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

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a combined total of x and/or y

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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0answers
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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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6answers
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Is “glass cannon” a generally recognized phrase?

"Glass cannon" is a popular term in gaming (especially online-gaming), where it refers to a character class that has remarkable offensive power, but has low defense. Urban Dictionary also defines this ...
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3answers
43 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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0answers
22 views

Asking about the meaning of a phrase: a point of useful application

I came across the phrase that I was not so sure of the meaning: a point of useful application, which appeared in the context as follows. Shafts are a common method used to transmit power from a motor ...
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0answers
47 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
80 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
58 views

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

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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5answers
3k views

“You're not the boss of me” vs “You're not my boss”

For some years now I've heard You're not the boss of me increasingly more often relative to the more "correct, natural" (to me, at least) You're not my boss. Thanks to the magic of NGrams, I've ...
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1answer
66 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 ...
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0answers
29 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 ...
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4answers
183 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
4k 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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1answer
29 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
45 views

“I will inform you as soon as I get it” [on hold]

Can you please help me on this? Is it correct to say: "I will inform you as soon as I get it" Thank you
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5answers
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 ...
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1answer
43 views

What is the difference between 'You are listened to' and 'You are heard'?

I've never heard anyone using the phrase 'listened to', unless a noun is added at the end of the phrase. When one listens to all complaints given by another, can one say 'You are listened to' to that ...
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2answers
95 views

Metaphors about death [on hold]

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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2answers
78 views

Origin of golden parachute

noun 1. an employment contract or agreement guaranteeing a key executive of a company substantial severance pay and other financial benefits in the event of job loss caused by the company's being ...
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3answers
54 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
35 views

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

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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3answers
466 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
66 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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1answer
36 views

semantic difference for the forms: “x of y” vs. “x of the y” vs. “y x”

As a non-native speaker, I have a problem understanding the difference in meaning of the following forms: "… of …" "… of the …" "… …" To be more specific, let me give some instances: "theory of ...
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1answer
51 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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0answers
22 views

which is grammatically correct to use as a sentence [on hold]

Which of these is grammatically correct? I have not heard from you on the status of the application since I last wrote to you. or I have not heard from you since I last wrote to you on the ...
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2answers
39 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 ...
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1answer
32 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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1answer
98 views

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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2answers
986 views

Where did “doggy dog world” come from?

This Ngram shows that people were happily saying "dog eat dog world" until the 1980s, when "doggy dog world" abruptly came into use. What might have accounted for this? (It was well before Snoop ...
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2answers
54 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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4answers
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1answer
53 views

Use of “don't mention it” for “you're welcome”?

In which American regions is "don't mention it" used for "you're welcome"?
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5answers
158 views

Misuse of the verb allege?

I recently visited Jordan on a business trip. Read the following in a newspaper: Bleeding profusely, she pleaded with the alleged attacker, Mushataq, to take her to a hospital. My ...
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1answer
204 views

Use of the word “definitive edition”

Can I use the phrase "definitive edition" to explain that a product has the most up-to-date and highest quality in the field as opposite to mean "last edition of the same series"? Thank you for your ...
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2answers
79 views

Synoyms: one-time-purchase (business model) / one-shot deal businesses

What phrases describe a one-time purchase business plan or a one-shot business deal? For instance: a restaurant is in Times Square, the food is atrocious but it doesn't matter because there are ...
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3answers
6k views

Synonym for “raise the bar”

Is there another way to express "raise the bar"? The context I'm looking for would fit this sentence: A firewall raises the bar for would-be attackers.
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1answer
52 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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1answer
43 views

Is there any good book talking about clauses and phrases?

All grammar books I found underplay clauses and phrases; examples they give are simple and easy to understand, but in reality there are lots of long sentences made up of several clauses and phrases ...
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5answers
9k views

What is the origin of the phrase “'til the cows come home”?

What is the origin of the term 'til the cows come home? While discussing this with friends tonight, the group had two possible explanations: Cows return to their barn for milking at a given time ...
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5answers
79 views

I need an alternative for “her whole life” [closed]

In my story a young girl only understands the life of a dancer, but once her dream comes to an end she doesn't know what to do with herself. I need a better way of saying She danced all day ...
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2answers
38 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.
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2answers
45 views

Does “the truth is deceptive” make any sense or should it be “ truth can be deceiving”? [closed]

Does "the truth is deceptive" make any sense or should it be " truth can be deceiving" ?
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2answers
78 views

Is “throw guns into a hot stove” a common phrase or just one-off figurative expression?

Today, Scott Simon, the host of NPR’s Weekend Edition news program, interviews former NATO Ambassador Ivo Daalder about the cease-fire between the Ukrainian government and Russian separatists, and ...
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1answer
86 views

Come out of the closet

'Come out of the closet ' derives from the phrase 'a skeleton in the closet'. Why is it perfectly OK to say come out of the closet but not come out of the cupboard as a follow-on the British phrase ...
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1answer
24 views

Safe and sounder/soundier? [closed]

Is it safe and sounder or safe and soundier? Like we say "May God keep you safe and sounder/soundier" What is correct way to say?
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6answers
7k 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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3answers
7k views

Is the phrase “getting on” commonly used in British English? What register would its use be in?

I've collected a new phrase from my watching of British television, getting on, as in "How's he getting on?" From various contexts, I think I've gotten the meaning down to "how's he doing?" Anyway, ...
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1answer
49 views

Could you pass me the salt? or Could you pass the salt?

Which of the following more common? 1) Could you pass me the salt? 2) Could you pass the salt? (without "me") What's the difference,if any?
2
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2answers
252 views

Origin of phrase “pulling for you”

When somebody is going through a difficult life situation, people will commonly say, "We're pulling for you." Where did this term come from? It sounds rather strange!