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

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What's the meaning of the expression “without the presence of God and Jesus.”

When I was reading an article, I came across a particular phrase and couldn't figure it out. The secret formula of Coca-Cola is fiercely protected, so much so that only two people who work at ...
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0answers
27 views

Please proofread. “Those are…”, “[enumeration], with the last one to be a…one” [on hold]

I passed Abitur examinations in 2015, and received results on 18 June. Those are an overall score of XX, XX points in the Abitur examinations of both physics and maths, and XX points in the ...
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1answer
51 views

Meaning of the phrase “cutting their noses to spite their faces”

What is the meaning of the phrase "cutting their noses to spite their faces"? I came across this phrase in the following context : As many as 22 states currently are cutting their noses to spite ...
4
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1answer
49 views

Is there a more concise way to describe this hairstyle?

Is there a more concise way to describe this character's hairstyle, other than 'a bun, with parted bangs and tassels framing her face'?
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2answers
37 views

Can a comma be used to REPLACE a subordinating conjunction?

I am aware that the formulas for complex sentences are ID and D,I (I=independent and D=dependent), but I have a sentence that has an I and D but adding a subordinate conjunction sounds weird. "He woke ...
2
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1answer
173 views

Pure Applesauce: What does it mean and when/how was it created?

I could find out what jiggery–pokery means (dishonest or suspicious activity), but what does "pure applesauce" mean? And when, where, by whom, and how was this expression created? Context: ...
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2answers
61 views

Does the phrase “Do you want a hand in this” make sense?

From someone, somewhere, I remember hearing the phrase do you want a hand in this? I was told that it meant do you want to be a part of this? However, when I googled this phrase, nothing turned up. ...
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0answers
54 views

What are some phrases from the machine age that I can use in regular conversation? [closed]

I have a friend who I joke around with via text. We call each other old sport, ol' boy, dear chum, and use phrases like gentleman's wager, etc. I'm trying to find more phrases from this era, which I ...
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1answer
42 views

Origin of “If X, you are in the wrong place” [on hold]

The phrase "If [X], you are in the wrong place" seems to occur frequently enough in some circumstances (but not others) that it seems to be a specific phrase. If so, what's the origin of it? An ...
2
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1answer
50 views

Is the phrase “in addition to the above” correct?

I used the phrase "in addition to the above" in the following manner: We have lorems and ipsums, because the foo needs a bar every now and then. There are also dolers, sits, and amets, which we ...
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1answer
25 views

'In the ranks' OR 'With the ranks'

Which of the following two phrases is correct? I'd put him right there in the ranks of the best anthropologists out there. OR I'd put him right there with the ranks of the best ...
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3answers
69 views

Phrase/Idiom for increasing odds of winning by placing multiple bets

I'm looking for a phrase/idiom that represents when you increase your chances of winning some sort of gamble (or event with multiple possible outcomes) by saturating the field with bets. E.g. ...
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8answers
430 views

Non-technical word or phrase to describe a data “query”

The scenario is that I am replying to an email from a colleague requesting statistics from a database. I am wanting to say that the results are of the same 'query' that was run the last time (and all ...
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1answer
46 views

Is there an idiom suggesting the following fact: The name of the book belies the theme in it.

E.g.: I answer a question on ELU based on the subject line, however, I realise later that the body of the question provide a different input altogether. The name of the book belies the theme in ...
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1answer
32 views

“…whose talents reaches…”

I think in the phrase "a professional climatologist whose talents reaches far beyond that field" should be "whose talents reach" or "whose talent reaches." Am I right? If so, what is the grammar rule ...
2
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1answer
99 views

Term when a brand name become synonymous of the product it produces [duplicate]

For example most of the people hearing "I really like my BMW" will understand than he is referring to a car whereas someone saying "I do enjoy my Lacoste" will leave doubts about what kind of ...
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2answers
64 views

Is there a word or phrase that expresses the action of “a person thinking about what another person is doing when the other person is not around”

Is there a word or phrase that expresses the action of "a person thinking about what another person is doing when the other person is not around". for example, John is sitting in his room in Kentucky, ...
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3answers
116 views

Good Luck **in** all your endeavors' versus Good Luck **to** all your endeavors'

What is the difference between 'I am currently busy with family stuff so I really don't know when is a good time to catch up. Good Luck in all your endeavors' versus 'I am currently busy with family ...
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1answer
39 views

What's the difference between “case by case” and “case to case”?

