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

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635 views

What is the origin of the phrase “Never Put a Hat on a Bed”?

I came across the phrase "never put a hat on a bed" while playing Google Feud. It was the top result for "Never put a _______". I looked it up, and found out that there's a superstition that says that ...
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2answers
61 views

Does “One in ten” require hyphens

In the sentence "one in ten people hate..." which is the correct way to refer to 1/10: "One in ten" or "One-in-ten" I'm not too sure if the hyphens are entirely necessary here. I have however seen ...
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3answers
82 views

A word or phrase for someone who is dull and unaware of it

Is there a good word or phrase for to describe someone is generally dull, but believes themselves to be exciting and is unaware that talking to them is laborious?
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1answer
57 views

What is the meaning of “rake in the bucks”?

I've read the phrase in a post by Joel Spolsky: You should be starting to get some ideas about how to break the chicken and egg problem: provide a backwards compatibility mode which either ...
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0answers
31 views

Phrase for a specific point

Is there a more point-specific way to say "As a preliminary point,". For example, if I want to talk about the contents of a piece of agreement but I wish to point out on the outset that it is not ...
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0answers
80 views

A word or phrase for a non-military attack on a country's home soil

Consider this definition of asymmetric warfare: Asymmetric warfare is war between belligerents whose relative military power differs significantly, or whose strategy or tactics differ ...
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1answer
79 views

What does the phrase 'much the most" mean?

Is it really a phrase? I found it in Tom Sawyer - "...and the most hospitable and much the most lavish in the matter of festivities that St Petersburg could boast..."
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0answers
19 views

“What can be the reason” vs “What could be the reason” [duplicate]

Can "Can" and "Could" be used interchangeably here in the sentences? What can be the reason? What could be the reason?
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2answers
112 views

Why are ambiguous phrases like “ain't no something” still used? [duplicate]

There are some phrases in English that lead to nothing but unnecessary confusion and frustration, especially for non-native speakers. For instance, I've seen the phrase ain't no something being used ...
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1answer
1k views

Envy is the biggest tribute

The best football (soccer) coach in the world for the past 12 years said: Envy is the biggest tribute that the shadows do to the man. Where does the phrase come from?
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0answers
117 views

“With this going on” and “got a lot going on”

Here's a fragment of "Rocky Balboa - Inspirational Speech": With this going on, it's gonna be worse than ever. - It don't have to be. - Sure it does. -Why? You got a lot goin' on, kid. And ...
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2answers
85 views

Is it grammatically correct to combine 2 phrases into 1 sentence?

Is this sentence acceptable or correct "You're welcome, have a nice day ahead." ?
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1answer
88 views

What's the phrase that is used with 'honest' to indicate sarcasm that I am being monitored [closed]

What's it that is used with 'honest' to indicate sarcasm that I am being monitored. .
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1answer
122 views

What is meaning of “up the block”

What does phrase "we're up the block" mean? And specifically word block. Now it's two o'clock The club is closed and we're up the block Thanks in advance.
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0answers
56 views

What's the meaning of “we couldn't shake it”

I've heard this phrase in a song, but I don't think its meaning lies in terms to get rid off something. I'll never forget you Although at times we couldn't shake it
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1answer
40 views

“We proceed to a further generalization…” removing stuffy language from a technical paper [closed]

I am a math major, but sometimes I read the stuffy language in these papers and I really crack up. The worst part is, when I start writing I do exactly the same thing. Certain phrases used over and ...
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3answers
118 views

Is this redundant phrasing a rhetorical device? Does it have a name?

I'm wondering if there's a name for this particular kind of redundant phrasing: So what I'm going to do right now is, I'm going to . . . or So what you want to do is, you want to . . . I ...
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1answer
75 views

I'll have a or the regular hamburger

Which of the following statements is more common in ordering what you want in a hamburger shop? 1) I'll have a regular hamburger and a small French fries. 2) I'll have the regular hamburger and the ...
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4answers
972 views

What would you call that feeling of something crawling on the body

Morgellons is a controversial and poorly understood condition in which unusual thread-like fibers appear under the skin. The patient may feel like something is crawling, biting, or stinging ...
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4answers
677 views

Is it the “second half” or “second part” of the century?

I faced this problem when interpreting the transcript of records today. The subject is: "European History of the second half/part of the XX century till today" So is it better to say "part" or ...
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1answer
71 views

What does “flavor” mean in the field of Information Technology? [closed]

I often notice the word flavor being used on the Web. I'm from Russia, and this word is generally translated into Russian as the equivalent of 'impression', 'taste' etc. However, these translations ...
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2answers
68 views

Quite apart from [closed]

What does "Quite apart from the times" mean in the following sentence: Quite apart from the times, I have had to take tests at various points in my life. Does it mean Indicating taking tests ...
2
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8answers
197 views

Is there a phrase for “a close distance”?

I'm trying to describe a sense of distance that makes one feel his/her personal space is invaded. The context would be "She turned around, only to see him grinning at her from _____." I tried "a ...
3
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4answers
106 views

Phrases that express “to look around nervously”

I'm trying to describe a situation where someone is on high alert, scanning his surroundings looking for potential threat. It seems to me that "Look around" lacks the sense of tension I want. "Scan" ...
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4answers
281 views

What is the opposite of “arch” as a verb when talking about movement?

