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

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4
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1answer
196 views

Meaning of “there are many and several” [closed]

What does the phrase "there are many and several" mean? ...which represent the highest quality properties in the market of which there are many and several.
3
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2answers
2k views

Meaning of “Spoil Yourself Silly on a Shoestring”

What does Spoil Yourself Silly on a Shoestring mean? It is the title of a chapter of the book I'm reading.
3
votes
1answer
408 views

What is the present participle of “stop, drop, and roll”?

In a verb phrase, such as stop, drop, and roll, how do I conjugate this in the present participle? Stopping, dropping, and rolling? Stop, drop, and rolling?
5
votes
4answers
38k views

Usage of “in contrast”

I want to explain something in the first sentence and then say some opposite thing in the second sentence. I thought, I could use the phrase in contrast to make the flow of a paragraph. For example: ...
5
votes
1answer
240 views

What is the exact meaning of the phrase “Cataract of rippling notes”?

I am reading the book "The story of my life" by Helen Keller. Many of the words, idioms and phrases are unfamiliar to me. I have come across the phrase "Cataract of rippling notes". What does it ...
-2
votes
2answers
151 views

'Sit on your left' or 'sit to your left' or 'sit on to your left' etc [closed]

Which one of the following is correct. There are pairs of chairs in a classroom and one wish to say that students should sit in the left-hand side chair, leaving the right-hand side chair empty. ...
-2
votes
2answers
446 views

As or due to give same meaning? [closed]

Does as or due to give same meaning? I have written some example case As the reference data is available with a leading company and difficulty of making own reference data, the overall ...
-2
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1answer
285 views

usage of “lead to”

If I want to use lead to, does it always need to use being as shown below. less number of points lead to missing edges being occurred, are recognized using proximity analysis.
0
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2answers
84 views

“Ignored for deletion” [closed]

Is the phrase "item is ignored for deletion" grammatical and idiomatic? The context is a software program. I have a list of items to be deleted from a database, and if an item from the list is not ...
6
votes
1answer
2k views

Meaning and origin of “Get someone's shirt out”

I was wondering to myself about the word "shirty". It seemed so curious a word. After all, what did its meaning have to do with shirts. "Were the two words even related?", I wondered. So I looked up ...
0
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2answers
1k views

I had it coming

When you say "I had it coming", does it always mean "I caused it to happen to me"? Can it also mean in an appropriate context "it just happened to me"? Also, does it always have to be "coming" and ...
12
votes
6answers
33k views

Origin of “More X than you can shake a stick at”

What is the origin of the phrase "more X than you can shake a stick at"? Every website I've seen on this basically says the same thing (e.g., http://www.worldwidewords.org/qa/qa-sha2.htm): Recorded ...
0
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2answers
457 views

What does “to be caught in a controversy” mean?

Can I use something like "I am caught in a controversy" to express that I am witnessing and confused by the controversy between other entities?
5
votes
4answers
8k views

What is the correct definition and usage of “for all I know”?

I saw some sentences using this phrase "for all I know" but wasn't quite sure what is its exact definition and also whether a modal verb such as "could, may or might" expressing uncertainty must be ...
3
votes
1answer
825 views

What does the phrase “red rovering” mean? [closed]

What does the phrase "red rovering" mean? Here is the context: Over a decade ago, Billy Bob’s career began in the corporate world before red-rovering to agency life.
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votes
2answers
691 views

Origin of “sick to my stomach”

Where does the phrase sick to my stomach come from? Never stopped to think of it before. It doesn’t even seem grammatically correct.
0
votes
1answer
269 views

Any English phrase whose words appear nowhere else? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Is there a term for words that have a single meaning or are only used in a single context? I want to find some English phrases whose individual words are seldom used ...
-1
votes
2answers
113 views

Is there any phrase like “with the idea of” [closed]

Is there any phrase like "with the idea of" with the idea of reducing the complexities, we introduce an added smoothing step. I was googling to find example usages, but couldn't. so please any ...
15
votes
13answers
10k views

Euphemism for “There's more than one way to skin a cat”

Growing up in the 80s, I ended up hearing/using this phrase a lot whenever I wanted to express that there was more than one way to do something: "there's more than one way to skin a cat." I have ...
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votes
2answers
1k views

What does a phrase “landslide win” mean? [closed]

There is a sentence: It now has a small presence in parliament, after a landslide win in by-elections deemed generally free and fair in April. What does a phrase landslide win mean here? Thank ...
5
votes
2answers
426 views

What does “sank like a Chevy Volt in water” mean?

The Mesh Report (October 11) issue disclosed President Obama was confident that he won at the first Presidential debate with Mitt Romney in the article titled “Clueless: Obama thought he won debate ...
-1
votes
2answers
790 views

What do you mean by “in production form”?

The contexts of the usage of this phrase is given below. SAP Business Suite customers can now run the software in production form on Amazon Web Services, the companies announced this week during the ...
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vote
2answers
180 views

What is the exact use of “X aside, Y.”?

In today's Yahoo! News, there is a report on small houses around the world, which contains the sentence, "Patriotism aside, there's much to love about Europe's devotion to small-space living." Isn't ...
2
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3answers
3k views

“Suggestions as to how to” vs “suggestions how to”

Which should I write? He has made several suggestions as to how to improve the situation. He has made several suggestions how to improve the situation.
2
votes
1answer
1k views

Why does 'dead on' mean 'very accurate'? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Where does the phrase “dead simple” originate? According to Wiktionary, the phrase 'dead on' means 'very accurate' or 'exactly at'. This is also how I have used the ...
4
votes
3answers
281 views

Is “An other-other woman (person / thing)” a popular English phrase?

