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

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537 views

About the meaning of “light smattering of applause”

I expected "light smattering of applause" to mean "few applause" because "light" has the meaning of "small, not heavy". However, the phrase seems to mean "a lot of applause" in the context. For ...
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1answer
39 views

I had better go, i should go, i have to go

Could anyone tell me what these mean, and on what occasions it is suitable to say them? I had better go I should go I have to go. Thanks in advance
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0answers
17 views

Usage of Phrases [on hold]

Is there any way to keep the meaning of confusing phrases in mind like put off, put up, put out, etc? And if we don't know the meaning, is there any way to understand the sentence, or we will have to ...
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0answers
15 views

Identifying the subject in passive voice

What is the subject in: "In the City's Square mile are squeezed 400,000 workers" Would love to get detalied explanation. Many Thanks!
6
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4answers
5k views

What does 'two-bit paper pusher' mean?

I often find a joke titled, ‘When a grandma goes to court’ followed by the line, ‘Lawyers should never ask a question if they aren’t prepared for the answer.’ I don’t know if it’s a popular joke or ...
14
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19answers
3k views

Chasing something that doesn't exist

I'm trying to find a word or short phrase that would describe chasing something that doesn't exist. My restriction is that it can't be referencing something that would only make sense in our world ...
3
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2answers
28 views

Term to describe initial investment versus long term gains

I'm looking for a word (or phrase) to describe a situation that takes a lot of time and effort to set up initially, but the initial costs are (ideally) offset by the long-term gains. Specifically I'm ...
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1answer
31 views

What does the phrase “made my hair” generally imply, and do men use it commonly?

I recently came across a women who was exclaiming that she had just "made her hair" after her boyfriend pulled her hair-band off. I have never really heard of this phrase before, hence the question: ...
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2answers
8k views

Where does the phrase “crazy like a fox” originate?

If you say that someone is "crazy like a fox", it means that their behavior appears to be insane or nonsensical at first glance, but there's actually something very clever and subtle to it that's ...
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2answers
326 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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0answers
18 views

How to communicate two elements of different syntactic/semantic type in the same sentence?

I have the following sentence, NAME is a community that helps each other code better by rating each other's efforts and helps managers pair with other fellow developers I was suggested by the ...
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2answers
29 views

Where do I put this phrase in a phrase structure tree?

I am not sure where to put the AdvP in this sentence when drawing a phrase structure tree. This is the sentence I would like to create the tree for: "The car Sam bought last week won the big race." ...
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1answer
34 views

What does “working out of” mean? [duplicate]

Can you please tell me what "working out of" means in this context? "African composers working out of European-based choral and instrumental art music traditions are gaining recognition, as are the ...
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2answers
10k views

Is there any difference between “clear conscience” and “clean conscience”?

I want to have a clear conscience so that I know to judge clearly what is right or wrong. vs. I want to have a clean conscience, therefore I will not do such an ugly thing. The ...
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2answers
53 views

China has been simmering with known for several years that …

The following passage is quoted from the comments that Prof. Paul Krugman made during the meeting with Japanese officials on March 22, 2016 in Tokyo. I am wondering what the italic part means. I ...
2
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1answer
106 views

What is another phrase for one stop shop?

I am writing a small description and need a phrase to highlight a range of services. Is there another phrase for "one stop shop" which is both catchy and apt?
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2answers
13k views

When someone leaves at 4pm - should I say “Have a good afternoon” or “evening”? [closed]

I started work as a receptionist and must greet people that come and go. Please let me know what I should say when it is 4 pm and the client is leaving. Should I say "Bye, have a nice afternoon" or ...
6
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1answer
262 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
29 views

Breaking sentences up

What is the right term for breaking or dividing a sentence into fragments, wherein each fragment still contains a thought/meaning? e.g.: Sports can ostracize people/ who are not very good at them./
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0answers
31 views

What is the difference between “iam” and “am?” [on hold]

Iam always confused in choosing between "am" and "iam" when i want to talk about myself, so what is the difference between the two?
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5answers
813 views

Indefinite articles used with plural nouns: It was AN amazing TWO DAYS

The indefinite article a(n), derives from the old English word an meaning "one". Generally this word only occurs in determiner function before noun phrases which are singular. However, there seem to ...
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3answers
106 views

Word or Phrase for Smart and Difficult to work with [closed]

A coworker and I are having a discussion about a very smart person we work with who is also very difficult to deal with. We both feel like there is a word or phrase out there to describe this type ...
2
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1answer
32 views

Generic term to describe how the lack of a normal limiting factor will allow an undesirable overuse of another resource

I'm looking for a word or phrase to describe the natural forces or factors that would normally either encourage or discourage a particular course of action if that factor is either present or not ...
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0answers
43 views

What is the first word/phrase you think of when you hear about ARROGANCE? [on hold]

