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

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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? ...
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0answers
14 views

“Drumline” or “Drum line”?

Is it Drum line or Drumline? I've seen it two different ways, and I finally need to write it. However, I have no idea how to write it.
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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.”
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4answers
172 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?
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2answers
81 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 ...
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0answers
24 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 ...
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1answer
33 views

Complete the sentences with the correct form of the following words [on hold]

I need to complete the two sentences with the correct form of the following words: offer, make. The sentences: Your exam grades _______ a big difference to your future career. The supermarket ...
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2answers
38 views

“Same old story,” vs “old story.”

Example: Maybe it's the old story, maybe he just sees me as a friend. Maybe it's the same old story, maybe he just sees me as a friend. Which version is more commonly used by native ...
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1answer
65 views

did “born and bred” originally have different meaning?

Internet searching suggests the phrase "born and bred in Boston" means the same thing as "born and raised in Boston." But "bred" is the past-tense of "breed." Might "born and bred in Boston" have ...
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16answers
5k views

Is there an idiom for “I'm not an expert when it comes to kinds of feces”

There is an idiom in my language, which literally sounds like "I'm not an expert when it comes to kinds of feces". Which means that one considers all the instances of some group as equally bad, not to ...
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3answers
52 views

is the phrase “available with me” correct?

I used a bus in which the hostess said that the company magazine is available with me on demand. Is the usage of available along with with correct?
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3answers
63 views

How do you express high proficiency in a succinct way?

I heard the following phrase in movies: -- Do you know how to use A? -- I am a f****g surgeon with A I like it a lot, but I can imagine a lot of people will not understand the meaning. I ...
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1answer
31 views

“Enact” (verb) - Phrase used

I just joined the english.stackexchange.com and I am thrilled to meet you all! I have a question to pose concerning the use of the verb "enact". I would like to know how do we use this verb to ...
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1answer
28 views

Put down good money, meaning and derivation? [on hold]

Where does the expression: "Put down good money" come from, and what is its present day usage?
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1answer
28 views

Expression of “relationship”

hi,if i want to describe“ the relationship between A and B as well as the relationship between A and C”.(A, B, C are things) can i say “the relationship of A to B and C”? Or “the relationship of A to ...
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3answers
46 views

A formal way to express “many things go out of control”? [on hold]

In an opportunistic and alcohol motivated party many things go out of control "Many things go out of control" is common use, I could not find a proper way to express it in Formal English.
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2answers
100 views

What does “in the name of…” actually mean?

Whats the meaning of the phrase; "In the name of"? For example : whatever you ask in my name, Ask in my name. Oxford actually has an entry for the phrase, but it doesn't seem to match how it's used ...
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0answers
52 views

This phrase made me crazy where is the mistake! [closed]

It was the worst pain I've ever experienced (find the mistake )
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1answer
46 views

Is there a word or phrase for knowing what to say but not how to say it?

As kind of a real-life example, I'm struggling to write a description of the Crusades from the point of view of a Catholic pope. I know that through the Crusades, the Christians basically "rescued" ...
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3answers
54 views

A formal synonym/expression for “saying that”

I need a more formal expression for "saying that" here. My supervisor told me it is informal English, but I couldn't find another formal expression Saying that rape culture is an environment ...
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1answer
29 views

Should had be used for first or second event [on hold]

I get confused about the usage of 'Had' in a sentence. Could someone please tell me which of these sentences is correct. He received an award after I had suggested his name. OR He had received an ...
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0answers
27 views

she's been amazing helping me do with my breakup [closed]

she's been amazing helping me do with my breakup. so i didn't understand the function of (with) in this sentence
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0answers
56 views

Is using a sentence as a subject grammatically correct?

For example: Attack them directly won't do anything "Attack them directly" is a partial sentence. In this sentence, we treat that whole phrase as a subject and make a sentence from the phrase. ...
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0answers
53 views

I'll be curious

Just wondering if it is correct to say "I'll be curious to". For example, I used the sentence "I'll be curious to read them [the text messages] later". Do I actually mean to say "I am curious to read ...
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1answer
46 views

Alternatives to 'In The Pink'? [closed]

I'm looking for alternatives to 'in the pink'.
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1answer
33 views

Could I say: “my left-reclining body”, meaning that I'm lying down on my left side?

And if yes, would that make it good english? Any suggestions?
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1answer
37 views

What does “The young graduate student was bright and eager, but green to the power of data structures.” mean?

