A phrase is a group of words that make a unit of syntax with a single grammatical function.

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7
votes
5answers
325 views

A Pyrrhic defeat?

Is there a word, phrase or allusion which represents the opposite of a Pyrrhic Victory: a tactical defeat which led to a strategic victory, either accidental or intended? After all, there must be one ...
0
votes
2answers
47 views

Is the phrase “…could only know by then” correct?

He told me he would give me the answer after the trip. Was there something he could only know by then? I don't know why but it sounds a little weird to me. Anyway, to make sure I searched on ...
7
votes
2answers
884 views

Why does “footing the bill” mean “to pay”?

I hear people using the term footing the bill used to describe paying for something. Why is the verb foot used to describe the meaning of paying?
0
votes
1answer
24 views

What's the proper phrase for “ way behind~”

I am trying to write a sentence like Country X is way behind in terms of animal rights compared to other countries. I think the phrase way behind is colloquial but I cannot think of a “proper” ...
-1
votes
0answers
9 views

Question on using the phrase “draw on” in context.

Is this a proper use? "He is an icon in that he acts as a symbol to draw on."
1
vote
1answer
36 views

“Correct” way to describe “looking at someone with new eyes” or similar?

I'm not a native English-speaker, so I'm not sure how to "correctly" phrase the following... When you learn something new about a person, than makes you look at him "with new eyes" - and perhaps ...
7
votes
1answer
2k views

What does “The deck is stacked” in Hillary Clinton’s presidencial candidacy announcement mssage mean?

Washington Post’s (April 15) carries an article under the title, “Hillary Clinton sounded a little like Elizabeth Warren in 2008, too” accompanied with the following lead copy. “Hillary Clinton's ...
0
votes
0answers
33 views

Meaning of lyrics in song 'Black Matilda' [on hold]

This will be a long one, I have trouble with many lines in this song, but if you want one big question, then who or what is Black Matilda. Other lines explained would be nice as well. The ones I have ...
-1
votes
0answers
16 views

Shorthand for the phrase

Looking for shorthand for phrase - "Not mapped in target document", or "Not present in target document". I have it to be distinguishable with "Not mapped in actual document".
0
votes
4answers
75 views

Expressions for “exact copy”

Example: The painting was a [...] copy of the original. Are there other common expressions other than exact and identical?
-1
votes
1answer
40 views

How can this be rephrased better? [on hold]

Can anyone help we rephrase this better: "The respondent to the questions were identified to be inappropriate."
0
votes
2answers
62 views

What term would best describe a need for friendship?

A friend of mine asked an interesting question today: If sexual frustration is need for sex and romantic frustration is need for romance, what is need for friendship? Note: To be clear, this is ...
2
votes
1answer
50 views

The origin of “break of day”

I was quite surprised to know that "break of day" actually means "dawn", that is, the beginning of the day. But, the phrase "break of day" sounds much more like the end of the day, not the beginning ...
2
votes
2answers
217 views

expression of the form “I wouldn't trust them with X”

The following expressions are idiomatic: 1) "I wouldn't touch Z with a 10-foot pole", meaning the speaker wouldn't want to be involved with Z in any way. 2) "S couldn't find his way out of a paper ...
-3
votes
1answer
31 views

Are the two statements equivalent?

"I will refuse nothing to a soul that makes a request of me in virtue of my passion. In this hour you can obtain everything for yourself and for others for asking" - statement (i) I tried to ...
0
votes
1answer
43 views

“I will refuse nothing to a soul that makes a request of me in virtue of my passion” - meaning?

"I will refuse nothing to a soul that makes a request of me in virtue of my passion" I am having trouble understanding this sentence because of the statement "in virtue of my passion" that follows ...
0
votes
1answer
45 views

Why does “not a one” sound incorrect, but “not a single one” sounds okay?

To me, not a one sounds incorrect, but not a single one sounds okay. Is there any grammar to support why my ears weep at the sound of the former phrase, but not the latter?
-2
votes
1answer
50 views

How to say in formal English that i am getting high salary in a few different way? [closed]

How to say in formal English that i am getting high salary in a few different way? I am not very good in English.
1
vote
0answers
12 views

A term to describe a phrase that can be changed without having to know the origin [duplicate]

I'm sure I read about this on this website, but I am clueless as to what it was. An example may be adding 'gate' to the end of scandal titles. People understand it enough to use it to describe other ...
2
votes
2answers
65 views

Could the “pseudo” adverbial phrases modify the real adverbial phrases?

1)A woman fell 50 feet down a cliff. 2)The project was finished 10 days ahead of the schedule. 3)Emma is 10 years older than Sophie. 4)I finished the project 10 days ago. 1)50 feet/10 days/10 ...
0
votes
1answer
27 views

“followed” as a participial phrase

Here's another participial phrase comma question (sorry, just trying to get this right). "The doorbell rang twice followed by the sound of the lock disengaging in the front of the house." Assume ...
0
votes
1answer
40 views

What's a word for a statement that's not quite factual?

What's a word for a statement that's not quite factual? Not quite a myth, but not quite a fact either. Like "truthy" but not an adjective? For example, "scientists are still looking for the missing ...
5
votes
3answers
403 views

Term for double meanings

What is the term used for a phrase that could have more than one meaning such as "This battery is free of charge"?
-1
votes
1answer
35 views

Giving Custom to?

A rather old-fashioned farewell after visiting a store would be Thank you for your custom On the other side of the coin, if you're talking about having visited a store and made use of it, would ...
-1
votes
2answers
57 views

Any words to describe someone who ignores anyone 'mean' to them?

