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

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331 views

What does the phrase “Follow that!” mean?

I've heard that nice phrase and assume it is kind of an idiom. The possible usage I can recall: Follow that! I just did [insert something here]. Is that true and if so what does it mean?
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4answers
53 views

Alternate phrase for “I would be happy to”

I had an interview at a company 5 weeks ago. I received feedback that they "liked" me but need to interview a couple of additional candidate. I am going to send them an email to let them know I am ...
4
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3answers
4k 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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3answers
3k views

What do you mean by 'spark somebody up'?

I have searched throughout the internet to find the real meaning but was at loss.
10
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2answers
2k views

Where did “God helps those who help themselves” originate?

I've always heard it said that "God helps those who help themselves." From a Biblical perspective this doesn't make much sense to me (since I've also heard that we should rely on God for everything). ...
4
votes
5answers
1k views

Is “since I'm” now an acceptable alternative to “since I was”?

In a recent episode of the television show Entourage, Ari Gold (a 40 year old man) says: I've known her since I'm 19. In an episode of Sex and the City, a character, who is 15, tells Carrie: ...
7
votes
6answers
3k views

“Chief Cook and Bottle Washer” meaning and etymology

In my experience, referring to someone in an organization as "chief cook and bottle washer" has multiple possible meanings: person has a wide variety of duties in the organization person is very, ...
14
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7answers
7k views

What does “soft bigotry of low expectations” mean?

There was the following question from a reader and the answer by Charles Blow under the headline, “Your Questions, Answered” in the Opinion Page of May 7 New York Times. I invited you to ask me ...
1
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1answer
42 views

Correct usage of “to find oneself at daggers drawn with sb.”

I am looking into the usage of the phrase to find oneself at daggers drawn with sb. It seems to require a person at the end of the phrase, but I would like to use it in the following way: ...
6
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8answers
11k views

“Does it make sense?” or “Do you understand me?”? [closed]

Suppose I tell something to my companion and I want to make sure he understands me. I thought I may simply ask "Do you understand me?". But recently I heard that in such cases I should ask "Does that ...
3
votes
1answer
80 views

“What happened to ____?” versus “What happened _____?”

I seem to remember my parents, who came from Dublin, Ireland, saying a phrase like "what happened it" or "what happened him" rather than "happened to it" or "happened to him". But it might have been ...
6
votes
9answers
1k views

A word for support that is superficial, but not operational

I'm looking for a word to describe support that is shown only on a public level; it is declarative but not operational, more like an encouragement. For example, I might support all organizations that ...
2
votes
2answers
84 views

A formal way of saying 'rub it in'.

I am trying to find a formal phrase equivalent to the colloquial expression'rub it it.' rub it in (informal) if someone rubs it in, they keep talking about something that makes you feel ...
1
vote
2answers
41 views

Adverb position in app notification

In our application, when one deletes a room, a notification message pops up. It says "Your room has been deleted successfully". I have been taught that adverbs are often supposed to precede the verb, ...
0
votes
1answer
71 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 ...
13
votes
4answers
17k views

What is the origin of the phrase ‘By the by…’?

What is the origin of the phrase 'By the by...'?
1
vote
1answer
91 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
45 views

a combined total of x and/or y [on hold]

On a wiki a user has replaced all instances of the phrase a combined total of 100 x and y with a combined total of 100 x or y Which one is more correct/appropriate to use? Is it situational? Are ...
1
vote
1answer
35 views

Correctness of the usage of the phrase 'by (or in) virtue of'

Is the following sentence grammatically correct? Are there any alterations I must make? I am very much observant in virtue of my tendency of being silent.
9
votes
6answers
3k views

Is “glass cannon” a generally recognized phrase?

"Glass cannon" is a popular term in gaming (especially online-gaming), where it refers to a character class that has remarkable offensive power, but has low defense. Urban Dictionary also defines this ...
0
votes
3answers
45 views

Non-finite Adjectival Clause or Adverbial Clause

I came across the following grammatical terms and example sentences on Wikipedia: As an adjectival phrase modifying a noun phrase that is the object of a verb, provided the verb admits this ...
0
votes
0answers
28 views

Asking about the meaning of a phrase: a point of useful application [on hold]

I came across the phrase that I was not so sure of the meaning: a point of useful application, which appeared in the context as follows. Shafts are a common method used to transmit power from a motor ...
2
votes
2answers
82 views

What does “I chap easily” mean?

I remember hearing this line in an old American comedy TV program A guy starts kissing his boss's hand because he gave him a promotion, and the boss says "be careful (or was it, Stop it, I think, but ...
1
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1answer
62 views

In the 2011 film “bad teacher”, there is an exchange between several characters [on hold]

Squirrel: I am so excited we're gonna be across-the-hall mates. But I'm so sad… it's because your relationship ended. Elizabeth: Who are you again? Squirrel: Amy Squirrel. Elizabeth: ...
11
votes
5answers
3k views

“You're not the boss of me” vs “You're not my boss”

For some years now I've heard You're not the boss of me increasingly more often relative to the more "correct, natural" (to me, at least) You're not my boss. Thanks to the magic of NGrams, I've ...
0
votes
1answer
68 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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0answers
44 views

Origin of the phrases “out back” and “out front”?

