How and why certain words are used in varying ways within various contexts.

learn more… | top users | synonyms

1
vote
2answers
33 views

as best I can vs as well as I can

I have to say I have an issue with the phrase "as best I can". After all, "best" is the superlative form of "well" and does not belong in the comparative construction "as... as" - not to mention that ...
0
votes
1answer
17 views

articles before two adjectives

If we describe a child as friendly and enthusiastic where should we use article?Is it she is a friendly and enthusiastic child or she is friendly and a enthusiastic child,
5
votes
1answer
56 views

Can “apocryphal” be used to mean “not true”?

I always thought that apocryphal should just mean "of doubtful authenticity". But more and more I am noticing that people use it positively to mean mythical or untrue, especially in phrases such as ...
0
votes
2answers
50 views

What is the correct visualization of “first left down the hallway”?

I hear a lot of native speakers say something like this: Once in the arena take first left down the hallway Take your first left down the hallway. When you come to the second floor, make a left and ...
2
votes
1answer
42 views

Usage of how instead of as? [on hold]

I am hearing and reading this construction more often: You can have your meal how you want it. AND Design your own color combination how you like. Whatever happened to "as"?
1
vote
1answer
51 views

Is it acceptable to start a sentence with the preposition 'except' rather than 'except for'?

The sentence Except the buildings built towards the end of his life, the buildings erected in Istanbul can be assumed to be his. was recently used in a question here. I edited to replace ...
0
votes
1answer
67 views

How old are you? or What is your age? [on hold]

Which is more common or used more and also the correct way of asking?
1
vote
1answer
50 views

In what (semantic) context might “REFUSE” be used with a gerund complement?

I know that, prescriptively speaking, that the verb "refuse" is supposed to be followed by an infinitive. For example: The parents refused to buy the dangerous toy for their kid. Since language ...
8
votes
1answer
67 views

The use of possessive pronouns in phrases like “I don't know my geography” or “He certainly knows his Star Wars”

There's a rather peculiar use of possessive pronouns. In my experience, it normally occurs in the context of referring to someone's familiarity with a particular subject (or lack therof), e.g. You ...
0
votes
1answer
46 views

Dragons are “fantastic” creatures or “fantastical” creatures?

If I'm discussing fantasy as a genre, and I want to describe a noun as fitting that genre, should I call it fantastic or fantastical? It seems both words exist in (say) Merriam-Webster, but the -al ...
0
votes
1answer
31 views

the usage of the apostrophe [closed]

Which is more correct to say: in todays' classes or in today's classes? Can we consider that today represents the days that we live in general, so it might be considered as plural, and add the ...
1
vote
2answers
51 views

“Time” versus “Time”: When is time plural?

I have difficulty in using time and times correctly. I understand that times may be used for some idiomatic purposes such as "at all times" or "of all times" or "some times", although sometimes it ...
-1
votes
1answer
30 views

is there a special term for using “very” in combination with adverby which can only be either/or [on hold]

Sometimes people use the word "very" in combination with adverbs which can only be either/or. for instance: "the floor is very wet". This may not be the best example, but the floor can either be wet ...
2
votes
2answers
57 views

First floor vs ground floor, usage origin

Ground floor – First floor: In British English, the floor of a building which is level with the ground is called the ground floor. The floor above it is called the first floor, the floor above ...
1
vote
1answer
60 views

Are "out of the box“ and “(right) off the bat” interchangeable”?

