Choosing the best phrase for a particular context or meaning.

learn more… | top users | synonyms

3
votes
2answers
142 views

Sorry I didn't turn up, I clean forgot. What's the sense of "clean' and its usage hygiene? [on hold]

Sorry I didn't turn up -I clean forgot. The explosion blew the cooker clean through the wall. What kind of usage is this- AmE or BrE ? The meaning of clean usually refers to removing ...
0
votes
2answers
25 views

“Degree of Proximity” or “Proximity of Blood” or “Relation Proximity”?

I'm translating a civil record to English, which has a table of information about a family registry. One of the titles is "Degree of Proximity", however I'm not sure which of the expressions suits the ...
1
vote
4answers
331 views

A phrase for two characters that are unmistakably similar

I am looking for a phrase that compares two characters that share very similar attributes and characteristics. Prufrock and Hamlet truly are [ ... ] I don't want something like "very much ...
0
votes
3answers
45 views

Phrase for “putting one's plans into action”

I am looking for a phrase, metaphor, or cliche to mean "putting one's plans into action". I am using it in the following sentence. As the events of the play proceed, however, Hamlet becomes ...
0
votes
4answers
87 views

A proper substitute to “highly reactive” [closed]

I have to use the expression " highly reactive" a lot in my everyday writings. Can there be another word or phrase to put it better and which still connotes the correct meaning. Plutonium is a ...
10
votes
10answers
2k views

Is there a word for something loved by the masses but whose true value is lacking?

Is there a general word for someone or something popular or loved by the masses but that has not been proven to be effectual (like how some would use the term "pop psychology" pejoratively)? Examples ...
0
votes
4answers
80 views

Middle ground between “I'll live with it” and “Bring it on!”?

The context is a typical conversation. You've settled for a course of action and expressed yourself accordingly. Then you get from someone a warning of sorts about potential risks or consequences ...
1
vote
2answers
52 views

He stayed a week vs he stayed for a week

He stayed a week vs He stayed for a week I consider her my friend vs I consider her as my friend. I don't know whether he can be there vs I don't know if he can be there I often hear ...
5
votes
14answers
1k views

Opposite of “out of date”? [on hold]

Can anyone think of a phrase we would use to describe a situation where something is the opposite of "out of date"; that is, it's "too new"? For example, a banana that's been sitting around for ages ...
1
vote
5answers
103 views

“Only the good die young.” Negative or Positive? [closed]

I've heard this expression before. I can't tell if its used as a positive one or a negative one? When is it appropriate to use this expression? Is it implying that people that live to be an old age ...
0
votes
0answers
34 views

Way to indicate coordinates

Do the following two sentences mean the same thing? Upper left Y coordinate relative to the point z. Upper left Y coordinate to the point z. Thank you in advance.
1
vote
2answers
38 views

“Can't you see the person is embroidering?” - idiomaticity and alternatives?

Two persons, who were not privy to a scene, are now observing two others who are talking: [...] [one of the former, reacting to something that was just said] -Why did she/he say that!? ...
1
vote
4answers
204 views

What is the expression for “high fever”?

It can not be high/low according to my understanding. Fever is fever. He is suffering from fever of high temperature. He is suffering from high fever.
0
votes
3answers
50 views

Walk across/through/on the crosswalk?

What is the correct collocation here? Do you walk across the crosswalk, through the crosswalk, or on the crosswalk? Or can you say cross the crosswalk?
0
votes
2answers
82 views

“at the cost of” vs. “at the expense of”

I usually use "at the cost of", but my editor made it "at the expense of". For example, the following sentence: The counts in Table 2 are all based on implementations that are optimized for ...
0
votes
1answer
38 views

“To the next time” vs. “Till the next time” [closed]

Could you tell me which form is correct, and why? to the next time, name till the next time, name
0
votes
0answers
31 views

Is it common to use the phrase “come with” without specifying with whom [duplicate]

We’re going to the pub. Want to come with?” I have heard this from an American colleague. Though this sounds odd to the majority of us, however, since I am not sure of the usage, I am asking how ...
2
votes
2answers
97 views

Should I use “half the time” or “half of the time”? [closed]

If I wanted to say that someone finished in 30 minutes when they had one hour to complete a given task, should I say "he did it in half the time" or "he did it in half of the time"?
0
votes
0answers
58 views

tense change with questions that speakers asks himself silently [closed]

John mulled: Would it work? Is it possible to do it? In the above sentence, John mulls 2 rhetorical questions. One of them, the first of the questions agrees with the past tense (mulled). The second ...
0
votes
2answers
75 views

How well does my second sentence connect with the first one? [closed]

I am not sure in what category this question will fall, if any. If it needs to be altered, I will alter it. The following is the ending of a piece of writing: I will make a difference to people's ...
-4
votes
1answer
63 views

Reducing the ambiguity of “they” [closed]

X's strength and Y's belief have helped X work with people. They will help X in the future. or His determination and belief in his purpose have helped him work with people. They will help ...
2
votes
3answers
70 views

sentence construction where non-restrictive clause uses a conjunction

It gave John, a new hire to the company and now a director, a good start. It gave John, a new hire to the company who is now a director, a good start. The non-restrictive clause uses "and" to ...
3
votes
3answers
45 views

another way to express “not limited to”

Not limited to X, the issue also affects Y. What could substitute "not limited to" other than not restricted to/bounded to? I overused these words and looking for simple substitutes.
3
votes
1answer
55 views

Is the infinitive in this sentence correct?

