Choosing the best phrase for a particular context or meaning.

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2
votes
3answers
765 views

Alternative expression for saying “piece of someone's mind”

Sentence example: I am really upset and frustrated with one of my friends. So when I meet him next time around I will definitely not hold myself back and give him a piece of my mind. What ...
0
votes
4answers
2k views

The difference between using a comma or a full stop

What's the difference between "I see, I see" and "I see. I see"? Can one use a comma in between? The first sentence could be used in formal writing, right? What about this one: "My house, my rules" ...
2
votes
3answers
795 views

Colloquial expression for something working very fast?

I am looking for an expression as an alternative to fast in the following expression: Ever since they have constructed flyover/overbridge, traffic has been very fast. My laptop has been super ...
45
votes
12answers
4k views

What's the English equivalent of the Japanese saying, “A fart ruins 100 days of sermons by the priest (bishop)”?

I was amused by the expression "Paid a penny and only farted" (related by @FumbleFingers), which suggested a similar Japanese saying: 大山鳴動鼠一匹 - "Find only a small mouse coming out after hearing ...
0
votes
3answers
1k views

“in response to” vs “for response to”?

"I am writing in response to your mail." What does it mean by "in" in this sentence? Is "I am writing for response to your mail." acceptable?
15
votes
7answers
4k views

Expression for someone who doesn't like to eat

Is there an expression for a person who eats very little, doesn't like eating, avoids it? I don't mean the medical condition of anorexia, I mean a common preference, like kids who need a lot of ...
2
votes
3answers
1k views

What is a common English expression for when you were very tired or out of it and said something extremely stupid?

I kept thinking of "spazzing out" but that doesn't quite seem to be it. An example is when you're very tired and kind of dozing off and you say something or ask a question that is incredibly stupid ...
3
votes
2answers
2k views

Shut your mouth

I’m confused regarding these expressions: Shut up Shut your mouth Shut your mouth up Shut up your mouth After some research, I’ve come to believe they are all correct except “Shut ...
2
votes
3answers
145 views

Is “optimization to” correct phrasing?

I have this sentence in my bachelor's thesis: After a paragraph describing an accommodation subprocess (set of activities)... Basically, there are two potential optimizations to this ...
0
votes
3answers
1k views

How to use 'both due to' in a sentence? [closed]

I'm a non-native speaker and I'm having trouble using both due to in a sentence. I want to describe a certain thing, let's say 'A', is a result of two processes, 'B' and 'C'. I remembered a friend ...
-1
votes
2answers
398 views

What do you call/describe these windows/pages and things within these windows/pages?

When using the computer and surfing the net, you often come across these windows/pop-up windows, and pages where you need to or are asked to fill in blanks, check boxes, select items from drop-down ...
5
votes
3answers
483 views

What is the behavior where one closes their nose with their lips to elude foul odour called?

I have seen this question, and it is not exactly what I'm asking. Sometimes people (most especially in developing countries) raise the tip of their lips to cover their nose when a foul odour is sensed ...
11
votes
4answers
862 views

“Who is that for?”

Showing a baby bottle to my son I ask him "Who's that for?", obviously waiting for a "That's for me!" answer (which turns out to be just "Me!") But I am not a native speaker and I kind of translate ...
0
votes
1answer
6k views

“More precisely” usage [closed]

After describing a certain issue in a more general manner I want to outline the inner details of it. Is it correct to start the paragraph whose purpose it is to give to the reader the detailed ...
2
votes
3answers
2k views

On the difference between “noun + infinitive” and “noun + present participle”

Infinitive and present participle can be used to modify the noun: Infinitive: I had no time to read those books. Present participle: There should be a law banning abortion. In (1), ...
0
votes
2answers
430 views

Is there a difference between “to go forth” and “to go further”? [closed]

Last week I studied with some friends at college and after a short break, I decided to proceed with the exercises. I said "Well, let's go further." and one guy (native american) said "Okay then. ...
1
vote
3answers
356 views

How do I reexamine for the first time?

