Tagged Questions

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

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3answers
209 views

Love in a hating way

Is there a word (or a phrase at least) that means to love in a hating way (hatefully, execrably) ? There is "Love–hate relationship" but it is more like a psychological term. I'm looking for a "noun" ...
0
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2answers
348 views

Reserve or book tickets?

In an app I am writing the user can book/reserve tickets for riding a bus. Which of the following terms does fit this process best? 'Reserve Tickets' or 'Book Tickets' Also, in some cases the user ...
1
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2answers
309 views

“I, for one, don't know ”

I am curious about the precise meaning of for one in the expression "I, for one, don't know." This came up in a discussion about the amount of social efforts society should be willing to put in ...
3
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5answers
271 views

English idiom similar to “grab one, hit the other”

In my native language there is an idiom which literally says "grab one, hit the other". It is used to express that a group of people possesses the same negative personal traits, habits, vice, etc. and ...
2
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3answers
120 views

Is the term “indignant with rage” acceptable?

A google search provided a plethora of instances in which the term was used, but isn't it kind of repetitious? Can you be indignant with something besides rage?
2
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2answers
1k views

“At the least” to start a sentence seems right but

The sentence I am trying to construct will be read with the assumption that finding that a bug exists in unfortunate. This is what I want to say, paraphrased: We found a bug in the code. At the ...
0
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2answers
781 views

'Sometime back' or 'Sometimes back'?

How should I decide between "sometime back" and "sometimes back"? Sometime back I received a call from Mr. X Sometimes back I received a call from Mr. X Which sentence is correct?
2
votes
2answers
613 views

Which is more grammatically correct - “performance in” or “performance on”?

Which of the following is more grammatically correct? a. John's performance on the test shocked the teacher. (or) b. John's performance in the test shocked the teacher.
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3answers
225 views

Can I say “I have been nourishing my passions”?

Can I say "I have been nourishing my passions"? Or something similar to express the figurative fact that "I have been developing and nourishing them"?
4
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1answer
286 views

'Complete a confusion' — expression or confusion?

Is complete someone's confusion a popular expression that makes sense? This expression pops up so often I wonder I am missing something here. Does complete here mean to 'resolve'/ 'clarify'? ...
2
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1answer
2k views

What does “never trust your tongue when your heart is bitter” quote mean? [closed]

What does the following quote mean? Never trust your tongue when your heart is bitter.
0
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2answers
115 views

Can we say “The student can do still better”- with the same meaning as “The student can do better ?” [closed]

A teacher remarked in progress report of a student that she "can do still better" to say that she can do better than what she did now. Is it correct?
2
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7answers
1k views

“Died in an accident” or “killed in an accident”?

When speaking of someone who lost their life as a result of accidental circumstances are the two phrases below interchangeable? He was killed in an accident.   She died in an accident. ...
0
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2answers
475 views

How did the phrase “hear you out” or “hear me out” come about?

How did the phrase "hear you out" or "hear me out" come about? The phrase means "listen to whatever I have to say before you pass judgment on me," or "tell me whatever you want; I don't mind and ...
1
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1answer
1k views

“Butt in line” vs “cut in line” vs “bud in line”?

What's the proper term to use if you want to talk about trying to move up in the lineup or switch up?
4
votes
2answers
343 views

What is the context in which 'ice breaking' is a good thing?

If you are on a frozen lake and the ice breaks you basically plunge into cold water. That could end badly. What is the explanation for 'getting to know everyone', or 'getting the conversation ...
1
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1answer
137 views

Is “at all” necessary in the following sentence?

My body was totally anesthetized at the time. It was a miracle I had managed to get an erection at all. Is the at all at the end neccesary?
0
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1answer
77 views

A word that refers to a previously mentioned action [closed]

I am trying to refer back to the action "act swiftly" mentioned previously, but I am not sure if I am in the right direction. I thought of a few possible solutions as follows. An entire rephrasing of ...
5
votes
3answers
5k views

“Rome was not built in a day” [closed]

I always heard this phrase from school, but never understood the actual meaning of it or how this phrase originated. What does this actually mean, and why was it Rome and not any other city? ...
2
votes
3answers
177 views

told vs have told in a sentence [closed]

How do you say the next sentence? 1) I told him to stay on the path while he was hiking, but he wandered off into the forest and was bitten by a snake 2) I told him to stay on the path while he was ...
1
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1answer
56 views

Agenda going from bold to bite-sized

What does "one's agenda going from bold to bite-sized" mean?
1
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2answers
623 views

Meaning of “run flat out”

What does "I can run flat out for a half mile before my hands start shaking" mean? It was said in The Bourne Identity. I am not a native English speaker. I know the meaning of the individual words, ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

Opposite words with the same meaning

Is there a term for the phenomenon when you can replace one word in a sentence with a typically opposing meaning word and maintain the meaning of the sentence? Examples: I'm down for that! I'm ...
2
votes
1answer
269 views

Why does the *dirty* in *dirty mind* refer to sex instead of any type of immoral thought?

Why does the dirty in dirty mind refer to sexual-related thoughts instead of any type of immoral thought (including ill will or malice against another)?
-2
votes
1answer
167 views

Choose the proper variant to complete the sentence:

... misses the kisses, ... kisses the misses. A) An rejected lover, a accepted lover B) An accepted lover, a rejected lover C) A rejected lover, an accepted lover
2
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2answers
2k views

What's wrong with “within this week?”

If I want finish a task by the end of this week, is it correct to say "I want to finish it within this week?"
0
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1answer
491 views

Where did “doggy dog world” come from?

