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

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Can I say “had better do this THAN do sth else”?

I d like to form this sentence but I am not fully sure if I can use "than" for "had better" phrases to express that this advice is better than doing another action just as we can use for preferences ...
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1answer
21 views

English (UK) - does “an enraged expression” make sense?

I am writing a book and one of my characters is angry but I feel like angry doesn't fit in and that enraged makes more sense and also makes the language of the book better but I'm not sure if it makes ...
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2answers
15 views

Usase of could have/would have/would have been [on hold]

I find myself very weak in using these phrases. please write a sentence.
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850 views

Is “She is under the shower” a proper English sentence? [migrated]

There is currently a debate on Duolingo about the proper translation of a sentence to English (the original language isn't the point of this question). The sentence, literally translates to "She is ...
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3answers
104 views

Succinct phrase for “work well under pressure”?

So I was working on my resume, but it literally took me two hours to come up with a succinct phrase for "work well under pressure". So far I could think of phrases like " pressure performer " or ...
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25 views

using against the edifice the instruments or stones available in the house

What does the highlighted sentence mean? Is it some kind of saying? What is the meaning of "edifice" here? Source: Read the Cultural Other
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3answers
45 views

Meaning of Have a lot of heart?

I've seen the phrase have a lot heart few times and got curious about what that means. However, since dictionaries do not give sufficient clues, I'm here for your help. That man must have a lot of ...
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2answers
39 views

Word Choice: Starting a sentence with “If not too long ago”

I know that the proper way to use "not too long ago" is: "Not too long ago, contractors used to build houses and sell them to dealers. It was the responsibility of the dealers to provide financing to ...
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2answers
33 views

What's the meaning of the phrase?

I'm wondering what's the meaning of the following phrase: Bennett took a poke at the President's refusal to sign the bill. I've found some explanations of "to take a poke at", but still they ...
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1answer
34 views

Contact Details Vs. Contacts

"Contact" could be used as a noun. It could be used as plural as in- The more contacts the cloth has with the dirty surface, the more sploiled it gets. "Contact details" is different. "Contact ...
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1answer
35 views

Can “fatal disaster” mean man-made misfortune?

Yesterday, I talked with a friend and mentioned that the Lord Jesus had the potential of suffering a fatal disaster in Judea, because many people tried to kill Him, like the high priest, King of ...
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12 views

A noun phrase and a noun clause [closed]

Can anyone please help me out and give here an example, preferably even two, for a noun clause within a noun phrase. Noun Clause meaning a clause that acts as a noun, such as: (in bold) he gave her ...
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34 views

How to ask if a tutor is ~welcoming~? new students

I'm going to ask the online teacher if she is expecting new students to come and start studying with her. What's the good way to ask her that? I'm not sure that my own option "Are you welcoming new ...
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46 views

Did the idiomatic phrase “lay your ship bare” exist prior to 2010?

Is there any evidence that the idiomatic phrase "lay your ship bare" existed prior to 2010? Or did that phrase come about when people misheard the lyrics to Adele's "Rolling in the Deep" song?
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1answer
51 views

help to find a taboo equivalent

Excuse me for what you are going to read now. If you don't accept the taboo lexics, please don't read this. There is a taboo phrase in Russian: "ебись оно всё конём" /jebis ono vsjo konjom/ which ...
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1answer
29 views

Is “set up another session” grammatically correct?

I tried to confirm an artist's schedule from a booking agent . As the venue was fully booked, I had to propose an alternative date. "... Just write to make sure if you mind I try to set up another ...
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44 views
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39 views

How to reformulate 'fair amount of study'? [closed]

During the last two decades, there has been fair amount of study into these methods. I would like to reformulate 'fair amount of study'. Any ideas, like, for example, 'with a lot of effort' but ...
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2answers
69 views

The phrase “the reason has to be because XXX” [duplicate]

Husband asked, "Do you think it's true that men use 15,000 words a day and women use double?" The wife replied, "I think so, The reason has to be because we have to repeat everything to ...
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0answers
32 views

With or without Subject [closed]

Does it sound easier and more verbal if I drop the subject "I" in the following sentence: Really appreciate your keeping us updated about the status of the tour schedule.
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3answers
50 views

Substitute “Pop the roof”?

What phrase can I use instead of "pop the roof" to mean revitalizing, enhancing and expanding a building? I need to convey this idea without referencing a roof.
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2answers
83 views

Is it “No can do” or “No can't do”?

You know the phrase that's usually said in a sing-song manner? Which is the correct one? I only ever hear it in spoken form, so I'm not sure if I'm mishearing it. Also, is there a comma in this ...
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4answers
382 views

When did the phrase “eat sh*t” enter the English Language?

I'm reading a book, The Known World by Edward P. Jones. It is a very well written book about Black slave owners before the Civil War, that is, freed slaves who went on to own slaves themselves. The ...
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1answer
34 views

A word for a person that is expected to respond (to a message)

I am really struggling to shorten and rephrase the following: "The person who is expected to respond to the message" The person invited is A, the person that will respond could be either A or ...
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1answer
27 views

Articles before percentages earned?

