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

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Question/Matter of definition?

A "Definitionsfråga", as it is called in Swedish, is for instance if you talk about what's good and bad, you can remark that it depends on what you mean by good and bad. You could might as well remark ...
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2answers
43 views

adjective for “wanting/in the mood to watch a movie”

Are there adjectives that describe this phrase? I will be using this term as an individual, one-word responses on a form, so sentence usage is unimportant. For example: "Wanting to date" would be "...
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5answers
128 views

Is there any equivalent English phrase to Japanese “対岸の火事,” meaning “like watching a fire on the bank of the other side of a river”?

There was the referendum on Britain’s departure from EU, the nominations of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump as presidential candidates of Democratic and Republican parties, the suppression of a coup ...
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5answers
6k views

What does “He who sups with the devil should have a long spoon” mean?

I've recently read this quote somewhere in a book and I can't seem to comprehend it.
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11answers
1k views

Phrase for being indecisive/hesitant

I am looking for a phrase that would fit this (kind of) pattern: "You know how my friends are, they always XXXXXX so I can't expect an immediate answer." "At the restaurant, when I was ...
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5answers
3k views

Short-sighted and Near-sighted

I've always thought that Short-sighted means that you fail to look far into the future when planning. I thought near-sighted meant that your focusing ability in your eyes becomes less powerful as you ...
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1answer
20 views

Is it correct to use “I have something on hold”?

For example, some people have offered me price, and I am waiting for last person so I tell him Can you offer your price quickly? Because I have some offers on hold, that I have to reply to those ...
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2answers
41 views

Where do I put this phrase in a phrase structure tree?

I am not sure where to put the AdvP in this sentence when drawing a phrase structure tree. This is the sentence I would like to create the tree for: "The car Sam bought last week won the big race." ...
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5answers
13k views

What is the origin of idiom “Keep your hair on”?

I had a conversation with a coworker and he told me to keep my hair on. My first understanding of the idiom was that he will do something so fast that, if I was wearing a wig or something it will fly ...
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3answers
54 views

Is “do for” always inherently positive, compared to “do to”?

Compare the sentences: After all he has done for me, he needs my help. After all he has done to me, he needs my help. The first one implies that the subject has done good things for the speaker and ...
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1answer
27 views

What does “take the pace out” mean in this context?

It shows in the Champions League, where the Premier League's best sides have struggled since Chelsea won the competition in 2012, especially when the opposition take the pace out of the game. I ...
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3answers
3k views

What does ‘Jam down one’s throat” mean?

I came across the phrase “I’ll jam down their throats” in the following sentence of the Reuters’ article (June 30 issue) dealing with the Davis Cup, titled “Pat Rafter Wary of 'Awkward Chinese.'” ...
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1answer
16 views

Example of describing scientific transition process

Assume a process that goes strictly from state A to state B to state C. I would like to emphasize the endpoints (i.e., A and C) and indicate that state C is probably reached only via state B. To do ...
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0answers
46 views

How do you politely say in this situation? [on hold]

Our company was supposed to undertake tasks and place in the position as contact desk for a certain event、but the negotiations ended up with being broke off. A customer is currently contacting us ...
2
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1answer
37 views

Is “his bad” alright? [on hold]

I've seen many people using 'my bad' for an apology, so is it alright to use 'his bad' or 'her bad' by the same token?
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9answers
8k views

Feminine version of “gentleman and a scholar”

Although I've often heard use of the phrase: You are a gentleman and a scholar I have never heard a version appropriate for the fairer sex. I guess you could say a lady and a scholar?
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2answers
55 views

Is “home patch” completely equivalent to “hometown”?

I heard this expression "home patch" referring to "hometown" from a recent BBC Documentary. Since I am not a native English speaker, I am wondering about whether it is completely equivalent to "...
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2answers
61 views

what are the differences between “past week” and “last week”? [on hold]

What are the the differences in meaning between the following phrases: past week And last week Please try to explain it with as many examples as possible!
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1answer
40 views

Breaking sentences up

What is the right term for breaking or dividing a sentence into fragments, wherein each fragment still contains a thought/meaning? e.g.: Sports can ostracize people/ who are not very good at them./
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2answers
130 views

Articles before percentages earned?

When writing about grades, does the percentage need an article? "Jenny earned an 87% in the AP Psychology course." Or just "Jenny earned 87% in the AP Psychology course." My thinking is, you would use ...
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14answers
6k views

Is there a slang word or phrase for someone who is always playing dirty tricks or unpleasant practical jokes on his friends and acquaintances?

context: He will surreptitiously introduce a frog into your handbag. You leave your car keys on a desk, he sees it and hides it somewhere. He may offer you M&M type candies that will leave your ...
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2answers
328 views

Is there a word or phrase for someone who always tries to get more than he needs or deserves?

This person always tries to get more than he/she needs, especially gratuities, gifts and souvenirs. Looking or sounding ridiculous is no barrier for him/her.
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5answers
578 views

Noun or Adjective for someone who is good in managing resources and/or money

I am looking to describe someone who is good at keeping track of hir resource use and goods usage behaviour. This can be either for monetary currencies, but also for food, material or other ...
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2answers
76 views

Is it right, or better way, to say someone “denies themselves agency”

I'm trying to express the idea of someone who consistently underestimates his own contributions or his ability to impact a situation, despite having high self esteem. This is due to seeing themselves ...
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3answers
15k views

What does ‘Camel gets his nose under the tent’ mean?

