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

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Use of a participial phrase in titles

I was making an essay about cystic fibrosis and I stumbled upon a problem regarding the title. I was wondering whether the title I made was grammatical. It was "Cytosis Fibrosis: A Hereditary ...
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12 views

Is 'I don't know' an adjective?

Other than being an interjection, does 'I don't know' serve as an adjective?
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7 views

meaning of “a game of tease”

what does it mean when someone compares something or some act to "a game of tease"? I think it means like indulging in a game of seek and hide or something like that. Am I right? it is like a game ...
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29 views

What does the sentence, “You could do worse than review some of Lenny Bruce's material.” mean

I understand that it's an indirect form of compliment, also known as litotes. Here's a question already on that, "You could do worse than [x]" I couldn't get my head around, if it's a ...
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91 views

What term describes “the degree to which peers can loan each other money”?

I want to make a distinction between two groups of people: Group A has the liquidity and borrowing power. Group B has minimal liquidity and borrowing power. The term "credit rating" implies it's ...
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62 views

Looking for a single word or phrase

is there a single word or phrase in English that describes a simple grip children and adults use – to help someone climb up a tree or over a high fence. I mean when you clasp your hands and interlock ...
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1k 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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112 views

Is there a term for the inability to find a word which is then substituted with a “funnier” word?

Take this sentence: "If people are lost when they start out, they usually just keep getting...loster." — from "Don't Make Me Think" Obviously "loster" isn't a word, but I see this turn ...
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81 views

Can “fatal disaster” mean man-made misfortune?

Yesterday, I talked with a friend and mentioned that the Lord Jesus had the potential of suffering a fatal disaster in Judea, because many people tried to kill Him, like the high priest, King of ...
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84 views

What is the act of breaking a pen nib after signing a death sentence called?

I have noticed that every time a judge sentences someone to death sentence, he breaks his pen’s nib after signing his order. So what is this act called? I mean any specific term or single word for ...
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Any other way of saying “I share your opinion”?

"I divide your position" is the first that came to my mind, but I think it's definitely incorrect. Is there any phrase like this with "position", not "opinion"?
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190 views

The “it-seems-better-than-it-actually-is-because-it-comes-from-a-famous-place” effect?

It is far easier to provide an example for what I am trying to describe than to try and articulate it: Example: Scholar A: "Wow. That new study from University X is getting a lot of attention." ...
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265 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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39 views

The usage of “Per se”

Is the usage of the phrase "Per se" correct in this sentence? Sometimes, religion, though not be enaugh per se, may lead to violence.
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88 views

A word or idiom to describe an abusive parent who wants to keep their child

I just finished watching the video game Among the Sleep and at the end At the beginning of the game, the mother seems to cling onto the child possibly in memory of the little boy's father. At the ...
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88 views

“Are you a man or a mouse” phrase origin

Robert Burns associated the fates of mice and men in his poem "To a Mouse" (1785): The best-laid schemes o' mice an' men Gang aft a-gley, But this seems to suggest that mice and men have a ...
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47 views

Phrases for filling stomach

"The food was so bad that I couldn't eat even just to (fill my stomach?)." What would fit in there?
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6k views

why use “be of something”, is there some meaning for this “of”?

I saw a sentence when reading some technical articles: When we call this function, it expects the second parameter to be of type Collection. The actual argument is of type Collection. So my ...
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What does a person “with about two dollars to one’s name” mean?

I found the phrase, “a homeless man in New York with about two dollars to his name” in the New Yorker magazine’s article (November 29, 2011) titled “Politics of Dissolution.” It begins with the ...
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6k views

origin of phrase 'stone the crows'

Just as the title says — where, and how, did the phrase 'stone the crows' originate?
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64 views

Word describing the one flaw in an otherwise perfect crime, plot or plan

I am wondering if there is a noun or phrase that articulates how a crime, plot or plan was foiled. I am interested in a noun or phrase that relates to crime in particular. For example, They two ...
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48 views

The phrase “supposed to”

Why does "supposed to" have a different pronunciation in the middle of a sentence and at the end of a sentence? I've been learning about phrases, but I'm still confused about this one. Examples: ...
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7k views

How has the phrase the “Mecca of some activity” originated and not the “Rome” or “Athens”

This is not a question about religion at all. My point is Rome and Athens are examples of older civilizations and there is the saying "All roads lead to Rome" indicating it's supremacy in the Ancient ...
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2answers
316 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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51 views

Does “the military” refer to any military?

When someone uses the term "the military" is it implied they are talking about the military of the current country they are in, or any military? For example I sometimes see on application forms "Have ...
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“In regard to” or “in regards to”

Is it incorrect to say either of the following? In regards to your previous email In regards to your previous emails I was asked this by a non-native speaker, and after thinking about it I ...
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24 views

Any difference between pleasure to us to… vs. pleasure of ours to…?

