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

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2
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4answers
72 views

Examples of using “dead” to mean directly [closed]

I'm looking for more examples that use "dead" to mean directly. Some I already have include: 1.) "It's dead ahead. You can't miss it." 2.) I looked him dead in the eye. Or perhaps to mean ...
0
votes
2answers
61 views

Another phrase like “Having a grand old time”?

Trying to find other phrases like "Having a grand old time" for an ending to our wedding invitation. Thanks so much for your help! -Jordan
0
votes
0answers
24 views

Point it or Point it out [migrated]

We need to rectify the errors before anybody point it or point it out. In the above sentence which is the better phrase to use: 'point it' or 'point it out'.
3
votes
2answers
10k views

“On short notice” vs “At short notice”

What's the difference between those two? I've tried to ask Google but got very mixed results -- some people say it's the same, some that one of them is illegal and the rest offer other explanation, ...
12
votes
2answers
1k views

Does the phrase “The hills have eyes” predate the movie?

I'm under the impression that the phrase "the hills have eyes" predates the movie (including the 1977 one), but I can't find any use of it on Google. How can I find out if the phrase existed first?
7
votes
3answers
510 views

Where does the phrase “balls to the wall” come from?

I know the phrase means "going all out" but I can't figure out what it literally means or where it originates from.
0
votes
2answers
45 views

Is “…written by the author it claims to be and not by someone passing themselves for them” correct?

I have a question to this sentence: Sometimes you need to know if the book was really written by the author it claims to be and not by someone passing themselves off as them. Is that correct? I ...
4
votes
6answers
34k views

What does the phrase “good for you” mean?

What does this phrase mean? And in what cases is it appropriate to use it?
-3
votes
1answer
52 views

What's the meaning of the phrase “where appropriate”? [closed]

Could you explain how to understand the phrase "where appropriate"? I know each word 'where' and 'appropriate,' but I cannot understand the meaning of the phrase combined with two word in this ...
3
votes
2answers
3k views

The phrase “let alone”

I notice that "let alone" is used in sentences that have a comma. The structure of the sentence is what comes before the comma is some kind of negative statement. Right after the comma is "let alone," ...
4
votes
2answers
4k views

The etymology of the phrase “I'm afraid not”

When confirming bad news, or replying to a request in the negative it is common to hear one of these two phrases: I'm afraid so. or I'm afraid not. The general meaning inferred by "I'm ...
7
votes
6answers
12k views

Being in love with someone

Is there a difference between loving someone and being in love with them? I sort of think that being in love with someone might imply that there are reciprocal feelings, but I'm not sure. If someone ...
0
votes
1answer
100 views

'the cleanest' vs 'cleanest': article-containing adverb phrases?

We have two phrases structures: 'the nicest in my school' 'the cleanest in my house' These phrases can act as nouns or adverbs: 'He is the nicest in my school.' - noun phrase. 'She cleaned the ...
0
votes
1answer
89 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 ...
14
votes
3answers
49k views

Is “I am writing to inform you” awkward or outdated?

I was writing an email, and I started off with I am writing to inform you of certain errors... However, is this use outdated or awkward in emails (assuming that I don't know the recipient)? What ...
6
votes
2answers
14k views

Where does the phrase “to get on like a house on fire” come from?

Where does the phrase "to get on like a house on fire" come from? (Meaning "to immediately get on very well with someone", particularly a new acquaintance.) It's quite common here in the UK, but even ...
2
votes
2answers
173 views

Reflexive pronouns and understood “to be”

So, I've got a fairly straightforward sentence: Poe did not think himself a writer of inferior material. It is my understanding that "a writer of inferior material" is the object of the ...
0
votes
1answer
237 views

In the phrase “common sense”, in what sense of the word is “common” used?

As I understand it, there are several definitions of common, but I can't find any source that can highlight the etymology of the phrase. The linked definitions are pretty rigorous, but a less strict, ...
7
votes
2answers
543 views

In what senses are 'at' and 'all' used in the phrase “at all”?

I understand that the phrase at all means in any way or in the slightest, e.g. What is the opposite of “to stink” (v)? Is there one at all?, or Not bad at all I don't understand how the individual ...
2
votes
2answers
75 views

Does a submarine cruise underwater or sail underwater?

The submarine had been cruising in the Atlantic for three weeks
-1
votes
1answer
55 views

Is reusal an English word? [closed]

Is the word "reusal" part of the English language? For example, given this sentence: ROS tries to facilitate the operation, development and code reuse of robot systems by organizing the parts of ...
2
votes
4answers
1k views

What do people mean or think they mean by “not to scale?” [closed]

I have in front of me a map of an area in the Angeles National Forest that says at the bottom, "map not to scale." What, if anything, does "not to scale" properly mean on a map or diagram, and if ...
1
vote
2answers
66 views

What does “people of the concrete steppes” mean?

