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

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when should I use the following sentence. I am little bit confused

when should I use the following sentence. I am little bit confused: "May I help you?" "What can I do for you?" What is the difference between above two sentence and when I can use them? Please ...
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3k views

Shorter way to say: “regardless of whether it would…” [closed]

Is there a shorter way to say that phrase. As in a sentence like: Regardless of whether it would happen or not, all she wanted now was to go back to her apartment.
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Is “interesting” a negative or positive phrase?

When someone tells you something like: It's interesting to have such a feature. It's interesting to look. Is it a negative or positive phrase? It sounds like a positive phrase but I think ...
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647 views

What's the original/most used variant of “If I had a [dollar/dime/quarter/penny] for every time ____ ”?

I hear this a lot, even in songs, e.g. If I had a bill for all the philosophies I shared If I had a penny for all the possibilities I presented If I had a dime for every hand thrown up ...
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171 views

Expression meaning “as it certainly turned out”

I think there was a phrase that meant precisely that. The only thing that I remember is that it ended with ...enough (I'm not very sure, though). Example: I glanced around to make sure I was ...
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why use “be of something”, is there some meaning for this “of”?

I saw a sentence when reading some technical articles: When we call this function, it expects the second parameter to be of type Collection. The actual argument is of type Collection. So my ...
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2answers
243 views

Is “It's raining cats and dogs” out? [closed]

My impression is "It's raining cats and dogs" is old-fashioned. Is that right? If I used it, would people think I'm 70 years old, or something like that?
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3answers
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How does one mention “first class honors” and GPA correctly on a résumé?

On my résumé, I have the following: -----Bachelor of ABC, Institute of XYZ, Country----- "first class honors" and GPA I can't construct this line in a way that sounds completely ...
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4answers
1k views

Is “left for heaven” a common phrase in English?

Is "left for heaven" a common phrase for native English speakers?
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4answers
135 views

How does one convey in a single phrase, the act of failing several times and succeeding finally?

How does one convey in a single phrase, the act of failing several times and succeeding finally? I wrote something like "Several trials and errors later, I had found the solution" Is this valid ...
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2answers
722 views

What does the phrase “tell us what you really think” mean?

What does "tell us what you really think" mean? It seems to be used when someone is telling us what they really think...
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1answer
2k views

Origin of “Comparing apples and oranges”

What is the origin of the idiom "comparing apples and oranges," as in, You can't compare those things! That's like comparing apples and oranges. EDIT: I can find a book from 1889 making the ...
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5answers
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“jury-rigged”, or “jerry-rigged”

As far back as I can remember, the usage went something like "Their jury was rigged, and that's how he got away." Or, "They Jerry-rigged the controller at the last moment and it worked!" I used to ...
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8answers
690 views

encapsulating a positive thing among many negative things

Is there a phrase that encapsulates 'this is a positive thing among many negative things'? Context: I need to find a name for an article I am writing - which is about how a person turned everything ...
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3answers
1k views

What does “Hold one’s back” mean?

There is the following sentence in the scene Director of FBI, H.A.L Tyson instructs his men in Jeffery Archer’s fiction, “Shall we tell the President”: “So they (assassins group) think you’re ...
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2answers
39k views

Is it awkward to start an email with “I am [my name]. I am writing to ask you…”?

I saw a job announcement (faculty position), which usually says "questions regarding this position should be addressed to [name and email.]. I want to ask a few questions about the position, and ...
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2answers
112 views

How to call the two points at each end of a path?

By "path" I mean a route that has been walked by. The best I could come out with is starting point and ending point. Is there a shorter way to refer to them? (Maybe end points?)
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7answers
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Other ways to say “I have a bad hunch”

I'm looking for ways to say "I'm having a bad hunch", or more like a bad feeling about something upcoming. The gut-wrenching feeling that something bad will happen.
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1answer
93 views

Ambiguity about passive in my textbook

In my textbook, it said "In an active sentence we need to include the agent as subject; using a passive allows us to omit the agent by leaving out the prepositional phrase with by" Ex: ...
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1answer
168 views

Can the phrase “extended all the way up” be used to describe very tall objects?

According to my search, I think the phrase "extended all the way up" is usually to refer to things that are spread until a certain location. Can this phrase be used to refer to a very tall object? ...
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1answer
1k views

What is the meaning of the phrase “common humanity”?

What is common humanity as Dickens uses it? “You will excuse me,” said the gentleman contemptuously, “if I am too much in advance of common humanity to trouble myself at all about it. I have ...
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1answer
529 views

Word for 'Teeth Chattering'

Is there any word or phrase for teeth chattering due to cold?
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1answer
236 views

“until the end of (the) time(s)”?

I'm trying to translate a phrase from Spanish ("Hasta el final de los tiempos") and I was thinking of using one of these phrases: Until the end of time Until the end of the times Until the end of ...
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5answers
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double whammy usage for two good things?

The phrase "double whammy" is used in a situation where two bad things happen but can it be used in a situation where two good things happen? I didn't know "double whammy" is used in a situation with ...
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1answer
701 views

The Origin of “Killing It”

Related to How did kil get its positive conntations. Which goes into the origin of "making a killing" and "killed the audience", but not this specific phrase. Musicians have a particular phrase for ...
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2answers
174 views

Difference between 'retreated into' and 'retreated back into'

What is the difference between retreated into and retreated back into? They retreated into Pakistan
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227 views

What are the right adjectives to refer to changes in gravity?

