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

learn more… | top users | synonyms (1)

2
votes
0answers
89 views

Origins of “schoolboy error”

In the UK, at least, we use the term "a schoolboy error" to mean a simple or foolish mistake. Oxford has it as: British informal A very basic or foolish mistake. It is used very frequently ...
2
votes
1answer
71 views

In the phrase “Good afternoon” what type of word is “afternoon”?

In the phrase "Good afternoon" what type of word is 'afternoon'? I've argued that it was a temporal pronoun, but a colleague googled the term "temporal pronoun" and came up with almost nothing, so I'...
1
vote
1answer
55 views

Idiom for two different consequences from one antecedent

I'm searching for an idiom to use to say briefly that two different outcomes may represent different sides of the same underlying phenomenon. I would use it in the topic of a chapter. These two ...
1
vote
1answer
56 views

What is the opposite of 'brand new'? [closed]

Is there a phrase that means "very old" but using another adverb instead of "very"? like "brand" in "brand new".
5
votes
2answers
81 views

Shocking but not surprising [closed]

I came across this phrase on a news website: "It is shocking but not surprising," said the parliamentarian to.. and I wondered to myself if that is indeed a valid phrase in English. A google ...
1
vote
0answers
21 views

Application of this phrase [closed]

Where is this phrase generally used : "in arrears to" meaning indebted to . I am eager to know its usage . Is it just used in context with Banking or in common use also.please provide reference ...
1
vote
1answer
69 views

I had better go, I should go, I have to go [closed]

Could anyone tell me what these mean, and on what occasions it is suitable to say them? I had better go I should go I have to go.
0
votes
0answers
23 views

Identifying the subject in passive voice

What is the subject in: "In the City's Square mile are squeezed 400,000 workers" Would love to get detalied explanation. Many Thanks!
1
vote
1answer
40 views

What does the phrase “made my hair” generally imply, and do men use it commonly?

I recently came across a women who was exclaiming that she had just "made her hair" after her boyfriend pulled her hair-band off. I have never really heard of this phrase before, hence the question: ...
1
vote
0answers
28 views

How to communicate two elements of different syntactic/semantic type in the same sentence?

I have the following sentence, NAME is a community that helps each other code better by rating each other's efforts and helps managers pair with other fellow developers I was suggested by the ...
0
votes
1answer
52 views

What does “working out of” mean? [duplicate]

Can you please tell me what "working out of" means in this context? "African composers working out of European-based choral and instrumental art music traditions are gaining recognition, as are the ...
4
votes
2answers
34 views

Term to describe initial investment versus long term gains

I'm looking for a word (or phrase) to describe a situation that takes a lot of time and effort to set up initially, but the initial costs are (ideally) offset by the long-term gains. Specifically I'm ...
0
votes
1answer
40 views

Breaking sentences up

What is the right term for breaking or dividing a sentence into fragments, wherein each fragment still contains a thought/meaning? e.g.: Sports can ostracize people/ who are not very good at them./
1
vote
2answers
39 views

Where do I put this phrase in a phrase structure tree?

I am not sure where to put the AdvP in this sentence when drawing a phrase structure tree. This is the sentence I would like to create the tree for: "The car Sam bought last week won the big race." ...
1
vote
1answer
90 views

What matters vs. what matter when starting a sentence

I am wondering if it would be better to write in the sentence below, "what matters most is" or "what matter most are," since what follows are two clauses. Or should "what" stand as the singular ...
0
votes
1answer
43 views

Too blessed to be stressed [closed]

What is the meaning of the phrase "too blessed to be stressed" ?
2
votes
1answer
59 views

Generic term to describe how the lack of a normal limiting factor will allow an undesirable overuse of another resource

I'm looking for a word or phrase to describe the natural forces or factors that would normally either encourage or discourage a particular course of action if that factor is either present or not ...
2
votes
2answers
60 views

“Acted together” or “played together” or ? in a movie

I am looking for a correct and common phrase to describe that people were actors in the same movie(s): An example is: "Walter Matthau and Jack Lemmon acted together in The Odd Couple and Grumpy Old ...
1
vote
1answer
39 views

vocabulary about returning ones favor

You're asking someone to postpone something, or do something on behalf of you and at the end you want to say to him I will try to recoup it later. I will try to work on your behalf later. I'll return ...
0
votes
2answers
47 views

Meaning of “I'll have it nicely dried”

I can't understand the meaning of the phrase "I'll have it nicely dried". Does it mean the same as "I'll dry it very well"?
14
votes
19answers
3k views

Chasing something that doesn't exist

I'm trying to find a word or short phrase that would describe chasing something that doesn't exist. My restriction is that it can't be referencing something that would only make sense in our world (...
-1
votes
1answer
50 views

Usage of 'that of' [closed]

Vishal invested 2/11 th part of his monthly income in stocks share and that of 4/11th part in mutual fund This is a mathematical question (source). I am confused about the usage of 'that of' ...
0
votes
2answers
59 views

What do you call the following phrases?

In the following examples: A boy with blue eyes and black tshirt stood in the corner. An old man who knew how to live a life the right way looked through the window. What would you call ...
1
vote
2answers
56 views

Fairly deep phrase meaning

I'm having difficulty with understanding the below phrase: sorry, I've been in a fairly deep recently Is this statement cut off as not making greater sense to me? That was a response to my ...
0
votes
1answer
44 views

Sum and difference 'is known', or 'are known'? [closed]

Which of the following is correct? Given two numbers whose sum and difference is known, ... Given two numbers whose sum and difference are known,...
2
votes
1answer
52 views

What do we call a person who walks into a ditch/trap himself without anyones provokation or enticing him [closed]

Without being careful, or may be with some arrogance, if a person walks into a troublesome situation, what are the phrases or words to describe him?
0
votes
3answers
42 views

Phrase similar to “in the offing”

The meaning of "in the offing" I guess is "something that is likely to happen in the (distant) future" Is there any phrase that describes something that is likely to happen soon?
1
vote
0answers
72 views

How did “stone-cold” come to mean completely?

