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

learn more… | top users | synonyms (1)

-2
votes
1answer
62 views

What does the phrase “He’s holding a cat” mean or does it only have a direct meaning? [on hold]

What does the phrase He’s holding a cat mean, or does it only have a direct meaning? This phrase hasn’t any context. Perhaps is it an idiom?
0
votes
2answers
53 views

Term for referring to someone with mediocre words to describe their greatness

What is the term for describing the following sort of phrases used to humoristically, and almost affectionately, describe someone who is obviously well known to be superb in their field? Referring ...
1
vote
2answers
48 views

What about a sentence.like …I like going to “new” places with “old” friends---

What can we call the above I ENJOY GOING TO "NEW" PLACES WITH "OLD" FRIENDS and can you think of other examples?
1
vote
2answers
47 views

Pence in the pound

I have received correspondence that includes the sentence: The buyer (or debt collection agency) will offer you pence in the pound irrespective of how I reply. What does "Pence in the pound" ...
2
votes
0answers
51 views

Is this particular statement a phrase or a clause?

The difference between clauses and phrases has been extensively discussed (here, here, and likely elsewhere). And as Dusty has said, “The short answer [is that] clauses contain a subject and its verb, ...
0
votes
2answers
46 views

Word for “Writing phrase on something”

Is there a word that represents the act of writing a phrase on something? In this case, I'm trying to advertise a club by "engraving" or "inking" ping pong balls with a phrase such as "Join this ...
1
vote
4answers
73 views

When should hyphens be used to make text clearer

In an earlier post - Phonetic understanding of tongue twisters - a comment was made that "hyphens ...(are) ...not needed in speech, so they must be extraneous". The phrase prompting this assertion ...
2
votes
1answer
60 views

How common is 'Sweet as' in the rest of the world?

In New Zealand, we have slang 'Sweet as', which means 'That's ok', 'No problems', 'All good'. eg. Sorry I'm not going to be able to make it today, my child is sick. Sweet as - can you do ...
2
votes
2answers
47 views

Phrase/expression for “growing at my own speed”

I'm writing the acknowledgments-section of my thesis and want to thank my academic advisor for his patience and support, and for allowing me to "grow at my own speed". I'm looking for a concise way to ...
0
votes
2answers
27 views

Combining Phrases and Independent Clauses

Is it grammatically correct to combine an independent clause with a phrase. For example, "I live in California, specifically in San Francisco." It sounds correct to my ear but I am unsure if I am ...
1
vote
1answer
23 views

'Participle phrase', 'Participle clause', 'Participle construction'

I am studying in Korean. In my grammar book, below sentences are called 'participle phrase' 1) Seeing police officer, he ran away. 2) Buying it online, you have to use a paypal. 3) Realizing his ...
0
votes
1answer
29 views

“Let alone” sentence pattern

I have what I believe to be a simple question, regarding how "let alone" fits into a sentence. Tell me if there is a difference in terms of correctness between these sample sentences: 1) "I refuse ...
0
votes
0answers
29 views

proper use of phrase, in the spirit of [on hold]

is the following sentence and use of phrase and grammar appropriate? however, in the spirit of time I will only focus on a few specific instances describing how I have demonstrated this proficiency. ...
0
votes
3answers
25 views

Does “open question” mean the same as “open-ended question”? [on hold]

Both phrases are supposed to refer to the concept of a question with no predefined set of answers, where the person answering has no limitations in the structure of their answer. Do the two phrases ...
-1
votes
0answers
36 views

Common phrase for something that changes while you are working on it [duplicate]

What are common phrases that describe something that is changing while you are working on it without you knowing. for example: you are adding comments to a doc, and when you submit them you see that ...
23
votes
27answers
4k views

Common phrase for something that changes while you are working on it

What is a common phrase to describe something that changes while you are working on it without your being aware of it. For example: you are adding comments to a document, and when you submit them you ...
0
votes
2answers
101 views

What is the difference between “tried closing my eyes” and “tried to close my eyes”? [duplicate]

Is there any difference in meaning? Or are they pretty much always interchangeable? ESL students are having trouble understanding when to use which expression. Thank you.
0
votes
2answers
53 views

Looking for a phrase: a needlessly overcomplicated method of accomplishing a simple task [duplicate]

In my language, there is an expression for this - you can touch the tip of your nose normally, or you can move your hand behind your neck, across it, then touch the tip of the nose from the opposite ...
1
vote
1answer
38 views

“empirically ubiquitous”: what does “empirically” mean here?