How should one refer to the changes in gravity? Should one say: "gravity became higher/lower" or "gravity became lighter/heavier?"
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103 views

“Enter the Fairies” after a sudden clatter or crash?

In my family, who originate from Scotalnd, people cry "enter the fairies!" if something has caused a sudden crash, smash or clatter. I am guessing it comes from a stage direction, such as from ...
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157 views

How is “stripping such words as remained of orthodox meanings” meant to be understood grammatically?

I was wondering if someone could help me out with a certain phrase I want to grasp the meaning of. I have two different meanings in my mind, and I was hoping that someone could point out the right ...
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0answers
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Word Combination question [duplicate]

Certain words are often used in a fixed combination. As an example consider the phrase - 'hardly......when' as used in the sentence - "Hardly had I entered the room when the light went out." For ...
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2answers
291 views

What does “barefoot notes” mean?

Can someone please help me understand what "barefoot notes" means?
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1answer
68 views

Rephrase the question about history? [closed]

Here is what i want to ask - if you are given a chance to meet and talk to a person from history, who that would be? This above phrase doesn't sound good when asked as a question. Please ...
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3answers
105 views

Faced Error or Error Faced

I want to make the following sentence short by removing we. Please help me which one is correct form. The error we faced is "Sorry, you have exceeded the maximum allowed databases." Option 1 : ...
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2answers
13k views

How to properly say that agreement is still valid/on? [closed]

For example, we agreed with a friend to meet in a week, and the day before the meeting I want to make sure nothing has changed about the agreement. So I'd come up with something like Are we ...
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879 views

Why does left come before right?

For example in the idioms "left and right", "left, right and centre", and in many contexts where both left and right are mentioned, it seems that the left usually comes before the right. Why is this ...
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1answer
150 views

What do they mean saying “thumping through the brush”? [closed]

I came across a phrase given by Lennon during his bed-in session. Here is the context Also, of course, we live with rattlesnakes. You just can’t go thumping through the brush, thinking of what ...
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4answers
296 views

Meaning of “misuse of the word 'only'” in context

I am reading the book Learning Python by Mark Lutz, in which there's a passage I don't understand: I also want to thank my original editor at O’Reilly, the late Frank Willison. This book was ...
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3answers
2k views

Difference between “give them a cheer” and “cheer them up” [closed]

Is it more common to say that way written on the left rather than those written on the right? If so, please let me know why. give him a hug hug him give him a smile smile at him give him ...
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2answers
662 views

In the language of XXX [closed]

I am trying to express a sentence in the language of graph theory. Is that right to say "In the language of graph theory"? I googled and did not find similar sentence. If not, how can I express my ...
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5answers
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“The fact” vs. “The fact that” [closed]

Can you use the phrase ”the fact” without “that”? Consider the two sentences: The fact that it’s Sunday means that I can sleep all day. The fact it’s Sunday means that I can sleep all day. ...
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439 views

Is that right to say “For the first time we show…”

In a PhD thesis, I would like to express that I am the first one who has proved the result. Is it right to say "For the first time we show..."?
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1answer
374 views

Meaning and usage of “big time” [closed]

"Gabi agreed with rule changes big time." What does that mean? In which context is it appropriate to use and where it is not? Word order - is it always used at the end of sentence? Is it ...
2
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4answers
553 views

Phrase for (confirm it before you send email or letter) [closed]

I have a person who regularly makes mistakes in spelling or the data he writes are wrong, so I want to tell someone that (Please check and confirm the data or spellings before you send email or ...
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5answers
9k views

Where does the phrase “in good nick” come from?

The term "in good nick" meaning "in a good condition" came up in conversation and I realised I had no idea where it came from. Searching online seems surprisingly fruitless- there are several roots ...
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3answers
992 views

What does “swear polyglot” mean?

In the novel Dracula I came upon this sentence: "The captain swore polyglot, very polyglot, polyglot with bloom and blood, but he could do nothing." Judging by the dictionary definition of ...
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1answer
157 views

Strive for excellence VS Striving for excellence

"an environment that promotes strive for excellence / striving for excellence" I would like to know which one is correct ? Because I dont quite catch how to use the phrase "strive for excellence".
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1answer
116 views

Replacement for the phrase “Online Represence”

I'm writing a CV. I have a section which I've currently named "Online Presence" in which I give details of my online accounts like twitter, linkedin, github, stackexchange etc. But the phrase "Online ...
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1answer
270 views

Where does the phrase “more than a fluke” come from? [closed]

Can you tell me where "more than a fluke" comes from?
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2k views

What does “meanest flower might blow” mean

A beautiful woman risking everything for a mad passion. A few wild weeks of happiness cut short by a hideous, treacherous crime. Months of voiceless agony, and then a child born in pain. The mother ...
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359 views

“all the way down to” phrase with geographical locations

Is the following usage correct: I drove from Los Angeles all the way down to San Diego. given that San Diego is at the south of Los Angeles? Can it be used for geographical directions?