresh new bits springing up. The whole ecology acts as a single discordant ...
0
votes
2answers
41 views

Word/Expression for a concept made simple as a result of mastery

Is there a word or expression that conveys this meaning: A text (and more generally an expressed idea about any field) seems very clear (crystal clear). But it is clear only because the author has ...
0
votes
0answers
45 views

Way to ask interviewer (/speaking examiner) to repeat slowly its question [duplicate]

The accent of a speaking examiner is sometimes difficult to understand completely. Asking him to repeat his question is a delicate action that should be handled correctly, in my consideration. ...
25
votes
9answers
5k views

What is a polite way of talking about a recently-deceased person?

In my language (Arabic), we say things that can be translated to: Mr X, God have mercy on him, was .. Mr X, God puts him in heaven, was. . . . Mr X, God forgive him, was. . . . How does one talk ...
5
votes
3answers
1k views

What is the common expression to describe position starting from the last one?

Suppose we have letters: a, b, c, d, e, f ,g. I want to describe the position of letter "e" starting from right hand side, what should I use? "e" is the last third letter. "e" is the third last ...
1
vote
2answers
39 views

What is another way of saying“ instil fear ” and “shamelessly”?

I was writing an essay and found no other way of expressing "instil fear" and "shamelessly". I am looking for ways to say these in a more formal manner.
0
votes
1answer
54 views

Usage of “À la carte” on menus in English

On a menu which contains both "family style" dishes and individual items (serves 1 person) would it be correct to name the individual items section "À la carte"?
1
vote
3answers
168 views

A word or expression that means somebody's name is not “real”

I'm interviewing someone and he doesn't want his real name showing up, so how could I rephrase the following sentence? We hide his real name under the name Luke.
3
votes
2answers
104 views

Is there a business phrase for whack-a-mole?

In my company, I've been asked to generate reports about accounts (for example) that have abnormal traits (less than 1%, for example). They want to know where these abnormal cases are so they can go ...
1
vote
3answers
78 views

A simile / metaphor for the concept that an entity is formed from a wide range of factors

I am trying to explain that health is not simply determined by biological factors. Instead it is shaped by a whole host of variables: lifestyle, education, culture, attitudes, socio-economic factors ...
1
vote
3answers
68 views

“hunger resistant”

As the title says, a person who does not get hungry easily, or is better at ignoring the effects of malnourishment is (a) ____ ? Example: a monk who can fast for an extended period of time. ...
1
vote
3answers
636 views

“fought in the World War II” versus “fought in the second World War” [closed]

Why is fought in the second World War or fought in the Vietnam War correct but fought in the World War II is not?
1
vote
3answers
44 views

Women and children

I keep seeing and hearing the expression women and children in print and on NPR when referring to a set of people in a war zone. Do they literally mean women and children? Or has that become an ...
0
votes
1answer
63 views

What is the difference between “X is needed” and “X is necessary”?

Do the following two sentences mean the same? A: If you improve the quality of your data, less data is needed to achieve an error rate of 30%. B: If you improve the quality of your data, less ...
-1
votes
2answers
63 views

Usage of Repetitive words [duplicate]

we often repeat few words in like little little , different different etc . Are these valid english usage?
8
votes
10answers
3k views

Is there a word for fake kindness or hospitality?

Is there a word for faking kindness/hospitality to sound more tactful and decent than you really are (which could be categorized as some sort of hypocrisy)? For example, saying: Pay us a visit ...
1
vote
4answers
265 views

Expressions to describe having immediately understood someone's personality

What words could I use to describe the event of having successfully and completely "read" or understood someone's personality, upon first meeting that someone?
1
vote
2answers
67 views

A “Frankenstein's monster” similar metaphors

Although originally it's a novel character, a "Frankenstein's monster" became a metaphor for "something that cannot be controlled and that attacks or destroys the person who invented it." However, are ...
2
votes
3answers
139 views

A word for something you keep coming back to to feel grounded, oriented

Is there a word for an object like this? Mantra is close, but is more like a ritual than a physical thing. For example, a rosary could be a physical object that a Catholic uses to calm, center, ...
0
votes
2answers
76 views

“Word for word” or “word by word”? [closed]

I have an idiom that is used in a sentence; which is correct? You are asked to copy this letter word by word. You are asked to copy this letter word for word. Which is correct?
2
votes
1answer
310 views

What does expression “speak up to the point” mean?

I just used the expression speak up to the point as a way of saying: Express without blathering Get directly to the actualy point Have I used this expression correctly? Are there any other better ...
0
votes
2answers
136 views

Single word for attributing inappropriate motives to others' actions?

Is there a single word to describe someone who often attributes inappropriately trivial/cheap motives to another person's actions? I'm thinking along the lines of someone who puts himself briefly in ...
2
votes
2answers
96 views

Expression for distance relationship between observer and object?

I am looking for a word or expression, that describes the specific distance in the space that lets the observer appreciate and completely understand the object of observation. For example, when one ...
7
votes
5answers
757 views

Term for something similar to hijacking a meeting?

When someone says hijacking a meeting, IMO it usually means that someone has made the meeting all about his/her agenda. One time, I was invited to a meeting to talk about "ABC", but they only ...
0
votes
2answers
73 views

Expression/word combination for “object of application”

I need to be able to refer to an object which has/needs something applied to it or used on it. A couple of examples: one liter of paint is needed to paint an area of 10m². 6 birthday candles are ...
0
votes
6answers
109 views

A way to express how one feels after an exhausting wait before results are known!

What adjective or expression can describe the state of a person after a very wearing wait? Like the wait for the results of an important examination,of a decisive political election or of ...
0
votes
1answer
218 views

“Take care with” something

Recently I had a deep discussion with an American person born and raised in the USA who said that when I say "take care with something" it makes absolutely no sense. That was said because she had ...
0
votes
3answers
61 views

How to refer to a previous number by “that much”?

Sentence: Using cross-validation, it was shown that modeling at a penalty value of 1.25 did achieve the highest performance. This indicates that a penalty value that much could mitigate the ...