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

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2answers
79 views

“Brought Forward” and “Pushed back”

During a conversation with a colleague about the time I had received an automated email, I noted that it had arrived 20 minutes late. I then checked the email schedule software and said: The ...
2
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5answers
250 views

What is the best word to describe an “object of importance” without inquiring about its past? (i.e. not memento)

I'm looking for a word to describe a gift. The way I am using this word is to describe the item in way that a person who receives this gift would almost worship it because it means so much. The words ...
0
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3answers
68 views

Using I hope in professional environment [closed]

I need to state that my goal is to answer some answers. Starting my e-mail with the "I hope..." does not sound professional. Any alternatives you can provide me with?
18
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8answers
3k views

The logic behind “better safe than sorry”

It struck me that the phrase "better safe than sorry" is somewhat illogical, or perhaps more accurately, it is so logical and obvious that it seems to carry no meaning at all. My problem with this ...
0
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2answers
49 views

Is it correct to use 'against of' in the following sentence?

Please read the following sentences. 1) We are against of removing our resource when there is no work. 2) We are against removing our resource when there is no work. Which sentence is ...
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1answer
63 views

How to say “not affected whether we use A or B” in a short and elegant way?

I want to say: Whether we use site A or site B in the analysis, we will get the same results. Both A and B are anatomical sites (or topographies) in the human body. So the results of the test will be ...
0
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1answer
32 views

The problems with “Showed”

Is it right to say " Fisher (1935) has showed that normality is guaranteed in case 1" Or should it be " Fisher (1935) has shown that normality is guaranteed in case 1" ? Personally, I guess both ...
4
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4answers
566 views

A French Phrase Similar to “Expertise”

I am looking for a phrase that is used occasionally in English as a near synonym of "expertise". For some reason, "coup d'mentarie" keeps going through my mind, but I don't believe this actually means ...
2
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5answers
125 views

Someone sociable who prefers quiet environment when outside

Someone I know who is fairly sociable, prefers unbusy (ie no crowd) environments when they're outside. They prefer to go, say shopping in late hours, in order to avoid other shoppers. Or they prefer ...
2
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1answer
67 views

Is “can it” used to express meaning like “shut up”? [duplicate]

I'm reading Peter Orner's The Raft and find a sentence as this I told the boy to can it. From the Chinese translation, it seems "can it" means "close your mouth" just liking "shut up". Is it truly? ...
0
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2answers
115 views

Please explain the meaning of the word “distance” in the sentence

Distance sometimes lets you know who's worth keeping and who's worth letting go Unless the distance is playing games with the vision and its all a mirage, a vagueness of a dream
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2answers
93 views

Is this a strong thesis statement? [closed]

I am writing a short research paper arguing that solar energy will be the dominant alternative energy source to generate electricity for American cities. My thesis is as follows: Advancements in ...
2
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2answers
165 views

Origin of the phrase “on the wrong side of history”

I've been hearing the phrase "on the wrong side of history" a lot lately, most recently today when President Obama said that Russia was on "the wrong side of history" for its actions in Ukraine. ...
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1answer
28 views

Set of Preference

I want to send a formal email to describe my order of preference of some courses that I want to study. Is it correct to say : With the following set of preference: course a course b course c
2
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4answers
179 views

What is a term for the “process of copying somebody's work/invention”?

I need a phrase to mean process of copying somebody's work is in the context of industry/manufacturing. Is there a concise phrase with the meaning similar to "plagiarism" by a competitor in business ...
2
votes
3answers
164 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?
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1answer
59 views

What does “can be said to do / to be” something mean?

The various modern revolutions in physics, in psychology, in politics, even in literary style, have not escaped his intelligent notice, but they can scarcely be said to have influenced him deeply. ...
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1answer
44 views

Origin of the phrase, “I got to talking to…”?

Where does it come from? Is it universal or specific to a particular region?
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1answer
27 views

X “has that” instead of X “can do that”

I've been encountering this more often lately. Two examples: After witnessing an impressive athletic display (a spinning reverse dunk), the announcer says "Ohh I didn't know he had that." Two radio ...
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2answers
61 views

Meaning of “put it down”

What does "put it down" mean in Brandy's song? I tried googling it, but all I got was the song's lyrics.
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2answers
39 views

Does “allows to + verb” imply that the corresponding event occured?

Example: Yahoo vulnerability allows hacker to delete 1.5 million records from database. Does this imply that the hacker did delete those records or just that he was in the position to delete the ...
0
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2answers
155 views

When the waitress at a diner calls her male customer a ''good girl'' after getting tipped, is it meant to be offensive?

My friend got called that and since neither of us are American, it just sounded offensive to us.
0
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1answer
59 views

Is the usage of “exact same” a redundant phrase? [duplicate]

Is the phrase "exact same" proper? It seems redundant; if something is the same, isnt it identical? Or, is it a pleonasm, which raises the question: should pleonasms be avoided?
2
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1answer
70 views

Swapping Words in 'Deep' Sayings

Here's an example of a common swapping that happens when people want to sound profound: The clothes don't make the man It's the man that makes the clothes What is this form of swapping called?
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11answers
2k views

[S]he has the ears of a …?