I came across with two idioms associated with immediacy in different context recently: (1) Anyone who was hoping that the Watch would flop out of the box and fall short of the high standard that ...
0
votes
1answer
26 views

usage of amid instead of between [closed]

Can I replace between with amid here? The engineers need to design the relationship between these function blocks. Turning into The engineers need to design the relationship amid these ...
0
votes
2answers
50 views

“most” vs “the most”, specifically as an adverb at the end of sentence

Which one of the following sentences is the most canonical? I know most vs the most have been explained a lot but my doubts pertain specifically which one to use at the end of a sentence. Do you ...
-2
votes
1answer
18 views

Which is correct regarding worry about [closed]

You need not to worry about me stressing you out. Or You need not to worry about me who stresses you out.
0
votes
1answer
61 views

Usage of “On” vs “About” [closed]

In a recent history essay, I wrote the following sentence: "As banks began to fail, the regional banks were divided on whether to assist all banks or only member banks." My teacher corrected the "on", ...
0
votes
0answers
37 views

How to refer to something “demanding” which doesn't happen all of a sudden?

Looking for a verb to express something that requires some time and effort to evolve, like collecting. I want to express that collecting requires some time and the collection doesn't just come out ...
0
votes
1answer
37 views

When should I say “a clear voice” over “clear voice”? [closed]

I have a question about the usage of the word, voice. When should I say "a clear voice" over "clear voice"? I would like to say that A clear voice is one of the qualities for the job. Is it ...
-2
votes
1answer
24 views

What's the difference between “end up” and “be ended up” [closed]

Is it possible to write as following sentence? I was ended up to have a serious injury on my left foot? I would like to know the proper usage of "end up". Please share the correct sentence and ...
0
votes
2answers
34 views

When to use Proverbial? [duplicate]

I was just curious when I could use the word Proverbial in a sentence. Would it be correct to use when referring to often cliched expressions (i.e. putting the "proverbial" pedal to the metal, giving ...
0
votes
1answer
36 views

The usage of “got out” and the indefinite article “a” in the sentence “if it got out that they were related to a pair of”

I'm a English learner and I found the following sentence which seemed strange to me when I was reading Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Chapter one, the American Edition): "if it got out that ...
0
votes
1answer
30 views

Watch and see usage

When should be used see and when watch? For example: if you look at a mirror you see you or you watch you? The same as if a camera is recording you an it appears in a tv in real-time, are you seeing ...
2
votes
3answers
70 views

Is “Heaven and hell both reside in the details” a well-received English saying?

There is the following passage in the contribution written by Ehud Barak, the former Prime Minister of Israel under the title, “Iran Has Escaped a Noose.” in Time magazine April 2nd issue: “The ...
0
votes
1answer
42 views

Is it correct to say “Can I enter if don't have a ticket”? [closed]

Is it correct to say "Can I come in if don't have a ticket"? or, Which is more common in ordinary life: A. Can I enter if don't have a ticket? B. Can I enter if I don't have a ticket?
0
votes
0answers
31 views

Using “well” to start a sentence [duplicate]

What does "well" mean when used to start a sentence. Examples: "Well I never like going to the store with my aunt" "Well its still better than cooking onions"
2
votes
1answer
37 views

Using “redouble” with an object other than “effort”?

While there is nothing in the definition to say otherwise, I can't think of any examples where I've seen the transitive verb "redouble" have an object other than "effort". Would a phrase like ...
1
vote
2answers
36 views

“greater”, or “greater than”, in a dropdown?

This is more a matter of usage and common sense than anything, but I'm faced with the following problem. I have a dropdown with things like greater, equal, between, and then a field where numbers can ...
0
votes
3answers
40 views

“come on as” versus “come across as”

Would you say that both sentences sound correct? On the whole, I think you came ON as sincere and credible, and your soft-spoken demeanor, laced with a dash of wry humor, was quite charming. On the ...
0
votes
2answers
71 views

Can “capable of being hurt…” mean a kind of ability?

"I think that’s what it means to be “real” as a parent or a teacher – to be vulnerable, to be capable of being hurt. The only way to avoid the pain of vulnerability is by shutting out all emotion and ...
2
votes
2answers
78 views

I found an unusual usage of adj, please tell me how it works [closed]

Following the terror attacks in London on July 7, 2005, the then Prime Minister Tony Blair insisted those responsible were motivated by an "evil ideology," ... From CNN. It uses those ...
1
vote
1answer
35 views

crash as a transitive verb [closed]

Is it correct to use crash as a transitive verb ? And is there a less awkward sounding way to say for example; the pilot crashed the airplane ?
2
votes
2answers
99 views

Why do we say “be to blame”, not “be to be blamed”?

