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

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What does “let's fold that in” mean?

One of my colleagues replied with a suggestion in the group email. I agreed with his suggestion. The other colleague in the group responded "perfect - lets fold that in Andy."
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Phrase for a situation where a problem disappears when you are about to fix it, but reappears later

For example, the car mechanic can't replicate the problem you are having every day, but when you drive it off the service dept, there it is again. Or, when seeing the dentist, the tooth ache goes ...
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1answer
33 views

What is the abode of gods? [on hold]

Men knew better than they realized, when they placed the abode of the gods beyond the reach of gravity . I don't understand this whole sentence, possibly because I don't know what adobe of the ...
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6answers
628 views

phrase for being prepared for a potential challenge

There is a phrase in Malay that goes "prepare an umbrella before the rain", meaning one must be prudent and proactive of future challenges by making all the preparations necessary. I would like the ...
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11answers
129k views

Which is correct: “drive safe” or “drive safely”?

When someone is going to drive their car somewhere, I always used to say "drive safely" to them. Recently I was told I should say "drive safe." (From: Would you ask someone to drive safe or to ...
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1answer
24 views

is “over the past years” a natural sounding expression?

I have heard "over the past few years" or "over past years", but I just read a document that said "X, Y and Z have been beneficial over the past years". This strikes me as wrong, but I found the ...
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2answers
59 views

What is the origin of “Here's How!”?

I own an antique store and found a canapé plate of a bar scene and two gentlemen toasting. The words under the scene are "Here's How!" What is the country of origin? This plate is dated 1933 from a ...
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5answers
8k views

When is a person called a “lightning rod”?

I am aware of the lightning rod used to protect buildings and structures. But, what does it mean to refer to a person as a lightning rod? Also, when is it appropriate to use and when should it be ...
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1answer
60 views

Is this particular statement a phrase or a clause?

The difference between clauses and phrases has been extensively discussed (here, here, and likely elsewhere). And as Dusty has said, “The short answer [is that] clauses contain a subject and its verb, ...
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1answer
48 views

Word to describe when, where or how privacy is kept, trust is maintained, and integrity matters

Here is a list of scenarios on why honest people would need privacy and anonymity. My marketing research tells me that the word "anonymity" is too closely related to hacking, and "privacy" reminds ...
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0answers
25 views

“[all] over the world” vs “in the world”

Could one help me with good examples wich show what is the difference between "[all] over the world" and "in the world"? Thanks in advance. Upd: found some piece of info: ...
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2answers
55 views

Word for “Writing phrase on something”

Is there a word that represents the act of writing a phrase on something? In this case, I'm trying to advertise a club by "engraving" or "inking" ping pong balls with a phrase such as "Join this ...
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1answer
42 views

Where one finds phrases such as “imbued with ambivalence”?

Where one finds phrases such as "imbued with ambivalence"? From Source, some other phrases : "having many commonalities emanating from their histories", "issues had a significant interplay on (her) ...
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1answer
33 views

“We are familiar” improvement [on hold]

I have this,"We are familiar with the sport activities", sentence but to me it's a bit awkward and I need to improve it a little bit. I need to improve "We are familiar" part, and I am kind of stuck ...
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1answer
115 views

Do we append consonants when linking words?

How should in an instant be spoken? [ɪ nə nɪn.stənt] [ɪn nən nɪn.stənt] If we use second version, then we append [n] before [ən] and before [n.stənt]. How do I correctly link words together when ...
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1answer
46 views

Please I want to know if this text is ok? Can somebody help me? [on hold]

"He is a tiny guy but can make a huge difference in my life. His art, his smile, his friendship, his very free way of live teaches me a lot. I am a big fan of you my dear brother. I hope see you very ...
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3answers
88 views

Usage of can vs may [duplicate]

It is said that can and may both are used as a sense of possibility. If that’s the case, then what is the difference between: It can be very dangerous to cycle at night. It may be very dangerous ...
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3answers
2k views

What does the phrase “in my puff” mean?

I'm reading "Right Ho, Jeeves" by P.G. Wodehouse and I've just encountered another phrase which I can't understand. Full sentence where this phrase is used (emphasis added by me): In fact, not to ...
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1answer
111 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 ...
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2answers
41 views

Is “cut and come again” understood outside Australia?

Although I haven't read the Australian children's book "The Magic Pudding", I'm familiar with the phrase "cut and come again" being used in it. Is the phrase understood outside of Australia?
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2answers
3k 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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1answer
50 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 ...
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1answer
164 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 ...
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5answers
11k views

What does “suck it up and go” mean?

