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

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“Drumline” or “Drum line”?

Is it Drum line or Drumline? I've seen it two different ways, and I finally need to write it. However, I have no idea how to write it.
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13answers
756 views

Is there a common expression for “origin of everything”? What could it be?

In some languages there is a common pathetic hyperbole that goes like "the origin of origins" or "beginning of beginnings". Is there anything similar in English [or Latin]? Context: consider a ...
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1answer
82 views

Is there a simpler or better way of saying “promises that hold no meaning”?

Is there a simpler or better way of saying "promises that hold no meaning" or "promises without meaning"?
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2answers
277 views

Does the phrase 'human race' allude to the idea of a relay?

Describing the history of humanity as a 'race' might seem odd to a listener who hadn't heard it before. Is the image behind this phrase alluding to the idea that human beings reproduce and pass on ...
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1answer
30 views

Origin of “Every dollar you spend is a political act”?

Who was the first to say this? Every dollar you spend is a political act. I find it here and there and it seems like a quote, but I can't find the origin.
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“To die being hit” vs “to die from being hit.” [migrated]

What the difference between the two? Which is more commonly used by native speakers of English? Example: It’d be tragic, don’t you think? To die (from) being hit by an apple.”
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2answers
39 views

Is the word “could” actually used frequently? [on hold]

I heard that the word "could" is so polite ,dead language expression that in english people don't wanna use this . can everyone tell me am i right ?
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1answer
28 views

is it is correct to mention PhD in brackets or with upper line to express ongoing degree.(PhD) ̅

is it is correct to write PhD as suffix in brackets or with upperline to express the degree is ongoing. is there any reference for this type of expressions
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4answers
67 views

Answer for “You know what?”

Could 'Yes' be the answer for 'You know what?' I mean: A: 'You know what?' B: 'Yes.' C: 'I won the first prize.' I'm not sure if I bother to write 'Yes' between A's words.
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1answer
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In the 2011 film bad teacher, there is an exchange between several characters:

Elizabeth: You must be Carl? Thank you for meeting me on such short notice. Carl: Of course. Sure.. Carl: Did you find the boys okay? Was it a good drive? Elizabeth: Great ...
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10answers
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What's the word for the facial expression over an unexpected disappointment?

If your friend says something sarcastic to you unexpectedly when you are talking about something that makes you exited or your innermost feelings and makes you feel stupid. What's the most widely ...
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2answers
494 views

The person who marries for money usually earns every penny of it

The person who marries for money usually earns every penny of it. ...anonymous quote. What does this phrase mean? It seems to suggest that if you marry for money, you will earn all of the money ...
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1answer
291 views

Use of the word “definitive edition”

Can I use the phrase "definitive edition" to explain that a product has the most up-to-date and highest quality in the field as opposite to mean "last edition of the same series"? Thank you for your ...
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2answers
36 views

“Same old story,” vs “old story.”

Example: Maybe it's the old story, maybe he just sees me as a friend. Maybe it's the same old story, maybe he just sees me as a friend. Which version is more commonly used by native ...
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2answers
76 views

How can “in touch with” be used figuratively?

I am sure that we can say “get in touch with someone”, to mean figuratively that we are in good contact. Can I go further to use it more figuratively, e.g., to say that “my brother is not in touch ...
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3answers
73 views

Call In/For a New Job

Suppose I looked for a job on the Internet, found a few offers interesting and decided to call the phone numbers they had posted. Am I calling in or calling for the new jobs? (Or should I simply say ...
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1answer
27 views

Put down good money, meaning and derivation? [on hold]

Where does the expression: "Put down good money" come from, and what is its present day usage?
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1answer
49 views

What is the formality of “hard to read at spots”? [on hold]

I have seen some people using the expression "hard to read at spots" for stating that some parts of a text are unclear (or that some reading conditions are negatively affecting the understanding of ...
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2answers
46 views

“To which”, “by which”, “on which” etc [closed]

I have come across the phrases like "to which","for which", "by which", "on which" and so on(using a preposition with a relative pronoun). e.g. The chair on which the body was found.. Could someone ...
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0answers
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“SIX MONTHS AFTER: How far so good?” This is my Feature Article Caption, is it appropriate? [on hold]

Six months ago a new management team were sent to oversee the activities of a government agency where I work. I want to write an article for publication in the agency's newsletter appraising their ...
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2answers
97 views

What does “in the name of…” actually mean?

Whats the meaning of the phrase; "In the name of"? For example : whatever you ask in my name, Ask in my name. Oxford actually has an entry for the phrase, but it doesn't seem to match how it's used ...
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0answers
30 views

can the adjective “sexist” be replaced by “chauvinistic” in this context?

"the nature of these rituals generates a sexist mentality among the new members" can "chauvinistic" denote the same meaning as "sexist" in this phrase?
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6answers
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Cold turkey as expression

I've discovered a expression : to go cold turkey, meaning something like feeling bad because you have taken drugs and you need to take more. I wonder if another verb rather than go can be used ...
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3answers
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Is “main focus” considered bad form?

