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

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Origin/first known use of the phrase 'I've got some good news and some bad news'

When was the idiom, "I've got some good news and some bad news" first used, or when did it become a common joke?
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51 views

How do you properly define and use the phrase, “buy into”?

I found this line while I was reading: That commercial said that this product would help me lose weight in one week. I’m not buying into that idea. While I somehow understood the meaning of the ...
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2answers
35 views

Is the punctuation in this phrase correct?

Is the punctuation in this phrase correct? ...like two, li'l, sweet "peas in a pod"!
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28 views

“Per documentation:” vs. “Per the documentation:”

I am often quoting the documentation of the software I am writing about on StackOverflow. Typically, I use the short phrase: Per documentation: Also serving as deep link to the quoted passage, ...
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34 views

pass on vs propagate [closed]

can someone help me with the following sentences? Pass on this message to your friends. Propagate this message to your friends. Does the 2nd one even correct? "Propagate this message" ...
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41 views

get him to project - what is the correct phrase to say this?

I am a team lead, I selected a person. i need to update to my manger as like this: Get him to On Board to the Project. Is this correct? or Is there any other phrase to express this?
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1answer
46 views

Is this a correct phrase? Does it feel friendly?

I am working in Sweden right now, and a suggestion has come up to use a global tagline for a project. It's to get everyone talking in a long term discussion about company culture and teamwork, etc. ...
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3answers
93 views

Word for a result/achievement so exceptional that it is impossible?

I am looking for a word or phrase regarding something that is "impossible". I can't seem to put my finger on it, but I am trying to think of the word to describe something that is the top of the top, ...
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1answer
41 views

Phrase indicating recruiters should not offer services in response to a job opening

In Dutch, there's a specific phrase / idiom you can use when posting a job opening to indicate that it's not appreciated if recruitment agencies offer to find a candidate for you ("Acquisitie naar ...
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36 views

a very strange sentence. please help to understand [duplicate]

There is a book by Galina Demykina "The lost girl and the scallywags" (a Russian one, translated into English, 1977) and there is a very strange sentence: "Zoya saw nothing save thick, ever so thick ...
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1answer
48 views

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

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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1answer
63 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 ...
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56 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
47 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 ...
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1answer
457 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
78 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. ...
2
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1answer
62 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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30 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
92 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
471 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
53 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
40 views

“…whose talents reaches…” [closed]

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
103 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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68 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
193 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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60 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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43 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
58 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
89 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
69 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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39 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
127 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
34 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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52 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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39 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
82 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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37 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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40 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
51 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
71 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 ...
4
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4answers
121 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 ...
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2answers
90 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
76 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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3answers
111 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
31 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
85 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 ...
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58 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
54 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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1answer
39 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"?