In the article of New York Times co-ed columnist, Maureen Dowd dealing with Republicans’ objection of the repeal of ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ under the title, “Mad Men and Mad Women”, I came across an ...
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1answer
30 views

Is it correct to say “be a pioneer”? [on hold]

I am going to use "be a pioneer" in my business. Could you let me know whether this a reasonable sentence or not?
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1answer
49 views

Is this an oxymoron or do they juxtapose each-other? [on hold]

I am currently reading the book 'Spies' by Michael Frayn, and this phrase comes up quite often: 'Everything is as it was; and everything has changed' The use of the semi-colon between the two ...
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1answer
209 views

Using “One day before”

I want to express the following thing; Do your homework at least one day before the submission deadline. Suppose the 2nd person knows about this submission deadline thing (or may be clear from ...
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1answer
49 views

Term that describes an incomplete comparison

What is the term for a dichotomous statement like, "The two side of the issue are the fish should be protected, or it should not." That is, the other side of the issue is not fully explained, it's ...
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0answers
42 views

Phrase or word for doing something as a learning experience before doing it for real?

If I want to say 'I regard my first year for this bachelor degree as a try out year or a "pre-learning" year before starting again as a first year elsewhere'. What word or phrase would I use for 'try ...
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2answers
87 views

I dislike his/him being blunt [closed]

What is the difference between the two sentences below? Are they both grammatically correct? I dislike his being blunt. I dislike him being blunt.
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1answer
42 views

Is there a phrase for “something good that doesn't last long”?

In Arabic, the expression "Summer cloud" is usually used to mean that "this is not going to last for a long time" or "it won't last as long as you think it will". Is there an equivalent phrase in ...
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1answer
52 views

A phrase for something that you enjoy, but is quite bad for you

I used to use it, but for some reason, and it's annoying me, I can't remember it. A synonym might be "my sweet poison". Usually used when talking about foods that are bad for you. Thank you guys, it ...
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1answer
24 views

Can a participle phrase modify a whole sentence or clause?Or they have to stick to a specific word or phrase?

new comer's here and like most other user my desire to find out more about English grammar,as in their usage and structure, brought me here.I'm looking forward to working with you all in the future, ...
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1answer
43 views

Word for turning a situation around on someone

Let me describe the situation: My wife has been having issues with a certain employee at work...long story short, this other employee now goes out of her way to try and exclude/snub/cold shoulder my ...
2
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1answer
811 views

Why does Amy say “So needy” in this context?

I watched an episode of Big Bang Theory, here's a recap: Subtitle of Big Bang Season 4 , Episode 17 I don't quite get it when Penny told a joke and then Amy said "So needy." over the phone holding ...
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1answer
42 views

Nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American people?

Was H. L. Mencken the first to say 'Nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American people.", or was he paraphrasing another comentator?
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5answers
7k views

What does the phrase “switched on” mean in this context?

Recently a colleague of mine said to me that the "Guys who are switched on really annoy me?". Since I am not a native speaker, I do not know what he meant by "switched on". Can you fine folks shed ...
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2answers
33 views

understanding the phrases [closed]

I'm not sure whether I should use fail or fails in my sentence that is written as follows "Whenever words fail us music will do the talking" I need assurance
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0answers
28 views

Does “we” count as a subject in the subject and verb agreement? [migrated]

As in this sentence - We share in the anger and frustration of our supporters and would like to assure them that we are working to conclude the matter in the best interests of Sunderland AFC. ...
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5answers
50 views

Word or phrase for the moment/reason/motive you reveal to someone why you had acted a certain way prior to parting ways

A massive cliche in action movies (especially James Bond), but is there actually a word for that moment when the evil villain reveals their deadly plot to the action hero before (usually attempting ...
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2answers
70 views

the killed man or the murdered man

When you refer to "a man killed in a murder case", I understand you'll say "the murdered man" instead of "the killed man." Why isn't the expression "the killed man" used?
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3answers
47 views

If someone has the right to something, how could I say in this situation

If someone has the right to something, how could I say in this situation. My client would like an organiser to cover flight ticket fare for business class due to physical health problem. According to ...
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0answers
19 views

Can pride -self on use with Ving

I know that the phrase pride -self on will go with a noun, for example: She prides herself on her singing but I wonder if the phrase can use with Ving or not, like She prides herself on being good all ...
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1answer
21 views

How do you say a countable turn out?

Very few people attended the concert you can count them as opposed to countable because it's possible to count.
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1answer
87 views

non-progressive, habitual actions

What is the difference between the following sentences? Even in those days he played golf on Wednesday. Even in those days he played golf on every Wednesday. Even in those days he played ...
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2answers
10k views

Origin of “pull your socks up”?

I was pulling my socks up this morning, in the literal sense of the term, when I started to wonder about why pull your socks up came to mean what it does:- to make an effort to improve your work ...
6
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3answers
12k views

What does “change one's stripes” exactly mean?

I found a phrase in the headline of today’s Washington Post article (Feb. 14) that reads "Mubarak loyalists change stripes to fit into the new Egypt." Though I interpreted the meaning of change one’s ...
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0answers
47 views

For a longer period of time in the future [closed]

I'd like to know if the following sentence sounds okay: Presence of contaminants in the soil is expected for a longer time in the future, or in shorter and more frequent intervals. .
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0answers
13 views

Correctly phrasing a sentence [closed]

Is the first sentence phrased incorrectly? Or should it be the second one? 1) "so what better than to enjoy that something special using our pick of elegant tableware" 2) "so what better way than to ...