I am translating an American article about a theatre production, and there's a phrase I can't understand. It uses the word "empirically" but if I'm not mistaken has nothing to do with ...
2
votes
2answers
30 views

Is “banker friend” a noun adjunct, or something else?

Consider the sentence: I have a banker friend, and she says that interest rates are going up. Here a banker friend is being used to mean a friend who is a banker. Is there a name for this ...
0
votes
1answer
42 views

Is there a specific phrase for annoucing a schedule? [closed]

Is there a specific phrase (phrases) for announcing a schedule?
0
votes
5answers
66 views

What's the word that means the opposite of the phrase rock bottom? [closed]

Another phrase that means the opposite of it isn't really what I'm looking for but anything is better then nothing.
0
votes
2answers
38 views

Are the phrases “in times like these” and “in times like this” both correct?

They both seem to be widely used. There is the variant "at a time like this", which is clearly correct, but I'm curious about the mismatched "times like this".
0
votes
3answers
52 views

what to call the previous time interval , that is equally long

I have to display some reporting data and am having a bit of trouble with naming the columns. I have: today 1 day ago (yesterday) last 7 days the 7 days before the last 7 days (so today-14 until ...
0
votes
5answers
114 views

Similar phrases meaning 'give kudos'

See, in one of our employee evaluation systems, we would like to implement a feature by which any employee can show appreciation to another employee that he has got help from or whom he thinks to be a ...
2
votes
2answers
105 views

Can you “Build a coffee”? [closed]

Would it be valid or invalid English, to use phrases along the following lines: Can you build a coffee? I'm building a coffee I'm going to go and build a coffee I built a coffee Etc.
0
votes
1answer
49 views

What to use for 'first unimpressive but later better'?

I will explain a few situations : It is often the case that I listen to a song which doesn't impress me in the first minute or so but as it progresses, I like it A trained batsmen struggles in the ...
2
votes
1answer
64 views

How to make this sentence shorter?

It appears that this site does not support LaTeX, so sorry for the ugly formatting. I would like to explain the sentence Let X ~ N(mu_x, sigma_x^2) and Y ~ N(mu_y, sigma_y^2). with plain ...
1
vote
1answer
56 views

What's the meaning of the term “out of touch intellectuals”? [closed]

I was reading the following sentence in Wikipedia and I couldn't realize the meaning of the mentioned term: "In Canadian politics, latte drinking is used to portray people as out of touch ...
0
votes
0answers
36 views

Using “One day before”

I want to express the following thing; Do your homework at least one day before the submission deadline. Suppose the 2nd person knows about this submission deadline thing (or may be clear from ...
-1
votes
1answer
35 views

Connecting sentences with “that is”

Suppose a sentence such as Let X := a and Y := b, that is X is foo and Y is bar .. Is this correct english? I try to first a give a formal mathematical definition of X and Y, and then repeat the ...
0
votes
0answers
16 views

It happened the same to me as John [migrated]

Let us suppose something happened first to John and then to me. Is it grammatically correct to say: It happened the same to me as John. And if it is not, how would express this meaning, then?
0
votes
2answers
40 views

Which is correct, “be proceeded” or “be processed” (used in business letter)

Which usage (be proceed/be processed) is correct in the following sentence? (This is written in a business letter) Are there any differences between these two words? Thanks a lot! Please be noted ...
1
vote
5answers
107 views

A phrase describing someone who is incredibly lazy? [closed]

Is there a phrase that would describe a person that is lazy beyond anything reasonable? Someone who almost feels entitled to everything and fails to see the laziness in himself.
0
votes
2answers
67 views

Could I combine “eaves-” (doing something stealthily) with other action?