John was fortunate to receive the funding. The statement uses the infinitive "to receive" instead of "to have received," which describes the state of having received something. "to have received" ...
0
votes
0answers
27 views

Can “existing” ever refer to past existence?

It included a better warranty than John's existing one, which was exactly what John needed. Can existing/current refer to the warranty at the time in the past? It needs to express the idea that ...
2
votes
1answer
45 views

Does this sentence need a preposition or article [closed]

That work made poor coaching but great training. Idea being communicated is that the work wouldn't be considered "good coaching" but it was "good training." Note that I am not using an article before ...
2
votes
3answers
87 views

Is there another expression for “my manager's manager”?

As the title says, is there another expression for "my manager's manager"? For example, in the large company I currently work for, there are 4 managers and the CEO above me. If there is no single ...
3
votes
3answers
54 views

comma with phrases that use “yet”

I am using a sentence of the following form in a formal document. This paper shows strong, yet very circuitous, analysis. The sentence is expected to express that the analysis is strong but ...
1
vote
2answers
46 views

sentence phrasing issue

I asked a similar question earlier but this one is more specific in the example. Growing up with a brother who did X and was the only healthy sibling, and another brother who did anti-X, made ...
4
votes
6answers
66 views

another phrase to express dwelled on

After the incident he dwelled on the issues surrounding the incident. What would be other substitutes to express the idea conveyed by "dwell on?" I considered "mull over", "ruminate", "moped about", ...
4
votes
4answers
281 views

A better word than “disabled” [closed]

I have recently completed a 'Lean' project on enhancing customer experience in a Hospice. Before submitting my report, I was taking a stock of the various signage at the hospital. A few of them read ...
9
votes
11answers
3k views

Non-religious equivalent expression for “Pray for [Country X]” after a disaster

When a big disaster occurs in a country, you can often see messages saying: Pray for [Country X] Are people really writing this to incite people to ask their God for anything? For instance ...
0
votes
1answer
55 views

Proceed vs. Proceed further/ahead- Redundancy

In a training session on Business English, the instructor often said, proceed and proceed further, usually, after a pause by the speakers or whenever he interrupted. Examples: I ...
3
votes
0answers
45 views

The same big old black bear. Why not 'the same black big old bear'? [duplicate]

I was reading this book- Every Boys Dream- and I am curious to understand, if there's something more than what meets the eye in the above usage. The same big old black bear.. The same ...
1
vote
2answers
87 views

Close by or nearby? [closed]

The cops traced residential address of his relatives who lived close by. Close up/down, close off, close in are terms well understood, I have not seen such usage of close + by. Would it be ...
6
votes
5answers
260 views

A word for a man who offers his services to have sex with a woman unable to conceive

Recently, I read an advert in a local Chinese daily, it read: Surrogate father services available for unpregnant, unable to conceive woman: Healthy, medically certified and fit male companion ...
3
votes
4answers
48 views

Is there a term for a highlighted option?

I'm curious - is there a term for a character that is used to denote a highlighted option in text-based navigation? For example, say we have this menu when navigating a text-only menu: One > ...
1
vote
3answers
85 views

A word for the quality of being easy or good to talk to

What is a word for the quality of being easy or good to talk to? It is more than just being a "good listener." And it is not "open-minded," in that it's not about being receptive to new ideas. The ...
2
votes
3answers
244 views

“Skeleton project” or “Blank project”

What is the correct wording for a (programming context: PHP, Javascript, HTML, ...) project folder (= a set of files / scripts) someone else can use as a starting point? Not talking about an empty ...
0
votes
1answer
97 views

What is the difference between log in, sign in; register, login; log out, sign out [duplicate]

Although they are all over the Internet, but the answers are not fixed and were not asked all 4s at a time causing me to be confused. Is it accurate if I say: both login and sign in are the same as ...
-1
votes
4answers
57 views

How can I express the rules of this game clearly? [closed]

This is the information: There are many mixed couples playing in this game. One of the couple must award vote 1, 2 or 3 to the opposite sex e.g., a male votes 1 to a female. A couple is a male and ...
7
votes
1answer
74 views

What Charles Ingalls was really going to say?

Here is full paragraph: Pa was on top of the walls, stretching the canvas wagon-top over the skeleton roof of saplings. The canvas billowed in the wind, Pa's beard blew wildly and his hair stood ...
0
votes
3answers
61 views

Is there a noun(phrase) meaning 'the state' of being a masterpiece?

'Masterpiece' is a noun. I would like, however, to use a noun or a concise noun phrase which refers not to a masterpiece, but its state of being a masterpiece. I thought of using 'masterpieciness' as ...
2
votes
3answers
63 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
36 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
31 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
31 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
59 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
835 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
120 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. ...