The following sentence is from the "The Algorithm Manual" book The young graduate student was bright and eager, but green to the power of data structures. What does the green to the power of ...
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1answer
62 views

Word or term for propaganda associating truth with crazy people

The corporate media often write pieces about people who are deemed crazy, then proceed to ridicule things these people say or believe, which typically include some very sensible things. For example, ...
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2answers
92 views

“Robust” as a noun

Can an adjective "robust" be a noun in a sentence? And if it can't how would you say with one word "robust fellow" that can be applied to both man and woman? Because as I understand "robust fellow", ...
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2answers
583 views

Is half of an amount stated as 50% less or 100% less? [closed]

I've struggled with this concept and have generally interpreted it one way for all of my life, which leads me to believe people are incorrect when they state the other form. And honestly I'm not ...
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1answer
60 views

What is the “theoretical” counterpart to “hands-on”?

Situation: an educational event may have two parts. In the first theoretical part, we explain the approach, big picture, some theoretical principles. In the second practical part, we give the ...
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1answer
67 views

Idiom or phrase to denote unfair use of someone who is nice

I am looking for an idiom or a phrase to denote the situation where someone is unfairly taken advantage of (Ex: Gets a lot of work dumped on his lap on a Friday evening like Harold in Harold and Kumar ...
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0answers
33 views

Concise Way to Say “Small Tasks can be as Important as Big Tasks”

I need a concise way to explain this idea: Doing the small and easy tasks can be as noble (or more worthwhile) than doing the hard tasks. Examples: 100 people can be more effective by ...
2
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1answer
115 views

What is the origin of the phrase “Never Put a Hat on a Bed”?

I came across the phrase "never put a hat on a bed" while playing Google Feud. It was the top result for "Never put a _______". I looked it up, and found out that there's a superstition that says that ...
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2answers
37 views

Does “One in ten” require hyphens

In the sentence "one in ten people hate..." which is the correct way to refer to 1/10: "One in ten" or "One-in-ten" I'm not too sure if the hyphens are entirely necessary here. I have however seen ...
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3answers
65 views

A word or phrase for someone who is dull and unaware of it

Is there a good word or phrase for to describe someone is generally dull, but believes themselves to be exciting and is unaware that talking to them is laborious?
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1answer
45 views

What is the meaning of “rake in the bucks”?

I've read the phrase in a post by Joel Spolsky: You should be starting to get some ideas about how to break the chicken and egg problem: provide a backwards compatibility mode which either ...
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0answers
28 views

Phrase for a specific point

Is there a more point-specific way to say "As a preliminary point,". For example, if I want to talk about the contents of a piece of agreement but I wish to point out on the outset that it is not ...
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0answers
51 views

A word or phrase for a non-military attack on a country's home soil

Consider this definition of asymmetric warfare: Asymmetric warfare is war between belligerents whose relative military power differs significantly, or whose strategy or tactics differ ...
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1answer
47 views

What does the phrase 'much the most" mean?

Is it really a phrase? I found it in Tom Sawyer - "...and the most hospitable and much the most lavish in the matter of festivities that St Petersburg could boast..."
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0answers
19 views

“What can be the reason” vs “What could be the reason” [duplicate]

Can "Can" and "Could" be used interchangeably here in the sentences? What can be the reason? What could be the reason?
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2answers
88 views

Why are ambiguous phrases like “ain't no something” still used? [duplicate]

There are some phrases in English that lead to nothing but unnecessary confusion and frustration, especially for non-native speakers. For instance, I've seen the phrase ain't no something being used ...
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3answers
64 views

What do you call this feeling? [on hold]

Suppose I delegate some work to my subordinate, who assures me that it will be done by a certain time. Taking his word and assuming the work to be done, I report to my manager that the work is ...
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1answer
947 views

Envy is the biggest tribute

The best football (soccer) coach in the world for the past 12 years said: Envy is the biggest tribute that the shadows do to the man. Where does the phrase come from?
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0answers
65 views

“With this going on” and “got a lot going on”

Here's a fragment of "Rocky Balboa - Inspirational Speech": With this going on, it's gonna be worse than ever. - It don't have to be. - Sure it does. -Why? You got a lot goin' on, kid. And ...
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2answers
62 views

Is it grammatically correct to combine 2 phrases into 1 sentence?

Is this sentence acceptable or correct "You're welcome, have a nice day ahead." ?
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1answer
73 views

What's the phrase that is used with 'honest' to indicate sarcasm that I am being monitored [closed]

What's it that is used with 'honest' to indicate sarcasm that I am being monitored. .
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1answer
69 views

What is meaning of “up the block”

What does phrase "we're up the block" mean? And specifically word block. Now it's two o'clock The club is closed and we're up the block Thanks in advance.
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0answers
48 views

What's the meaning of “we couldn't shake it”

I've heard this phrase in a song, but I don't think its meaning lies in terms to get rid off something. I'll never forget you Although at times we couldn't shake it
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1answer
39 views

“We proceed to a further generalization…” removing stuffy language from a technical paper [closed]

I am a math major, but sometimes I read the stuffy language in these papers and I really crack up. The worst part is, when I start writing I do exactly the same thing. Certain phrases used over and ...