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

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2answers
125 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 ...
11
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14answers
6k views

Is there a slang word or phrase for someone who is always playing dirty tricks or unpleasant practical jokes on his friends and acquaintances?

context: He will surreptitiously introduce a frog into your handbag. You leave your car keys on a desk, he sees it and hides it somewhere. He may offer you M&M type candies that will leave your ...
0
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2answers
325 views

Is there a word or phrase for someone who always tries to get more than he needs or deserves?

This person always tries to get more than he/she needs, especially gratuities, gifts and souvenirs. Looking or sounding ridiculous is no barrier for him/her.
0
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5answers
574 views

Noun or Adjective for someone who is good in managing resources and/or money

I am looking to describe someone who is good at keeping track of hir resource use and goods usage behaviour. This can be either for monetary currencies, but also for food, material or other ...
0
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2answers
75 views

Is it right, or better way, to say someone “denies themselves agency”

I'm trying to express the idea of someone who consistently underestimates his own contributions or his ability to impact a situation, despite having high self esteem. This is due to seeing themselves ...
9
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3answers
15k views

What does ‘Camel gets his nose under the tent’ mean?

In the article of New York Times co-ed columnist, Maureen Dowd dealing with Republicans’ objection of the repeal of ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ under the title, “Mad Men and Mad Women”, I came across an ...
0
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1answer
30 views

Is it correct to say “be a pioneer”? [on hold]

I am going to use "be a pioneer" in my business. Could you let me know whether this a reasonable sentence or not?
0
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1answer
48 views

Is this an oxymoron or do they juxtapose each-other?

I am currently reading the book 'Spies' by Michael Frayn, and this phrase comes up quite often: 'Everything is as it was; and everything has changed' The use of the semi-colon between the two ...
0
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1answer
206 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 ...
0
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1answer
49 views

Term that describes an incomplete comparison

What is the term for a dichotomous statement like, "The two side of the issue are the fish should be protected, or it should not." That is, the other side of the issue is not fully explained, it's ...
0
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0answers
37 views

Phrase or word for doing something as a learning experience before doing it for real?

If I want to say 'I regard my first year for this bachelor degree as a try out year or a "pre-learning" year before starting again as a first year elsewhere'. What word or phrase would I use for 'try ...
2
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2answers
83 views

I dislike his/him being blunt [on hold]

What is the difference between the two sentences below? Are they both grammatically correct? I dislike his being blunt. I dislike him being blunt.
2
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1answer
39 views

Is there a phrase for “something good that doesn't last long”?

In Arabic, the expression "Summer cloud" is usually used to mean that "this is not going to last for a long time" or "it won't last as long as you think it will". Is there an equivalent phrase in ...
0
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1answer
50 views

A phrase for something that you enjoy, but is quite bad for you

I used to use it, but for some reason, and it's annoying me, I can't remember it. A synonym might be "my sweet poison". Usually used when talking about foods that are bad for you. Thank you guys, it ...
0
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1answer
23 views

Can a participle phrase modify a whole sentence or clause?Or they have to stick to a specific word or phrase?

new comer's here and like most other user my desire to find out more about English grammar,as in their usage and structure, brought me here.I'm looking forward to working with you all in the future, ...
0
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1answer
39 views

Word for turning a situation around on someone

Let me describe the situation: My wife has been having issues with a certain employee at work...long story short, this other employee now goes out of her way to try and exclude/snub/cold shoulder my ...
2
votes
1answer
810 views

Why does Amy say “So needy” in this context?

I watched an episode of Big Bang Theory, here's a recap: Subtitle of Big Bang Season 4 , Episode 17 I don't quite get it when Penny told a joke and then Amy said "So needy." over the phone holding ...
1
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1answer
38 views

Nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American people?

Was H. L. Mencken the first to say 'Nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American people.", or was he paraphrasing another comentator?
3
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5answers
7k views

What does the phrase “switched on” mean in this context?

Recently a colleague of mine said to me that the "Guys who are switched on really annoy me?". Since I am not a native speaker, I do not know what he meant by "switched on". Can you fine folks shed ...
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2answers
32 views

understanding the phrases [on hold]

I'm not sure whether I should use fail or fails in my sentence that is written as follows "Whenever words fail us music will do the talking" I need assurance
0
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0answers
28 views

Does “we” count as a subject in the subject and verb agreement? [migrated]

As in this sentence - We share in the anger and frustration of our supporters and would like to assure them that we are working to conclude the matter in the best interests of Sunderland AFC. ...
1
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5answers
47 views

Word or phrase for the moment/reason/motive you reveal to someone why you had acted a certain way prior to parting ways

A massive cliche in action movies (especially James Bond), but is there actually a word for that moment when the evil villain reveals their deadly plot to the action hero before (usually attempting ...
0
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2answers
70 views

the killed man or the murdered man

When you refer to "a man killed in a murder case", I understand you'll say "the murdered man" instead of "the killed man." Why isn't the expression "the killed man" used?
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3answers
42 views

If someone has the right to something, how could I say in this situation

If someone has the right to something, how could I say in this situation. My client would like an organiser to cover flight ticket fare for business class due to physical health problem. According to ...
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0answers
19 views

Can pride -self on use with Ving

I know that the phrase pride -self on will go with a noun, for example: She prides herself on her singing but I wonder if the phrase can use with Ving or not, like She prides herself on being good all ...
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1answer
20 views

How do you say a countable turn out?

