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

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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 (a/an/the) ...
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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 ...
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“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 "...
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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 ...
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“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?
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“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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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 "...
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“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. ...
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513 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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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 more....
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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 ...
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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, ...
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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 ...
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“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?
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964 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 ...
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999 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 ...
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420 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 (...
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483 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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“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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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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“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 than "...
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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 ...
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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.
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“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 ...
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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. ...
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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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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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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 ...
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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 ...
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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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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 ...
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“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 ...
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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: [...
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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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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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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? ...
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What is it called when people wrongly anticipate something and their actions eventually make it happen? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What word means “to speak something into existence”? This is probably something that economists would quickly recognize. It often happens that people would wrongly ...
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An expression for “a little thing that adds to common good”

Like recycling, some little things together make a big positive impact. What's an expression for "a little thing that adds to the common good"?
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How do you say “hands-on experience” with this technology to an interviewer?

Generally, I would tell an interviewer that I have "hands-on experience" with this technology, by which I mean that my experience in this field is very limited, but quite efficient and knowledgeable. ...
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Eggs fried/scrambled “over easy” or “over hard” — refers to the pan, the egg, or something else?

To me, "over easy" seems to refer to the pan, because I think of a pan sitting atop an easy flame. "Over hard" makes me think it refers to the egg, because the liquid becomes solid. Then again, ...
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What is the logic of having ‘not’ in the usage, “be not above doing something”?

I came across the idiomatic usage, ‘not above doing’ in the following sentence of Jeffery Archer’s fiction, “Kane & Abel.” Allan Lloyd, a banker and Chairman of William Kane’s trust tells William’...
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Formally saying that you are laughing without euphemisms or colloquialism without referring to yourself

I want to know how one can manage to assert that they are laughing without using euphemisms or colloquialism in first person, for example in a letter, without referring to yourself, that is saying "...
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Idioms meaning to do something at great cost

What I'm looking for isn't quite the same as a Pyrrhic victory, as the action isn't necessarily done to obtain victory. Rather, it is any action that will ultimately result in the person taking said ...
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“For Heaven's Sake” or “For Heaven Sakes”?

I hear these used almost interchangeably. To me "for heaven's sake" makes sense grammatically, but is there something I'm missing?
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The camera adds ten pounds?

While trying to understand the term 'photogenic' better, I came across this Wikipedia page which mentions the expression 'the camera adds ten pounds'. With a camera, the subject is viewed through ...
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Phrase for the construction “a, b, c, and d” [closed]

I'm looking for a concise phrase for the sentence construction "a, b, c, and d". That is, a comma-separated list of things, where the last comma is either replaced or accompanied by the word "and".
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“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?
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Are there popular English sayings to express “Big fuss, tiny result”?

The recent EL&U question asked by Mikhail about the alternative expressions of ‘To shoot out of cannon into sparrows’ reminded me of Japanese saying - 大山鳴動鼠一匹- literally meaning people find (get) “...
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I need an expression or a different group of words for "long list of reasons I am unworthy/ a failure [closed]

I'm looking for another way to say: I couldn't help but ponder the long list of reasons I am unworthy/ a failure.
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Word for “credit stealer”

While reading the novel "One night at call center", I came across this: He's such a loser who steals credit of others. Viroom, we must teach a lesson to this credit stealer. Now, I just want ...