When on all fours (hands and knees): If the verb to bend the back upwards (forming an arch shape) is "arch", what is the verb to bend the back down (forming a valley)? Or is there a short phrase that ...
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4answers
624 views

Alternate phrase for “I would be happy to” [closed]

I had an interview at a company 5 weeks ago. I received feedback that they "liked" me but need to interview a couple of additional candidate. I am going to send them an email to let them know I am ...
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1answer
51 views

Correct usage of “to find oneself at daggers drawn with sb.”

I am looking into the usage of the phrase to find oneself at daggers drawn with sb. It seems to require a person at the end of the phrase, but I would like to use it in the following way: ...
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2answers
64 views

Adverb position in app notification

In our application, when one deletes a room, a notification message pops up. It says "Your room has been deleted successfully". I have been taught that adverbs are often supposed to precede the verb, ...
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2answers
136 views

A formal way of saying 'rub it in'.

I am trying to find a formal phrase equivalent to the colloquial expression'rub it it.' rub it in (informal) if someone rubs it in, they keep talking about something that makes you feel ...
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8answers
1k views

A word for support that is superficial, but not operational

I'm looking for a word to describe support that is shown only on a public level; it is declarative but not operational, more like an encouragement. For example, I might support all organizations that ...
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1answer
42 views

Correctness of the usage of the phrase 'by (or in) virtue of'

Is the following sentence grammatically correct? Are there any alterations I must make? I am very much observant in virtue of my tendency of being silent.
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1answer
57 views

a combined total of x and/or y [closed]

On a wiki a user has replaced all instances of the phrase a combined total of 100 x and y with a combined total of 100 x or y Which one is more correct/appropriate to use? Is it situational? Are ...
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3answers
104 views

Non-finite Adjectival Clause or Adverbial Clause

I came across the following grammatical terms and example sentences on Wikipedia: As an adjectival phrase modifying a noun phrase that is the object of a verb, provided the verb admits this ...
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1answer
83 views

In the 2011 film “bad teacher”, there is an exchange between several characters [closed]

Squirrel: I am so excited we're gonna be across-the-hall mates. But I'm so sad… it's because your relationship ended. Elizabeth: Who are you again? Squirrel: Amy Squirrel. Elizabeth: ...
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2answers
115 views

“What happened to ____?” versus “What happened _____?”

I seem to remember my parents, who came from Dublin, Ireland, saying a phrase like "what happened it" or "what happened him" rather than "happened to it" or "happened to him". But it might have been ...
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2answers
99 views

What does “I chap easily” mean?

I remember hearing this line in an old American comedy TV program A guy starts kissing his boss's hand because he gave him a promotion, and the boss says "be careful (or was it, Stop it, I think, but ...
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1answer
82 views

Origin of the phrases “out back” and “out front”?

I'm going through the Song of Ice and Fire books, and although it's mostly written in what appears to be British English, very occasionally Americanisms sneak in. One example that I just noticed is ...
2
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3answers
292 views

Phrases for (someone) making a short visit/appearance

When I need to visit to any place for a very short time, say, for 10-15 minutes A politician coming late and leaving in minutes at a fundraiser. An acquaintance just dropping by to say ...
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1answer
278 views

Compounds and Phrases - differences

What are differences of compounds and phrases and what do they have in common? I know there is the "nuclear stress rule" (phrasal stress on the last word of phrase) and the "compound stress rule" ...
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2answers
545 views

Metaphors about death [closed]

What are some sayings or metaphors that would interact well with a massacre or calamity? for example "The crows feasted for days"
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1answer
52 views

Is this phrase correct? “I see this program as a cornerstone in my process to become an excellent software engineer” [closed]

English is not my native language and somehow this phrase doesn't feel right. What do you guys think? I see this program as a cornerstone in my process to become an excellent software engineer.
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1answer
95 views

What types of words/phrases are “this” “here” & “they”?

I'm currently doing an analytic essay on my drama coursework (fun.). I'd like to explain how the playwright never reveals the exact setting of the act, by using only phrases such as "this","here", and ...
0
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1answer
218 views

Is the usage of 'Due to urgent personal errands' valid? [duplicate]

I see in my company mails, there is a lot of usage of the statement Due to urgent personal errands (..I may not report to office today) which, by hunch, I guess is not a proper usage. What is the ...
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votes
2answers
52 views

What is the difference between those two phrases [closed]

my girlfriend got mad at me for commenting "this is so going down" on a picture with a nude girl. What is the difference between "this is so going down" and "i am so going down on this"? Thanks a ...
7
votes
3answers
502 views

Is 'Single Sitting' a proper phrase?

Being an Indian, I don't like the way we Indians use the English. Of course I also make mistakes, but I will try to learn from time to time. I see and hear some phrases like, Please do the needful, ...
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1answer
171 views

Taste of one's own medicine: the logic behind the phrase

Is there a logical story behind this phrase? Because when looked at from a naive perspective, giving somebody their own medicine sounds like a kind thing to do as it would only treat their illness. ...
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3answers
68 views

Where does the phrase “Job Lot” come from?

The phrase "Job Lot" is used in auctions to mean an often assorted quantity of something, for example a "job lot of bicycle parts" could be a load of tyres, wheels, handlebars, frames, chains, etc. I ...
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1answer
204 views

What is today's date vs What date is it today? [duplicate]

What is today's date vs What date is it today ? Is there an alternative to this?
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1answer
61 views

What does the phrase “monday story” mean? [closed]

Sometimes I come across the phrase "A mondey story". I was wondering what it means.
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2answers
43 views

How else can “he's really inconsistent” be expressed ? [closed]

How else can "he's really inconsistent" be expressed ? For an article about a sports person.