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

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2answers
61 views

How to say “I have sent your words to students” in formal way? [closed]

I'm a teacher and I've asked another teacher about his opinion over a matter and he replied. I have told students about his opinion and now I am replying back to him again. I don't know how to say ...
0
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2answers
36 views

When should I write “some stratagems” and when “some stratagem”?

Instances of "some stratagems": 1 , 2 , 3 , 4 Instances of "some stratagem": 1 , 2 , 3 , 4 Is "stratagem" plural noun itself? (like phenomena) If so, is it possible to use "s" to make it plural ...
5
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14answers
1k views

Opposite of “out of date”? [closed]

Can anyone think of a phrase we would use to describe a situation where something is the opposite of "out of date"; that is, it's "too new"? For example, a banana that's been sitting around for ages ...
1
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2answers
109 views

How would I punctuate the phrase “making that which needs to be better better”? Is this phrase grammatically correct?

How would I punctuate the phrase "making that which needs to be better better"? I'm guessing that the phrase is grammatically correct, and that the punctuation is as follows, along with an example ...
3
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3answers
122 views

What does “alright” mean when it's at the end of a sentence?

a. Life has no meaning alright. What does "alright" mean in the sentence above? I can't find it in the dictionary!
1
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3answers
93 views

what does “exist at all” mean?

I need help about a certain phrase. I couldn't grasp the exact meaning of "exist at all" in the following sentence: This is the basis of nuclear fission reactors, where unstable nuclei of very ...
3
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1answer
58 views

What does it mean when someone has “golden pipes” and how did it originate?

I believe I saw this mentioned in an article/blog post I read a while ago. From what I remember, the article was about a person's amazing singing voice. However, I looked it up recently and didn't ...
4
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1answer
1k views

“It worked for me in high school and it's been a reflex ever since”? [closed]

A: Just go out with me one time. If you are miserable, I will never hint at the subject again. B: I don't think it's smart. A: I know that I am an asshole. It worked for me in high school, ...
1
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1answer
115 views

Why do we say “Fever broke”?

When someone is suffering from fever, at some point in time when it stops or it starts getting better, we say the fever has broken. His fever broke last night. He's going to be alright. What's ...
1
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4answers
88 views

Not true in general, but possibly true in some cases

Is there an abbreviation, an English or a Latin expression for "not true in general, but possibly although not necessarily true in some cases"? I suppose such a phrase may be used frequently in law ...
4
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3answers
517 views

Things saved in the memory of the gone people — are called?

We all love to save things, collect items, items/things those remind us of the departed souls or gone people, gone from life may or may not be dead. What are those things called ? They might not be ...
1
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5answers
215 views

Keep the good work up / Keep up the good work - Are they both grammatical?

I have always heard “Keep up the good work”, but “Keep the good work up” also sounds fine to me. Is it acceptable?
1
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2answers
93 views

how to say it if you used a wrong window on you instant messanger? [closed]

Can I use - oops wrong window? Sorry, I meant someone else? or...? I'm talking about very informal situation when you are (text) chatting through Skype or other IM with several friends at the same ...
0
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2answers
66 views

“If only to do” vs “only to do”

He eats, if only to survive. He eats only to survive. Do these two have differences? And is if only to the reduced form of if it were only to? Thanks.
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4answers
160 views

I'm tired of writing out the phrase “himself or herself”. What are my options? [duplicate]

Because of English's lack of a gender neutral third person singular possessive pronoun, whenever the need for such a referent presents itself in the course of writing, we seem to be left with ...
1
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1answer
60 views

Phrase type help needed

In the following sentence: I thank you for arranging the wedding. What type of phrase is for arranging the wedding? For is a preposition, but the fact there is not only a noun following it but ...
0
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4answers
101 views

Alternatives to “yet on the other hand”

I just read "yet on the other hand" in a published research article and it seemed off to me. Is it just me? Is there a better alternative? Specifically: The yet seems to be redundant to on the other ...
0
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2answers
71 views

What is the proper term for placeholder messages?

What is the proper English term for placeholder messages that you find in software, in the following format: "No Search Results" "No Message Selected" "Unable to Connect" "Nothing to Show" etc ...
16
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3answers
1k views

A term describing the replacement of a specific word in a saying with one that ryhmes

I understand this is quite a complicated title, however I have failed to discover a word (or a few words) to adequately describe the creative language used when changing a saying (or well-known ...
0
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2answers
135 views

“at the cost of” vs. “at the expense of”

I usually use "at the cost of", but my editor made it "at the expense of". For example, the following sentence: The counts in Table 2 are all based on implementations that are optimized for ...
1
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2answers
136 views

What does “that's what” mean? [closed]

I heard many people saying this, but I couldn't really understand what they meant to say: That's what I am saying.
0
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2answers
104 views

What does the phrase: ''Let's throw a little wrench in his plans'' mean? [closed]

I've found this phrase in a game or movie. Don't remember now. What does it mean? Is it some kind of idiom?
1
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2answers
53 views

Is the use of “acquainted with” correct here?

Accidentally, I was acquainted with a NGO called Liren University, which was dedicated to providing a universal education for youths on liberal arts. I do not know how to describe this sort of ...
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2answers
74 views

Unusual usage of the phrase “leave me alone” [closed]

Is the following phrase incorrect or awkward somehow: I've been trying to make the ghost of you leave me alone.
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2answers
41 views

“choice of ride” or “ride of choice”

When asking someone what brand of motorcycle he chooses to ride, which of the following two sentences is correct? What is your ride of choice? What is your choice of ride?
18
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6answers
3k views

What's the opposite of eye candy?