Is using "main focus" considered bad form or redundant? I started thinking about this since the spelling function in MS Word highlighted it and suggested "main focus" -> "focus". I can see why it ...
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5answers
1k views

Expression “to arrive at a place with your hands hanging”

In Spanish language there is an expression "llegar con las manos colgando", that can be literally translated to something like: If you are invited to a friend's party or social gathering, you need ...
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1answer
35 views

(To) be over: when it is used? [on hold]

I'd like to know when I can use the expression to be over and if it can be used to say, for instance, the light is over, in the meaning of I can't see the light 'cause I'm in a bad period. Or should I ...
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4answers
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origin of phrase 'stone the crows'

Just as the title says — where, and how, did the phrase 'stone the crows' originate?
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3answers
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A formal way to express “many things go out of control”? [on hold]

In an opportunistic and alcohol motivated party many things go out of control "Many things go out of control" is common use, I could not find a proper way to express it in Formal English.
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“This isn't the place for you” meaning?

Would you say that this line is an indirect way of telling someone they shouldn't come/be somewhere? Or if not indirect, maybe some other adjective?
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1answer
125 views

A word that describes stories with negative and unfulfilling endings?

I'm trying to find a word or phrase that describes the ending to a story where the outcome is generally negative and unfulfilling. At the end of these stories, the protagonist usually makes a decision ...
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3answers
54 views

A formal synonym/expression for “saying that”

I need a more formal expression for "saying that" here. My supervisor told me it is informal English, but I couldn't find another formal expression Saying that rape culture is an environment ...
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0answers
27 views

Meaning of “fact of nature” in a paragraph

A friend of mine is translating a text about the Millennial Generation and asked me about the meaning of "fact of nature" in the excerpt "technology wasn't a fact of nature at these times". It is part ...
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1answer
55 views

“You look like your brother” or “Your brother looks like you”? [closed]

My friends are always saying stuff like, "You look like your brother ," or "Your brother looks like you." My brother is 4 years younger than me and I really can't see the resemblance; but it got me ...
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1answer
139 views

What does “ought to have been a wheelbarrow” mean?

My grandmother (who was of Irish descent) was born in the New England area of NSW, Australia. She used an idiom that she "ought to have been a wheelbarrow". I think it meant something about a lack of ...
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2answers
882 views

What's the etymology of the expression “let it slide?”

Today, my three year old son was doing something he wasn't normally supposed to do but we were letting him get away with it (wearing a backpack to the dinner table). He pointed out that he wasn't ...
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1answer
40 views

Be authentic synonym of not having a mask?

In Spanish, we say that we all have a mask as we are not 100% authentic (at least all the time). Is that expression correct in English?
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2answers
233 views

Does “morning sickness” only relate to pregnancy? Did it always?

As far as I'm aware, "morning sickness" as a phrase relates specifically to pregnancy. So, even if you have a medical condition causing regular nausea/vomiting when you wake up and you typically wake ...
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4answers
120 views

What do you call a phone call with no one talking on the other side

Is there a word or expression describing a phone call when the caller doesn't hang up, but also doesn't say anything (or at least nothing can be heard)? I'm specifically looking for a term describing ...
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4answers
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Origins and meaning of “Put your money where your mouth is”

I heard this phrase uttered by a Canadian (from Vancouver) once; it left me in awe and elicited my curiosity. Wikipedia was not helpful. What is its origin? Is this expression used more in certain ...
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1answer
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What does “The young graduate student was bright and eager, but green to the power of data structures.” mean?

The following sentence is from the "The Algorithm Manual" book The young graduate student was bright and eager, but green to the power of data structures. What does the green to the power of ...
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“These are [one/ones] of the foundations…” - which “one” should I use?

I'm having a hard time picking between These are one of the foundations of.... and These are ones of the foundations of.. Or is there a more idiomatic way to express it?
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1answer
60 views

Examples of open-ended question on product enquiry [closed]

i need your help on an assignment given to us in school. I need examples of open ended questions on product inquiries. I have some examples i came up with but i don't want to keep using Do you in ...
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2answers
91 views

“Robust” as a noun

Can an adjective "robust" be a noun in a sentence? And if it can't how would you say with one word "robust fellow" that can be applied to both man and woman? Because as I understand "robust fellow", ...
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2answers
49 views

Another way of saying “escaping/running away from home”?

I know you can say breaking out from prison. How about ways of saying escaping/running away from home? Example: Speaker A: “What?” I said to Tom on the phone. “What do you mean Mary ran away?” ...
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1answer
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how can Use the title 'Mr'

Use of titles in English language, can we use title Mr if we use the designation like Secretary Sports Mr Saleem Akhtar, etc, or we skip it. i am asking in reference to make a news report or news ...
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2answers
173 views

Why do people say 'buck' for a dollar?

I grew up in South Africa. When someone said something costs 'two bucks' it meant two rand (like saying two dollars, but South African currency). It made perfect sense, as the 1 Rand coin had an ...
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0answers
22 views

“On the one after,” vs “on the one that followed.”

Which one is more common, more idiomatic? Example: My brother's exams would end next week, so we decided to take the trip on the one after. My brother's exams would end next week, so we ...
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761 views

What are the meanings of the sentences where “Not that” is followed by an object-missing expression?

According to my observation, there are at least two types of using "Not that....". And my question is: what does "not that" mean in its second type of usage? In the first usage, "not that" is ...
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1answer
71 views

How to express combinations using “any […] by […]”

I'm writing a text in which I need to repeat combinations of k out of n - for example, "any 2 out of 6" - but I think something the likes of "any 6 by 2" would be more appropriate since the subject is ...