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

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342 views

Is there a formal version of “he's the real thing”? [closed]

Is there a formal version of "he's the real thing"? As in: Man, she's really good at tennis! She plays national. She's the real thing.
3
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3answers
700 views

How to describe “choose to do something by one's own willing”

For example, there is a course (say French course), for students in a college. The students can take it, but they don't have to. Someone, who is not a student in that college, thinks that this course ...
15
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4answers
16k views

Does English use “red thread” as expression for theme?

In Swedish the expression "röd tråd" (literally "red thread") is used to describe that something follows a theme. For instance, if a piece of text has a "red thread", it's written with a consistent ...
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5answers
4k views

Original Meaning and Derivation of “Ever and Anon”

A question posted today asks about the Use of “ever” in non-negated sentence, and one answer happens to mention the phrase "ever and anon." That phrase, with the meaning "occasionally or repeatedly," ...
1
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3answers
376 views

Is it correct to say “that place is like 5 miles from here”? [duplicate]

Is it correct to say "that place is like 5 miles from here"? I'm not sure if the use of "like" is correct?
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4answers
1k views

What is one word for - endlessly spread in all directions?

What is one word for - endlessly spread in all directions? It may be in context of a forest.
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4answers
6k views

What is the proper phrase for being in one's official limits, probably when quoting something?

While quoting something, the consideration of the fact that it does not offend the sentiments of a community or culture one belongs to. How do we ask that in one sentence e.g Did I remain in my ...
5
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3answers
280 views

What does “As for Romney, the G.O.P. is over him” mean?

New Yorker (March 4) carries the article titled “Ann and Mitt Romney’s lost fairy tale” portraying an interview of Mr. and Mrs. Mitt Romney by Chris Wallace on Fox News on Sunday, which ends up with ...
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2answers
1k views

Was “their being followed” replaced by “they're being followed” over the years?

I was reading A Study in Scarlet yesterday and noticed the following sentence: They must have thought that there was some chance of their being followed, for they would never go out alone, and ...
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1answer
5k views

What is the connection between motherhood and apple pie?

I know the idiom motherhood and apple pie is used to denote some principles with which few disagree. But what is the connection between motherhood and apple pie? I am not very familiar with American ...
1
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2answers
566 views

What is the connotation or meaning of “exclusive thinking”?

How should I interpret the expression "exclusive thinking"? The expression "exclusive thinking" is one I've seen in criticism against some views or opinions that are called "exclusive thinking". Is ...
4
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4answers
3k views

How can I rephrase “enough rope to shoot yourself in the foot”?

Some time ago I have a read a very famous book of Allen I. Holub "Enough rope to shoot yourself in the foot" (this book on openlibrary.org). I have read it in Russian and the book was titled with ...
2
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2answers
408 views

What is the meaning of “greasing the pan”?

In a tutorial, the instructor says: We've greased the pan, now it's time to pour in the batter. The tutorial is technical (IT), and has nothing to do with cooking, so what is the meaning of the ...
4
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4answers
175 views

Expression choice for the error of being too exact? [closed]

For example, stating a street address with millimetric precision would be too exact and is therefore not applicable and not done. So you can be too exact. Is there an expression for this error or a ...
0
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1answer
1k views

Under which cases should an article (a/an/the) not be used? [duplicate]

The current machine has been repaired. Current machine has been repaired. Which is more natural? What are the subtle differences between them? Under which cases should an article ...
4
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2answers
4k views

Are “unestimated” and/or “non-estimated” correct English?

When something is not estimated, is it correct to say that it is unestimated or non-estimated? For example, in certain project management techniques, tasks can be "estimated" which means one or more ...
0
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1answer
2k views

“manieth”, is it acknowledged? [duplicate]

I believed that there is no question word in English for making a question when you want know the X in sentences like "Barack Obama is the Xth president of the US.". *Question words are words like ...
4
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4answers
690 views

How do you describe this trait/behaviour?

I'm trying to describe this personality trait/behaviour that someone demonstrates. Consider this situation; while a group of colleagues hangs out at a bar, someone suddenly suggests a lottery group ...
1
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2answers
643 views

“number of books” or “book count”?

The number of books is nine. The book count is nine. Which is more natural? What's the SUBTLE difference between them?
6
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3answers
8k views

“integer multiple” vs. “integral multiple”

Nine is an integer multiple of three. Nine is an integral multiple of three. Which is more common? If both are accepted, what's the subtle difference between them?
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3answers
3k views

Word expression to say “Stopped smoking” or “got rid of some unhealthy habit”

I'm looking for words ( or word groups) that can be used to say "I stopped smoking", or "I stopped taking drugs" or, in other words, "I got rid of some bad and unhealthy habit". I have found ...
4
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1answer
10k views

“How did you know?” vs. “how do you know?” distinction

When someone makes an assertion, the distinction between "how did you know" and "how do you know" seems to be that "how did you know" implies that the person in question is correct in their assertion. ...
0
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1answer
480 views

Can I say “He recommended you much”

I need to mark that someone made some effort to recommend third person services and it was something more than "he is good in that". Checking a dictionary, much is an adverb meaning "to a great ...
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2answers
608 views

The Present Perfect vs The Past Tense in English [closed]

Would you agree that the present perfect is used more than the past tense by native speakers to emphasize the situation at hand? Some languages, like Arabic and Japanese, use the simple past much ...
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3answers
8k views

Where does the phrase of “boredom punctuated by moments of terror” come from?