I'm about to examine something. This something has been examined before by somebody else. How do I say in one word (or more) that I'm about to examine this something for the first time, but it is not ...
1
vote
2answers
104 views

From the statistics point of view, does an estimator may have a bias or it may be biased?

Will it be correct to state that a statistical estimator may be biased, or that I must state that the above estimator may have a bias? Is it acceptable to add the /-ed/ to the word bias in the above ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

Used since sometime in the past until now (and still continuing)

How can I express that something has been used for a while and is still being used? …used a xyz system that has been in daily use for several years. I'm not sure whether this expresses that the ...
0
votes
2answers
695 views

What is the best way to say that something was done in teamwork?

In my resume, I'm describing several projects I've worked on in the past. Most of them were done in teamwork. What is the best way to say this? Examples: Together with XY, I built ... OR In ...
0
votes
1answer
476 views

what do you say when someone is at your door? [closed]

When a mail man knock at the door, I was sleeping. I was going to put on my clothes, then open the door. Then I said: "coming". I suddenly felt like it was "come in". So what do you say when you want ...
4
votes
5answers
385 views

Synonym or equal phrase to “merely philosophical”

When something is bound to be of little substance, or the discussion of it surely only giving rise to opinion or sophistry, sometimes the phrase "merely philosophical" is used. In this article I'm ...
1
vote
3answers
2k views

“I'm proud that you are my father”

A friend wrote this as a tribute to her father for his birthday: I'm proud that you are my father I am not a native speaker either, but it to me it sounds like "you are the father of someone ...
3
votes
3answers
1k views

Expression that means “as soon as something is finished”

I am looking for an expression that means "right after finishing something, start something". For some reason, the words "fresh off the heels" keep springing up but I googled them and it's not an ...
2
votes
2answers
267 views

Almost half a dozen [closed]

I understand, dozen may be more comfortable than twelve in speech. I can understand using over a dozen or almost a dozen These imply rough measurement of the count, maybe ten, maybe eleven, or maybe ...
4
votes
4answers
3k views

“Both which” or “both of which”

"This can be done using the technique of Peters, and using the technique of Matthews, both which involve mathematics" Having searched both which and both of which in Google, it appears both of which ...
0
votes
3answers
1k views

What's the best way to say: “which one is more true or more accurate”? [closed]

What's the best way to ask: Which one is more true, or more accurate? ... when talking about a choice of two words?
1
vote
0answers
367 views

How to express that simplicity should not mean to exclude necessary features? [closed]

I come from a software development background. One of the goals is to make tools easy to use. On the other hand one must/should include certain features. Now I want to argue that in order for our ...
1
vote
2answers
119 views

Is “well-connected” correct here?

I want to use well-connected in the context of The James family was a well-connected family in ... Can someone suggest better ways to say it? I want it to mean that that particular family was ...
2
votes
3answers
305 views

Is “iterative cycle” a tautology?

If something is iterative, it means it repeats. A cycle is also something that is repeated. So is "iterative cycle" tautological — a redundant way of saying "iteration"? For example: We ...
1
vote
3answers
4k views

Is “vicious cycle” or “downward spiral” used properly here?

Suppose someone doesn't often learn things thoroughly. Over the time, that creates problems for learning further. I was wondering if this situation can be expressed properly by: It is/creates a ...
1
vote
1answer
87 views

How to say the margins of a page in a book

What is the best way to express the margins of (i) the bounded side of a page and (ii) the edge side? I see people referring to them as left margin and right margin, but they are inaccurate. On ...
2
votes
5answers
393 views

How to describe “working steadily and slowly is treated as stubborn”

It is not uncommon that those who prefer to work or learn in a solid and therefore usually slow way are being called as stubborn, and those in a fast-pacing but non-solid way as smart. I wonder how ...
0
votes
3answers
1k views

Is it possible to say “to or fro”, or only “to and fro” is acceptable?

