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

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1answer
119 views

You can spend all your love making time? [closed]

"You can spend all your time making money; You can spend all your love making time." from the song Take it to the limit by The Eagles, the phrase "love making time" makes me wonder. Does it mean ...
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0answers
48 views

What does it mean to drag something in “by the stamp?” [closed]

In a 1944 radio skit, Fibber McGee says another character dragged something in "by the stamp." Is the stamp a reference to rationing stamps used during WWII?
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2answers
72 views

What is the origin of “Pipped at the post”?

Why pipped? I guess that the post is to do with horse racing - as in the post was the finish line? I could be totally wrong there.
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3answers
1k views

Is the phrase 'at your Beckon Call' marked with servitude or with politeness?

I recently entered into an argument with my Mom regarding it's apt use. Though traditionally, it implied servitude, but hasn't it's meaning changed over the years? Basically, is using it to a ...
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7answers
1k views

What could be a single word or phrase for the one who helps people to achieve their goals?

I was just wondering about this word to suggest it to my friend to use it for the NGO he is going to start soon.
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4answers
50 views

Is this usage of “Just as well” correct?

Is it okay to use "just as well" in the next scenario: Person 1: When I'm mad I can be stubborn as hell. Person 2: And when you're not, just as well!
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3answers
59 views

“Her water broke” or “Her waters broke”

Which is more correct: "Her water broke." or "Her waters broke." I've been searching online and I've found uses of both "water" and "waters" in various places, but none of them very authoritative. I ...
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1answer
41 views

Is it hour or hours when used in a phrase? [duplicate]

I recently joined a company as a trainee and we have to skype our priorities or task that we are gonna do on that day. For example, people write priorities like this: 1. HTML/CSS training - [0.5 ...
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1answer
40 views

“As per” and “in the case being”?

Take the following text into account: These airstrikes would not only be punishment for Assad's use of chemical weapons against civilians amid the three-year-long Syrian Uprising (according to ...
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0answers
38 views

What are the grammatical phrases in this sentence?

I'm analyzing this sentence and scanning it for prepositional, appositive and verbal phrases. In the sentence so far as I can tell there is only one prepositional and no appositive and no verbals ...
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10answers
862 views

Term meaning careful and thorough, almost excessively so [duplicate]

I'm trying to think of a term which means that one expends extra effort or materials in making sure that something is done properly, to an almost excessive or extravagant extent. One good is example ...
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1answer
42 views

What kind of figurative language is this phrase?

What figurative language is this phrase? Is it an idiom or personification? Or something else? I have tried to figure it out but I can't. "to drive the idea out of my mind"
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0answers
51 views

“driving across the state” or “driving across state”?

Is it "driving across state" like "driving across town", or "driving across THE state", like "driving across the country"?
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0answers
27 views

Usage of the phrase 'reviewing over'

I've come across the phrase 'reviewing over' and at first I disregarded it as a hold over from grammar in a foreign language but now I've seen a native English speaker use the same phrase. For ...
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2answers
44 views

Word or phrase for “online supporting documents”

In a conversation on a particular topic, I want to ask the other person to provide online supporting documents about his views on the topic. They may be websites or blogs or wiki etc, but they should ...
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4answers
98 views

how do you say “write onto a piece of paper” in a more creative way? [closed]

I want to use an alternative to the expression write onto a piece of paper I would like to rephrase this to sound more interesting. Can anyone provide suggestions?
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1answer
40 views

Meaning of “to be Accounts Receivable for someone”

I understand what accounts receivable are, and I understand what factoring is. But I don't understand what the phrase "to be accounts receivable for someone" means, e.g. "I'm accounts receivable for ...
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1answer
39 views

Is there one word for knowledge and wisdom that has been obtained from different sources and from experience?

Is there one word for "gathered wisdom", meaning knowledge and wisdom that has been obtained from different sources and from experience?
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5answers
137 views

The expression 'not that bad of a'

In an essay, a friend used the expression: It wasn't that bad of an idea. I think that it would be preferable to write It wasn't that bad an idea However, I can't explain why.
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1answer
81 views

“In my younger years, early days, early years, and earlier years”?

I just wanted to express the period from when I was born to my recent days until I realized something. I initially put "in my earlier years." Then I wasn't sure if the meaning of the phrase that I ...
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4answers
186 views

What does “to put it charitably” mean?

There was the following sentence in the article titled “Why Rick Perry may be out of luck” appearing in the New Yorker (August 19): "Last Friday, the Texas Governor was indicted on two counts: ...
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18answers
3k views

What's an idiom for something that you've heard many times?

I'm trying to write something for my blog, and I need an idiom that will replace me saying, "I've heard people say that all the time, it's the same old story."
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3answers
102 views

IMHO, I am great? [closed]

I am not a native English speaker. I was wondering if the phrase "in my humble opinion, my proposal is interesting because ..." is contradictory? I am trying to say that something I proposed/said ...
2
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1answer
58 views

Is the phrase “There are many hungers it is better to deny than to feed” correct?