I'm looking for words to describe a person like Mma Ramotswe from No.1 Ladies Detective Agency for my blog - http://aroundtheworldinbooks.weebly.com/. Thanks to anyone who answers!
0
votes
1answer
30 views

“will not long go unsold to” meaning?

What does "will not go unsold to" mean in the following sentence? The King of Portugal, Lord of Spices, has set... prices just as he pleases, for pepper, which, at any cost, no matter how dear, ...
-1
votes
2answers
75 views

a “sound understanding” of something [closed]

I encountered this phrase: ...a sound understanding of [something] and here are my questions: Why is the indefinite article used for the uncountable noun "understanding"? What is the origin of ...
1
vote
1answer
57 views

What does “Drag somebody down into your tomb” mean? [closed]

It's a phrase from Rework book written by Jason Fried. Here is the context: They want to drag others down into their tomb. If you're hopeful and ambitious, they'll try to convince you your ideas ...
0
votes
1answer
47 views

Is there a term for when you think of a joke in the context of a conversation, but the conversation ended hours ago? [duplicate]

Is there a term for when you think of a joke in the context of a conversation, but the conversation ended hours ago? My friends have told me of the term "l'espirit de l'escalier" in French, and the ...
0
votes
1answer
58 views

“That strikes one for me”…what's it mean?

What's the "one" mean here? Is this taken from baseball? Can the idiom be grammatically used in other persons besides the first?
0
votes
2answers
39 views

reasons (for) as to why

I just wrote the following sentence: … there might have been interesting reasons for as to why they did. My question concerns the passage "reasons for as to why". While this sounds perfectly ...
0
votes
1answer
36 views

The usage of “got out” and the indefinite article “a” in the sentence “if it got out that they were related to a pair of”

I'm a English learner and I found the following sentence which seemed strange to me when I was reading Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Chapter one, the American Edition): "if it got out that ...
-1
votes
0answers
36 views

In monotheistic relegions - “The” vs. “The god” vs. “God” [on hold]

I read some questions about "God" phrase and its meanings in monotheistic religions. But I want to know when we add a "The" with capital "T" in a phrase is as same as the "God" with capital "G" or ...
0
votes
1answer
36 views

Writing Circles Around

Can someone tell me the meaning of 'writes circles around' in this sentence?: 'If I say that he writes circles around everyone else in Comics, it's not simply to put him in a rare class with Gilbert ...
0
votes
2answers
67 views

A word to describe the completion of uncompleted work before a vacation

Backlog/noun an accumulation of uncompleted work waiting for you when you return from vacation . It's a pity that we don't have "forelog" as a word for work that is done to clear ...
-2
votes
2answers
100 views

Formal way to say “doesn't work”? [closed]

I am writing a paper and I feel as if I need a more formal way of writing "doesn't work". Any thoughts? Thanks :)
0
votes
3answers
70 views

More professional word for “day to day task”

I’m looking for a more professional term or phrase to describe “day to day task” or a task that is very common for a particular role of work. Thanks in advance!
0
votes
2answers
61 views

I can't understand this: You wouldn’t have to spout embarrassing platitude in public [closed]

I was watching a movie in which this conversation happened in a bar: Person 1: You wouldn’t have to spout embarrassing platitude in public. Person 2: The fact is I won't spout platitude much ...
0
votes
0answers
39 views

Description of Puzzle Type

I am looking for the name of a certain type of word puzzle. A string of letters is given without any spaces between those letters. By strategically inserting spaces into the string, different valid ...
1
vote
2answers
59 views

“trip us or trap us” meaning

I'd like to know the meaning of this phrase from a song by TheLastFiveYears: If I didn't believe in you I couldn't have stood before all of our friends and said, 'This is the life I choose- ...
1
vote
1answer
31 views

phonics meaning the same [closed]

Which word means the same as the phrase full of sleep in the sentence? The baby took a nap because he was full of sleep. Sleepiness,sleepless,sleepness,sleepy
1
vote
3answers
57 views

Is the following sentence correct? A statement followed by a list. Should I use a colon? [closed]

Is the following sentence correct? "My main priority as a tutor has always been to help the learner feel at ease, with me, with themselves and with their own abilities." I feel like there should be ...
0
votes
3answers
59 views

what will be a good artistic world or phrase for close cooperation for mutual success

what will be a good artistic word or phrase for close cooperation for mutual success.The cooperation of two parties (one with stronger power, second with weaker power, but huge dedication) where each ...
11
votes
17answers
2k views

Uncommon Term for an Excellent Orator?

I'm looking for an uncommon term for an excellent orator that doesn’t include adjectives such as “good” or “excellent,” or the noun “orator.” I've googled this request but haven't encountered anything ...
4
votes
4answers
944 views

What's a word or phrase that means “get together with people informally to play music”?

What’s a word, phrase, or expression that means to get together with people informally to play music? Something that doesn’t imply any particular style — could be Jazz, Rock, Classical, Rap, etc.
-1
votes
3answers
100 views

Origin of 'put your hand on your heart'

What does this phrase mean? How does putting a hand on your heart (at least on the region of chest where your heart is) do anything? Does the phrase have different meanings for men and women? ...
-1
votes
0answers
14 views

“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.”
4
votes
4answers
210 views

Someone or something small yet capable of having big influence? [duplicate]

What is a word or phrase that means a person or thing which is quite small yet capable of having big influence and impact on society?
2
votes
2answers
92 views

A phrase for a tip or trick passed down from one generation to the next

Many use the phrase life hack to describe a novel or clever solution to an everyday problem. Before this expression became popular I remember seeing another phrase in the English language to describe ...
0
votes
0answers
29 views

In terms of putting

I heard someone says "In terms of putting this forward,". That was unfamiliar phrase with me, putting "In terms of something" and "Putting this forward" together. When I look in a dictionary ...