What's the difference between "case by case" and "case to case"? I often hear the former from my Japanese students. When I asked them where they got the phrase, they always say they learned it from ...
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1answer
37 views

“People who” or “people that” [closed]

I am doing homework and I got confused about this phrase when I was writing. I am not a native English speaker. (...) and the only way to do this was taking control of everything and being ...
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2answers
42 views

Can we use “I can put you down..” when enlisting someone for an appointment?

For example, "I can put you down on a weekend tour." As far as i know, when you use the phrase "Put you down" it's more of embarrassing someone or it could also mean that you want to kill that ...
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3answers
82 views

Every once in a while [closed]

Representatives from my recruiting company sometimes come to visit me, may be once in a six months in my office. Is it correct to write some words of appreciation to them as shown below?. "I ...
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2answers
59 views

What are some synonymous phrases for the phrase “Turning Criminal”?

I need suggestions for different ways to say "turning criminal," as in "He began turning criminal, committing illegal acts instead of abiding by the law."
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1answer
33 views

I must know all the facts. I cannot help you otherwise [closed]

I must know all the facts. I cannot help you otherwise. Combine this sentence into complex sentence. I have no idea how to combine?
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1answer
65 views

Usage of “give it a read”

Is the usage of the phrase "give it a read" correct? For instance, "Hey, I have attached my essay. Do give it a read and let me know what you think".
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1answer
30 views

What are the alternatives for “May I ask…”

Before posting a question, "May I ask..." seems would make it more politely. I wonder what are the alternatives for that phrase? Seems "Pray, .." also do, but that sounds a bit Jane Austin?
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46 views

Comma before a conjunction that precedes an infinitive phrase?

I understand that a comma is used before "and" when the conjunction precedes an independent clause; however, I'm curious if the same rule applies when it precedes an infinitive phrase: "It was my job ...
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1answer
36 views

I lost my temper in Domino's pizza the other day and ended up pushing the bloke “behind the till” [closed]

I lost my temper in Domino's pizza the other day and ended up pushing the bloke behind the till. What is the meaning of "till" here ? Is it preferred to use such formations in general ...
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2answers
79 views

Can you use “crime scene” for a suicide? [closed]

Example: The detectives assigned to Kevin's suicide left the house. I took the opportunity to investigate the crime scene. I'm not sure if this is correct. Since suicide isn't a crime. Or ...
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1answer
36 views

What is the meaning of “contain the group”? [closed]

I come across the following BBC news: These gains have undercut the core pillar of the US strategy against IS. But airstrikes and limited ground operations by local forces can contain the group ...
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1answer
39 views

How can I understand “absurdly gross”

I have read a tweet: "the way Apple’s DTrace port controls processes is absurdly gross ....". How can I understand "absurdly gross" in this sentence?
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1answer
45 views

How to translate “other than” and “rather” in a sentence?

I have trouble with some of English phrases, such as other than and rather. I am not sure about the meaning of them. There are two sentences which include these phrases: 1- anything ending in a ...
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1answer
55 views

There you have it again?

