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

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6
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11answers
2k views

Idiom for the phrase “someone who gets what he deserved”

Is there an idiom for someone who gets what he deserved? Like someone receiving punishment for his evil deeds or someone getting awarded for his good deeds?
0
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2answers
47 views

What's built-in bull detector

"Ernest Hemingway decided to write stories that spotlighted the harsh truth alive in this world, he said anybody trying to do that better have a built-in bull detector" What is " built-in bull ...
0
votes
1answer
60 views

Is it ever correct to say “turn down the building”?

I'm a non-native speaker of English, and so is my wife. We were talking to a native speaker when at one point, my wife commented, "They should turn down the building." I've never heard of the phrase ...
2
votes
1answer
145 views

Is there such a thing as a reverse dictionary? [duplicate]

Is there any tool online that generally permits me to enter a phrase or idea and get back a word that means something similar? For example, if I were looking for a better word or phrase for arguing ...
2
votes
6answers
328 views

Another idiom or phrase (in English) that has the same meaning as 'the fruits of our/your labour'?

I was wondering if anyone knew any other phrases or idiom's for 'the fruit's of our/your labour'? I wanted to use it in the context, of a graduation speech, on how hard they've worked and how far ...
0
votes
2answers
166 views

What does a phrase “such is life in the tropics” mean? [closed]

Recently I've read and article about one of Latin American countries. The author was explaining why the life there is easy in terms of natural resources: there is no winter, the people have fresh ...
2
votes
2answers
45 views

when is the phrase 'according to you' used correctly

when is the phrase 'according to you' used correctly and what are its different contexts ? Can it replace ' in your opinion'?
2
votes
6answers
79 views

Is it correct to say semi-promise?

I want to say, someone sort of promised to do something, yet it was not a full promise: She had a semi-promise from his employer to get a raise this year. Is semi-promise correct in this sense? ...
7
votes
7answers
814 views

Looking for a word that describes thinking something is more common than it is?

I'm wondering if there's a good term for assuming knowledge, or other things, is more common due to my own experience. Essentially it's like being out of touch with reality, but a little more ...
-5
votes
2answers
63 views

What's the difference between “known as” and “known for”? [closed]

Above the title. What's the difference between "known as" and "known for"?
-1
votes
1answer
92 views

How to find the best words for my sentences?

Are there any techniques or web-tools to find the best words to fit your sentence? For example, I want to find the best verb/phrase to say reply with a positive feedback the result would be: ...
2
votes
4answers
98 views

Can I say “I will work for this company for some time”?

I mean I will continue to work for this company for maybe some months or some years, so can I use "for some time" as I mentioned in the title. What would a native speaker say? Thanks in advance.
2
votes
4answers
90 views

How to describe a document that is a “near-plagiarism” of another?

I'm looking for a word or phrase to describe a work that is a sort of "inferior copy" of another work. For example, one can often find published scientific papers in China that avoid direct ...
2
votes
1answer
64 views

I expect John to x vs I expect John will x

I expect John to reply to your email. I expect John will reply to your email. I expect him to reply to your email I expect him will reply to your email (ungrammatical) I expect he to reply to your ...
1
vote
9answers
92 views

Term/Phrase for telling something including necessary context

Let's say I want to tell someone a story, but in order that he'll be able to deeply understand it, I need to tell (or better - start with quite a lot of) certain additional facts, incidents, ...
0
votes
1answer
38 views

How to say we provide a synopsis here for details refer to other work in formal academic writing

We provide here a synopsis of the measurement process, for an in-depth description, please refer to XYZ. I'm not a native speaker. How do I write that as the first sentence of a chapter in an ...
13
votes
5answers
1k views

What does “soft bigotry of low expectations” mean?

There was the following question from a reader and the answer by Charles Blow under the headline, “Your Questions, Answered” in the Opinion Page of May 7 New York Times. I invited you to ask me ...
20
votes
12answers
4k views

Are there English equivalents to the Japanese saying, “There’s a god who puts you down as well as a god who picks you up”?

