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

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4
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2answers
286 views

Is this phrase an appositive? And what case for the pronoun - We or Us?

One of my students wrote this sentence: "We should do something, both we students and the society." When I talked to her, I said that "we" should be "us", so I wrote the sentence like this: ...
2
votes
6answers
3k views

Is “Give you into trouble” correct

My wife often uses the phrase "I'll give you into trouble if you do that again" and it seems to be reasonably common in western Scotland, however I can't find any way for it to be grammatically ...
6
votes
2answers
131 views

“the writing is on the wall” vs. “the handwriting is on the wall”

This morning I heard on NPR someone mention that: "The handwriting is on the wall". I had a notion that it was a biblical allusion, which was confirmed by: ...
5
votes
3answers
10k views

What is the exact meaning of “You've got yourself a deal”? Is it only an American slang?

I came across the phrase, ‘got yourself a deal’ being introduced as a vulgar American English by a character in Jeffery Archer’s, fiction “The Fourth Estate.” In the scene Keith Townsend, Australian ...
-2
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1answer
784 views

Is there any relationship between this “a can of whoop ass” and the really whoop ass can? [closed]

I’m gonna open a can of whoop ass on you if you don’t come with me now! I know that "whoop someone's ass" means to beat someone's ass And "open a can of whoop ass" means to beat someone Is ...
0
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2answers
102 views

I will offer up a few bits of advice (???) [closed]

I think that this means simply "I'll give you a few of advice." My question is how "offer up" and "offer" are different. In the dictionary, "offer up" is to worship or present as an act of worship, ...
3
votes
2answers
245 views

Is the phrase “Icy slush” redundant?

It's winter here in New York, and my driveway was a sheet of ice yesterday. Today, the ice is softer, and a bit slushier. Is it an icy slush? or a slush that is icy? Or just a slush, indicating that ...
0
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0answers
18 views

Appropriate use of “to have a background in…”

Is it reasonable to say that I have a background in information technology when I have worked as a programmer for over ten years, but have no university degree or formal training?
0
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0answers
29 views

What is another way of saying <I have changed my views>

What is another way of saying "I have changed my views"
0
votes
1answer
47 views

What is the word or phrase?

Is there a word or phrase for the following ice breaker game. A group of people form a circle, and the first person says their name. The next person on the left goes and says the first person's name ...
0
votes
1answer
362 views

Can we use “as per your asking” when replying to queries?

I am very confused at this usage, very common among my friends. As far as I understand, the correct usage is as per your query or as per your request. My friends though use as per your asking. Which ...
0
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2answers
47 views

Can I say “had better do this THAN do sth else”?

I'd like to form this sentence: For the sake of learning more, one had better seem to not know much than to know everything However, I am not fully sure if I can use "than" with "had better" ...
0
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2answers
29 views

Meaning of the phrase: “I am but one.”

What is the meaning of the phrase: "I am but one." In sentence it is used as: "I am but one person out of the billions that exist on this earth."
0
votes
1answer
36 views

comma between subject and verb

'Apples, oranges, kiwis, etc., are possible fruits to eat in this country.' 'Apples, oranges, kiwis, etc., all are possible fruits to eat in this country.' 'Apples, oranges, kiwis, etc. are possible ...
0
votes
1answer
38 views

How to ask if a tutor is ~welcoming~? new students

I'm going to ask the online teacher if she is expecting new students to come and start studying with her. What's the good way to ask her that? I'm not sure that my own option "Are you welcoming new ...
0
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2answers
41 views

Contact Details Vs. Contacts

"Contact" could be used as a noun. It could be used as plural as in- The more contacts the cloth has with the dirty surface, the more sploiled it gets. "Contact details" is different. "Contact ...
1
vote
2answers
41 views

English (UK) - does “an enraged expression” make sense?

I am writing a book and one of my characters is angry but I feel like angry doesn't fit in and that enraged makes more sense and also makes the language of the book better but I'm not sure if it makes ...
0
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2answers
437 views

What is the difference between “extended from” and “extending from”?

Scenario 1: part A is extended from part B Scenario 2: part A is extending from part B Is there any difference between these two descriptions? Would any one so kind to help me about this? Thanks in ...
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2answers
20 views

Usase of could have/would have/would have been [on hold]

I find myself very weak in using these phrases. please write a sentence.
-1
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1answer
758 views

“That strikes one for me”…what's it mean? [on hold]

What's the "one" mean here? Is this taken from baseball? Can the idiom be grammatically used in other persons besides the first?
0
votes
1answer
90 views

“This time two years”

In English you can say "I will see you again this time next year" but can you say "I will see you again this time two years" or is that grammatically incorrect?
4
votes
4answers
2k views

“Strike gold” but without the implication of searching?

Whenever I hear the phrase I struck gold the fact the person had to have done a certain search is implied to me. Is this correct? For example, if I say: Janet loves sex so much! I've struck gold ...
2
votes
3answers
111 views

Succinct phrase for “work well under pressure”?

