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

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“Preventing them to wrap” vs “Preventing them from wrapping”

I've found on StackOverflow an old answer written by me, in which I've used the first form. Reading it now, it sounds weird and wrong; I am inclined to think that the second form is the only one ...
2
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1answer
160 views

What's the name for a part of speech which is not quite rhetorical, but not expected to be answered directly, either?

What's the name for a part of speech which is not quite rhetorical, but not expected to be answered directly, either? I know the word exists, it refers to greetings such as "How are you" and similar. ...
2
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4answers
535 views

Is there an expression for the feeling of wishing you had met someone earlier?

Is there a single word or perhaps short phrase to express the feeling one gets when they meet someone amazing, say the love of their life, and wishes that they had met sooner? A cognate would be ...
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4answers
6k views

“You belong to me” or “You belong with me” [closed]

What's the difference between the titular expressions? if any, at all. Oxford and Cambridge dictionaries could not help!!
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4answers
1k views

Why do the words ducky and jake mean fine or satisfactory?

Even the Merriam-Webster dictionary acknowledges both ducky and jake as acceptable terms meaning fine or satisfactory and it dates the word ducky back to 1897 and jake to 1914. Does anyone know how ...
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3answers
116 views

Believe it or not [closed]

Shouldn't "believe it or not" be "believe it or don't?" I do not see the word "not" being used like that elsewhere.
2
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1answer
356 views

English equivalent for a Portuguese saying on “bad company”

In Brazilian Portuguese, we have: "The bird who goes around with a bat wakes up hanging upside down" Original: "Passarinho que anda com morcego amanhece de cabeça pra baixo" The literal meaning ...
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3answers
2k views

Is “Girls will be girls” the counterpart of “Boys will be boys”? [closed]

It seems that "Boys will be boys" is a well established idiom and, according to Cambridge Idioms Dictionary, 2nd ed, as it is written on The Free Dictionary, it is "something that you say which means ...
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3answers
39k views

“I think …” or “In my opinion…” or “From my point of view…”

If I want to express my opinion about something, what's the most correct form? What are the differences? What is more formal and what more colloquial? For example, in Italian, nobody says In my ...
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3answers
477 views

If we can fall in love, why can't we fall in anger?

Although we can look back in anger, we can't fall into it. I might argue that the phrase, to fall in love, has something to do with being helpless, of letting go and losing control. But what ...
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2answers
8k views

“No A or B” vs. “Neither A nor B”

I wrote "No error or issue since 2013". I feel this is natural when I say so. But, in written English, because of the first "No", I wonder the "or" should be changed to "nor". Or, maybe "Neither error ...
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1answer
9k views

Going to the seaside and going to the sea

The British say "go to the seaside" (meaning I'm going to spend some time at the beach, swim, sunbathe etc.) It's like "going to the mountains" or "going to the lake." However, I once heard an Aussie ...
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2answers
241 views

A “Frankenstein's monster” similar metaphors

Although originally it's a novel character, a "Frankenstein's monster" became a metaphor for "something that cannot be controlled and that attacks or destroys the person who invented it." However, are ...
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3answers
1k views

Horse of a different color

I recently heard someone use the expression "Now that's a whole different bag of dog food". While highly unusualy, the meaning was well understood by the audience. I know there is an actual idiom/...
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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 "...
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1answer
112 views

In any but the most vestigial and nostalgic way…?

Once again, here I am with a question raised by the highly unintelligable Hitchens... It can be equally useful and instructive to take a glimpse at the closing of religions, or religious movements. ...
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1answer
940 views

Is there a difference between “Wrong or Right” and “Right or Wrong” [duplicate]

I was writing about the difference between morals and ethics when i wrote the following line both these terms talk about the right and wrong conduct of people both these terms talk about the ...
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5answers
1k views

Is there a common expression for someone who “always holds a mobile phone in hand”?

I would like to know if there is a typical expression or phrase, used by native speakers, for someone who always has their mobile phone in their hand. I would prefer a spoken expression rather than ...
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2answers
2k views

Idioms or phrases for “Be it good or bad”

Can you suggest some idioms or phrases for Be it good or bad? For example: Be it good or bad, television has become an indispensable part of our lives.
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2answers
194 views

Why does 'pine feather period' signify the period in a woman's life when she blossoms?

A book titled Flappers 2 Rappers lists youth slang from the 1920s, and one of the terms it lists is "pine feather period." "Pine feather period" is defined as a period in a woman's life when she ...
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1answer
117 views

The condition for saying “You’re the door on the right.” etc. and its construction

This question is a spin-off from “Is you’re the door on the right. grammatically correct?” . After the original question, some ideas came to me, about its conditions and construction. I opened this ...
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3answers
1k views

“Listen to music” or “listen for music”

Which of the following sentences is grammatically correct? The music for which we heard last night at the concert was exceptionally good. The music to which we listened at the concert last night ...
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3answers
21k views

Meaning of “if anything” [closed]

I watch the TV series Glee to learn English and came across the phrase if anything. It's in a sentence Rachel said. If anything, she is gonna kill all of our chances to achieve that elusive ...
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2answers
174 views

How to call the two points at each end of a path?

