Expressions are words or phrases used to convey an idea, or else a particular term used conventionally to express something.

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Using slang in formal writing

Is it appropriate to use the expression "are you up for something" in business writing? I have a client who knows me and my family personally, but I still want to be professional when writing. So, ...
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2answers
80 views

Expression to describe self-inflicted fall from a position of strength

Twelve months ago, Mr David Cameron — the British Prime Minister in government alliance with a smaller party — won a surprise outright victory in a general election. This put him in a position of ...
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29 views

Merchant of Venice [on hold]

I don not think i have a clear understanding of Portia's speech "the quality of mercy is not starin'd" Is her speech convincing?
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1answer
41 views

“I would not prefer to” or “I would prefer not to”?

(1) Is there any difference/nuance (in mood, meaning, or something else) between "I would not prefer to" or "I would prefer not to"? (2) Which is the more/most common in usage?
4
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1answer
44 views

Source of “miscarriage of justice”

What may be the source of the phrase "miscarriage of justice"? I keep hearing this phrase being used for cases where an innocent has been convicted. While the phrase paints quite a picture, I'm not ...
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0answers
19 views

Confusion among Possibility, Probability and Plausibility [on hold]

Possibility means ability or capacity to happen. Probability means something is going to happen. Plausibility means something has logical and/or intellectual support to happen. Is this argument right ...
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0answers
13 views

What is the name of the construct [adjective][noun]

Is there a special name for an adjective-noun phrase that denotes a specific type of thing and for which further modifiers cannot be inserted between the two? For example, "emerging technology" ...
2
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1answer
29 views

Term for “opposite” items that are actually similar [on hold]

Is there a term (like "pseudo-synonym") for things that are colloquially considered opposites when in fact they are part of the same set on a higher level? For example, "cats and dogs" are "opposites"...
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1answer
20 views

“More can be done yet” Is this phase correct? [on hold]

I want to say, despite the good progress, there are more that can be done. Is is the correct phase? "More can be done yet." or "More to be done yet." - seem like an incomplete sentence. "More is ...
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2answers
53 views

Can “take a shot at [someone]” be used as “try to court [someone]”? [on hold]

I know that the expression "have a shot with [someone]" means "to have a chance in successfully wooing [someone]". And I know that "take a shot at" might mean to have a try, but also literally ...
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2answers
95 views

Sleeping with one's eyes open [on hold]

I've once heard a person make a reference to another person as sleeping with their eyes open. I wonder if there is another way to take this expression other than literally. Thanks.
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22 views

Is there an expression, “to have purvey of”?

I am looking for a way to say that one "has full view of." For example: "When touring the construction site, we had ____ of the building's electrical and plumbing systems." What comes to mind is "...
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51 views

“That beats everything”

I'm aware that there is an idiom "That beats everything" which is used to express surprise. My question is whether I can say "That beats everything" about something that is way better than everything ...
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0answers
45 views

Please help me to give me sentence structure(grammar) detail [on hold]

Please help me to give me sentence structure detail as following Nothing I did would ever satisfy my father. Like "did" <-- is it emphasizing word , it like I "do" have a problem isn't ...
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0answers
57 views

How to express that two methods each have their advantages and disadvantages? [on hold]

I am writing a paper comparing two methods, and they each have their own advantages and disadvantages. But saying "they each have their own advantages and disadvantages" is a little wordy. Are there ...
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0answers
18 views

usage and example of “except on terms that…”

"He said Britain could never rejoin the EU except on terms that would not be acceptable to the country." I don't really understand the meaning of "except on terms that..." here in the sentence. ...
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0answers
51 views

Seeking an EXPLANATORY ANSWER [closed]

If Elizabeth lent money to Alice because they were broke, who needed the money?
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2answers
68 views

Confused about How to Describe Feelings

I'm confused how to describe one of my feelings. For example, I don't like drinking coffee, but I don't hate it either. I just can live without it. In my country, we would probably say "I don't have ...
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1answer
53 views

Usage of “be cut out for”

I found that the phrase "be cut out for" is used only in negative sentences (for example, "He's not cut out for teaching"). Is it true? Or can I make a statement like "I feel like I'm cut out for this ...
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1answer
45 views

Is this original or did I hear it somewhere?

My neighbour was down-sizing her library, and insisted on keeping certain titles so, "people who look at my books will know that I'm well-read and have some intelligence." They'll see that you have "...
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0answers
22 views

In the easiest of ways [closed]

Is the phrase highlighted below grammatical? Achieve something in the easiest of ways.
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0answers
32 views

Ways of saying that “you can get A at a cost of B”

It is impossible to be perfect on everything. Sometimes if we want to do well in A, we cannot do well in B at the same time. I do know the phrase "at the cost/expense of", which can be applied to the ...
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3answers
87 views

Idiom for a situation with no reliance and trust

Is there an idiom or expression for a situation or a part of time that there's an atmosphere of distrust and every one is cheating each other and no one can be able to find a trusthworthy person?
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2answers
41 views

What does it mean to “sink in one's estimation”? [closed]

What does it mean to "sink in one's estimation"? Examples would be appreciated.
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1answer
45 views

Use of “only” and “alone”

How would you use "only" or "alone" to denote whether something happened exclusively in one place? For example "It happened only in the United States" or "It happened in the United States alone". The ...
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1answer
49 views

Is it proper to combine prepositions using conjunctions?

