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

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2
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2answers
174 views

Does a phrase exist that one uses to another person who is about to sneeze?

"Bless you" or "God bless you" are commonly used after a sneeze but does one exist (or was one once commonly used but no longer) when a person is obviously about to sneeze?
17
votes
19answers
3k views

What's an idiom for something that you've heard many times?

I'm trying to write something for my blog, and I need an idiom that will replace me saying, "I've heard people say that all the time, it's the same old story."
3
votes
6answers
718 views

What could be a single word or phrase for the one who helps people to achieve their goals?

I was just wondering about this word to suggest it to my friend to use it for the NGO he is going to start soon.
0
votes
1answer
19 views

What is the origin of “Pipped at the post”?

Why pipped? I guess that the post is to do with horse racing - as in the post was the finish line? I could be totally wrong there.
2
votes
3answers
1k views

Is the phrase 'at your Beckon Call' marked with servitude or with politeness?

I recently entered into an argument with my Mom regarding it's apt use. Though traditionally, it implied servitude, but hasn't it's meaning changed over the years? Basically, is using it to a ...
0
votes
3answers
30 views

Is this usage of “Just as well” correct?

Is it okay to use "just as well" in the next scenario: Person 1: When I'm mad I can be stubborn as hell. Person 2: And when you're not, just as well!
2
votes
1answer
345 views

When two words are put together as in “put down” - is it a phrase?

When two words are put together as in "heads up", "put down", "build out"... are they considered a phrase? And if so, do the term for these are "adjectival phrases" as they mention on this question: ...
0
votes
1answer
36k views

“Subject to Change” Usage

I have the following sentence: (...) these dates are subject to change. Should that, instead, read: (...) these dates may be subject to change. Are only one of these usages correct? I ...
1
vote
3answers
53 views

“Her water broke” or “Her waters broke”

Which is more correct: "Her water broke." or "Her waters broke." I've been searching online and I've found uses of both "water" and "waters" in various places, but none of them very authoritative. I ...
0
votes
1answer
24 views

“As per” and “in the case being”?

Take the following text into account: These airstrikes would not only be punishment for Assad's use of chemical weapons against civilians amid the three-year-long Syrian Uprising (according to ...
17
votes
8answers
5k views

Ripe with Opportunity? Or Rife?

The Grammarist says I should use rife with rather than ripe with. So far so good and I agree. But is there an exception for ripe with opportunity? Googlefight overwhelmingly prefers ripe, and I like ...
0
votes
1answer
32 views

Is it hour or hours when used in a phrase? [duplicate]

I recently joined a company as a trainee and we have to skype our priorities or task that we are gonna do on that day. For example, people write priorities like this: 1. HTML/CSS training - [0.5 ...
2
votes
7answers
764 views

“Died in an accident” or “killed in an accident”?

When speaking of someone who lost their life as a result of accidental circumstances are the two phrases below interchangeable? He was killed in an accident.   She died in an accident. ...
6
votes
10answers
812 views

Term meaning careful and thorough, almost excessively so [duplicate]

I'm trying to think of a term which means that one expends extra effort or materials in making sure that something is done properly, to an almost excessive or extravagant extent. One good is example ...
0
votes
0answers
25 views

Alternate for Come front [on hold]

I m confused whether i can use come front in the following scenario. Thanks for come front to take this challenge. can anyone suggest a better word for come front here? I like to say im appreciating ...
1
vote
0answers
29 views

What are the grammatical phrases in this sentence?

I'm analyzing this sentence and scanning it for prepositional, appositive and verbal phrases. In the sentence so far as I can tell there is only one prepositional and no appositive and no verbals ...
13
votes
4answers
3k views

What does “She was young and blithe, 22 going on 16” mean?

I found the phrase ““She was young and blithe, 22 going on 16” in the article of the Time magazine (July 6 issue) dealing with the Casey Anthony Verdict, under the title, “The Casey Anthony Verdict ...
1
vote
1answer
32 views

What kind of figurative language is this phrase?

What figurative language is this phrase? Is it an idiom or personification? Or something else? I have tried to figure it out but I can't. "to drive the idea out of my mind"
-4
votes
1answer
20 views

Verify structure of phrase

I am not really convinced that the structure of the following of sentence is sound. How can I change it to make it simpler? We help you in the development of your needs to define data items for ...
1
vote
1answer
29 views

Meaning of “to be Accounts Receivable for someone”

I understand what accounts receivable are, and I understand what factoring is. But I don't understand what the phrase "to be accounts receivable for someone" means, e.g. "I'm accounts receivable for ...
1
vote
5answers
833 views

The origin of “the long and the short of it”

I am not after the meaning, I am wondering how this phrase originated.
0
votes
0answers
43 views

“driving across the state” or “driving across state”?

Is it "driving across state" like "driving across town", or "driving across THE state", like "driving across the country"?
0
votes
0answers
24 views

Usage of the phrase 'reviewing over'

I've come across the phrase 'reviewing over' and at first I disregarded it as a hold over from grammar in a foreign language but now I've seen a native English speaker use the same phrase. For ...
1
vote
2answers
39 views

Word or phrase for “online supporting documents”

In a conversation on a particular topic, I want to ask the other person to provide online supporting documents about his views on the topic. They may be websites or blogs or wiki etc, but they should ...
1
vote
4answers
88 views

how do you say “write onto a piece of paper” in a more creative way?

I want to use an alternative to the expression write onto a piece of paper I would like to rephrase this to sound more interesting. Can anyone provide suggestions?
1
vote
1answer
34 views

Is there one word for knowledge and wisdom that has been obtained from different sources and from experience?