I came across the phrase, “suck it up and go” in the columnist’s answer to a question from a reader of Carolyn Hax's column in Washington Post’s “Lifestyle” section (July 2nd). The Q&A titled ...
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1answer
65 views

What does the phrase “He’s holding a cat” mean or does it only have a direct meaning? [on hold]

What does the phrase He’s holding a cat mean, or does it only have a direct meaning? This phrase hasn’t any context. Perhaps is it an idiom?
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1answer
36 views

'In the ranks' OR 'With the ranks'

Which of the following two phrases is correct? I'd put him right there in the ranks of the best anthropologists out there. OR I'd put him right there with the ranks of the best ...
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2answers
54 views

Term for referring to someone with mediocre words to describe their greatness

What is the term for describing the following sort of phrases used to humoristically, and almost affectionately, describe someone who is obviously well known to be superb in their field? Referring ...
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1answer
50 views

“Preventing them to wrap” vs “Preventing them from wrapping”

I've found on StackOverflow an old answer written by me, in which I've used the first form. Reading it now, it sounds weird and wrong; I am inclined to think that the second form is the only one ...
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27answers
4k views

Common phrase for something that changes while you are working on it

What is a common phrase to describe something that changes while you are working on it without your being aware of it. For example: you are adding comments to a document, and when you submit them you ...
2
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6answers
6k views

“They know not of what they speak.”

Is this phrase wrong? Shouldn't it be, they know naught of what they speak?
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2answers
54 views

What about a sentence.like …I like going to “new” places with “old” friends---

What can we call the above I ENJOY GOING TO "NEW" PLACES WITH "OLD" FRIENDS and can you think of other examples?
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2answers
47 views

Pence in the pound

I have received correspondence that includes the sentence: The buyer (or debt collection agency) will offer you pence in the pound irrespective of how I reply. What does "Pence in the pound" ...
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1answer
113 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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5answers
321 views

What does “people of the concrete steppes” mean?

I read this on an economics blog (http://econlog.econlib.org/archives/2014/02/in_the_1930s_it.html) and tried to google it, but the results seem to just be people using it, no one explaining it. ...
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4answers
74 views

When should hyphens be used to make text clearer

In an earlier post - Phonetic understanding of tongue twisters - a comment was made that "hyphens ...(are) ...not needed in speech, so they must be extraneous". The phrase prompting this assertion ...
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14answers
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Appropriate word for internet name of a person

What is the appropriate word or phrase which means the internet name of a person. I mean the nickname that a person uses in almost all places on the internet like blog, IRC, forums, mailing lists etc. ...
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1answer
24 views

'Participle phrase', 'Participle clause', 'Participle construction'

I am studying in Korean. In my grammar book, below sentences are called 'participle phrase' 1) Seeing police officer, he ran away. 2) Buying it online, you have to use a paypal. 3) Realizing his ...
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2answers
48 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 ...
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1answer
62 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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5answers
117 views

Similar phrases meaning 'give kudos'

See, in one of our employee evaluation systems, we would like to implement a feature by which any employee can show appreciation to another employee that he has got help from or whom he thinks to be a ...
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6answers
2k views

Etymology of “Given up the ghost”

What is the origin of the phrase "Given up the ghost"? e.g. "After 10 years, my DVD player has finally given up the ghost." Does it have a religious connotation?
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2answers
27 views

Combining Phrases and Independent Clauses

Is it grammatically correct to combine an independent clause with a phrase. For example, "I live in California, specifically in San Francisco." It sounds correct to my ear but I am unsure if I am ...
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1answer
29 views

“Let alone” sentence pattern

I have what I believe to be a simple question, regarding how "let alone" fits into a sentence. Tell me if there is a difference in terms of correctness between these sample sentences: 1) "I refuse ...
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2answers
104 views

What is the difference between “tried closing my eyes” and “tried to close my eyes”? [duplicate]

Is there any difference in meaning? Or are they pretty much always interchangeable? ESL students are having trouble understanding when to use which expression. Thank you.
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0answers
30 views

proper use of phrase, in the spirit of [closed]

is the following sentence and use of phrase and grammar appropriate? however, in the spirit of time I will only focus on a few specific instances describing how I have demonstrated this proficiency. ...
0
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3answers
27 views

Does “open question” mean the same as “open-ended question”? [closed]

Both phrases are supposed to refer to the concept of a question with no predefined set of answers, where the person answering has no limitations in the structure of their answer. Do the two phrases ...
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3answers
114 views

What does “tend one's spinning wheel” mean?

However hard I tried I've failed to get the exact meaning of tending his spinning wheel here. It would be argued, and indeed I would argue, that Muslim intransigence would have played a ...
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0answers
36 views

Common phrase for something that changes while you are working on it [duplicate]

What are common phrases that describe something that is changing while you are working on it without you knowing. for example: you are adding comments to a doc, and when you submit them you see that ...
2
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3answers
3k views

What is the origin of the phrase “wind your neck in!”?

I was wondering if anyone could shed some light on the origin of the phrase in title.
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2answers
56 views

Looking for a phrase: a needlessly overcomplicated method of accomplishing a simple task [duplicate]

In my language, there is an expression for this - you can touch the tip of your nose normally, or you can move your hand behind your neck, across it, then touch the tip of the nose from the opposite ...