There is an old Japanese saying, “捨てる神あれば、拾う神あり-Suterukami areba hirou kami ari,” meaning “There’s a god who puts you down as well as a god who picks up you.” In other words, “In this world, some ...
0
votes
1answer
37 views

Is “Alligators and Kangaroos” a set phrase to express an encounter with unexpected happening?

The Entertainment Movies section of Today’s (May 9) Time magazine introduces the Hollywood version of the children’s book, “The Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day” under the ...
0
votes
2answers
153 views

Is it ever correct to call someone “Great British”?

People from Britain are referred to as British. However I recently learned that Britain is not technically the same as Great Britain. Source 1 Great Britain and Britain do not mean the same ...
49
votes
12answers
5k views

A way of describing the lesbian parent that is not pregnant?

A friend of mine is in a long term relationship with her female partner. After deciding they wanted a family, my friend's girlfriend got pregnant. Normally when talking about a couple expecting a ...
0
votes
1answer
161 views

What is the difference between “in conclusion” and “by way of conclusion”?

"In concluson" is common, while "by way of conclusion" is quite formal. But what does "by way of conclusion" truly mean that differs from "in conclusion"? Baffled.
1
vote
4answers
39 views

consecutive occurrences in one word [closed]

I need to know the common word used for the event which occurs consecutively. Can anyone suggest me some commonly used words which describes the same? Thank you
0
votes
2answers
84 views

Why is “from overseas” grammatical?

"Overseas", as far as I am concerned, is an adjective or an adverb. If "from overseas" is a correct phrase, why is it grammatical? "From" is a preposition, and it should be followed by a noun, not an ...
1
vote
1answer
131 views

Does a phrase exist that one uses to another person who is about to sneeze?

"Bless you" or "God bless you" are commonly used after a sneeze but does one exist (or was one once commonly used but no longer) when a person is obviously about to sneeze?
-10
votes
1answer
60 views

Question about understandability and correctness of given sentence [closed]

Please let me know if this sentence is understandable and correct: Honorable of the change of colors in the sky.
1
vote
1answer
172 views

what is the formal way to say “a bit”

I want to ask a word problem. What is the formal way to say "a bit" in an essay, for example, in the sentence "It is a bit different from..." Is "a little" formal enough? Thanks a lot!!
0
votes
1answer
33 views

Absolute Phrase and 'With'

I've been reading up on absolute phrases recently, and I was wondering if the following construction is grammatically correct: "Jared went to bed with a lot on his mind, each thought brimming with ...
-1
votes
1answer
99 views

meaning of “mugging away ?”

What is the meaning of "mugging away ?" Can anyone help me with this ? I know mugging merely means attack on someone in public places to steal something . But what is the meaning when it become ...
2
votes
1answer
26 views

state the reach of something against something as doing something

I encountered this sentence while translating a lawsuit and now I'm quite confused about what it intends to say: Court stated the reach of the per se rule against tie-ins under 1 of the Sherman Act ...
6
votes
2answers
528 views

Is “release one’s butt cheeks” a euphemism?

It was interesting to learn the English language (any language would be) is spoken or heard differently by the person in the following sentence of Tina Fey’s “Bossypants,” describing the scene in ...
0
votes
2answers
51 views

meaning of the “meant by”? [closed]

I often see questions started with "what is meant by...". What is "meant by"? Any trying to Google it returns nothing helpful. Thanks in advance.
2
votes
1answer
102 views

Is the phrase “this will blow your and your friends’ minds.” correct?

I couldn't find this specific type of phrase on here yet. I'm especially not sure whether to use the plural in this phrase. Should I use your and your friends' -mind- or -minds-?
1
vote
4answers
353 views

Vans or cars which sell breakfast, what is this called?