I'm doing my PhD research in cognitive linguistics. The subject of investigation is the concept of Arrogance in British worldview. So I’d really appreciate if British citizens could share their ...
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1answer
22 views

What matters vs. what matter when starting a sentence

I am wondering if it would be better to write in the sentence below, "what matters most is" or "what matter most are," since what follows are two clauses. Or should "what" stand as the singular ...
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1answer
30 views

Too blessed to be stressed [on hold]

What is the meaning of the phrase "too blessed to be stressed" ?
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3answers
8k views

“Only when…” vs “it was only when…”

In the following example: Eri stared at date on the screen, but all she saw were white pixels. Only when she recovered from her shock that she became aware of its meaning. Do it have to add ...
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8answers
276 views
+50

“bucking for” .. like Klinger

In the culturally referrent 1970s USA TV show "MASH", about the Korean war, character Corporal Klinger acts "crazy", specifically wearing female clothing, ... because he is bucking for a section 8 ...
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3answers
12k views

Somebody is gonna kiss the donkey

I heard this phrase when I was watching Battleship. An old man said, "Somebody is gonna kiss the donkey." I do not know what it means, I only heard it in a movie. What is this phrase mean? In ...
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2answers
33 views

“Acted together” or “played together” or ? in a movie

I am looking for a correct and common phrase to describe that people were actors in the same movie(s): An example is: "Walter Matthau and Jack Lemmon acted together in The Odd Couple and Grumpy Old ...
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2answers
1k views

What does the phrase “tell us what you really think” mean?

What does "tell us what you really think" mean? It seems to be used when someone is telling us what they really think...
6
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11answers
31k views

Phrase for something that is always out or reach/you almost have but never can get

I believe there is a two-word phrase for something that is always just out of reach for you and which you cannot ever seem to get. (It is not Tantalus or anything having to do with Tantalus, please). ...
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1answer
29 views

vocabulary about returning ones favor

You're asking someone to postpone something, or do something on behalf of you and at the end you want to say to him I will try to recoup it later. I will try to work on your behalf later. I'll return ...
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2answers
37 views

Meaning of “I'll have it nicely dried”

I can't understand the meaning of the phrase "I'll have it nicely dried". Does it mean the same as "I'll dry it very well"?
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1answer
81 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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2answers
44 views

What do you call the following phrases?

In the following examples: A boy with blue eyes and black tshirt stood in the corner. An old man who knew how to live a life the right way looked through the window. What would you call ...
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1answer
165 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 ...
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1answer
43 views

Usage of 'that of' [closed]

Vishal invested 2/11 th part of his monthly income in stocks share and that of 4/11th part in mutual fund This is a mathematical question (source). I am confused about the usage of 'that of' ...
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0answers
31 views

What phrases, words and verbs are acceptable to end a person's quote? [closed]

I am a translator and I need ideas on phrases and verbs to end a quote. For example, "The whole world is concerned with generating alternative energy," the President stated. Words like the one in ...
0
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1answer
32 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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1answer
43 views

Sum and difference 'is known', or 'are known'? [closed]

Which of the following is correct? Given two numbers whose sum and difference is known, ... Given two numbers whose sum and difference are known,...
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2answers
41 views

Fairly deep phrase meaning

I'm having difficulty with understanding the below phrase: sorry, I've been in a fairly deep recently Is this statement cut off as not making greater sense to me? That was a response to my ...
2
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1answer
42 views

What do we call a person who walks into a ditch/trap himself without anyones provokation or enticing him [closed]

Without being careful, or may be with some arrogance, if a person walks into a troublesome situation, what are the phrases or words to describe him?
2
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1answer
80 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 ...
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3answers
29 views

Phrase similar to “in the offing”

The meaning of "in the offing" I guess is "something that is likely to happen in the (distant) future" Is there any phrase that describes something that is likely to happen soon?
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5answers
7k views

Around how old is “a woman of a certain age”?

"A woman of a certain age" is a common saying. It means more than "a woman of a given age", "a woman who could be any age" or "female, without respect to age". It's usage instead seems to suggest a ...
1
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0answers
50 views

How did “stone-cold” come to mean completely?

It seems like such an odd arrangement of words that would, in a certain context, mean "completely." Otherwise, it just means "cold." And my Google-fu has failed me; I'm unable to locate an ...
0
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1answer
36 views

'a same matrix' or 'the same matrix'?

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 ...
5
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6answers
151 views

What would I call this 'attitude'?

A friend of mine has a bad habit of undermining people who are not the best in their respective fields. If in a car-race, player A wins out of 26 players (A,B,C...Z). He would claim 'A' to be the ...
0
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0answers
29 views

correct grammar [migrated]

Which would be correct: Male and female ATHLETE that HAS shown good sportsmanship? OR Male and female ATHLETES that HAVE shown good sportsmanship? Thank you.