This Ngram shows that people were happily saying "dog eat dog world" until the 1980s, when "doggy dog world" abruptly came into use. What might have accounted for this? (It was well before Snoop ...
13
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4answers
3k views

What does “spam in a can” mean?

From Planet 51: I never had the right stuff. I'm a button pusher, Spam in a can. I don't even fly the ship. It's all automatic. I only got this far on charm and my rugged good looks. Is ...
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2answers
2k views

Is there any difference between “clear conscience” and “clean conscience”?

I want to have a clear conscience so that I know to judge clearly what is right or wrong. vs. I want to have a clean conscience, therefore I will not do such an ugly thing. The ...
0
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2answers
151 views

What would be a proper alternative word or phrase for “social network”, but have the same impact or meaning? [closed]

What people normally first think in my opinion when they hear "social network". What else could you say apart from social network?
6
votes
6answers
32k views

Original Meaning of Blood is thicker than water, is it real?

I recently read that the phrase "Blood is thicker than water" originally derived from the phrase "the blood of the covenant is thicker than the water of the womb", implying that the ordinary meaning ...
3
votes
2answers
876 views

English Syntax Rules Based on Word Choice

I was reading the Wikipedia article on Animacy and came across something I found to be very interesting: The higher animacy a referent has, the less preferable it is to use the preposition of for ...
3
votes
7answers
417 views

Are there any English idioms to describe “futile benevolence?”

We have a word, “宋襄の仁” meaning “futile benevolence.” The word comes from a historic episode from ancient China. In Spring and Autumn era (BC 8C) in China, when Song Country fought Chu Country, Muyi, ...
1
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4answers
2k views

Is it grammatically correct to say “I wanted to please connect with you”

I was having a debate with someone about how this phrase sounds, as it seems incorrect to me but it's been proofread many times in e-mail (yes at an american company), without anyone saying anything ...
0
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1answer
807 views

How to use “until now/so far” in the past tenses?

I know that "until now" indicates that something changed. No messages have come until now. Now the first message arrived. But what about using it in the past, for example in reported speech or ...
0
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1answer
166 views

The elephant in the room

Where does the phrase "The elephant in the room" come from ? Why an elephant ? If it has to mean something big why not "the whale in the room" ? If it has to be something that needs urgent attention ...
0
votes
1answer
2k views

Meaning of “ever so” phrase [closed]

I recently listend to an audio book and this sentence stuck in my head he put her on the cot gently and ever so gently mainly because I heard it a few more times (not the exact sentence, but the ...
1
vote
1answer
415 views

Can I use “let … alone” to mean “even though/if”? [closed]

I am composing a poem and have something like this Even if/though it is thousand miles far, we can still share the one. in mind, which I want to express it more poetically as Let thousand ...
0
votes
1answer
143 views

Is 'subject' in 'is subject to considerable debate' a verb or a noun?

Every once in a while I stumble upon this phrase: ... is subject to considerable debate Examples are easily found on the web, for instance: In the context of suspected cognitive disorders, the ...
0
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2answers
385 views

Which is correct: “What is” or “What are” [closed]

How should I phrase "What is the first 5 digits of your home postal code" or "What are the first 5 digits of your home postal code?"
0
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3answers
843 views

Use of “Just In Case”

I was writing to someone and I had below line using "just in case" "I have done blah blah blah..., just in case they need to be so and so..." I was wondering if this the right way of using it? or ...
2
votes
4answers
219 views

Justifying one wrong thing by comparing it its opposite which is also wrong

Is there a word or name for the phenomenon or syndrome in which people try to defend one wrong thing by comparing it something that is total opposite of it but also wrong? For example: Drone ...
2
votes
2answers
252 views

“To Cut Stick” Origin

I am reading Uncle Tom's Cabin. When Eliza realizes she and her son will be split up by a business deal, she runs away with him during the night. In the ensuing commotion the next morning, a boy named ...
0
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1answer
758 views

“The next big thing” phrase

Is the phrase "The next big thing" considered a formal or a slang phrase? Especially when communicating with a professional committee.
1
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1answer
146 views

What is the meaning of this phrase or sentence

while reading the lesson Bromides and Sulphides I passed through this one sentence which was qouted. If you saw that sunset painted in a picture, you'd never believe it would be possible! What ...
1
vote
1answer
201 views

What is a word for someone who loves to experience?

What is a word for someone who loves to experience? A philomath is someone who loves to learn. Wanderlust describes a strong desire to travel. In that vein, is there a word for someone who seeks to ...
1
vote
1answer
370 views

What does “Somebody is too much in one’s head” mean in contrast to “Somebody is in over one’s head”?

There was the article titled “Thunder Road” in New York Times’ (January 11) that began with the following sentence “I have learned two things covering politics. One, first impressions are often ...
0
votes
2answers
161 views

Awkward sentence [closed]

I am trying to improve this sentence. It sounds awkward to me, How can I rephrase it so it seems better and is more lucid? Which variation is the best? The biggest thing that I have improved in ...
5
votes
5answers
233 views

Is there a word for the ideas you get while showering?

Is there a word for the ideas you get while showering? Doubtful there's an English word for that, but I'd be open to words from other languages as well.
0
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1answer
161 views

What type of phrase is 'not quite'?

I'd like to to know what type of phrase 'not quite' is. My English Language teacher says it is a mitigated adverbial phrase, but I have no idea. I'm pretty sure it is not mitigated, but partly ...