It seems like such an odd arrangement of words that would, in a certain context, mean "completely." Otherwise, it just means "cold." And my Google-fu has failed me; I'm unable to locate an ...
0
votes
1answer
48 views

'a same matrix' or 'the same matrix'? [on hold]

Synchronizing only a seed between the local sites and fusion center can let the pseudo-random number generators generate the same matrix A. Or Synchronizing only a seed between the local sites and ...
0
votes
0answers
23 views

any word can replace 'respectively'? [duplicate]

Given 'The two boys are from the rich and poor family, respectively.'. Then, can I say 'The two boys are from the rich and poor family each.' to remove the ugly comma? Any other suggestions are ...
1
vote
1answer
52 views

'eat extra two apples' or 'eat additional two apples'?

Should I say 'We want to eat extra two apples' or 'We want to eat additional two apples' ? OR both are correct? Any other suggestions are welcome. Thanks.
0
votes
0answers
16 views

what is the word/phrase that corresponds to 'fusion center'?

I have a sentence: Data have to be transmitted from AAA to the fusion center. AAA could be the phrase 'the local places'. However, I think 'the local places' is not a good phrase that matches the ...
1
vote
0answers
53 views

“These kids I tell you” or “kids I tell you” expression meaning

I have read them in few disconnected articles and in conversations but could not understand them completely. "These kids I tell you" or "kids I tell you" expression meaning. What do they mean ?
45
votes
5answers
7k views

Around how old is “a woman of a certain age”?

"A woman of a certain age" is a common saying. It means more than "a woman of a given age", "a woman who could be any age" or "female, without respect to age". It's usage instead seems to suggest a ...
1
vote
1answer
30 views

She has to be somewhere else later

This is the situation: Ann is going to meet Fred at 6pm. She will give him something and then she has to go because she has another meeting somewhere else at 7. Could you please give me some tips for ...
7
votes
2answers
685 views

Can “tact” be used to replace “tack”?

Fellow Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota took a similar tact as she spoke at the rally. I believe the CNN writer meant to use the word 'tack' like in the phrase ‘take a different tack’....
0
votes
1answer
34 views

What is the meaning of “ever the academic?”

I found this phrase in a story I intended to translate. I've searched it on Google but there's nothing about this phrase. Does it really have a meaning?
0
votes
2answers
49 views

“A little this and that”

When ordering a sandwich today, I said, "Could you give me a little lettuce and onions?" because I wanted small amounts of lettuce and onions. However, when I thought about it later, I wasn't sure if ...
1
vote
4answers
43 views

a word for functionalism as decoration

a word for an element of a design, or an object, that appears overtly functional but is decorative. ie, 4x4 rugged styling that is not functional; plastic bull bars. Lots of buckles or oversized, ...
2
votes
1answer
58 views

Phrase for a test to make sure nothing happens

I'm sure I've heard this phrase said before, but I can't seem to remember it or find it by searching. A positive test is one where you make sure something specific happens - I hit a button and make ...
0
votes
1answer
50 views

What does “There's got to be more to you” mean? [closed]

from song Violet Indiana-air kissing.
4
votes
3answers
90 views

What is a word or phrase that means “both achievable and challenging?”

The adjective "achievable" places an upper-bound on difficulty, whereas "challenging" is a lower-bound. I would love a word or phrase that binds difficulty in the sweet spot between these two. In ...
29
votes
27answers
9k views

Opposite of “As early as possible”

My manager asked me to finish the project as early as possible Here there is no fixed deadline available but the manager wants me to finish the project soon. Consider the case where there is a ...
0
votes
0answers
28 views

commercial line — strange?

I don't know if it's only me, but I found this sentence (actually a phrase) extremely annoying. The fact that you can travel with it as a laptop and use it as a drawing tool ... "Use it as a ...
-1
votes
1answer
613 views

What is the meaning of “creaming somebody's spinach over somebody”

I have been watching "Family Guy" recently and Peter says: "my wife's been creaming her spinach over him" What does it mean? I went from top to bottom of Google and found nothing. It's really weird ...
1
vote
2answers
69 views

What does “rather to” in the sentence “the contrary is rather to be supposed” means?

I know the meaning and usage of the phrases "rather than" or "would rather", but how to explain the sentence "the contrary is rather to be supposed"? And how to use the phrase "rather to"? It would ...
1
vote
0answers
25 views

what does it mean: “sup butter-bean” [closed]

I guess it's something when you did not succeed with something but I'm not sure. Can you explain meanings and in which contexts that can be used?
2
votes
2answers
60 views

meaning of “is by no means given”

What does "though the latter is by no means given" mean? Does the "latter" refer to "renewal"? Not only do many of these incursions into the cityscape possess a ‘temporary aspect’ in their ...
1
vote
2answers
54 views

Can starting with: “The bottom line is” be considered redundant if the reader can clearly see that's, in fact the bottom line

My questions is, can the expression "the bottom line is" be considered redundant in an example like so: "[A long, detailed text or answer.] The bottom line is, it doesn't really matter." ...
2
votes
3answers
56 views

Is there one words or a better phrase to specify daily need goods [closed]

like something to describe the commodities we use on a regular basis like stationery , coffee mugs bags, etc.