4
votes
1answer
237 views

'Complete a confusion' — expression or confusion?

Is complete someone's confusion a popular expression that makes sense? This expression pops up so often I wonder I am missing something here. Does complete here mean to 'resolve'/ 'clarify'? ...
3
votes
3answers
130 views

“covered by” vs. “covered with”

I found this sentence in some book: Imagine a young child who already knows that creatures that live in water are fish, they have gills, and their skin is covered by scales. Saying “their skin ...
0
votes
2answers
441 views

Holding off on it or Holding it off or Holding off of it?

I would like to say that I'm pausing / postponing work on something. I wasn't sure which of the following is the right way to say it: I'm holding off on it for the time being I'm holding off of ...
-1
votes
5answers
305 views

Specific word/phrase/idiom for the following scenario

I have a second cousin living at the end of my street, but we hardly meet. I plan to meet her soon and tell her to come out and go out for a walk. Could anyone suggest a phrase, word, or an idiom ...
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
317 views

Can “take fruit in” something mean you enjoy it?

Consider to take fruit in something For example: I take fruit in my life. I feel like I have heard this term used before, but because I couldn't find an example with Google, I wanted to ...
2
votes
2answers
449 views

“Wash hands of” — why not “off” instead of “of”?

The phrase "wash hands of" is supposed to mean giving up or having nothing to do with something. But why is it "of" and not "off"? Using "off" sounds more like giving it up and distancing oneself ...
4
votes
1answer
519 views

What are the origins of “take you up on it”

A common English idiom "take you up on it" is apparently used to indicate a general willingness or predisposition to accept something that is offered or granted. For example, If you make an offer ...
4
votes
4answers
32k views

What exactly does “sweep me off my feet” mean? (And why?)

Although the phrase "sweep me off my feet" probably means, "make me fall in love with you in a short time", what does it exactly mean, because "sweeping" can be difficult to be associated with "love". ...
5
votes
3answers
331 views

“Went” vs. “went along”

At work, he made up lies as he went along. At work, he made up lies as he went. Is one of the above wrong?
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
2answers
2k views

Difficult and rare words/expressions that never show up in vocabulary lists

I've come quite far in my studies of the English language; ask me what "eleemosynary," "perspicacious" or "rambunctious" means and I'll give you an instant definition. But I'm still not on a native ...
1
vote
2answers
2k views

What is the phrasal verb or idiom that says about something that came is too late

I can't remember a phrasal verb or an idiom that describes something that came too late, i.e. i bought this book to solve this mathematical problem, however as it only came a week later it was xxxxxx. ...
4
votes
2answers
245 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 ...
12
votes
6answers
1k views

What is the origin of the phrase “turns out”?

What is the origin of "turns out" as it appears in the phrases below: It turns out As it turns out Let me know how it turns out What is turning, what is coming out, and from where? I can't find ...
4
votes
4answers
51k views

What does the phrase “I’m down with” mean?

I was wondering about the meaning of: I am down with something. Also, I was wondering whether people say: I am up with something. If so, what does it mean?
7
votes
4answers
709 views

How can I learn to get collocations right?

I read an article about collocation which includes an example: We can say highly sophisticated, and we can say extremely happy. highly happy and extremely sophisticated would be wrong. How can I ...
5
votes
3answers
17k views

“Differ to”, “differ with” or “differ from”

In what ways are differ to, differ with and differ from different? Providing examples would be really appreciated.