What's the opposite of eye candy? I heard someone say, "Eye broccoli," but that's not very accurate to those of us who love broccoli. Any other ideas?
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2answers
93 views

How, when and where did the phrase 'state of the art' originate? [closed]

How, when and where did the phrase 'state of the art' originate?
2
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2answers
67 views

what's the English phrase for the Chinese one “Destination at south, heading to north”?

There's a famous Chinese fable:   Once a man wanted to go to the south, but his carriage was heading north. A passer-by asked him: "If you are going to south, why is your chariot heading north?"The ...
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2answers
71 views

“The other side” to refer to the afterlife

Why did the chicken cross the road? To get to "the other side." Now you can take this one of two ways. Either the chicken simply wants to arrive on the other side of the road, or he is suicidal and ...
0
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0answers
32 views

Is it common to use the phrase “come with” without specifying with whom [duplicate]

We’re going to the pub. Want to come with?” I have heard this from an American colleague. Though this sounds odd to the majority of us, however, since I am not sure of the usage, I am asking how ...
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2answers
111 views

“Ronnie's wife keeps his social calendar where she keeps his balls: in her purse.”

What does it mean? "Ronnie's wife keeps his social calendar where she keeps his balls: in her purse." I guess it means Ronnie's wife is on top of Ronnie's social life and he is under her control.
0
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2answers
112 views

punctuation after beginning sentence with “In summary”, “Summing up” or “Last but not least”

I am often wondering if there is a comma needed after starting a sentence with in summary, summing up or last but not least. Here are two examples: Summing up, both children returned home safe. ...
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1answer
37 views

Can I say “when it comes to the stage of…”?

As a result, the two of us who started off being very poor in programming wound up writing and designing the main structure of a website called “team work”. I continued to be in charge of technology ...
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2answers
120 views

Winter is gone and spring is come [duplicate]

I understand "He is gone" or "Winter is gone" is the common usage. But is "She is come" or "Spring is come" as common?
2
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1answer
355 views

Origin of “you have nothing to fear if you have nothing to hide”?

What is the origin of the phrase You have nothing to fear if you have nothing to hide. I see it occasionally bounced around, sometimes as an authoritarian slogan. Brief research indicates some ...
0
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1answer
50 views

Which one is correct to show that “the fan” in not the only one? [closed]

Which one is correct? a big fan of yours in millions or a big fan in millions of yours Tanx
0
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1answer
77 views

Is it just me or is “I can't tell them apart” odd? [closed]

As I understand it, "tell" usually refers to talking or explaining something to someone. If you "can't tell", it means you don't have enough information to determine what to say. However, this ...
0
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2answers
83 views

Synoyms: one-time-purchase (business model) / one-shot deal businesses

What phrases describe a one-time purchase business plan or a one-shot business deal? For instance: a restaurant is in Times Square, the food is atrocious but it doesn't matter because there are ...
6
votes
6answers
713 views

Is “straight from Kafka” an idiom?

I am working as a translator and in one of my projects, which was about strategic management , I came across this sentence: " In scenarios that come straight from Kafka, the simplest problems take ...
1
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2answers
85 views

What's the meaning of “When you rock the boat, there will be waves”?

Does this phrase mean "When you cause a problem, people get upset."?
0
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1answer
87 views

Come out of the closet

'Come out of the closet ' derives from the phrase 'a skeleton in the closet'. Why is it perfectly OK to say come out of the closet but not come out of the cupboard as a follow-on the British phrase ...
1
vote
1answer
67 views

what does 'live up to the buzz' stand for?

I recently read an article about honey As I was reflecting on all the health benefits of honey, it suddenly occurred to me: I don't think I've ever seen a sick bee. Coincidence? Probably. But ...
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votes
1answer
104 views

“Let it will be” [closed]

"Let it be" is an easy phrase to understand and to use. It's widely used and it's a set phrase, so it's hard to make mistake here. Why would a native speaker say "Let it will be"? Is it the same ...
2
votes
2answers
98 views

“all the virtues in the calendar”

Does anyone know the origin of the phrase "all the virtues in the calendar"? Doing a phrase search (with quotes) gives many example usages. Questions: 1. Is there an actual calendar of virtues ...
2
votes
4answers
131 views

Up Hill vs. Down Hill [duplicate]

The expression "It's all up hill from here!" and "It's all down hill from here!" mean that things will only get better or things will only get worst. Metaphorically going uphill can provide for a ...
2
votes
5answers
169 views

A word for extreme care, attention, dedication towards words or a language

I'm looking for a word or a phrase which suggests the treatment of words or a language with extreme care, attention, and devotion -- like on StackExchange for example. I thought of pamper e.g. words ...
2
votes
5answers
774 views

Is “I'll be John Brown” a common phrase?

The phrase: I'll be John Brown! is an occasionally-used term in North Carolina. Mostly thought to replace taking the Lord's name in vain (GD). Is it used elsewhere? How long has it been ...
2
votes
1answer
104 views

Meaning of “hound” [closed]

I came across this sentence: "He believed that whatever he planned to do was hound to end in failure." I looked up the meaning of the word "hound" in my dictionary. But either the word in this ...
6
votes
1answer
142 views

A frog in the throat

While the French refer to the temporary hoarseness caused by phlegm in the back of the throat as having a cat in the throat, the English version of the expression is to have a frog in the throat. I ...
6
votes
3answers
258 views

A saying that means “our best friends are those we have known for a long time”

We don't yet know what our new friends are like, and our best friends are those we have known for a long time. I am looking for a phrase, traditional saying or idiom that expresses this idea.