The following paragraph of Maureen Dowd’s article on former CIA chief, David Petraeus’ scandal titled “Reputation, Reputation, Reputation” appearing in November 13 New York Times seems to require ...
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2answers
1k views

correct usage of 'in spite of' instead of 'although'

It is difficult to figure out how to alter the word although for a case like below as in my report there are many although.. so I am looking for an alternative like in spite of Although the ...
5
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3answers
26k views

Is “Thanks a ton” a commonly used phrase?

Is it correct to say so? Does this mean the same as "thanks a lot"?
6
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7answers
788 views

What does “put it in English” mean in broadcasting context?

The following sentence is from this past November 7th’s New York Times article titled “Rove’s on-air rebuttal of Fox’s Ohio vote call raises questions about his role”, dealing with Karl Rove’s clear ...
2
votes
2answers
415 views

What kind of phrase/clause is “as far as I know”? [closed]

I would like to know what kind of phrase/clause "as far as I know" is, and why.
1
vote
1answer
636 views

Origin of the phrase “That is how it is” [closed]

Where does this come from? That is how it is.
0
votes
4answers
736 views

Better word for someone who has grown physically but not mentally [closed]

I don't mean someone who is totally mentally challenged. I am referring to ones whose mental growth is not proportional to the physical.
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0answers
101 views

removing some repeating phrases within a sentence [closed]

i think this sentence doesn't accept by the academic readers as some phrases are repeating so that looking for some modifications. Alternatively, users can decide for which application this ...
1
vote
3answers
9k views

What's the meaning of “all too often”, for example, in this sentence? [closed]

What does "all too often" mean in this sentence? A poorly designed distribution system can ruin the performance of any water-based system. All too often, people, including heating professionals, ...
1
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1answer
3k views

In comparison with or when comparing?

Please let me know either When comparing or In comparison with should be used for cases like the following: 1) When comparing the existing methods that deal with segmentation using space based ...
-1
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1answer
708 views

What does the phrase “for this purpose” mean? [closed]

I would like another phrase instead of "for that reason."
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1answer
1k views

“for the stakes were very high” meaning [closed]

I would need to understand the following: They tried very hard to mislead the interviewer, for the stakes were very high. What is the meaning of the second part of the sentence?
1
vote
2answers
663 views

Is there a difference between British English phrases and American phrases? [closed]

My goal is to learn British English because I'm going to study there. I've found a good book about English phrases. However, the book is originally from the US. Is there a difference between ...
0
votes
1answer
183 views

Describing a worsening crisis

How can I describe that the financial crisis got worse in two ways: it involved more people it increased in intensity Is there a particular phrase I can use that captures both aspects?
1
vote
1answer
142 views

Is “be no profile in something” an idiom or just a pun with “no profiles in PPD for qualifier XXX”?

I came across the phrase “be no profile in something” in the following statement of Maureen Dowd’s article titled “Of Mad men, Mad women and Meat loaf” in today’s (October 27) New York Times: ...
1
vote
4answers
640 views

Does “I am thirsty to die” make sense?

"I am hungry to die" doesn't mean that I am dying because of hunger, rather, "I want to die a lot." How about "I am thirsty to die?" Does this mean "I am dying because of thirst?" I want to know ...
5
votes
1answer
3k views

“For no other reason than” vs. “for no other reason that” vs. “for no other reason than that”

I am looking for a comprehensive analysis of these three constructions: ... for no other reason than X. ... for no other reason that X. ... for no other reason than that X. Which is ...
1
vote
2answers
344 views

What weather! What a pity! - phrases with and without article - why? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Are there any simple rules for article usage (“a” vs “the” vs none) ‘… the weather’ vs. ‘… weather’ “Bad weather doesn't exist” vs. “The bad weather doesn't exist” ...
1
vote
1answer
1k views

What is the origin of “odds and ends”?

There's already a question (and answer) for "bits and bobs", which I believe is a Britishism, but what is the origin of "odds and ends"? "Odds" I have some reckoning for (as in, "odd items", meaning ...
0
votes
2answers
648 views

Romney, “regards to”, and disfluency

This is kind of a follow up to "in regard to" or "in regards to". I have always considered that regards to means sending well wishes, while regard to means "concerning". Hence with regards to or in ...
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votes
3answers
721 views

Semantic difference between “if I did not want” and “if I wanted”

I was reading My Antonia and came across this line: [She] asked me if I did not want to go to the garden with her (12) And was wondering why Cather chose if I did not want over if I wanted. Are ...
1
vote
1answer
210 views

meaning and usage of “in order the more” [closed]

I have just come across a phrase I have never seen before: I do not so in order to undermine the status of xy but, on the contrary, in order the more securely to identify certain aspects. A ...
1
vote
2answers
5k views

The right usage of “basically” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: “have basically been doing something” or “have been basically doing something” I'm searching basically for conversation classes" or I'm basically searching ...
0
votes
2answers
3k views

Meaning of “Best kept secret”? [closed]

Which is the most popular meaning of the commonly used phrase "Best kept secret"? "It's best if this is kept secret, though other options are viable"? "This is the secret that is kept best of all ...
8
votes
5answers
7k views

What's the equivalent phrase in the UK for “I plead the fifth”?

In the United States, a person under examination on the witness stand may "plead the fifth" to avoid self-incrimination. In other words, a person asserts his or her Fifth Amendment right. Citizens of ...