By "path" I mean a route that has been walked by. The best I could come out with is starting point and ending point. Is there a shorter way to refer to them? (Maybe end points?)
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8answers
418 views

Is there a word or expression for someone who takes an over-optimistic view of things?

Someone who takes an over-optimistic view of himself, his own country and all other things that have meaning/value to him. And who doesn't see or admit the smaller, yet not insignificant, things. E.g. ...
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0answers
45 views

What does one call the twisting of a proper name into a pejorative? [duplicate]

For example, in politics one sees Obummer, John Boner, Mittens R-money
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2answers
663 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?
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4answers
784 views

Is “Neither I you” Correct?

A friend of mine said "...I never saw you during school." For some reason I wanted to respond "Neither I you." I am certain I have heard this reply before, but, looking at it now, it does not seem ...
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1answer
3k views

One word/phrase to describe the reaction when you eat a very spicy-hot food

I've read the discussion here about Difference between “spicy” and “hot”. I've also read this one: How to say that food is hot (temperature) without the listener thinking that I mean “spicy”?. But I ...
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2answers
585 views

What does “One can easily give it a miss” mean?

I read this in a movie review: One can easily give it a miss. What does it mean? And what is this type of construction called? (I'd like to investigate it on Google.)
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3answers
128 views

What does “tearing your résumé apart in a way” mean?

I asked a résumé checker to check my résumé and she gave me the following answer: When you look at the below list of issues, you'll probably think I'm tearing your resume apart. I guess I am, in a ...
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1answer
1k views

Meaning of 'That old rocking chair's going to get me' [closed]

In the Joni Mitchell song Stormy Weather, there's this line: That old rocking chair's going to get me What does that mean? I suppose that old rocking chair is a symbol of something, but what? ...
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5answers
4k views

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

Are there any differences between these two expressions?
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2answers
3k 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'.
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2answers
5k views

Substitute for “The thought came to my mind” [closed]

I want a substitute for the sentence "The thought came to my mind". It should be a slightly formal substitute as I am writing a formal letter. Can someone help me with that?
0
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5answers
242 views

How to express this idea of travel back in time naturally?

Ok, English is not my mother tongue so sometimes I create some sentences that do not sound naturally. SO here is the idea I want to say. If time travel were possible, I would want to come back 7 ...
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4answers
2k views

Is there a word or expression to call someone who easily gives credit, especially to insignificant efforts? [closed]

A common example would be a professor who is too mild in his marking of a poor assignments. Another example could be someone who doesn't add or say much with his words, but still receives a lot of ...
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4answers
9k views

Using “mentioned above” when speaking

Is it valid to say "mentioned above" when one reference to something one have previously said? Context example (transcript from The Law of One): Questioner: George Van Tassel built a machine in ...
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1answer
2k views

phrases where opposite words can be used to mean the same thing [closed]

For example "1 in 20 Americans suffer from..." and "1 out of 20 Americans suffer from..." "it is down to you" and "it is up to you" They seem like great ways to add to creative writing. Are there ...
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3answers
2k views

What does “cup” mean in “cup of cheese”? [closed]

I was reading a recipe of macaroni-and-cheese. In Brazil (Portuguese) cheese is sold only by weight. I understand the concept of cups to measure volume or weight of liquids and powders, but as far as ...
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1answer
4k views

“to what extent” vs. “to what level” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: “to a degree” vs. “to an extent” What's the difference between "to what extent" and "to what level"? Please support your answer with examples.
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1answer
13k views

How to spell 'ewww' as in 'ewww ahhh' [closed]

I was wondering how I should spell 'ewww' as in 'ewww ahhh': Bob showed Jill his most impressive set of magic cards. Jill, impressed, said, 'ewwww[sp?] ahhhhhh.' http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t-...
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8answers
35k views

Which one is correct? “A teacher of English” or “An English teacher”? [closed]

I want to know which is correct teacher of English or English teacher.
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4answers
929 views

A phrase to describe a “collection of false exaggerations”

I am looking for a phrase to describe a "collection of false exaggerations", something that can fit well in the following line: I am really shocked to see this, it seems that everything you told ...
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3answers
674 views

squeezed every drop of meaning and enjoyment? [closed]

I'd like to know what 'squeeze every drop of meaning and enjoyment' means in the following. B is said to be a more specific version of A, but I suspect that 'squeeze every drop of meaning' is not a ...