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

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Non-finite Adjectival Clause or Adverbial Clause

I came across the following grammatical terms and example sentences on Wikipedia: As an adjectival phrase modifying a noun phrase that is the object of a verb, provided the verb admits this ...
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Asking about the meaning of a phrase: a point of useful application

I came across the phrase that I was not so sure of the meaning: a point of useful application, which appeared in the context as follows. Shafts are a common method used to transmit power from a motor ...
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58 views

In the 2011 film “bad teacher”, there is an exchange between several characters

Squirrel: I am so excited we're gonna be across-the-hall mates. But I'm so sad… it's because your relationship ended. Elizabeth: Who are you again? Squirrel: Amy Squirrel. Elizabeth: ...
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“What happened to ____?” versus “What happened _____?”

I seem to remember my parents, who came from Dublin, Ireland, saying a phrase like "what happened it" or "what happened him" rather than "happened to it" or "happened to him". But it might have been ...
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2answers
78 views

What does “I chap easily” mean?

I remember hearing this line in an old American comedy TV program A guy starts kissing his boss's hand because he gave him a promotion, and the boss says "be careful (or was it, Stop it, I think, but ...
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27 views

Origin of the phrases “out back” and “out front”?

I'm going through the Song of Ice and Fire books, and although it's mostly written in what appears to be British English, very occasionally Americanisms sneak in. One example that I just noticed is ...
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4answers
180 views

Phrases for (someone) making a short visit/appearance

When I need to visit to any place for a very short time, say, for 10-15 minutes A politician coming late and leaving in minutes at a fundraiser. An acquaintance just dropping by to say ...
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1answer
27 views

Compounds and Phrases - differences

What are differences of compounds and phrases and what do they have in common? I know there is the "nuclear stress rule" (phrasal stress on the last word of phrase) and the "compound stress rule" ...
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2answers
41 views

“I will inform you as soon as I get it” [on hold]

Can you please help me on this? Is it correct to say: "I will inform you as soon as I get it" Thank you
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1answer
42 views

What is the difference between 'You are listened to' and 'You are heard'?

I've never heard anyone using the phrase 'listened to', unless a noun is added at the end of the phrase. When one listens to all complaints given by another, can one say 'You are listened to' to that ...
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2answers
91 views

Metaphors about death [on hold]

What are some sayings or metaphors that would interact well with a massacre or calamity? for example "The crows feasted for days"
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1answer
34 views

Is this phrase correct? “I see this program as a cornerstone in my process to become an excellent software engineer” [on hold]

English is not my native language and somehow this phrase doesn't feel right. What do you guys think? I see this program as a cornerstone in my process to become an excellent software engineer.
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64 views

What types of words/phrases are “this” “here” & “they”?

I'm currently doing an analytic essay on my drama coursework (fun.). I'd like to explain how the playwright never reveals the exact setting of the act, by using only phrases such as "this","here", and ...
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1answer
66 views

Is the usage of 'Due to urgent personal errands' valid? [duplicate]

I see in my company mails, there is a lot of usage of the statement Due to urgent personal errands (..I may not report to office today) which, by hunch, I guess is not a proper usage. What is the ...
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0answers
22 views

which is grammatically correct to use as a sentence [on hold]

Which of these is grammatically correct? I have not heard from you on the status of the application since I last wrote to you. or I have not heard from you since I last wrote to you on the ...
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2answers
38 views

What is the difference between those two phrases [closed]

my girlfriend got mad at me for commenting "this is so going down" on a picture with a nude girl. What is the difference between "this is so going down" and "i am so going down on this"? Thanks a ...
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3answers
466 views

Is 'Single Sitting' a proper phrase?

Being an Indian, I don't like the way we Indians use the English. Of course I also make mistakes, but I will try to learn from time to time. I see and hear some phrases like, Please do the needful, ...
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1answer
31 views

Taste of one's own medicine: the logic behind the phrase

Is there a logical story behind this phrase? Because when looked at from a naive perspective, giving somebody their own medicine sounds like a kind thing to do as it would only treat their illness. ...
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3answers
54 views

Where does the phrase “Job Lot” come from?

The phrase "Job Lot" is used in auctions to mean an often assorted quantity of something, for example a "job lot of bicycle parts" could be a load of tyres, wheels, handlebars, frames, chains, etc. I ...
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1answer
51 views

What is today's date vs What date is it today? [duplicate]

What is today's date vs What date is it today ? Is there an alternative to this?
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1answer
52 views

What does the phrase “monday story” mean? [closed]

Sometimes I come across the phrase "A mondey story". I was wondering what it means.
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2answers
38 views

How else can “he's really inconsistent” be expressed ? [closed]

How else can "he's really inconsistent" be expressed ? For an article about a sports person.
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2answers
45 views

Does “the truth is deceptive” make any sense or should it be “ truth can be deceiving”? [closed]

Does "the truth is deceptive" make any sense or should it be " truth can be deceiving" ?
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1answer
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Is there any good book talking about clauses and phrases?

All grammar books I found underplay clauses and phrases; examples they give are simple and easy to understand, but in reality there are lots of long sentences made up of several clauses and phrases ...
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2answers
77 views

Is “throw guns into a hot stove” a common phrase or just one-off figurative expression?