I have come across the issue of wanting to use both two prepositions to describe a subject. This is not a common issue, judging by the lack of information regarding it. This is an example of the type ...
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2answers
41 views

Term/expression for “to spend too much time talking about an issue” [on hold]

In the context of a business meeting, the chair of the meeting tells the participants that he doesn't want to "dwell on the tasks that have already been closed". To my understanding, "dwell on" means ...
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1answer
39 views

How to reply to a request in cafeteria?

I blocked a chair for my friend in cafeteria. If somebody asks for the chair, can i tell them that I need this chair or is there any better way of answering?
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2answers
39 views

How to call students enrolled one year before/after me?

Suppose student A is enrolled in a university in 2015. I wonder if there are any ways for him to call students enrolled in 2014 or 2016. Specifically, I want to complete the following sentences. ...
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0answers
31 views

What's an expression for “it doesn't matter where you start so long as you end up in the same place”?

Is there an expression for "it doesn't matter where you start so long as you end up in the same place"? The specific context I wish to use this in is in education: saying that it ultimately doesn't ...
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0answers
30 views

“I was thinking but I got distracted by my thoughts”

The English language gives names to weird uses of the language: oxymorons, metaphors, puns etc. Is there a name for the sentence: I was thinking but I got distracted by my thoughts
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0answers
48 views

How to ask when a desk starts to work and stops to work? [closed]

Suppose the office hours of the international student services of my university are from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday. Student A forgot the starting time of their office hours. Instead of asking "...
0
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1answer
32 views

“would like to ask” or “would like to invite”? [closed]

When trying to ask someone to write me a recommendation letter politely, shall I use I would like to ask you to... or I would like to invite you to ... ?
2
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2answers
35 views

It works at the mechanic's [duplicate]

In a common experience, an intermittent issue will frustrate someone for a long time, and then when s/he gets frustrated enough to spend the money and hire a professional, the symptoms of the issue ...
2
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2answers
50 views

Is there a specific term for sentences written with symbols or emoji only?

Is there a specific term for sentences written with symbols or emoji only instead of words? An example would be a string of emoji on a facebook comment of a post.
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1answer
51 views

Is there a word for describing something by what it is not?

Is there a word for describing something by what it is not? For example if I describe a thing as odorless, tasteless, and colorless. The context is that of describing something divine.
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2answers
66 views

correct use and best definition of “as in”

I am translating an English text, which has the following sentence: The operative word is “protect”. As in protecting our religion. First I would think that “as in” is a set phrase. But there is ...
2
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1answer
75 views

What is the opposite of “acquired taste”?

I've been breaking my head trying to find an opposite term for the phrase/expression "acquired taste". I vaguely know that "acquired taste" refers to something (a taste) that you start liking after ...
1
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1answer
58 views

What does it mean to “own” a feeling?

I cam across this below sentence in this website: When you feel an idea you don’t prefer (like fear, self doubt, sorrow, sadness, etc.) the first thing is not to ignore or suppress it, but to ...
3
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1answer
45 views

“I'm done” (reprised)

Whether our work be finished, daylight is fading. We're done. Is this wrong? Is it too American? If so, how or why, please? Would you suggest a concise, well-written alternative to "We're done"? A ...
7
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2answers
230 views

Where does the expression “long odds” come from? BOUNTY

In English we say an event has "long odds" if it is unlikely to happen, and "short odds" for the opposite. The question is - why? Best I have been able to get from people: Long over even (if you ...
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0answers
22 views

Social Paradigm

It is come from the 7 habits of highly effective people book (2004) by Stephen Covey. He have mentioned Character Ethic & Personality Ethic are the examples of social paradigms. (Page 23) I ...
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3answers
85 views

Expressions or idioms that mean killing appropriate for use in a humorous context [closed]

I'm looking for expressions or idioms that sound funny/unusual and mean killing something. For example, I remember when I was playing Starcraft, there was a mission in which my marines had to kill ...
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1answer
50 views

What does wizardhood mean? [closed]

What does wizardhood mean and what is the common uses of this word, tks in advance.
2
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4answers
40 views

I will think as if I had already taken it???(as a rejection) [closed]

The situation is that somebody tries to give me something as a reward(a kind of gift?). But I don't need it, but also I don't want to say to him/her, " no thanks!" I think it's kind of rude because he/...
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1answer
46 views

“Heaven would be a drink” means?

Sounded like an exclamation, in a movie. It was used when some family members meet each other after a long while.
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0answers
74 views

“Full of spit and vinegar” meaning

I was reading a book and couldn't understand the meaning of this: After all, how many times had her father complained that she was full of more spit and vinegar than most boys? I searched, but I ...