I wonder if no one has asked it simply because it is so obvious, but I really can't grasp the exact meaning of there you have it (again). I occasionally infer it from the context but not every single ...
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10answers
2k views

“Sir,' I said to the universe, 'I exist.' 'That,' said the universe, 'creates no sense of obligation in me whatsoever.” [closed]

'Sir,' I said to the universe, 'I exist.' 'That,' said the universe, 'creates no sense of obligation in me whatsoever.' Does the statement mean the universe does not care about you existing ...
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4answers
114 views

Meaning of “And the day came when … ”

I saw some sentences that start with this phrase: "And the day came when ... " For example, the following sentence form The Garden Party and Other Stories by Katherine Mansfield At last the day ...
2
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2answers
77 views

the meaning of “peripheral glow of our prosperity”

I read a National Geographic's article about light pollution and I have a question about a certain phrase, "peripheral glow of our prosperity." In his article "Our Vanishing Night," Klinkenborg ...
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1answer
62 views

Why do we say that accidents/housefires “take place” ? [closed]

Accident Took Place At Ukraine Nuclear Power Plant. Take place : You say that an event takes place. The wedding took place on the stage of the Sydney Opera House. Elections will take place in ...
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2answers
89 views

What does “tend one's spinning wheel” mean?

However hard I tried I've failed to get the exact meaning of tending his spinning wheel here. It would be argued, and indeed I would argue, that Muslim intransigence would have played a ...
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1answer
30 views

Using ‘later’ when the amount of time is a complex phrase

In sentences like ‘The speed 10 seconds later is 3 m/s’ the amount of time is easy to specify. But what can I do if it is a complex phrase? In particular, I should like to express v(t + dt) in words, ...
2
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1answer
80 views

What does “a lot of talent sitting in suits” mean?

After Cavalier’s losing the NBA finales game, LeBron James said: “Tried as much as we could to try to make up for those guys, but it’s a lot of talent sitting in suits,” James said. “I’ve had a ...
0
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1answer
28 views

what does “slash the odds of something” mean?

it seems cutting the odds means, according to this website, decreasing the possibility of something happening. I thought slashing the odds meant the same but apparently it's the opposite? Unilad ...
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2answers
51 views

What is the difference between “should be cause for concern” and “is cause for concern”? [closed]

Do the two phrases really mean different things? We may compare the following: ‘The mysterious and majestic blue hue’ emanating from Hong Kong seas is cause for concern, scientists say. ‘The ...
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0answers
48 views

How to ask about an object's age [migrated]

If I want to know how old an item is (a bicycle, a laptop etc), is it OK to ask: "How old is your bike?" or it can only be applied to people and animals.What's the best way to phrase this question? ...
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1answer
35 views

the phrase “ Spare” [closed]

If I want to say, "refrain your heart from pain" by using the word "spare" do I say "spare your heart from pain" or "spare your heart with pain"?
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1answer
29 views

As far as possible

Can I say "As far as it´s possible, I am doing fine" ? I mean that despite all that happened, I am doing fine.
1
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1answer
49 views

Is “Handle / cannot handle somebody the person” a common set phrase?

There was the following passage in New York Time’s article dealing with the issue of alleged domestic violence cases of U.S. Soccer team goalie, Hope Solo, and its outcomes under the title, “Hope Solo ...
2
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1answer
59 views

What is the meaning of “Artisanal landlord price hike sale” ? [closed]

I came across this phrase in an article today, I didn't get the sense of the whole sentence together. would anyone break it into pieces for me please. bundle of thanks in advance.
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1answer
55 views

What does “All things X” mean?

I've seen the expression in some company names; for example All things data, All things gym. Is the expression "All things X" a parody of some other popular phrase, or does it have its own meaning? ...
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2answers
44 views

appeal a sentence VS appeal the sentence VS appeal against

A. a defendant can appeal a sentence if it's illegal, unconstitutional, or unreasonably excessive. B. a defendant can appeal the sentence if it's illegal, unconstitutional, or ...
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1answer
53 views

Alternative to saying “This may be a dumb question, but…”

I am looking for an alternative to saying This may be a dumb question, but.... I would like to find another way to tell someone that I respect his/her time and realize I should probably already ...