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

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2answers
363 views

Tower of Babel, what is the meaning of the following verse?

What is the meaning of the following verse from Bernie Taupin's Tower of Babel as sung by Elton John on the album Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy? Those hungry hunters Tracking down the ...
7
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2answers
14k views

“Even though” vs. “even if”

Are these two totally synonymous? Can one be used in place of the other anywhere? Are there any differences in nuance, or anything at all?
0
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0answers
3 views

What word is used when I have to say “I ________ the page in two parts”? [migrated]

Two words I know are: Split and Tear. But I want to know the exact word for this. For example what word will we use when I _______ a page from my notebook? Or when I ________ the envelope to get the ...
83
votes
4answers
138k views

When “etc.” is at the end of a phrase, do you place a period after it?

Example: It's all about apples, oranges, bananas, etc. VS. It's all about apples, oranges, bananas, etc.. Update What happens if the abbreviation is inside parentheses, do you place a dot ...
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0answers
27 views

Looking for a phrase

I know there's a phrase for this I just can't remember what it is. It means basically that you don't have an opinion in an argument. What I do know is "I don't have a ____ in this fight". This is ...
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7answers
5k views

How can I say “not any time soon, but it won't take a long time either”?

I was writing an email to a client about a feature we plan to eventually release, maybe in a couple months, but they want some of the functionality now. I initially wrote: If there's something ...
-1
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2answers
45 views

Phrase usage: As a result

As far as what I've learned, this is how you use the phrase "as a result". e.g. He was late, as a result, he didn't catch the bus. = He was late***,*** he didn't catch the bus as a result. I would ...
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1answer
47 views

Could you please do X vs. Could you do X please

I'm an English teacher, and I heard a student say "could you please open the window" the other day. To my ears, "could you please open the window" as a construction sounds exasperated, even ...
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5answers
101 views

What word would you use to describe a situation where words are not necessary?

Example: "Their love was so strong that it was unspoken. Words were (replace) 'not necessary' for them to display their affection towards one another.
2
votes
9answers
134 views

Is there a word for this act?

Let me give you an example where I want this "mystery" word to fit. There are two person "A" and person "B". A had installed an air conditioner in his house long ago and has called in the customer ...
0
votes
3answers
81 views

Is there one word for people who always keep others above themselves?

For people who go an extra mile to make others comfortable, be it friends, family, etc. I need an adjective or a noun, most probably one word, that can describe people who always keep others above or ...
1
vote
3answers
668 views

Good Luck **in** all your endeavors' versus Good Luck **to** all your endeavors'

What is the difference between 'I am currently busy with family stuff so I really don't know when is a good time to catch up. Good Luck in all your endeavors' versus 'I am currently busy with ...
0
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1answer
3k views

How to express “From the point of view of Information Theory”?

I would like start a sentence with "From the point of view of information theory, ...", but this sounds a bit uneloquent to me. Can I say, "From an information theoretical point of view, ...", or ...
1
vote
1answer
42 views

“to take on a momentum of its own” [on hold]

Can anyone help me with the meaning of the phrase "to take on a momentum of its own"? Does it mean "to start to continue its progress on its own without external assistance" or something like this? ...
5
votes
4answers
10k views

Origin of 'hit the sack'?

I know it means to go to sleep but where did it originate from. I'm looking for first use. Just curious.
0
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2answers
35 views

What would this sentence be considered?

"I wonder why X's don't have (insert subject) and you do" Is it a question? Statement? A question imbedded in a statement? Or would it depend on the tone that was used? Thank you in advance.
0
votes
1answer
117 views

Is there any difference between “told to” and “told to do so”

I will release a new version when I'm told to. I will release a new version when I'm told to do so. Is there any difference in the meaning of the two sentences and which one would I use in an ...
1
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1answer
66 views

Can “above mentioned” be a noun?

The above mentioned regulations do not apply to the conditions defined here. Is it possible to use the phrase above mentioned as a noun with the definite article "the" in English? The above ...
0
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1answer
184 views

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 ...
5
votes
3answers
4k views

What’s the meaning of “there are more of somebody than there are of somebody”?

Their yellowish eyes were fixed upon Harry’s wand, and they looked scared. There might be a lot more of them than there were of him but Harry could tell, by the looks on their faces, that they knew ...
4
votes
5answers
85 views

Soft or more euphemistic way of saying “suffer”

One word I can think of is "bear". Any other words for it? I hate the idea of repeating the same word again and again. I want to use it for trivial things which make your life inconvenient but not ...
0
votes
1answer
36 views

is it correct to use 'often a times'?

Does the phrase "often a times" exist? If so, what is the correct way to use it? Would the following sentence be correct? I have seen him loafing about in the streets often a times.
0
votes
1answer
15 views

Use of 'such as themselves'?