I have often seen war described as "interminable boredom punctuated by moments of terror," or some variant thereof. More recently, it seems that I have been hearing this phrase used to describe other ...
4
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2answers
224 views

How does one refer to people who use online handles? [duplicate]

I know this more in line with Etiquette (which is only a proposal), but it's been bugging me for a while, and I'd like some clarification. When referring to others on this site (and many others, ...
3
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2answers
14k views

Can “the least I could do” be negative? [closed]

A common answer to being thanked for doing something is "It's the least I could do," which by my understanding is basically synonymous with "It was nothing". Recently I received a gift as thanks for ...
2
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2answers
662 views

“Hitler will send no warning” vs “Hitler won't send warnings”

As in this WWII poster: Are they the same thing, or are there differences in expression? Why do native speakers choose the first one?
0
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1answer
927 views

Origin of the expression “Good governor.”

In Season 3, episode 2 of the sitcom Modern Family, Phil uses the expression "Good governor" to express his incredulity when he realizes that his wife has an obsession about proving she is always ...
0
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1answer
964 views

What is the saying to express a certain situation? It is like, you will find nails everywhere when you have got a hammer [closed]

I am looking for a saying to express a situation that one is apt to apply anything instantly when it is at hand. I do not remember the saying. It seems to be that 'you will find nails everywhere when ...
0
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1answer
388 views

“With a crack like a whip” — common expression or not?

With a crack like a whip, Dobby vanished. I'm studying English using the Harry Potter books. I can't seem to find this expression in any dictionary, however. Google returns no results at all ...
2
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1answer
477 views

Why is it “the worst round one care to remember”?

I am interested in the usage of “care to infinitive verb” in the following sentence in Jeffery Archer’s fiction, “Kane & Abel”: “By the time they reached the eighteenth, Alan was eight holes ...
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1answer
101 views

“fraction of relevant instances that are retrieved”: Should it not be 'those are'?

I was reading a Wiki page which had this statement: recall is the fraction of relevant instances that are retrieved Shouldn't it be the following? recall is the fraction of relevant ...
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3answers
6k views

To Break Bread — the origin of the phrase

I am looking for the origin of the phrase "break bread" meaning to eat (or, I expect, to share food). I know that it can be sourced to the book of Acts but I have also seen many websites which say ...
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3answers
2k views

“in a word” vs “in a sentence”

In a word, you are wrong! In a sentence, you are wrong! Which is more natural? I feel "in a word" is more common than "in a sentence", but "you are wrong!" consists of three words rather ...
12
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7answers
6k views

What's the English equivalent for the French expression “veille technologique”?

In French, the expression veille technologique means the act of following the current trends in technology. Is there such a phrase in English? I can only think of expressions like keeping up to date ...
5
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3answers
11k views

What is “a canary in a coal mine”? [closed]

I've found that expression on a website, and I don't understand it. At first I thought it was because the canary is yellow and the coal black... but it doesn't make much sense.
0
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2answers
1k views

“everybody sing” vs “everybody sings”

I have been told 'everybody' is singular. However, there was a film named "Everybody Sing". What are the differences between "everybody sing" and "everybody sings"? Which is correct? the former, the ...
0
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2answers
485 views

What's the meaning of “troop on”?

What's the meaning of troop on in this comment? Troop on, brotato. Get well soon. The comment was made in response to someone who's suddenly gotten really sick and has to stay in the hospital. ...
0
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2answers
813 views

Polite Compliments

Is a "polite compliment" necessarily a redundant statement when used in a group of people as opposed to a one-to-one situation?
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3answers
6k views

What does “have nothing on someone” mean here?

From what I know "have something from someone" means to know secret or damaging knowledge about someone, I was reading this article on espn.com and it is an excerpt from that article Carl Pavano ...
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2answers
2k views

What does the expression “as bad as it is” mean?

What does the expression "as bad as it is" mean? Does it mean on top of that for e.g. as bad something (accident or something like that) is, something similarly bad? I have been sick all week. As ...
5
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3answers
503 views

Is the use of “-based” ending acceptable for two words expression?

When describing something as being based on a major element, one can use the "-based" ending. How does it work when the major element is an expression formed by two words, such as body tracking? Is ...
2
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3answers
2k views

What does “Stumble into the buzzsaw” mean? Is it a popular idiom?

I came across the expression “stumble into the buzzsaw” in the article titled “House Republican open to gun restriction” appearing in Time magazine January 11 issue. The article begins with the ...
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5answers
12k views

What is the origin of idiom “Keep your hair on”?

I had a conversation with a coworker and he told me to keep my hair on. My first understanding of the idiom was that he will do something so fast that, if I was wearing a wig or something it will fly ...
0
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1answer
4k views

“What say we [suggestion (verb phrase)]”

I would like to understand the history of the modern expression “what say we” followed immediately by a verb phrase, used to make a suggestion and common in informal speech, as attested at Oxford ...
8
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11answers
910 views

Equivalent of sarcastic song “non ti preoccupare, l'importante è partecipare” among Italian football supporters

Is there an equivalent in English or American sports culture of the sarcastic song that originated among Italian football supporters, that they sing to the losing opposition team? It's like this: ...
4
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1answer
3k views

Why do people use “Lady Wife” to refer to their wife?

I was listening to a play on the radio this afternoon and one of the characters was told to go home to their lady wife. I've heard the term on numerous occasions, and until I started reading this ...
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2answers
929 views

What is the meaning of “get as far as doing something”?

What is the meaning of the expression or phrase "get as far as doing something"? For example, what does it mean in this sentence? They had got as far as painting the kitchen.
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5answers
419 views

Room Temperature: Article “A” or Not?

Below, “room temperature” takes the article “a” in one case but not the other. “Temperature” seems like a countable noun, so why no article in the first case? What is the grammar that is working here? ...