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

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Which phrase shall I choose, “take part in the project of or process of”?

Although it was compelled to enter the modern world by the Western countries, now China is taking part in the project of modernization more actively and has completed many great achievements in the ...
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1answer
50 views

Does this “come with” make sense in this sentence?

Food makes the human body survive, whereas Clothes decorate it. With decoration there comes propriety. (my translation for an ancient Chinese text) By "with decoration there comes propriety" I mean ...
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2answers
117 views

Does “you don't want X” mean “I don't recommend X to you”?

Quite often I read exchanges like this: — I want [something], I tried this and that but still no luck, how can I do that? — You don't want [it]. An example: example. I'm Russian, and this ...
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1answer
63 views

usage of terms “as well as ” and “as well” [closed]

Can anyone describe the usage of the terms "as well as" and "as well" in sentences? Are they interchangeable?
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6answers
2k views

Perception of the phrase “kindly let us know…”

Recently, I talked to a native speaker about the proper usage of the word “kindly”. I frequently use phrases like “kindly let us know whether you agree with the suggested approach” in business ...
3
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1answer
74 views

Usage of “What does who want?”

I have stumbled upon the phrase "What does who want?" which puzzles me. Its unusualness makes me doubt. I have been told it is used just as "What does he want?", with [who] replacing [he] when we ...
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7answers
2k views

How to say “You have this much work to do because you decided to do that much” more elegantly?

I want to try word this a bit more elegantly, fancy, etc. Basically that is a reply to a co-worker who said to me in an email saying "Too much work to do!" and I want to reply to that in an ...
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3answers
98 views

phrase request-'Luckily, it could have been worse'

It's like you just don't have money, but suddenly you realised you did put a note somewhere deep in your bag and you grab that out and just feel the mixture of being lucky and relief and pessimistic ...
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3answers
76 views

Period of time, a bit or a while

If I want to place my luggage at the hotel for a few hours, how is it best to ask if I can do this? Should I ask the receptionist: "Can I place my luggage here a bit?" or "Can I place my luggage ...
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1answer
49 views

regarding the meaning of a phrase

what is the meaning of the following phrase? once too often like he did it once too often Thanks in anticipation.
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1answer
188 views

What is the origin of “breaking bad”?

Wiktionary gives the meaning of "break bad" but does not mention about the origin: 1. (colloquial, of an event or of one's fortunes) To go wrong; to go downhill. 2. (colloquial, chiefly ...
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2answers
152 views

When something sounds too good to be true, it is or isn't?

I'm having a hard time understanding why the phrase is when something sounds too good to be true, it is and not when something sounds too good to be true, it isn't Because "when something ...
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1answer
76 views

Anything and everything

Is it correct to say, "Please feel free to change anything and everything in the draft"? I want to mean the reviewer can change as much as he wants (but want to say that more emphatically). What ...
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1answer
195 views

conceived of as vs. conceived as

When I want to write that some something has been "taken to mean" or "understood" or "interpreted as" XYZ, I sometimes use the phrase "to conceive of something as XYZ, where XYZ usually is a longer ...
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5answers
367 views

Etymology of “Feeding the dragon”

I have heard the phrase "feeding the dragon" used to describe pouring time, resources, and energy into a situation that is self-perpetuating, caught in a positive feedback loop with negative ...
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1answer
101 views

What is meant by “cock a snook” . How to use it in sentence [closed]

When I was reading an article I came across a phrase "cock a snook". After browsing I did not find any convincing or clear meaning of this sentence. I also what to use this word in a sentence.
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1answer
98 views

What do you call this (these) writing “fallacies”

I just read this answer on Chinses.Stackexchange, and I see some obvious logical "leaps of faith" that I would like to know their most accurate and concise labels. Many thought it is difficult to ...
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2answers
62 views

Deal in vs deal with

I wrote this sentence: "The scientists dealing in complex systems have proposed...." But then I thought 'dealing with' would be correct. Are they interchangeable?
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4answers
130 views

A phrase for something that is beyond our reach or unattainable [closed]

“Sir Francis Chichester was knighted by the queen. But for his other circumnavigating counterparts, a knighthood is beyond reach...” What is an alternative term for beyond reach?
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1answer
122 views

Hurt someone and say “sorry” - Is there a word to describe this type of behaviour and/or people? [closed]

People unintentionally hurt others whilst in the middle of an argument, it could happen anywhere: in public or even in the privacy of one's bedroom. When they finally realize their mistake, they end ...
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2answers
116 views

What is opposite of “Love”? [closed]

In a argument with my friend who lost her love, I came across her experience of life and what she said is : Opposite of love is NOT Hate. why, Because in love people have feeling and think about ...
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13answers
3k views

What word or phrase means “a loss of what was on your mind”?

Sometimes, in the middle of a conversation, a "loss of mind" can affect the speaker. What is the word for that situation and that person ? Are there more specific terms or phrases than: the loss ...
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4answers
224 views

Late Night vs Early Morning [duplicate]

Can anyone explain me Difference between late night & early morning ? "I slept early morning".Is this sentence correct ? What time is called morning ? After 12:00 AM ?
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2answers
85 views

Omission of a verb?

This is from George Orwell's Down and Out in Paris and London: "Thereupon a whole variegated chorus of yells, as windows were flung open on every side and half the street joined in the quarrel." ...
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7answers
591 views

Is “Upload from XML” valid in English?

Imagine an example.xml file that contains some data. Then there's a website where you can type or upload this data, so there are a few links such as "Manual Input" or "Upload from XML". Which one of ...
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1answer
92 views

Origin of “Seek first to understand, then to be understood”

One of the Seven Habits of Highly Effective People (according to Stephen Covey) is: Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood What is the origin of this phrase? My guess is that it was ...
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3answers
92 views

Put down a downpayment

Is it correct to say "to put down a downpayment"? Or should it be "to put down a payment"? But that doesn't really emphasize that it's a downpayment it could be a payment of any sort. Or maybe just ...
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2answers
106 views

Expression from “Lord of the Flies” that I cannot understand [duplicate]

All round him the long scar smashed into the jungle was a bath of heat. English is my second language, my first language is Spanish. I don't understand this sentence at all. Please explain.
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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?
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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 ...
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1answer
65 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
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1answer
155 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
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6answers
412 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 ...
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2answers
289 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 ...
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2answers
54 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'?
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6answers
83 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? ...
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7answers
953 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 ...
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2answers
80 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"?
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1answer
120 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
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4answers
118 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
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4answers
94 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
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1answer
68 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 ...
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9answers
99 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, ...
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1answer
45 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 ...
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5answers
2k 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 ...
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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 ...
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1answer
40 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 ...
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2answers
157 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 ...
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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 ...
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1answer
240 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.