Very few people attended the concert you can count them as opposed to countable because it's possible to count.
2
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1answer
87 views

non-progressive, habitual actions

What is the difference between the following sentences? Even in those days he played golf on Wednesday. Even in those days he played golf on every Wednesday. Even in those days he played ...
6
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2answers
10k views

Origin of “pull your socks up”?

I was pulling my socks up this morning, in the literal sense of the term, when I started to wonder about why pull your socks up came to mean what it does:- to make an effort to improve your work ...
6
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3answers
12k views

What does “change one's stripes” exactly mean?

I found a phrase in the headline of today’s Washington Post article (Feb. 14) that reads "Mubarak loyalists change stripes to fit into the new Egypt." Though I interpreted the meaning of change one’s ...
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0answers
33 views

For a longer period of time in the future [on hold]

I'd like to know if the following sentence sounds okay: Presence of contaminants in the soil is expected for a longer time in the future, or in shorter and more frequent intervals. .
0
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0answers
13 views

Correctly phrasing a sentence [closed]

Is the first sentence phrased incorrectly? Or should it be the second one? 1) "so what better than to enjoy that something special using our pick of elegant tableware" 2) "so what better way than to ...
1
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1answer
44 views

Classification for phrases like “slim chance” and “fat chance” that look like opposites but have the same meaning

How is it that "slim chance" and "fat chance" have the same meaning? Is there a linguistic classification for this phenomenon of seemingly opposite phrases that have the same meaning?
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0answers
33 views

Alternatives to the phrase “in the end” [closed]

What are different ways of saying the phrase "in the end", particularly in expressing "on reflection".
2
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1answer
50 views

Indicate the need for a clarification [on hold]

I'm listing requirements for a job position within a company and one of the duties of the position in question is drawing attention to unclear customer requests, and the need for their clarification. ...
0
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1answer
48 views

'a same matrix' or 'the same matrix'? [on hold]

Synchronizing only a seed between the local sites and fusion center can let the pseudo-random number generators generate the same matrix A. Or Synchronizing only a seed between the local sites and ...
0
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1answer
46 views

What is the correct way to use “Hands Down” in a sentence, grammar-wise? [closed]

What is the correct option\s in this case? Hands down, the best value for your money! Hands down, get best value for your money! It's hands down the best value for your money! The best value for ...
6
votes
3answers
2k views

“It's a-me !” — just an imitation of an Italian accent or something more?

I've seen and heard this at various times: It's a-me! [first name]! (Most of the time, seemingly as a reference to Mario.) I was wondering what the intent was behind the construction "a-me". Is ...
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0answers
47 views

what does the phrase “101 of us” mean? [closed]

ive heard the phrase '101 of us" used a few times and I'm very puzzled o what it means.. I know it has something to do with the government but I don't know the real meaning.
14
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6answers
16k views

Is there honour among thieves or not?

I'm not sure which one of these apparently flatly contradictory proverbs I heard first but I have definitely heard both several times. One of them is: There is honour among thieves. Another is: ...
2
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1answer
75 views

getting used to my new job [closed]

Are there good phrases to sound like a native speaker when you want to say you are getting used to your new job? A: How's your new job? B: _________________
2
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1answer
56 views

cut you off with honey

When two people are having a conversation and the person who is listening has to say something very important and has to butt in, he'd say respectfully '(If you'd let me) cut you off with honey'.. ...
0
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1answer
49 views

“replace with” vs. “replace by” in the sense of substituting strings

Given that both prepositions are acceptable in general contexts with a slight deviation in usage, meaning, and voice ("Replace with" versus "replace by" has a too wide scope), let ...
-1
votes
1answer
33 views

“server, please!” — is there a comma in there?

Related to youtube/5ycx9hFGHog, I'd like to know whether it is correct or incorrect to put a comma between "server" and "please", when writing about an act of calling one's server, whether the "please"...
1
vote
2answers
126 views

Term for a structure of nested holding companies

An example would be a corporation A, that holds a controlling interest (say 51%) in company B, which holds a controlling interest (51% again) in company C, and now company A has a controlling interest ...
2
votes
1answer
49 views

How to correctly name the windows on a wristwatch?

Well, I know it can seem to be primitive, but I cannot find a sharp definition. I am working for a wristwatches catalog, and it must be stated right. Some manufacturers call it a crystal, some call ...
2
votes
1answer
50 views

What's a phrase to capture traffic, road type, weather conditions?

What is a short phrase that could be used to describe the conditions under which one is driving (traffic, road type, stop-and-go, weather)? Our product provides a "rating" to consumers of how risky ...
6
votes
1answer
3k views

What does the phrase “touch space” mean?

Recently some of my colleagues has started using the phrase "touch space" a lot, for example in sentences like "I just called you to touch space", or "I will touch space with him tomorrow". I can ...
8
votes
4answers
26k views

Why do we use the phrase 'Across the pond'?

Why do we use the phrase Across the pond to refer to the opposite side of the Atlantic Ocean? Considering the size of the Atlantic Ocean is vast, is it suggesting the ocean is only a small hindrance? ...
3
votes
1answer
35 views

What is an 'end-of-the-pier entertainment'?

Reading "Nothing To Be Frightened Of" by Julian Barnes I found this phrase. This is the full paragraph. If there were a games-playing God, He would surely get especial ludic pleasure from ...
4
votes
3answers
5k views

Why “tickety-boo”?

I heard myself saying something was "tickety-boo", meaning good, successful, or satisfactory. Does anyone know where this strange-sounding phrase originated?