I read this on an economics blog (http://econlog.econlib.org/archives/2014/02/in_the_1930s_it.html) and tried to google it, but the results seem to just be people using it, no one explaining it. ...
0
votes
2answers
2k views

“Blue sky thinking” phrase [closed]

Recently I was received mail and found there the blue sky thinking phrase as an agenda for the next company team meeting. Quick googling does not bring any appropriate results. What does the blue ...
2
votes
6answers
475 views

What is the difference between'time is up' and 'time is over'

Are the two phrases'time is up' and 'time is over' used in different contexts or can be used to convey the same meaning
0
votes
1answer
175 views

Hope this helps [closed]

I was reply to a email that my office colleague sent just want to know a good reply to phrase "Hope this helps"
5
votes
3answers
8k 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
80 views

“I've been looking to do [this or that].” Is “looking to do” idiomatic?

Pretty much that's the question. I wanna think that I have heard it used many times ("I've been looking to do that for the longest time"), but now I'm not sure. Thanks!
1
vote
3answers
351 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. ...
3
votes
3answers
70 views

guests young and old vs. young and old guests

I came across the following sentence in an American newspaper. "Guests young and old ended up loving the fun socks they were given at the party." Does it make any difference if they say "young and ...
1
vote
1answer
90 views

Correct expression for “time of the day” greetings?

What is the correct description of good morning/good evening/good afternoon, etc? Are they called greetings of the day, or time of the day greetings? If not, what are they called?
10
votes
8answers
22k views

What does “a man among men” mean?

The phrase: "A man among men." We have been having a debate about whether this means: unexceptional, common, like all others, ordinary a superior example of one in a class We have found examples ...
2
votes
3answers
62 views

Usage of “there follows”

I wonder if it is correct to say: From A there follows B if you want to say that A entails B (or B is a consequence of A).
0
votes
3answers
60 views

Do “getting into…” and “getting interested in…” mean the same?

How did you get into it? How did you get interested in it? Do the examples above mean the same?
18
votes
4answers
3k views

What does it mean to be “mortally wounded”?

The only source I could find for a definition of this phrase was Wikipedia, which states a mortal wound "leads directly to the death of the victim. Death need not be instantaneous, but follows soon ...
9
votes
8answers
13k views

What does “I know, right?” mean?

Not only is my seventh grader using this phrase, but her teachers are as well. I suppose it means I totally agree with you and you totally agree with me but it sounds like there is a subtle Is that ...
2
votes
5answers
125 views

A word that represents a group of people working to achieve a common goal or dream

I am working on a project that involves bringing people together who share common goals or dreams. Is there a word or phrase to describe groups of people who are working together to accomplish these ...
0
votes
2answers
65 views

How to compare between two incomparable things, yet similar in some aspects?

I want to compare between results seen in healthy cells and in tumor cells. The same finding was seen in both types of cells. I know that this is not like apples-to-apples comparison, but still both ...
0
votes
1answer
41 views

“a change in …” vs “a change to …”, any difference? [closed]

Is there any difference between "a change in something" and "a change to something"? Is that like the former one is a more objective description while the latter one emphasizes the result of a ...
12
votes
8answers
12k views

What is the origin of the phrase “cut the mustard”?

What is the origin of the phrase "cut the mustard"?
2
votes
3answers
166 views

When someone says, “I do not feel that good”, what does that mean?

I have heard it many times in movies and shows. I think it means "I do not feel very good" or "I do not feel as good as you think", but why do we use "that" here, and is it correct?
1
vote
4answers
132 views

Any other way of saying “I share your opinion”?

"I divide your position" is the first that came to my mind, but I think it's definitely incorrect. Is there any phrase like this with "position", not "opinion"?
10
votes
8answers
1k views

Is there an idiom that corresponds to the Hungarian expression “fall off the other side of the horse”?

There's a Hungarian phrase that can be literally translated as something like "fall off the other side of the horse". (The literal implication is either that instead of falling off this side of the ...
-1
votes
1answer
43 views

What does “With a team” mean? [closed]

Does the phrase "with a team" imply that the speaker is on the team, or rather that the speaker is explicitly not on the team (of course it may also be ambiguous)?
-1
votes
1answer
64 views

What does 'Lets himself be swept along like a log of wood by a current.' mean?

I read the following quote by Gandhi when he was describing the actions of a moral man: Source How can a man understand morality who does not use his own intelligence and power of thought, but ...
13
votes
3answers
5k views

Origin and exact meaning of “taken to the cleaners”

I know the meaning of this phrase by context, but the German analogs are no literal translations of this phrase and very dissimilar metaphors, meaning roughly: being tricked into something being ...
0
votes
2answers
55 views

Is this sentence proper grammar? [closed]

Is this sentence using proper grammar? - "The money was and is not a loan."
3
votes
3answers
103 views

A phrase that captures the concept of making oneself falsely appear to be guilty for purpose of discrediting another party

Perhaps this is more of a trope, but I'm looking for a phrase or word in English that describes the situation where: (a) "Party A" consciously performs actions that establish a false expectation of ...
0
votes
2answers
62 views

How to express the trend in this graph using the appropriate phrases?

I have this graph and I want to describe the difference in the take off trajectory of two patterns in the figure below. The first pattern is seen in the first two parameters over the years from the ...
0
votes
2answers
32 views

Rules for hyphens in words and phrases

What are general rules for when hyphens are used in words such as "bad-ass" or "well-deserved". Could someone explain what kinds of words/phrases those are?