The "it is" seems out of place to me. I'd rather have it written as "There are many hungers that/which are better to deny than to feed".
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3answers
95 views

Synonym for: It may take longer than expected (ie. a meeting)

For instance: I have a meeting today that is scheduled until 15h00 but it may take longer. In dutch we would say: Het kan uitlopen. How would I say this?
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2answers
32 views

Article and plural for a title of a section

Which one of the following titles is better? (1) The Specifying of the Planning Horizon (2) Specifying of the Planning Horizon (3) Specifying of Planning Horizons The context is : a ...
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2answers
97 views

Similar idioms to “When the cat's away, the mice will play”

I wonder if there is any similar idioms to "When the cat's away, the mice will play." I searched on a few websites (the free dictionary, dictionary.com, and cambridge.) but there was no suggestions ...
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3answers
69 views

Meaning of “by some margin”

Could you please explain the meaning of this? I have it in a sentence - The speaker was, by some margin, the youngest person in the room. I am a translator from English to Czech and I can´t find it ...
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4answers
614 views

What is it called when you say something but it does not imply for the other?

I'm really lost for words... For example, I like people with short hair. But then someone could say, so you hate people with long hair? But, of course, I did not give any information on people with ...
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2answers
77 views

What is the basic meaning of 'blueprint'?

I just want to know the meaning of blueprint. Some websites say it's a method of printing, some say it merely means a pattern or design used by engineers or architects to document their ideas. I ...
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2answers
35 views

what does it mean to “betray contempt for” someone? [closed]

I came across this phrase in a quotation from Carl Sagan, "they betray contempt for the intelligence of their customers". From the context, it seems to mean "to show contempt", but I couldn't parse ...
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2answers
52 views

What does “the balcony is really far away” mean?

Yesterday, I watched MasterChef America. There were two teams competing in the challenge of cooking and serving food at a football game. There were 100 voters and the red team won the blue team by 51 ...
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2answers
42 views

Is “after all” necessary in the following paragraph?

Of all the people who wanted to join the trip, Anna was the the last I expected would come. We barely knew each other at school after all, and I was pretty sure she wasn't interested in me. ...
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1answer
63 views

He didn't so much as thank me OR to thank me?

I have heard both ways 'He didn't so much as thank me' and 'He didn't so much as to thank me'. Which is correct and is the other wrong or can it be used colloquially? Thank you.
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10answers
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I don't like potatoes or ice-cream [closed]

I am struggling to find the correct grammar for a fairly simple sentence. "I don't like potatoes or ice-cream". This appears to be incorrect because it is a contraction of the two clauses "I ...
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1answer
41 views

I am trying to find something to express 'In the spotlight'

I am building a cold case discussion forum and want a phrase like IN THE SPOTLIGHT for cases that will be highlighted....or I would like to 'heat up'....help?
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1answer
71 views

“At the service of” versus “in the service of”

In doing a translation on duolingo, another translator had translated a phrase to say "at the service of X". I edited this to "in the service of X" and left a comment that as a native speaker, hearing ...
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2answers
62 views

Can a person have a “dextrous mind”?

Can we say that a man has a dextrous mind? This would mean that he has a highly skilled brain which is capable of excelling at a certain mental activity, or that he as an individual is capable of ...
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0answers
22 views

“Has proven” or “Has proven to be”? [duplicate]

Is there a difference between "The medicine has proven effective" and " The medicine has proven to be effective"? Both seem to make sense, but I usually see "has proven to be" followed by a noun ...
1
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1answer
85 views

Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde unknown ( Biblical?) Reference [closed]

Okay, so I am an avid reader, and have recently undertaken a challenge to read Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde, along with Robert Louis Stevenson's other literature. Having recently completed Jekyll & ...
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1answer
89 views

Not too expensive vs affordable

I'm building a website and I need to choose between 'not too expensive' and 'affordable'. The sentence: Reliable, stable, secure, great support and of course not too expensive! or Reliable, ...
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2answers
63 views

Comma between a double adverbial phrase introducing a sentence

Is a comma required when there are two adverbial phrases introducing a sentence? Like so: One day, after I had my breakfast, the postman came. Or is it fine to omit the first comma? One day ...
2
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4answers
353 views

Phrase for having nearly completed something

Is there is a phrase for when you're very close to achieving something you've been working on? When the detective gets that final clue, but hasn't quite solved the mystery yet. When you've done 90% ...
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2answers
56 views

What does this quote about “pasty-skinned programmers” mean? [closed]

“Note to self: Pasty-skinned programmers ought not stand in the Mojave desert for multiple hours.” -John Carmack ("Pasty Skin" means not healthy and pale skin.) What does this quote mean?
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2answers
61 views

What's a “drop-in activity”?

What are "drop-in activities"? I often run across this phrase while reading about museums, recreation centers etc.
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2answers
47 views

Rising out of its own momentum

The bellow rose and fell, then it blared out one last time, rising out of its own momentum as if it were escaping finally, after centuries of waiting, into silence. The beady night noises closed in ...
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1answer
57 views

what is 'Oblique half sentences'? [closed]

I love comic books and I met these sentences in a comic book. "Do not speak in oblique half sentences. Bad habit. Helped stop what?" What is 'oblique half sentences'? I googled it a lot, but I'm ...
1
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1answer
89 views

“Go a long way to” + gerund vs infinitive

Which one is correct? If they all are correct, which construction is the most preferable? Why? The fund will go a long way to solving their problem. The fund will go a long way to solve their ...
0
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1answer
29 views

what should I use after “improvement”?

In 2014, the organization of the “media-capital” prize in the business journalism field is the main project focused on improvement the financial literacy of the population. Or can you help me ...
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4answers
269 views

What is the meaning of not in “as often as not” and “as likely as not”?

Am I failing to get a point here? Collins English Dictionary: as often as not: quite frequently as likely as not: very probably Considering the meanings of these phrases, to my eye, ...