Would it be correct to use the following sentence? The group make for a handsome lot. And that poise of talk can only be found in the most opulent of beings, such as themselves. I have been ...
0
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1answer
30 views

What is the meaning of “read of”? [on hold]

I saw this phrase in a sentence. Here it is: He read of the room that was prepared at the palace at Rheims for the use of Queen. What does it mean?
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2answers
44 views

So far, so obvious

What is the meaning of "So far, so obvious"? Does it mean "Although out of expectation, it is actually true"?
2
votes
1answer
27 views

For those that like that sort of thing, that is the sort of thing they like

Can any one please explain the saying: "For those that like that sort of thing, that is the sort of thing they like" Does it mean: When someone likes some sort of thing, that sort of thing is ...
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3answers
36 views

But I would say that, wouldn’t I?

What does it mean when after a personal statement someone says "But I would say that, wouldn’t I?"? Does it mean "any way, it is my idea"?
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4answers
8k views

Where does “beat around the bush” come from?

Where does the expression "beat around the bush" come from?
0
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1answer
21 views

care for minors / care of minors / guardianship of minors

Which of the phrases best describes the general responsibility for people who are under-age? care for minors / care of minors / guardianship of minors
0
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2answers
36 views

Can we use “around about” like this? [on hold]

Can we use "around about" together as in the following sentence? The building was built around about 2 years ago.
5
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6answers
16k views

Meaning and usage of “to no end”

What does the phrase mean in "He annoys me to no end"? Literally, does it mean that he annoys me forever? Or does it mean that he annoys me to no result?
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vote
1answer
80 views

Is it grammatically correct to say “Year of built”?

Is it grammatically correct to say: Year of built 1922 when talking about house or some other building? I know i should probably use phrase: Built in 1922 or just Built 1922 but I ...
0
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3answers
348 views

“Martyr To” vs “Martyr For”

This book specifies the difference as: martyr for something: smb. who is made to suffer severely for a cause martyr to something: smb. who is acutely inflicted by something Oxford ...
2
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1answer
39 views

How do you mean vs What do you mean?

What do people mean when they say How do you mean? Are they asking me to explain what I just said? Then how is it different from What do you mean?
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5answers
3k views

Is ‘toss a bone to somebody’ a popular English idiom?

I came across the phrase ‘toss a bone’ in the headline of the New York Times article (July 15) in its Business section that reads “As a Watchdog Starves, Wall Street Is Tossed a Bone.” I checked ...
0
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1answer
121 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
58 views

Phrase/expression for “growing at my own speed”

I'm writing the acknowledgments-section of my thesis and want to thank my academic advisor for his patience and support, and for allowing me to "grow at my own speed". I'm looking for a concise way to ...
2
votes
1answer
81 views

How common is 'Sweet as' in the rest of the world?

In New Zealand, we have slang 'Sweet as', which means 'That's ok', 'No problems', 'All good'. eg. Sorry I'm not going to be able to make it today, my child is sick. Sweet as - can you do ...
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0answers
25 views

Positive connotation Trojan horse?

There's a new app from Amazon called Amazon Underground. It supposedly provides 10,000 free non-IAP games. But what's the catch? Seems like the only thing it does it get the Amazon storefront to the ...
0
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3answers
47 views

What's the function of 'adding to' here [closed]

As the day drew to a close, Norwegians continued to pay their tribute to the dead, adding to the carpet of flowers outside the cathedral. I just read this and I wondered what adding to means ...
4
votes
5answers
332 views

What is the origin of “on the way”?

Consider "on the way." (As in "are you coming home?" "we're on the way.") Is the origin from something relating to "way" meaning a lane or roadway, or, is the origin something relating to the ...
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votes
11answers
8k views

“You get what you deserve nothing more nothing less”

In this world we reside, what we acquire depends on what we can acquire. In other words, if we have the money to, we can buy a house; if we have the necessary educational qualifications to, we can get ...
1
vote
4answers
578 views

I like dog or I like dogs which is correct and why?

Why do we say 'I like dogs'? Why can't we say 'I like dog' if we are referring to a particular dog? Most people use 'I like dogs'. Which is correct and why?
0
votes
1answer
52 views

Does “differ by” even exist? [on hold]

I have a question about the preposition for differ in the following context: A differs B merely from a chemical element. Or better to say: A differs B by a chemical element. I will ...
1
vote
4answers
71 views

A word to describe “the presence of someone/something has little or no significance in a given situation”?

I am trying to use a single word/simple sentence to explain a situation where adding/not adding a part to a device won't make any difference to its functionality.
0
votes
1answer
99 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
120 views

What does it mean to “gum the spoon”?

I recently found out about a new term. It's "gum the spoon". What does it mean? By the various contexts I found, I conjecture that it means to add saliva onto the spoon or to hold the spoon in one's ...
35
votes
14answers
6k views

Is there a word or an idiom for people who only spend their families' money and fool around?

Is there a word or an idiom for rich people who spend only their families' money and do not bother to work, just fool around?
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0answers
39 views

Sentence doesn't “feel” right, but is it really incorrect?

A friend of mine wrote this sentence: 'The material consists of crumbly blocks, but they are still sturdy enough to not fall apart during bumpy transport.' To me this grates a bit. Even though the ...
0
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3answers
102 views

The phrase “more sharp” vs “sharper”

So I was talking to my fiancee and she said "more sharp" to which I said "you mean sharper?". This is in context of talking about her current earrings being "more sharp" then her usual ones. She then ...