I am writing a super-formal letter (it is a semi-legal text) and I am unsure if there is any sensible difference between writing "It is a great pleasure to us to..." (26,200,000 hits on Google) ...
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Term to describe when one event cannot occur without the other

So my wife and I were just having a conversation concerning a situation at her work, and I was trying to think of a term to describe the GM's approach but it's eluding me. Here's the context: ...
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49 views

What does “workday innovation” mean? [closed]

Should I understand this as an innovative action undertaken on a working day? Is this phrase grammatically correct?
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36 views

Adjective phrase/clause to describe the object of the sentence

Am I using the adjective phrase correctly in the following sentence? "I want to be someone like you, smart and beautiful." I know that using the adjective phrase to describe the subject of the ...
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1answer
2k views

Meaning of “at which point”

I understand that at which point is completely grammatical and I know how and when to use it, but it just now struck me as an odd phrase. What exactly is which doing here? How does it make the phrase ...
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I think I spider / My English is not the yellow from the egg [closed]

I'm trying to improve my English skills. Can I use the phrase "My English is not the yellow from the egg" or "I think I spider" in an English spoken country?
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56 views

How to say “there is plenty of room for improvement.” in a more academic manner? [closed]

My last sentence in an academic assignment reads "Even in ........, there is plenty of room for improvement.", Is there anyway to say the same in a more academic manner? or is it acceptable as it is? ...
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128 views

Term or Phrase for “Listening without Understanding”

Is there a word or a phrase that describes someone listening to somebody else speak to him without understanding what is being said while acting like he's getting it?
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720 views

Torturing oneself by emotions is called?

People who love emotions, they love to torture themselves by emotional feelings. Be it real or vicarious. Often see people reading love stories and getting emotional, listening to sad song and watch ...
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118 views

Let's get started! or let's get going?

I'd like to know if anyone feels a difference between "Let's get started!" and "Let's get going!". Both seem to mean about the same. It is also interesting to notice that there seems to be an ...
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2answers
82 views

Is there an expression for cutting ties or calling off something that is ultimately unfavorable to both parties?

In particular, ending something that one of the parties is still attached to. For instance, in a relationship, if one person doesn't want to go through the short term struggle of a breakup (and is ...
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93 views

Never Meet Your Heroes - Is this expression an adage?

When the expression "Never Meet Your Heroes" is used, is it used as an adage? If yes, what is its origin? In other words, why should we not meet our heroes?
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Name of ideology where 'thinking of something wrong is actually wrong'

I am thinking of the name of some kind of ideology where in a world where by the mere fact of thinking of doing something that is wrong causes you to actually be in the wrong. e.g. In a ...
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7k views

Appropriateness of “putting my child down to sleep”

I was telling a friend of mine that I was getting my child ready to go to sleep when I heard an audible gasp. I was told that "putting my child down to sleep" is a phrase used in connection when ...
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109 views

Ironic phrase for something becoming more complicated specifically because of efforts to 'simplify' it?

My linguistic skills fail me and I'd like some advice. I have a project that currently works exactly as intended, short and sweet, yet a higher up has changed their mind and are asking for it to be ...
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259 views

What does “My tongue doubles back” mean?

I was reading a novel when I came across this phrase. "My tongue doubles back in my throat as the senses comes back to mind and I choke on the words, "I love you too." What does the "my tongue ...
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1answer
221 views

Is there a linguistic term for “word pairs” where the masculine term is positive but its feminine equivalent is not?

The feminine form usually has a neutral to negative range of meanings. e.g. master (“a man who controls things”) x mistress (“a woman who is having sex with a married man”) governor (“the chief ...
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6answers
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Does “to err on the side of … ” indicate wrongdoing?

Does the phrase "to err on the side of ...," specifically "err on the side of caution," indicate that it is wrong to be "on the side of," the object? "Err" makes me think of "error," and is such the ...
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5answers
71 views

“People of different kind” or “People of different kinds”

Which of these clauses are correct? "People of different kind" or "People of different kinds" A sample sentence: This brings up the issue of how well our sample represents people of different ...
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61 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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1answer
42 views

“Dumped them Ceremoniously”- Is this an oxymoron? In a physical sense, like, dumping a bunch of leaves. Or Flowers? Along those lines

Is the phrase Dumped them Ceremoniously an oxymoron? Is it over the "oxymoron" word limit? I hit upon this phrase when I was trying to write in a humorous vein about someone throwing something, ...
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Some clause structure about “SOURCE said that CLAUSE”?

Suppose we have the following sentences: John believes that people are good. Steve knows that France is in Europe. Now, in these sentences we have some clause (e.g. People are good, France ...
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How can I describe a relationship between two characters whereby one character has much control over the other? [closed]

I have three types of character relationships (all between two characters) that I need to be able to describe: 1) One character (who is in control) belittles the other (who seems to be defenceless) ...
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139 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 ...