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

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Is it grammatically correct to say “I wanted to please connect with you”

I was having a debate with someone about how this phrase sounds, as it seems incorrect to me but it's been proofread many times in e-mail (yes at an american company), without anyone saying anything ...
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1answer
270 views

How to use “until now/so far” in the past tenses?

I know that "until now" indicates that something changed. No messages have come until now. Now the first message arrived. But what about using it in the past, for example in reported speech or ...
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1answer
124 views

The elephant in the room

Where does the phrase "The elephant in the room" come from ? Why an elephant ? If it has to mean something big why not "the whale in the room" ? If it has to be something that needs urgent attention ...
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1answer
299 views

Meaning of “ever so” phrase [closed]

I recently listend to an audio book and this sentence stuck in my head he put her on the cot gently and ever so gently mainly because I heard it a few more times (not the exact sentence, but the ...
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1answer
109 views

Can I use “let … alone” to mean “even though/if”? [closed]

I am composing a poem and have something like this Even if/though it is thousand miles far, we can still share the one. in mind, which I want to express it more poetically as Let thousand ...
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1answer
97 views

Is 'subject' in 'is subject to considerable debate' a verb or a noun?

Every once in a while I stumble upon this phrase: ... is subject to considerable debate Examples are easily found on the web, for instance: In the context of suspected cognitive disorders, the ...
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2answers
148 views

Which is correct: “What is” or “What are” [closed]

How should I phrase "What is the first 5 digits of your home postal code" or "What are the first 5 digits of your home postal code?"
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3answers
147 views

Use of “Just In Case”

I was writing to someone and I had below line using "just in case" "I have done blah blah blah..., just in case they need to be so and so..." I was wondering if this the right way of using it? or ...
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4answers
110 views

Justifying one wrong thing by comparing it its opposite which is also wrong

Is there a word or name for the phenomenon or syndrome in which people try to defend one wrong thing by comparing it something that is total opposite of it but also wrong? For example: Drone ...
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2answers
112 views

“To Cut Stick” Origin

I am reading Uncle Tom's Cabin. When Eliza realizes she and her son will be split up by a business deal, she runs away with him during the night. In the ensuing commotion the next morning, a boy named ...
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1answer
262 views

“The next big thing” phrase

Is the phrase "The next big thing" considered a formal or a slang phrase? Especially when communicating with a professional committee.
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1answer
102 views

What is the meaning of this phrase or sentence

while reading the lesson Bromides and Sulphides I passed through this one sentence which was qouted. If you saw that sunset painted in a picture, you'd never believe it would be possible! What ...
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1answer
127 views

What is a word for someone who loves to experience?

What is a word for someone who loves to experience? A philomath is someone who loves to learn. Wanderlust describes a strong desire to travel. In that vein, is there a word for someone who seeks to ...
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1answer
109 views

What does “Somebody is too much in one’s head” mean in contrast to “Somebody is in over one’s head”?

There was the article titled “Thunder Road” in New York Times’ (January 11) that began with the following sentence “I have learned two things covering politics. One, first impressions are often ...
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2answers
84 views

Awkward sentence [closed]

I am trying to improve this sentence. It sounds awkward to me, How can I rephrase it so it seems better and is more lucid? Which variation is the best? The biggest thing that I have improved in ...
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5answers
191 views

Is there a word for the ideas you get while showering?

Is there a word for the ideas you get while showering? Doubtful there's an English word for that, but I'd be open to words from other languages as well.
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1answer
86 views

What type of phrase is 'not quite'?

I'd like to to know what type of phrase 'not quite' is. My English Language teacher says it is a mitigated adverbial phrase, but I have no idea. I'm pretty sure it is not mitigated, but partly ...
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4answers
133 views

How to describe the feel you get when something exceedingly irritating irritates you? [closed]

Got extremely annoyed today. But that's not the word I was looking for. I had to deliver a case of bottled water to some friends living in another dorm in our college. I have to tell you, the sound ...
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4answers
147 views

How do you describe the feeling you get when you've almost dropped something but caught it in time?

Question says it all. I've had suggestions of using "relieved" or "elated", but none of them really sound like what I'm thinking of. Think about it this way. The other day, I nearly dropped my ...
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2answers
59 views

Is it correct to say “ Is mr.John in travel”? [closed]

Is this correct? Is mr.John in Travel?
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3answers
139 views

Is “Neither I you” Correct?

A friend of mine said "...I never saw you during school." For some reason I wanted to respond "Neither I you." I am certain I have heard this reply before, but, looking at it now, it does not seem ...
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17answers
21k views

A formal way to say “I don't want to sound too cocky…”

Allow me to clear the situation. I was talking with my professor about a piece of software that I had developed. While we were discussing, I wanted to say something like I don't want to sound too ...
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3answers
153 views

Is it right to say “Lack Luck”? [closed]

I have to do a project and it's about Malawi and I am not sure if it's "Lack Luck" or "Lack of Luck". Which would be better?
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1answer
32 views

Is it right to say that “they have their utopia starting when they see a plate of food and water” [closed]

I have to do a presentation about a third world country next week and I started writing down what I am going to say and I am stuck in the introduction! I am speaking Greek and this phrase make sense ...
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1answer
94 views

What is the word for a phrase which uses a homonym with two of its meanings?

For example, the phrase "I'm stuck on Band-Aid and Band-Aid's stuck on me" or "He books time to read books".
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1answer
233 views

What does “You're as bad as the old Irish woman who took the two pills to be sure, to be sure…” mean?