So I was working on my resume, but it literally took me two hours to come up with a succinct phrase for "work well under pressure". So far I could think of phrases like " pressure performer " or ...
12
votes
0answers
850 views

Is “She is under the shower” a proper English sentence? [migrated]

There is currently a debate on Duolingo about the proper translation of a sentence to English (the original language isn't the point of this question). The sentence, literally translates to "She is ...
1
vote
1answer
69 views

Meaning of “high in reach” regarding a training session

If an educational company described their session methodology as "high in reach" does it mean: the size of the audience the effectiveness of the training other? The original sentence in a press ...
4
votes
3answers
454 views

Laundry (noun) is the washing of clothing and linens. what do we call the laundry after laundering?

While reading a chapter on laundry and the various techniques associated with it, it reflected that the clothes lined for washing were termed as laundry and so were the washed/ironed clothes. Could ...
5
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6answers
3k views

Phrase which describes falsely improving something

Is there an aphorism or proverb in English which describes attempting to improve something fundamentally flawed by dressing it with a lot of ornament?
1
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1answer
49 views

Use of “in comparison to”

I have doubts regarding the construction of the phrase: "[...] degree of fulfilment regarding the number of water quality parameters effectively controlled in comparison to the mandated number ...
0
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0answers
25 views

using against the edifice the instruments or stones available in the house

What does the highlighted sentence mean? Is it some kind of saying? What is the meaning of "edifice" here? Source: Read the Cultural Other
1
vote
1answer
3k views

A number off or a number of?

I am reading some technical documents and there is a list of items that make up the product. Throughout the document where there are multiple items, they are listed as 2 off, 3 off and so on. For ...
-1
votes
3answers
50 views

Meaning of Have a lot of heart?

I've seen the phrase have a lot heart few times and got curious about what that means. However, since dictionaries do not give sufficient clues, I'm here for your help. That man must have a lot of ...
2
votes
2answers
131 views

Can a comma be used to REPLACE a subordinating conjunction?

I am aware that the formulas for complex sentences are ID and D,I (I=independent and D=dependent), but I have a sentence that has an I and D but adding a subordinate conjunction sounds weird. "He woke ...
0
votes
2answers
41 views

Word Choice: Starting a sentence with “If not too long ago”

I know that the proper way to use "not too long ago" is: "Not too long ago, contractors used to build houses and sell them to dealers. It was the responsibility of the dealers to provide financing to ...
0
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2answers
34 views

What's the meaning of the phrase?

I'm wondering what's the meaning of the following phrase: Bennett took a poke at the President's refusal to sign the bill. I've found some explanations of "to take a poke at", but still they ...
0
votes
1answer
69 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 ...
0
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0answers
13 views

A noun phrase and a noun clause [closed]

Can anyone please help me out and give here an example, preferably even two, for a noun clause within a noun phrase. Noun Clause meaning a clause that acts as a noun, such as: (in bold) he gave her ...
1
vote
1answer
35 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 ...
0
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3answers
163 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
187 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 ...
22
votes
9answers
9k views

Why does “big cheese” mean someone important?

This is one of those common phrases that I have never really questioned until now. According to the free dictionary, "Big cheese" means an "important person". But what on earth does "cheese" have ...
0
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1answer
40 views

No remote start provisions

What would it mean when a vehicle description states "no remote start provisions".
0
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1answer
46 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 ...
-1
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0answers
47 views

Did the idiomatic phrase “lay your ship bare” exist prior to 2010?

Is there any evidence that the idiomatic phrase "lay your ship bare" existed prior to 2010? Or did that phrase come about when people misheard the lyrics to Adele's "Rolling in the Deep" song?
0
votes
2answers
277 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
4answers
580 views

Is “purse-lipped mother-in-law” an established word representing for a woman who is censoriousness and nagging about everything?

I found an interesting phrase, “purse-lipped mother-in-law” in the following lines of the article titled “The newspaper that rules Britain,” which appeared in New Yorker magazine, April 2nd, 2012 ...
0
votes
1answer
52 views

help to find a taboo equivalent

Excuse me for what you are going to read now. If you don't accept the taboo lexics, please don't read this. There is a taboo phrase in Russian: "ебись оно всё конём" /jebis ono vsjo konjom/ which ...
0
votes
1answer
30 views

Is “set up another session” grammatically correct?

I tried to confirm an artist's schedule from a booking agent . As the venue was fully booked, I had to propose an alternative date. "... Just write to make sure if you mind I try to set up another ...
2
votes
1answer
1k views

“Rule the Roast” and “Rule the Roost”

John Ayto, Oxford Dictionary of English Idioms (2009) has this entry for "rule the roost": rule the roost be in complete control The original expression was rule the roast, which was common ...
3
votes
4answers
382 views

When did the phrase “eat sh*t” enter the English Language?

I'm reading a book, The Known World by Edward P. Jones. It is a very well written book about Black slave owners before the Civil War, that is, freed slaves who went on to own slaves themselves. The ...