Is there one word for "gathered wisdom", meaning knowledge and wisdom that has been obtained from different sources and from experience?
4
votes
4answers
169 views

What does “to put it charitably” mean?

There was the following sentence in the article titled “Why Rick Perry may be out of luck” appearing in the New Yorker (August 19): "Last Friday, the Texas Governor was indicted on two counts: ...
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votes
1answer
31 views

I need help with the correct usage of You and Me/I [closed]

when is it right to say "you and me" and "you and I"?
4
votes
2answers
4k views

What does “be at it” mean? Is it an idiom?

In the talk show titled “How Dogs Evolved Into 'Our Best Friends'” on NPR’s “Fresh Air” aired on November 8, naturalist Mark Derr offered an intriguing story about how humans and wolves developed a ...
1
vote
4answers
233 views

How do you describe the feeling you get when you've almost dropped something but caught it in time?

Question says it all. I've had suggestions of using "relieved" or "elated", but none of them really sound like what I'm thinking of. Think about it this way. The other day, I nearly dropped my ...
1
vote
0answers
55 views

“In my younger years, early days, early years, and earlier years”?

I just wanted to express the period from when I was born to my recent days until I realized something. I initially put "in my earlier years." Then I wasn't sure if the meaning of the phrase that I ...
2
votes
3answers
97 views

IMHO, I am great? [closed]

I am not a native English speaker. I was wondering if the phrase "in my humble opinion, my proposal is interesting because ..." is contradictory? I am trying to say that something I proposed/said ...
14
votes
13answers
7k views

Euphemism for “There's more than one way to skin a cat”

Growing up in the 80s, I ended up hearing/using this phrase a lot whenever I wanted to express that there was more than one way to do something: "there's more than one way to skin a cat." I have ...
-1
votes
0answers
34 views

Supermarket English [closed]

Please check if these sentences sound natural. If not, please correct them. We currently have a special on apples. Double-bagged paper, please. We do not accept bills larger than a twenty. Can I ...
3
votes
4answers
143 views

A phrase that captures the concept of making oneself falsely appear to be guilty for purpose of discrediting another party

Perhaps this is more of a trope, but I'm looking for a phrase or word in English that describes the situation where: (a) "Party A" consciously performs actions that establish a false expectation of ...
3
votes
2answers
3k views

Origin of “kettle of fish”

What is the origin of the phrase "kettle of fish"? e.g. It's was a good film. But the sequel is a different kettle of fish. It seems to simply mean "thing", but in a fun and witty way. But I ...
0
votes
2answers
119 views

What would be a proper alternative word or phrase for “social network”, but have the same impact or meaning? [closed]

What people normally first think in my opinion when they hear "social network". What else could you say apart from social network?
2
votes
1answer
45 views

Is the phrase “There are many hungers it is better to deny than to feed” correct?

The "it is" seems out of place to me. I'd rather have it written as "There are many hungers that/which are better to deny than to feed".
1
vote
3answers
84 views

Synonym for: It may take longer than expected (ie. a meeting)

For instance: I have a meeting today that is scheduled until 15h00 but it may take longer. In dutch we would say: Het kan uitlopen. How would I say this?
4
votes
5answers
1k views

“Needs cleaned” or “needs to be cleaned”

I'm from Western Pennsylvania. Until I moved away, I never realized that when I omitted the to be from phrases like needs to be cleaned, my usage was different than what most English speakers are ...
0
votes
2answers
29 views

Article and plural for a title of a section

Which one of the following titles is better? (1) The Specifying of the Planning Horizon (2) Specifying of the Planning Horizon (3) Specifying of Planning Horizons The context is : a ...
2
votes
3answers
3k views

Is the usage of “in your humble opinion” correct?

We use "in my humble opinion" to express humility. But I even see usage of "in your humble opinion" to ask for others' opinions. What does it mean? I see the usage in the original message here, ...
6
votes
5answers
2k 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
186 views

conceived of as vs. conceived as

When I want to write that some something has been "taken to mean" or "understood" or "interpreted as" XYZ, I sometimes use the phrase "to conceive of something as XYZ, where XYZ usually is a longer ...
0
votes
2answers
38 views

Is “after all” necessary in the following paragraph?

Of all the people who wanted to join the trip, Anna was the the last I expected would come. We barely knew each other at school after all, and I was pretty sure she wasn't interested in me. ...
0
votes
2answers
73 views

Similar idioms to “When the cat's away, the mice will play”

I wonder if there is any similar idioms to "When the cat's away, the mice will play." I searched on a few websites (the free dictionary, dictionary.com, and cambridge.) but there was no suggestions ...
20
votes
10answers
6k views

I don't like potatoes or ice-cream [closed]

I am struggling to find the correct grammar for a fairly simple sentence. "I don't like potatoes or ice-cream". This appears to be incorrect because it is a contraction of the two clauses "I ...
3
votes
3answers
57 views

Meaning of “by some margin”

Could you please explain the meaning of this? I have it in a sentence - The speaker was, by some margin, the youngest person in the room. I am a translator from English to Czech and I can´t find it ...
1
vote
2answers
32 views

what does it mean to “betray contempt for” someone? [closed]

I came across this phrase in a quotation from Carl Sagan, "they betray contempt for the intelligence of their customers". From the context, it seems to mean "to show contempt", but I couldn't parse ...
1
vote
1answer
8k views

“Would have” and “would have no”

Could you describe about "would have ~ed" & "would have not ~ed". I know would has the several meanings. But when I was talking with one of my friend who is a native speaker and in this following ...