As far as I know, I only know two words have "eaves-" that means "to doing something stealthily" — "eavesdrop" and "eavesread". eavesdrop (Wiktionary) "... purposefully trying to hear the ...
0
votes
0answers
51 views

Other words for “it seems to me”

Can I use the phrase "it seems to me that" in a sentence where I intend to state my opinion. Why? If not, can you suggest other words to replace it (but still has the same meaning.)
1
vote
3answers
56 views

Is there a word for liking something out of spite?

Basically, im trying to think of a word that means liking somsthing out of spite because someone you dislike hates something. Closest I could come up with was vindictive. But that's not quite good ...
2
votes
3answers
42 views

Alternatives for the phrase “have disputed the use of”

Here is a random quote from the internet: American policy makers and the general public have disputed the use of aggressive interrogation methods for military intelligence. What would be some ...
-1
votes
1answer
50 views

Please help to replace these words: working environment, disseminate, disperse, person above in the hierarchy, and fundamental. [closed]

please help to provide the synonym or phrase for the words, that are of a higher learning order, below: working environment spread/pass on/disseminate (knowledge from supervisors to subordinates) ...
0
votes
2answers
45 views

Are both “You can do no worse than” and “You can do worse than” accepted?

I came across "You can do no worse than" in the following article: You can do no worse than follow the regular updates that ESA astronaut Luca Parmitano is posting in his blog as he conducts his ...
1
vote
2answers
57 views

Confused by “comes down to” and similar phrases

I'm confused by the following sentence, which I encountered under the entry for advantage in Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English: When it comes down to working from home, you have to decide ...
0
votes
2answers
165 views

What does 'leaving a little puff of blue in the air' mean?

In the book I am reading (H.G. Wells' The Invisible Man), a man was shot and the scene was being described, then I met the following sentence: Adye leapt backwards, swung around, clutched at this ...
4
votes
11answers
424 views

Is there a phrase for someone being ashamed of, or self-conscious about their accent when moving to another region?

I was reading a book about accents at a local library and there was a chapter where the author says "some varieties of a language are more aesthetically pleasing than others". Some accents are ...
0
votes
3answers
51 views

Better of or better off? [closed]

Which of the following two phrases correct: "I expect better of you" or "I expect better off you"?
0
votes
3answers
91 views

How do I refer to a person who loves to plan every minute? [closed]

Not sure how to phrase it exactly. It's the opposite of spontaneous.
4
votes
2answers
73 views

Is there a way to noun a prepositional verb phrase?

I'm not precisely sure how to ask this. I can turn certain verb phrases into nouns, and they sound good. The major reason to do this would be facetiousness but the grammatical aspect intrigues me. ...
2
votes
1answer
55 views

Is it “grammar error” or “grammatical error”?

We say “spelling error”, which seems to imply it would be “grammar error” since both spelling and grammar are nouns, whereas grammatical is an adjective, but I can’t help think “grammatical error” is ...
0
votes
1answer
37 views

Using “Get” with another verb [duplicate]

Are there any special rules for using "get/got" with another verb? Sometimes i feel, i overuse the word "Get/Got". e.g do the following sentences mean the same thing? (1) Internet "get ...
5
votes
2answers
492 views

Is it “if you need further instruction” or “if you need further instructions”?

Having a debate with a friend about whether it is "instruction" or "instructions"
2
votes
4answers
59 views

Is it correct to say “to sacrifice A for B” or “to sacrifice A over B”? [closed]

Let say you want to give up A so that you can take B. So,if that, then what should I say? to sacrifice A for B or to sacrifice A over B Ex: Do you think ignorant people sacrifice the important ...