I wonder why "be to blame" is used rather than "be to be blamed"? I've googled it, and what I found is that it is considered as an idiomatic expression.
1
vote
2answers
48 views

The order of “twice” and “the” [closed]

I have read this sentence. And I happen to wonder if the order of "twice the" is right or not. "It was a space in London, in Kensington and it went on sale for 400,000 pound, which is over twice the ...
1
vote
6answers
225 views

Is there a single word that refers to a vagina secreting lubricant in response to sexual arousal?

I'm seeking a single word. An analogue is "salivate" which is what someone sometimes does when they experience hunger and refers to the mouth secreting liquid. "Elsa was hungry and began salivating" ...
1
vote
2answers
470 views

I know or I do know

I have seen people using I do know that. instead of I know that. Is this usage correct?
0
votes
0answers
47 views

Are there any clear explanations for these trends?

I was curious earlier about the use of various pronouns / possessives in English (primarily first person), so I chose a selection of them and was surprised to discover that, among other oddities, "I" ...
3
votes
2answers
81 views

What is the meaning of “Jane raised the lights.” [closed]

It seems the idea of the author of above sentence is to say that Jane raised the lighting of a stage where a performance was being done. Is that correct usage, especially when 'lights' is plural? I am ...
-2
votes
3answers
53 views

Participants' vs Participantses [closed]

So I know an apostrophe is used to show possession. E.g The participant's book. However, what if I wanted to show possession with several participants? If I was referring to the scores of each ...
2
votes
2answers
175 views

Is “offloading a passenger” idiomatic?

Merriam-Webster and Oxford seem to suggest that we can offload things, not people, yet "offloading a passenger" is quite prevalent in Philippine English. Is it a phrase that somebody from the inner ...
0
votes
1answer
42 views

What does it mean by “has to say”? [closed]

I would like to add more about my question. Rob and Finn were the hosts at the learning English program. They wanted to listen to an expert about their topic. So, they said "Let's listen to what the ...
3
votes
2answers
81 views

What does “About its lot” mean?

In Douglas Adams' Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency, Chapter 2, when talking about how long the Electric Monk believed silly things, the book says: How long did the Monk believe these ...
2
votes
3answers
93 views

Is “Thrashing Win” an oxymoron?

According to me, a "crushing defeat" and a "thrashing win" are opposites. I have always seen the usage of these two terms in sports. But I have seldom seen the usage of "thrashing defeat". Is ...
0
votes
3answers
59 views

Trustable or trustworthy?

For a long time I have been using trustworthy as the adjective for of trust. However, I recently heard someone say trustable, and it piqued my interest. Apparently it is a word on Merriam-Webster as ...
0
votes
2answers
45 views

Which preposition follows “in the week” when denoting a specific week of the year?

I'm pretty sure that the correct preposition is of: I'll probably start working on this issue in the week of June, 8th. However, there are thousands of hits on Google using the preposition from. ...
0
votes
0answers
30 views

The use of 'contract'

Is it right to say 'He is contracted with a virus which causes his immunity to be weak against diseases'? Can the word 'contract' be used with 'with'? Thanks.
0
votes
0answers
45 views

Use of 'My' vs. 'Me' as in 'Me doing something'? [duplicate]

So I believe I've heard this before but I'm not entirely sure, nor am I sure if it's correct grammatically or not: using the word 'my' instead of 'me' with some form of 'doing'. Here's an example: ...
1
vote
2answers
71 views

Do usage errors exist?

...for the descriptive linguist? I've noticed that some users on English Stack Exchange, and some reference works, tend to answer questions about word usage by referring to how words are used in ...