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

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Help understanding a sentence/reference

The introductory paragraph of the book An Introduction to Mathematics, written for general audience by the great British mathematician Alfred North Whitehead goes like this: Chapter 1: THE ...
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70 views

Is it grammatically correct to say “John, good morning to you” [duplicate]

Two hosts on the Today Show constantly say "John, good morning to you" when starting to speak with someone on air. The others usually stick with "John, good morning". Adding the "to you" seems to ...
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11answers
2k views

Antonym for 'preaching to the choir'

I'm looking for a phrase which essentially means questioning a belief you share with someone, but that other person has an almost unshakable faith in that belief, so your misgivings fall on deaf ears ...
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2answers
35 views

Sentence interpretation

I have been accused of a lack of reading comprehension in the following statement: Irgun later on became part of the "Jewish authorities", specifically the IDF by a self-professed wordsmith. To me, it ...
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1answer
198 views

Origin of 'the new normal' as a freestanding phrase

This morning, in a New York Times article called “Waters Warm, and Cod Catch Ebbs in Maine,” the following sentence appears: Fishermen, scientists and regulators often disagree over whether the ...
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1answer
317 views

Who originated “Merry Christmas”?

The first reference I can find in the OED to "Merry Christmas" is from 1534. This date very roughly corresponds with the English Reformation and Henry VIII's breach with Rome. From that time the ...
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10answers
4k views

I’m looking for a word or phrase that describes the feeling that something very bad or catastrophic is about to happen

It may be something that will happen to the person who is having the feeling but it may also be to several persons, as might occur with a highly destructive earthquake, for instance. The word or ...
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2answers
46 views

Is there any phrase 'use to" in english [duplicate]

phrase use to I want to know is there any phrase use to in english if yes then how to use it
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1answer
66 views

What is the difference between “extended from” and “extending from”?

Scenario 1: part A is extended from part B Scenario 2: part A is extending from part B Is there any difference between these two descriptions? Would any one so kind to help me about this? Thanks in ...
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1answer
54 views

How would you phrase this sentence?

If I'm talking about, say, an exhibition, and it's going to last for a few months, which one would you say? "The exhibition will continue through to May." "The exhibition will continue through May." ...
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2answers
219 views

19th century American English “slang”?

As I was doing a bit of research online I stumbled on this Children's Corner page 311 from the American Farmers' Magazine 1858. And, frankly, there are a lot of words that look totally foreign to me. ...
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1answer
62 views

Care about and Care for

Whats the difference between "care for something" and "care about something". English is not my first language so just looking for clarity. Can i use them interchangeably?
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1answer
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Events calendar/activities calendar or event calendar/activity calendar? [duplicate]

Which is correct (or more commonly-used) Events calendar/activities calendar or event calendar/activity calendar? Thanks!
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2answers
163 views

Torturing oneself by emotions is called?

People who love emotions, they love to torture themselves by emotional feelings. Be it real or vicarious. Often see people reading love stories and getting emotional, listening to sad song and watch ...
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1answer
60 views

“To tell the truth” vs “to tell you the truth.” [closed]

What's the difference between the two? Which one is more common? When should I use the former and then the latter?
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1answer
36 views

“Kick off tracking time in the notepad” means start making notes or stop making notes

I'm not sure for 100% if "Kick off tracking time in the notepad" means to start or, otherwise, to stop tracking time in the notepad. Could anybody explain? Thank you.
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2answers
177 views

What's the origin of the phrase “men are pigs”?

I believe every man and woman has either read about or heard this phrase been spoken at least once in their lifetime. Besides the obvious connotation ascribing men to pigs, what is the reasoning ...
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2answers
87 views

Close by or nearby? [closed]

The cops traced residential address of his relatives who lived close by. Close up/down, close off, close in are terms well understood, I have not seen such usage of close + by. Would it be ...
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2answers
68 views

Old timers referring to a “bad penny”

What is the source and meaning of "turning up like a bad penny?"
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1answer
86 views

Synonymous idiom for: You can't run before you can walk

I'm looking for an alternative way of saying "You can't run before you can walk." This is equivalent to saying "you can't take on higher level things before you have mastered the basics". I am ...
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5answers
523 views

Any compact ways to say “reduce the model to less than 25% of its original size”?

As the title of the question requests, are there any compact ways to say to reduce the model to less than 25% of its original size? The original phrase looks weird.
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1answer
96 views

“I think she is not right” - is this sentence correct?

I know you can say "I don't think she's right" but I was wondering whether there is another way to say that.
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2answers
126 views

What can I use to replace the expression “Since the dawn of time”? [closed]

What should I replace the clichéd expression "since the dawn of time" with?
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2answers
31 views

Integrate socially

I want to highlight the aspect of socially integrating with a team as well as integrating with the team's work flow. Personally I think that when using 'integrate' in regards to 'integrating with a ...
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6answers
136 views

Which word or phrase describes a situation where the answer is both a pro and a con?

Sometimes when people are enumerating the good and bad aspects of something, the same thing comes up in both the pros and cons. For example, a certain policy may be considered good because it ...
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2answers
74 views

Is there a word or phrase for someone who always tries to get more than he needs or deserves?