Often, when overheard from far away, I find myself saying/thinking: [S]he has the ears of a hawk! Which doesn't really make sense as hawks aren't particularly well known for their sense of ...
0
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2answers
59 views

Meaning of the phrase 'On a later note'? [closed]

I just want to know what the phrase 'On a later note' means or if it's proper phrase to be used. I've searched a lot to find out the meaning. But, couldn't. Can anyone please tell me its real ...
2
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2answers
116 views

Idioms or phrases for “Be it good or bad”

Can you suggest some idioms or phrases for Be it good or bad? For example: Be it good or bad, television has become an indispensable part of our lives.
21
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8answers
3k views

Do you hang up a cellphone?

When you disconnect your phone, you hang up. Does this phrase apply to your cellphone?
2
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3answers
45 views

Is there a term for phrases which were once literal but now figurative?

We still hang up the phone, even though we really only push a button, not suspend it in a cradle. Sometimes we tape a television series, even though the DVR does the heavy lifting, not the analogue ...
0
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3answers
99 views

Need native expressions for “something happened but no one wants to undertake the responsibility”

Are there native expressions in oral and formal writing English about something happened - mostly negative incidents or events, but those, who should be responsible for it , don't want to undertake ...
2
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1answer
75 views

What's meaning of “get to the meat of”?

For example, "let's get to the meat of the problem"? When could I use this phrase? Does this mean "let's get to the most important part of the problem"?
0
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1answer
52 views

Alternative phrasing to “getting work done”

I find myself using the phrase "I need to get some work done" in a misleading way. At any given time, I'm working on projects for my employer, projects as a podcaster, projects at my home or just ...
3
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3answers
334 views

Are 'rich' and 'cold' relative or absolute terms?

Are 'rich' and 'cold' relative or absolute terms? I said to my boss yesterday, ‘Man, it's cold out!’ He said, ‘Cold is a relative term.’ He has also said that 'rich' is a relative term. If that's the ...
0
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1answer
47 views

Art Imitates Life – Life Imitates Art: Are They One and the Same? [closed]

Movie critics frequently say, ‘Art imitates life’ and ‘Life imitates art.’ Are these two phrases synonymous? If not, can you provide an example of each phrase to illustrate the difference? The phrases ...
2
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2answers
116 views

Idiom/Phrase/Proverb to describe a scenario where a person who saved me from a bad habit has now fallen into the the same habit

I am facing a dilemma. Someone I know once (long time back) helped me get into a good habit, and abandon the accompanying bad habit, and now they have fallen into the same trap as me. I want to let ...
32
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6answers
4k views

During the “Cold War”, did Americans/Westerners call it such?

I am old enough to remember the fall of the Soviet Union, but not old enough to have had any interest in world affairs in the times before. Did Americans/Westerners refer to the "Cold War" by that ...
0
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2answers
70 views

Difference between “go through” and “come across” [closed]

Can you tell me the difference between go through and come across? Do they have the same meaning? If I want to thank someone that took a look at my CV, what do I have to say: thank you to came ...
0
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3answers
119 views

A title or descriptive phrase for someone who likes to share

I'm building a mobile app that has a series of achievements that may be awarded based on the users interaction. The app itself is an easter egg hunt. One of the achievements is for sharing (via ...
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2answers
102 views

Etymology of “Houston, we have a problem!” [closed]

Where did the phrase "Houston, we have a problem" come from? I have heard it used a lot in movies. In which situations would it be used correctly?
0
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2answers
46 views

“Find out about my solutions”

"Come visit me to find out about the solutions" find out about sounds weird to me: what are some synonyms to better express the concept?
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1answer
70 views

What does “leaves you wanting more” mean?

For eg. Sony Z1s: It's Got the Look, But Leaves You Wanting More.
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1answer
37 views

How can you paraphrase “Here you are?”

When you hand something to someone, you say "Here you are." I know this it a set phrase but it looks incomplete and doesn't make much sense to me. How can you paraphraze or complete the sentence?
4
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10answers
760 views

What is another way of saying “final solution?”

"Final Solution" is not the optimal phrase to use because it has a negative historical reference. When working on a project, I'd like to find a phrase that describes the process of evolving solutions ...
0
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2answers
48 views

As it did - meaning and usage

I found this interesting topics being discussed here. I also had some time back asked similar questions in the other forum. Here is the sentence - Although his (Nirmal) detainment (in prison) ...
7
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3answers
508 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.
1
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5answers
266 views

“miss you” vs “missing you” in the present [closed]

Both the simple and the continuous are out there, but if you had to pick one: I miss you. I am missing you. ... She misses her family. She is missing her family. I want to say ...
0
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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 ...
3
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2answers
251 views

“Chief Cook and Bottle Washer” meaning and etymology

In my experience, referring to someone in an organization as "chief cook and bottle washer" has multiple possible meanings: person has a wide variety of duties in the organization person is very, ...
0
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2answers
64 views

“By some at least of the merchants” — what does this syntax mean?

The thirteenth century also witnessed the adoption of armorial devices by some at least of the merchants. — (Goodall, John A.., Heraldry in Italy During the Middle Ages and Renaissance, ...
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2answers
59 views

Phrases to describe different conditions

For example, I measure test scores for different groups of students. When I present the results, should I say: Here are test scores with respect to different student groups. Or: Here are ...