0
votes
1answer
64 views

Is it ever correct to say “turn down the building”?

I'm a non-native speaker of English, and so is my wife. We were talking to a native speaker when at one point, my wife commented, "They should turn down the building." I've never heard of the phrase ...
2
votes
2answers
1k views

“ It was a pleasure knowing”, “It was a pleasure to have known”, or “It was a pleasure to know”?

I am in the process of ordering a headstone for my dad and I wish to have the words It was a pleasure to have known (as opposed to the more traditional "in loving remembrance", "in memory of", ...
1
vote
2answers
59 views

Is the sentence “Format complete” wrong?

As a Windows user, I see a message box with the message: "Format complete!" when I have finished to format a drive. According to the dictionary, complete is a verb or a adjective. If it is a verb, ...
1
vote
1answer
203 views

Why “Daddy” in this sentence was written with a capital D?

Why is Daddy in this sentence written with a capital D? Her love letters to and from Daddy were in an old box, tied with ribbons and stiff, rigid-with-age leather thongs. This sentence is from ...
16
votes
3answers
542 views

''Honey'' Usage Question

my friend (he's from Europe, white in his 20s) was in the U.S. a while ago and went to a diner a few times. A woman there (in her late 40s, most likely), kept calling him ''honey'' and ''sweetie'' ...
5
votes
4answers
184 views

Word for “getting careless and slacking”

Can you suggest some words which can describe a person who is starting to get careless and who slacks, or the very action of becoming careless? A person who was efficiently and elaborately doing their ...
1
vote
3answers
264 views

Action of unintentionally leading someone into concluding something

Imagine a situation where one sees a woman without being aware of her surroundings and concludes wrongly something about her and the group she is a part of. For example, the person sees the writings ...
11
votes
7answers
470 views

What is the verb for developing a chip on one's shoulder? [closed]

I want to say that an individual has a chip on their shoulder, but a month ago, they did not. Did they "raise a chip on their shoulder", as might be inferred from the first cited history of the ...
1
vote
0answers
2k views

How to use particles like 'back', 'on', 'off', 'around', 'up', 'down' or 'out' are used sometimes with phrasal verbs? Use of English [closed]

How to use particles like 'back', 'on', 'off', 'around', 'up', 'down' or 'out' are used sometimes with phrasal verbs? back - return on - continue off - travel to another place around - do ...
2
votes
2answers
6k views

“Make sure to” vs. “Be sure to”: Is the first one correct?

These two versions below are used interchangeably where I live now in the United States: Make sure to do something. Be sure to do something. But I always have found the first version clumsy. I ...
2
votes
5answers
428 views

Why should “be” come after “neither a borrower nor lender,” not before them?

I came across the maxim, “Neither a borrower nor a lender be” in the following sentence of Jeffery Archer’s fiction, “The Fourth Estate” (P.54), and found that the maxim came from Lord Polonius’ ...
1
vote
1answer
414 views

“She got her first child” vs. “She had her first child”

I am not a native speaker and yesterday someone told me that "She got her first child" would be misunderstood and "She had her first child" is correct. Now I wonder if this is a 'local' thing here in ...
0
votes
2answers
242 views

What is the meaning of “gather way” in “The idea gathered way”?

As far as I know "gather way" means "to attain headway" in navigation. So I believe this is a kind of idiom or something like that. I just found this sentence with no context, so I don't know if you ...
3
votes
2answers
348 views

When did the term 'get lost' first come to use?

I have established that this term is an American idiom. Does anyone know when it came to be popular use or was first used there?
4
votes
2answers
135 views

Is it possible to use “Go Galt” beyond political or business context?

I came across the expression “Go Galt” in Paul Krugman’s article titled “The Twinkie manifesto” appearing in November 20 New York Times. The phrase appears in the second paragraph of the following ...
2
votes
4answers
5k views

“Have got” — verb form and tense

In the following sentence, what is the main verb and in what tense does it occur? I have got a car. There are two possible explanations that I can think of: get as the main verb in the present ...
0
votes
2answers
239 views

What does the expression “brikking it” mean? [closed]

I have a British friend, and we text each other sometimes. Yesterday she sent me a message with the expression "brikking it". Could someone explain it to me?
3
votes
2answers
6k views

“Make an experience” or “gain an experience”

Do you make an experience or gain an experience? For example, I made rewarding volunteering experiences ... I gained rewarding volunteering experiences ... Are either acceptable? Is there ...
1
vote
4answers
880 views

Is this saying grammatically correct? [closed]

Is the phrase seat well and hold steadily grammatically correct? If it is, why does it use seat instead of sit? PS:the instruction will be used on the bus.
9
votes
3answers
2k views

What's the meaning of 'out' when it comes after a verb ?

What's the difference between a verb like read and read out or shout and shout out and so on? How does "out" change the meaning of verbs?
2
votes
6answers
53k views

“Take a rest” or “have some rest”?

Which one of the above is the correct, or can I use both? Or is there any better way to say that?
6
votes
4answers
313 views

Usage of the word “meet”

I saw some expression like the following : "I met a design problem in .... ", is it a right usage of the word "meet". It just sounds odd to me. I would rather use "ran into" or "encountered" instead. ...
4
votes
4answers
214 views

“Seeing visions” versus “having visions”

In the episode of Fringe called The Road Not Taken, the protagonist is having visions once in a while, seeing alternative realities for a few seconds. In one of the conversations, she asks: Why am ...
2
votes
3answers
622 views

What is the correct use for “practised”?

Which use of practised is correct, if any? I practised my singing. I practised at singing. I practised singing.
10
votes
3answers
809 views

What's a good opposite of “keep track”? [closed]

How can I say the opposite of "keep track"? I was trying to keep track of something but something happened and I lost the track. I'd like to say "lose track". Is it possible to say it this way or is ...
2
votes
3answers
1k views

Meaning of “be brought low”

Context (New York Times), The episode has been a sobering lesson in how even an agency that carries some 350,000 passengers over 104 miles of track every workday can be brought low by a seemingly ...
4
votes
2answers
243 views

Meaning of “the body soon learns to stand down in the face of fat”

The following is from the transcript of a podcast. Dieters can choose from an array of snacktackular options in which sugars and fats are replaced by artificial, low-calorie substitutes. That ...
2
votes
3answers
426 views

The word “getting” in “getting a divorce”

My parents are getting a divorce Is the getting just an auxiliary verb or does it have some real meaning? Why not: "My parents is going to divorce"?
9
votes
3answers
8k views

“Bless you” & sneezing

Why do you say Bless you when people sneeze? Is there good reason or history? When someone sneeze, if I don't say Bless you, am I rude?
5
votes
2answers
7k views

Explain the choice of the verb “dip” in “dip your lights”

Does the phrase "dip your lights" mean to turn them off or something else? Why is the word dip used? Quote: If you drive with your headlights on full beam in fog, the light will just reflect back ...
2
votes
3answers
567 views

Using 'to swallow' to indicate having an emotionally hard time accepting a truth

Can 'to swallow' be used to indicate that you have a hard time accepting a truth? Neither a hard time in the sense of being able to understand it nor to accept that it is true, but rather in the ...
4
votes
3answers
2k views

The times are a-changing? Why a-? [duplicate]

I'm Italian so I don't know English very well. While listening to Bob Dylan songs I've heard some strange use of progressive tense (is that the correct term?), the title of this question is one ...