I was doing some translating from Chinese to English. I don't know what English native speakers call them. Please give me a hand.
2
votes
1answer
55 views

Tower of Babel, what is the meaning of the following verse?

What is the meaning of the following verse from Bernie Taupin's Tower of Babel as sung by Elton John on the album Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy? Those hungry hunters Tracking down the ...
2
votes
2answers
99 views

Reaction to Scratching Noise [duplicate]

I need a word or phrase to describe the sensation people experience when they hear nails scratching on a chalkboard. I don't want to describe the noise , just the sensation.
1
vote
3answers
104 views

How do you say “question de cours” in English?

In French, une question de cours, is a question in a test for which you just need to know the content of your course. It is an easy question (usually) which does not require any reflection.
6
votes
6answers
837 views

Why does the following phrase sound old fashioned?

"We went swimming later in the afternoon, Jack and I." I am trying to describe what is happening here by breaking the sentence down into it's basic components, but I am having difficulty doing this. ...
0
votes
1answer
32 views

Is “right to collect” a phrase that acts as a noun?

Some business folks have asked us to name an "entity" as "Right to Collect." We need entity names to be nouns. To me "Right to Collect" doesn't sound like a noun. What would you best describe this ...
1
vote
1answer
173 views

Is there a difference between “at the example of” and “using the example of”?

"This is illustrated at the example of Foobar." versus "This is illustrated using the example of Foobar." Are they interchangeable? If not, what is the difference?
0
votes
0answers
16 views

What does all came fine but 2 means [duplicate]

I sent an email to a client with this sentence: Tried sending 39 packets this afternoon, all came fine but 2. I meant 37 packets processed fine but 2 were unsuccessful. Did I convey right?
1
vote
4answers
191 views

What does 'put somebody up' actually mean, and where does the phrase originate?

To put somebody up: To let somebody stay at your home; to arrange for somebody to stay somewhere. We can put you up for the night. Why does "put somebody up" have that meaning? Where does the ...
6
votes
1answer
101 views

Concessive “as much as” and “much as”. Which came first?

Related: "Much though" vs "much as", Use of 'Much as' [closed], Using “as much as” at start of sentence Consider the following two variations: As much as I hate to admit it, I cannot swim. ...
2
votes
3answers
64 views

Is “spaghetti salad” a phrase?

I am (almost) certain that "spaghetti salad" is a phrase. But, I cannot find any references to this phrase in the oracle of Google. Can someone please confirm that they have at least heard this ...
3
votes
1answer
103 views

Word for a friend you have never met?

Can anyone provide "emotional" word/phrase for a "friend" a you have never met, but feels like you really know him? I won't mind even if it is in a language other than English. :) Update: Would love ...
4
votes
4answers
401 views

“I will make me a …” or “I will make myself a …” [duplicate]

Is the first form valid as well, or only the second? E.g. "I will make me a sandwich"
2
votes
5answers
74 views

A word or phrase for rigging a request or situation for failure (despite appearances to a third party)?

Imagine we have three individuals: Alice, Bob, and Carol. Bob asks Alice to write a letter to Carol asking for a favor. Alice wants Carol to refuse to do the favor for Bob, but for it to appear to ...
0
votes
1answer
97 views

Why does 'I'm with stupid' have a positive connotation?

I see the phrase ... I'm with stupid ... used in many occasions, especially on forums using a smiley similar to this one: It's almost exclusively used with a positive connotation, in the ...
1
vote
1answer
189 views

What are some colloquial English expressions for comparing hot/cold weather to something else? [closed]

I'm looking for colloquial expressions that compare hot, cold, and wet weather to something else. For example, “It’s hotter than two goats in a pepper patch”, “Colder than a witch’s tit”, etc. Often ...
5
votes
3answers
494 views

What is the difference between “take to court,” “take the court,” and “take someone to court”?

Today’s (April 27) New York Times carried a caption,“Clippers Take to Court, but in Protest” and the lead-copy: The players made a statement a day after racially charged remarks attributed to ...