I'm going through the Song of Ice and Fire books, and although it's mostly written in what appears to be British English, very occasionally Americanisms sneak in. One example that I just noticed is ...
2
votes
4answers
193 views

Phrases for (someone) making a short visit/appearance

When I need to visit to any place for a very short time, say, for 10-15 minutes A politician coming late and leaving in minutes at a fundraiser. An acquaintance just dropping by to say ...
0
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1answer
4k views

How offensive is the expression “I am sick of you”?

Question 1: What is the meaning of "I am sick of you" exactly? Question 2: Does the meaning of this expression change depending on the context? Question 3: How offensive is this expression in ...
0
votes
1answer
36 views

Compounds and Phrases - differences

What are differences of compounds and phrases and what do they have in common? I know there is the "nuclear stress rule" (phrasal stress on the last word of phrase) and the "compound stress rule" ...
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2answers
60 views

“I will inform you as soon as I get it” [closed]

Can you please help me on this? Is it correct to say: "I will inform you as soon as I get it" Thank you
31
votes
5answers
4k views

During the “Cold War”, did Americans/Westerners call it such?

I am old enough to remember the fall of the Soviet Union, but not old enough to have had any interest in world affairs in the times before. Did Americans/Westerners refer to the "Cold War" by that ...
0
votes
1answer
45 views

What is the difference between 'You are listened to' and 'You are heard'?

I've never heard anyone using the phrase 'listened to', unless a noun is added at the end of the phrase. When one listens to all complaints given by another, can one say 'You are listened to' to that ...
0
votes
2answers
110 views

Metaphors about death [closed]

What are some sayings or metaphors that would interact well with a massacre or calamity? for example "The crows feasted for days"
3
votes
2answers
82 views

Origin of golden parachute

noun 1. an employment contract or agreement guaranteeing a key executive of a company substantial severance pay and other financial benefits in the event of job loss caused by the company's being ...
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3answers
56 views

Where does the phrase “Job Lot” come from?

The phrase "Job Lot" is used in auctions to mean an often assorted quantity of something, for example a "job lot of bicycle parts" could be a load of tyres, wheels, handlebars, frames, chains, etc. I ...
0
votes
1answer
37 views

Is this phrase correct? “I see this program as a cornerstone in my process to become an excellent software engineer” [closed]

English is not my native language and somehow this phrase doesn't feel right. What do you guys think? I see this program as a cornerstone in my process to become an excellent software engineer.
7
votes
3answers
472 views

Is 'Single Sitting' a proper phrase?

Being an Indian, I don't like the way we Indians use the English. Of course I also make mistakes, but I will try to learn from time to time. I see and hear some phrases like, Please do the needful, ...
0
votes
1answer
74 views

Is the usage of 'Due to urgent personal errands' valid? [duplicate]

I see in my company mails, there is a lot of usage of the statement Due to urgent personal errands (..I may not report to office today) which, by hunch, I guess is not a proper usage. What is the ...
0
votes
1answer
36 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 ...
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1answer
59 views

What is today's date vs What date is it today? [duplicate]

What is today's date vs What date is it today ? Is there an alternative to this?
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0answers
22 views

which is grammatically correct to use as a sentence [closed]

Which of these is grammatically correct? I have not heard from you on the status of the application since I last wrote to you. or I have not heard from you since I last wrote to you on the ...
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votes
2answers
42 views

What is the difference between those two phrases [closed]

my girlfriend got mad at me for commenting "this is so going down" on a picture with a nude girl. What is the difference between "this is so going down" and "i am so going down on this"? Thanks a ...
1
vote
1answer
33 views

Taste of one's own medicine: the logic behind the phrase

Is there a logical story behind this phrase? Because when looked at from a naive perspective, giving somebody their own medicine sounds like a kind thing to do as it would only treat their illness. ...
1
vote
1answer
99 views

Help understanding a sentence/reference

The introductory paragraph of the book An Introduction to Mathematics, written for general audience by the great British mathematician Alfred North Whitehead goes like this: Chapter 1: THE ...
0
votes
2answers
1k views

Where did “doggy dog world” come from?

This Ngram shows that people were happily saying "dog eat dog world" until the 1980s, when "doggy dog world" abruptly came into use. What might have accounted for this? (It was well before Snoop ...
0
votes
2answers
54 views

Usage of the phrase “over his lifetime”

Is it appropriate to use the phrase "over his lifetime" for in introducing someone if the person is still alive, i.e. "...his dedication to music over his lifetime..."
6
votes
4answers
5k views
0
votes
1answer
53 views

Use of “don't mention it” for “you're welcome”?

In which American regions is "don't mention it" used for "you're welcome"?
4
votes
5answers
162 views

Misuse of the verb allege?

I recently visited Jordan on a business trip. Read the following in a newspaper: Bleeding profusely, she pleaded with the alleged attacker, Mushataq, to take her to a hospital. My ...