Today, Scott Simon, the host of NPR’s Weekend Edition news program, interviews former NATO Ambassador Ivo Daalder about the cease-fire between the Ukrainian government and Russian separatists, and ...
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5answers
79 views

I need an alternative for “her whole life” [closed]

In my story a young girl only understands the life of a dancer, but once her dream comes to an end she doesn't know what to do with herself. I need a better way of saying She danced all day ...
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1answer
24 views

Safe and sounder/soundier? [closed]

Is it safe and sounder or safe and soundier? Like we say "May God keep you safe and sounder/soundier" What is correct way to say?
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1answer
49 views

Could you pass me the salt? or Could you pass the salt?

Which of the following more common? 1) Could you pass me the salt? 2) Could you pass the salt? (without "me") What's the difference,if any?
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5answers
158 views

Misuse of the verb allege?

I recently visited Jordan on a business trip. Read the following in a newspaper: Bleeding profusely, she pleaded with the alleged attacker, Mushataq, to take her to a hospital. My ...
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2answers
95 views

Do you ever use the phrase 'good for you' with a completely positive connotation? [duplicate]

I feel the phrase 'good for you' shows a sense of detachment or lack of interest and sounds so rude while the phrase 'I feel happy for you' shows a sense of interest and friendship. I wonder why would ...
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1answer
58 views

What's the difference between “slap-up meal” and “gourmet meal”?

The following quote comes from a collocation book for ESL purppose. I can see it's trying to teach us about the usage of different expressions to describe different kinds of meal. "Whether you want ...
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2answers
65 views

What does it mean to “gum the spoon”?

I recently found out about a new term. It's "gum the spoon". What does it mean? By the various contexts I found, I conjecture that it means to add saliva onto the spoon or to hold the spoon in one's ...
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1answer
49 views

Is there anything wrong with the phrase “constant variable” ? (used in context with programming) [closed]

The phrase "constant variable" seems semantically incorrect to me. Constant means something that don't change and variable means something that do change. How should I think in order to get this ?
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2answers
175 views

The right phrase for “stand with the name” for a product?

There is a well known german phrase: Dafür stehe ich mit meinem Namen Which indicates, that a person or company promises quality of his/their product. And to underline it, they guarentee this ...
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51 views

History of ‘smile one's thanks’

I'm interested to know when the actual phrase smile one's thanks was first registered in the English language, as well as smile agreement and nod agreement.
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101 views

Meaning of “mind is full of red”

What does it mean (from famous song Somebody to love of Jefferson Airplane): When the garden flowers, baby, are dead yes And your mind, your mind is so full of red Especially "mind full of ...
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1answer
136 views

Possible Interpretations of “Log”

While doing some research I ran across the following passage. I know what "shackles' are, what might a "log" be? “It is very seldom that a boy deserves both a log and a shackle at the same time! ...
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3answers
82 views

An Idiom/phrase/adjective for an imaginary place where everything is perfect [closed]

A place where unrealistic and impossible things can happen. Is there an idiom/expression/phrase that connotes to such a stretch of the imagination?
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3answers
58 views

Compounds and Phrases

What is the difference between compounds and phrases? How do I know that "watch-maker" is a compound but "steel bridge" is a phrase? Does the "head" have anything to do with it (complement-head or ...
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4answers
116 views

Word or phrase to use “when you told a story/situation and it happend you later”

English is NOT my primary language . In my language we have a phrase to use in this kind of situation . You were telling a story or a situation to your friends and later it happens you . For eg : ...
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2answers
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I don't want to give you excuses

I haven't been able to work on my thesis due to my ongoing masters and work obligations. I'd like to get in touch with my advisor regarding that, and I don't want to sound like I'm making up excuses ...
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grammatical construct “sitting on the bench”

What is the grammatical construct or part of speech of the following two phrases in italics? Sitting on the bench, the tramp wondered about life. The tramp sitting on the bench wondered about ...
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6answers
88 views

Feeling for rejection followed by acceptance?

Is there any good word/phrase/idiom for that feeling of scorn when you're accepted by someone/something after getting rejected the first time? I remember a phrase being quoted by Nathan Fillion in ...
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2answers
53 views

Is the phrase “logic and reason” grammatically correct?

I have always interpreted logic to mean a systematic form (premise-reason-conclusion) of reason. So it seems that you are saying one word (reason) and a branch of that word (logic). But the "and" ...
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0answers
24 views

I can surely do it for you [duplicate]

I can surely do it for you.. Is the use of surely correct or shall I replace it with certainly without change in meaning.
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7answers
109 views

What idioms can describe a tough or difficult thing (such as a test)?

An easy test (or similar undertaking) might be described as 'a piece of cake' Are there any idioms to describe a test (etc.) that is difficult?
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1answer
37 views

what's mean of “get your backs”?

there, I got a sentence from television "Lost": "Besides, I'm gonna be in there to get your backs.". I am little confused with this words: get your backs. Can anyone give me some clue about it?
3
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1answer
393 views

“xxxx it is then!”, what does it really mean?

Every now and then, I hear others say "xxxx it is then", e.g. "10:30am it is then", "$200 it is then", I myself sometimes say this too, as a means to confirm some arrangement I suspect I did not hear ...
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2answers
55 views

Are there any special words or phrases for people that were emigrating in history?

Are there any special words or phrases for people that were emigrating in history (18th, 19th, 20th centuries)? Or maybe the words which were used in that time and how were people calling the ...
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1answer
276 views

The Yellow Wallpaper - What does *Smooch* mean?

I was reading a brilliant piece of Feminist Literature : The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman which uses the word smooch three times, all in reference to the yellow wallpaper: Then ...