This person always tries to get more than he/she needs, especially gratuities, gifts and souvenirs. Looking or sounding ridiculous is no barrier for him/her.
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2answers
350 views

Is there a general name for this: “The more you X the more you'll Y”

Some more examples: "The more you want the more you need." "The sooner you mow the lawn the sooner you'll be able to relax." Maybe there's not a name for this specifically, but is there a name ...
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4answers
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What is a word, or phrase, for something that is so obscure that you no longer want to do it?

My coworkers and I are using an internal request site and we are trying to figure out the correct word, phrase, or expression for our feelings. The site, and it's instructions, are so obscure that it ...
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6answers
106 views

Thinking way ahead and into unnecessary details

Is there any expression/phrase which means 'thinking way ahead and into unnecessary details'. An example would be a person thinking about the what color the doormat would be even before buying a ...
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1answer
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Times the expression “why me” is used and origin [closed]

Whether it be lightheartedly or in a bout of depression. Please share stories of times you have said this as well as any definitions you know based on how the word is used and any history you know of ...
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71 views

Alternative for Under the Guidance of

I am writing a statement of purpose and want an alternative for "under the guidance of Professor". I has been used many times in the SOP and I want to avoid using it as much as possible. One ...
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3answers
130 views

Opposite of Candid Photograph?

What’s the opposite of a candid photo? staged photo posed photo Neither staged photo nor posed photo sounds right though.
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81 views

Is there a word or phrase for someone who has difficulty telling his right side from his left side?

For some neurologic reason such person can't tell right side from left side. He may have a ribbon round his wrists to save him trouble.
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3answers
91 views

Another way of saying “even with this considered”

Basically, the second sentence seems horribly clumsy to me. I've spent so long looking at it that I have a mental block of how to change it. So, an act could be seen as wrong owing to a different ...
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1answer
32 views

Shortening a frequently used phrase in a paper

What is the correct term for referring to something as X throughout the remainder of a paper/article? For instance, I'm writing a mock memorandum to a client in a tax class I'm taking and I would like ...
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1answer
36 views

Omitting linking verbs

In the following sentence, is it grammatically correct to omit "being"? Cross-reference [being] impossible, we must but rely on this sole documentarian, as any other ways of accessing the ...
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1answer
44 views

Article usage and of phrase

Here are two examples: A: I heard there were those in this town who collect the LP. B: Yes, over there, Tom and Gina. They are the collectors of the LP you are looking for. In general, the ...
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The release stage in 'set down 'big pan'.

My question is: 'Set down' - /t/ is inaudibly released because of the 'plosive + plosive' combination. So /d/ in a word 'down' also should be inaudibly released, right? 'Big pan' - during my classes ...
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3answers
52 views

Word or phrase designating the consensus reached at the last conversation about a topic

I vaguely remember hearing a term for this, but can't remember what it was. The word or phrase refers to the consensus reached at the end of the last conversation about a topic, just before the group ...
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1answer
35 views

How do you use the phrase “all about” in terms of location? [closed]

There's a line in Dropkick Murphys' song "Going out in style" saying "take my urn to Fenways spread my ashes all about" I suppose this means "all over the place"? I tried searching for all ...
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6answers
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A good sentence for specifying “without considering something” formally

Suppose that someone has done something valuable, but in doing that he has made some kind of cheating. I want to say that if we ignore the cheating, the work is valuable itself. What is an ...
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1answer
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the phrase “from now on” to be used in similar phrases

All of us know that "from now on" means starting from now, for example: From now on, all of us have to turn our mobiles off. But is this term assignable to such phrase? From lesson three on... (I ...
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1answer
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'Birthdate vs birthday'- I know three other people who share my birthdate

We say birthday and not birthdate Generally, birthplace is used for place of birth but not birthdate for date of birth. What is the reason that birthday scores over birthdate when it comes to ...
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2answers
52 views

Usage of the phrase “over his lifetime”

Is it appropriate to use the phrase "over his lifetime" for in introducing someone if the person is still alive, i.e. "...his dedication to music over his lifetime..."
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3answers
63 views

“Don't teach somebody to do bad things” - is there any expressions in English?

In Russian there's a sort of expressions like "Не учи его/ee плохому". Literally, "Do not teach him/her to do bad things", usually used, when somebody gives an advice, that could be harmful for the ...
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1answer
600 views

Etymology of 'swan song'

Can someone explain the historical background behind this phrase with context to its usage today? There are several versions of etymology, so which version is most widely accepted? I came across this ...
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1answer
103 views

Meaning of the phrase 'out upon it'

I came across this phrase twice while reading the play Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare in the following contexts: 1 - "Out upon it old carrion, Your flesh rebels at these years?". A ...
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6answers
5k views

What is the American word for 'tea-towel'?

On a tour from Australia to the states my wife asked me to stop at the gift store and buy memorable fridge-magnets and tea-towels. Everywhere I went, none of the store attendants seemed to know what ...
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4answers
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Can “barge in” be used as an informal and quirky way of saying “come in” and “come on in”?

I am looking for a specific US expression. An informal way of saying "all right, come on in" to a very good friend in a situations as follows: The (drunk) friend who is barging into my suit suite ...
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Meaning of “seek out like water”

What does seek out like water mean in the following sentence? The epitaph contained a final message from Maynard, who expressed a note of deep thanks to all of her supporters, whom she "sought out ...