What does "You're as bad as the old Irish woman who took the two pills to be sure, to be sure..." mean? And if you know what it means, can you also specify the origin of this phrase? To be more ...
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1answer
265 views

Better phrasing for “In my defense” [closed]

Can anyone think of a better way to use the phrase In my defense? I'd like to find a way to rephrase this omitting the word defense. I've tried looking for synonyms of defense but I don't see ...
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2answers
266 views

Why is “Good Night!” dismissive

To start off let us construct a situation were I am walking along and I pass another person. Depending on the time of day and to be polite I say one of the following: "Good Morning!" "Good Evening!" ...
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3answers
301 views

Origin of “Very Good, Sir!”

It's quite likely you've read a P.G. Wodehouse book. Well, then you'd also know about Jeeves, and something he says quite often: Very good, sir. Jeeves is a butler. And he isn't the only one to ...
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1answer
86 views

What does “to the prejudice of discipline” mean?

I am reading a book and I came across a phrase I don't understand: A newspaper office seems to attract every conceivable sort of person, to the prejudice of discipline. I don't know what to make ...
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2answers
47 views

Is “in full length” the same as “fully” here?

I have no time to unfold my own view on this in full length. (self-made) Is this “in full length” the same as “fully”? So it is correct to use it here?
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3answers
560 views

Grammatical name and function

What is the grammatical name and function of the parts of this sentence that are capitalized: The boy WHOSE SHOES WERE DAMAGED could not go with the others.
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8answers
857 views

Phrase for something that is always out or reach/you almost have but never can get

There is I believe a two-word phrase for something that is always just out of reach for you but you can't ever seem to get (and it is NOT Tantalus or anything having to do with Tantalus, please). ...
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147 views

Synonym for “share the love” in terms of sharing information? [closed]

I'm trying to find a catch phrase that will entice customers to make referrals. We want them to "share the love" they have for our services with others, but I want it to sound professional.
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106 views

What does “by heaven” mean? [closed]

What does "by heaven" mean here? I should be far enough from imagining, he replied, that I knew the cause of any of them, by heaven I should;
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3answers
125 views

Expressions borrowed from horse racing

It seems to me that there are many election-related expressions borrowed from the realm of horse racing in English. I'm looking for an expression meaning a race or competition where it is ...
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3answers
303 views

'Happy new year, really' vs. 'Happy new year, sincerely' [closed]

Suppose I want to add more emphasis and realism to the phrase 'Happy new year', especially in order to make it less conventional, should I use—or, at least, which is better (in the ...
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2answers
211 views

Is the phrase “I feel you” too colloquial?

Does the phrase "I feel you" sound too slangy and somewhat horrible to a British person? Is it ok to use it as a synonym of "I understand what you feel/say" in an informal, casual conversation?
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4answers
148 views

Is there an English equivalent of this common Maldivian Proverb meaning “to do something carelessly or perfunctorily”?

The proverb is "Amaa buneethee fara-h dhiy-un" which basically translates to "To walk along the shore (the point of which is to collect cowrie shells which were used as currency among seafarers and ...
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230 views

“At someone's place” vs. “at someone's house” vs. “at someone's”

Do the three phrases convey the same meaning when we're referring to the place where one lives?
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1answer
212 views

what does “ride-along” mean? [closed]

What does it mean ? Hank took me on a ride-along and showed me just how much money even a small meth operation could make. It was in Breaking Bad
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2answers
59 views

Usage of 'bovinely' when fastness or slowness are involved

I know that in English 'I tried to go as slow as possible' and 'I tried to go as fast as possible' have a very different meaning, but I'm unsure how 'bovinely', before 'possible', change that ...
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2answers
94 views

Quote from a movie: “To make a pounce”

While watching the excellent 1972 picture "Cabaret", I came across an interesting quote using the expression "to make a pounce". The context it is used in can be found on subzin.com. While I have ...
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1answer
376 views

How offensive is the expression “I am sick of you”?

Question 1: What is the meaning of "I am sick of you" exactly? Question 2: Does the meaning of this expression change depending on the context? Question 3: How offensive is this expression in ...
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2answers
121 views

What does “brought low” mean in this sentence?

I'm reading Anna Katharine Green's A Strange Disappearance and found the following sentence: if the girl had a secret—as nearly all girls have, brought low as she has evidently been—it had ...
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3answers
128 views

what does “among the dead” mean?

I am reading a book that states the hero "knew himself to be among the dead". Does this means that he considered himself as good as dead, or that he understood that all the people around him were ...
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1answer
67 views

What does “disarm and waylay one's heart” mean?

In Salinger's "Paula" there is the following passage: "I so desperately want our baby born safely, darling. I’m afraid of falling. I’m afraid of a thousand things." Mrs. Hincher paused, suddenly ...
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1answer
67 views

'Happy Christmas to all, all be epicures too.'

'Happy Christmas to all, all be epicures too.' Can anyone explain what, if any, precisely means, or adds, 'all be epicures too' after 'Happy Christmas to all'? Is it idiomatic English?
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1answer
648 views

What do you call exaggerations like “I'm starving”?

For example, when you are a little hungry and you say "I'm starving", or when you are so tired and you say "I'm dying". What do you call these type of expressions? Just exaggerations? I don't know how ...
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1answer
211 views

What was “bathroom” called in 1900's?

What would have been said around 1900 for a woman saying she needed to go to the bathroom in the state of Virginia?