Could I use the following sentence, please: According to the timeStepDirection value (+1 or -1), change the current program number to or fro along the time axis. If not, is it at least possible to ...
13
votes
8answers
24k views

When do you use “Cheers” instead of “Thank you” in spoken English?

A lot of time, people say "cheers" instead of "thank you". As I am not a native speaker, I wonder in which case you can use what. It is used a lot for polite gestures, such as holding a door or ...
1
vote
2answers
498 views

Each other vs. one another [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: When should I use “each other” vs. “one another”? It occurred to me recently that I've been using these phrases interchangeably (basing my ...
9
votes
4answers
1k views

What does the most common usage of 'Korea' mean in modern-day English-speaking world?

On Meta.Travel.SE, we have a debate whether our 'Korea' tag should be mapped to 'South Korea'. One of the answers - from the moderator who made the synonym mapping - is that common usage of the word ...
9
votes
7answers
43k views

Should I say “have a good night” at 5:00 PM?

We're off work at 5:00PM. I've never tried to say "have a good night" at this time of day. In fact, I wouldn't even say it at all unless I'd like to say it to someone who is heading to bed. When I'm ...
4
votes
3answers
1k views

How to check phrasing and word choices?

I'm a native speaker of French, and even though I think I have a rather good level in English, I always try to keep an open mind. (I learned English by absorbing from a lot of sources: TV, movies, ...
12
votes
9answers
185k views

Any other good way of saying “Happy Birthday”?

Quite a few of my friends are having their birthdays in the coming weeks. I feel a little awkward posting plain words like "Happy Birthday" on their Facebook pages. I've decided I should come up with ...
4
votes
2answers
729 views

Is the expression 'more alike' awkward or does it work in an interface?

I want to create a button on an interface that will show me more items (cars) of the same kind (or similar in characteristics). I was thinking of 'more like this' but this is a bit too long and the ...
0
votes
2answers
2k views

How about 'play cute' or 'play adorable'?

I wonder if 'play cute' or 'play adorable' is frequently used to stand for 'act cute/adorable' in spoken language. It seems easier to google out 'act cute/adorable' instead of 'play cute/adorable'.
0
votes
1answer
421 views

To live in ignorance of just happiness [closed]

Is it a valid phrase? Please, accept or reject it. Maybe there is other exact expression.
4
votes
6answers
7k views

Difference between “meant to” and “supposed to”

Those two expressions have close meaning: He is not meant to do this He is not supposed to do this What is the difference between them, and when I should use one or the other?
4
votes
3answers
718 views

Is “many fewer combinations” correct?

Is the expression "many fewer combinations" correct? It only gets about 600 hits on Google, against 1,200 for "a lot fewer combinations". What would be a correct way of expressing the idea contained ...
12
votes
10answers
2k views

Is there a term I can use for a boss's favorite employee?

Over dinner tonight, one of the guests was describing herself as her boss's favorite employee, and asked for a term to describe this. As the only guest who spoke English as a first language, the ...
12
votes
5answers
49k views

“Please advise” — why is this a common turn of phrase for foreign speakers of English?

I was just browsing through StackOverflow just now, and randomly hit on this question, where the question-asker signed off his request with a "please advise." Certain I'd heard this turn of phrase ...
1
vote
2answers
91 views

“Add connections” or “Create connections”?

I am building an interface for making connections between items. When viewing a particular item, the user has the possibility of connecting it to other existing items, by selecting them from a list. ...
0
votes
4answers
2k views

“You are not going to be able to … ” versus “you can't …”

Are there any differences between these two expressions?
2
votes
2answers
2k views

Compact rephrasing of “In contrast to previous work, our method …”

I am writing an abstract for a paper, where I say the following: "In contrast to previous work, our method does not rely on ...." Then, about three sentences later, I would like to use a similar ...