When writing about grades, does the percentage need an article? "Jenny earned an 87% in the AP Psychology course." Or just "Jenny earned 87% in the AP Psychology course." My thinking is, you would use ...
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2answers
56 views

Meaning of the phrase “Relax Into The Pain”

Quite often I have come across this phrase - Relax into the pain. We can treat a pain but how does one relax into the pain, especially if it's an emotional pain, for example grief? Can anyone please ...
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30 views

usage of “only ever”

I have heard and seen "only ever" used as in: "I only ever clean my car when the sun is high." I live in Massachusetts and never heard this usage until recently. I understand the meaning, but wonder ...
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28 views

What's the meaning of “is there any other way to see it?”

A: Are you saying accepting your help obligates me? B: ls there any other way to see it? A: No. I found this line from the movie, As Good As It Gets, and I'm curious about this phrase ...
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5answers
623 views

Is there a gender neutral phrase or expression to replace “old woman”?

There are people who behave like the stereotypical old woman who frets over the smallest concern and is constantly cautioning others about physical dangers. Such people can be either sex and barely ...
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3answers
53 views

Meaning of phrase “to close the loop on this”?

I recently received an email from my colleague saying that "he wanted to close the loop on a task". I didn't quite get the context. It would be great if you could let me know.
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4answers
70 views

What is the phrase for something which you determine in advance as going to turn out bad?

Can you suggest a phrase for the following: You determine in advance that something is going to turn out bad; setting yourself up for it; cynical. Not a premonition, but begins with "pre" and I ...
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39 views

A single word to replace “cannot be determined by sight” [duplicate]

I am trying to find a word that can replace "cannot be determined by sight". For example, in: The gender of a baby chick cannot be determined by sight.
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47 views

What are some common examples of Homeoteleuton? [closed]

A Google search reveals only a handful or arcane examples. Maybe the brilliant minds here have some ideas. From the Wikipedia definition: As rhyme, homeoteleuton is not very effective. It is the ...
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1answer
46 views

Can we have a noun after “being able to”?

Currently reading "Taiwan's brain drain prompts worries," by Austin Ramzy from International New York Times (January 14, 2016), I came across the following sentence: but I do not see the D.P.P. ...
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1answer
53 views

“We begin with” [closed]

I am a math major and I am trying to improve my writing skills, mostly for proofs but also for the overall betterment of my career. A lot of times in Math, the author will use the word "we" when ...
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1answer
42 views

How many fish heads?

I am wondering about the origin of the common non sequitur "How many fish heads?". Is it an oblique reference to Douglas Adams'"Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" where when the dolphins leave they say ...
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27 views

“In the Last Decades” = “Over Recent Decades”?

Example: This trend has been affected by significant changes in the last decades / over recent decades. I've always believed that "in the last decades" should be followed by "of" and a period of ...
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2answers
55 views

Informal of “Fixing problem is in progress” [closed]

We have comical picture which we show when video signal is lost. The text below should be sort of that: "No signal. Fixing is in progress". But in more informal way. One alternative is: "No signal. We ...
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1answer
38 views

Digging a grave vs Digging up a grave

Which of these phrases would be the most gramatically correct? Additionally, in the case of "climbing a ladder" and "climbing up a ladder", which makes the most sense? In case this is country ...
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3answers
47 views

To feel adjusted (phrase usage)

Is it correct to say (and write), "I feel/don't feel adjusted to a house/country"? For example: I feel adjusted to Las Vegas because it's my hometown. Can someone really be adjusted or feel ...
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30 views

“There is nothing like that” vs “There is no such thing” vs “There is nothing similar”

What's the difference in meaning (if any) between these three sentences? Could you give some examples of common situations when you'd use one and no the others?
3
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3answers
126 views

What idiom was used before “to be on the same wavelength”?

The word wavelength has the figurative usage with allusion to radio reception, implying (mutual) understanding especially in the idiomatic phrase to be on the same wavelength (as someone else). What ...
2
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1answer
35 views

Questions about vocabulary related to publishing and writing - proper words

Updating my resume and converting it to English, I encountered the following issues: I have written a few technical books. In the resume summary, what should I refer to myself as? Writer, author..? ...
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2answers
113 views

Phrases using the Arabic particle “al” as a separate word apart from “Al Qaeda” and “Al Jazeera”

Many words incorporated into English a long time ago have the Arabic particle "al" incorporated into them. For example, "algebra" and "alcohol". But does English have commonly used phrases with the ...
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2answers
68 views

Another way to say “open to public view”

Is there another way to say The article was open to public view. I want to describe a blog posted to a webpage.
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3answers
50 views

Should I avoid using a phrase that is commonly misused? [duplicate]

The phrase "Doesn't do nothing" is often used when a person actually means, "Doesn't do anything." Should I avoid using this phrase? Generally, I would, but in my context, I want to negate what I ...
2
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1answer
73 views

What is the origin of the phrase 'touch wood'?

The Internet says 'Touch wood is an example of a superstition: something that we do in order to have good luck. It is not based on human reason or scientific knowledge, but is connected with old ideas ...
2
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1answer
55 views

To address a stranger on street [closed]

Preparing for our honeymoon in the USA, I am wondering what is the most appropriate way to address someone (a stranger) on street, e.g. to ask for a piece of advice. I can imagine that Good day ...
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1answer
62 views

Is “save some trouble” a correct phrase?

Today a friend of mine asked me to teach her how to fix her computer. The procedure was a little too technical for a layperson so I asked her out so that I can fix it for her in person, that she can ...
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1answer
30 views

Keep the good work up

When my boss says "Keep the good work up", what shall I reply to him? I have said "thanks", is that a good answer?