For questions on how and why certain words are used in varying ways within various contexts.

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3
votes
1answer
69 views

Is the meaning of **I'll keep an eye out for it** understood outside of the UK ? [on hold]

I sometime write in emails : I'll keep an eye out for it OR I'll keep an eye out for your email Im in the UK and i think that the majority on english speakers in the UK would understand this, ...
4
votes
1answer
40 views

Source of “miscarriage of justice”

What may be the source of the phrase "miscarriage of justice"? I keep hearing this phrase being used for cases where an innocent has been convicted. While the phrase paints quite a picture, I'm not ...
0
votes
2answers
87 views

Is it rude to call a woman “ma'am”?

I use to call ma'am to women showing respect, but as there is some people that find annoying the "Mrs", I don't know if my respectful tone using ma'am they do aside and find it rude.
0
votes
0answers
6 views

“Shipping cost” or “shipping price”?

While building an ecommerce website, I'm writing the labels for the checkout process. I'd like to use the words “price” and “cost” correctly (I understand that a product on the shelf has a price, but ...
0
votes
0answers
33 views

How is “Elementary” Correctly Pronounced? [on hold]

I'm trying to get a basis on how most people pronounce the word "elementary." I've personally heard 3 pronunciations: "Elemen-tree," "Element-er-ee," & "Element-air-ee." Similar to "Military" for ...
0
votes
2answers
51 views

Can “take a shot at [someone]” be used as “try to court [someone]”?

I know that the expression "have a shot with [someone]" means "to have a chance in successfully wooing [someone]". And I know that "take a shot at" might mean to have a try, but also literally ...
0
votes
0answers
19 views

When to use close vs closest? [on hold]

The sentence would read "Select a center close to the user..." or "Select a center closest to the user..." I prefer the first because it reads better to me but I would like to see what others think.
4
votes
2answers
182 views

Is having sex a hobby? [on hold]

Wiktionary defines a hobby as An activity that one enjoys doing in one's spare time. Other dictionaries tend to have similar definitions. Viewpoint 1 Some people believe that the word hobby ...
-1
votes
1answer
53 views

Past tense means politeness? [on hold]

Questions asked using past tense, some examples like: "Would you mind...?", "Could you please...?", "Should I do...?", "Did you want...?" It seems people are using past tense in these sort of ...
1
vote
1answer
85 views

What does “drop and give me zen” mean? [on hold]

What does "drop and give me zen" mean? Maybe it's some kind of idiom. Can you explain it to me?
5
votes
1answer
93 views

Does “nails” imply painted nails?

A google image search for "nails" displays almost exclusively painted nails, whereas searching for "fingernails" displays almost exclusively unpainted nails. Is this due to a difference in the meaning ...
4
votes
2answers
65 views

What is a word for something that you desperately want and/or craved for, but NEVER GOT?

Take this situation; Everyone was given ice cream at the birthday party, except for Todd. After Todd got home, he felt very disheartened that he never got the chance to taste the ice-cream there. He ...
0
votes
0answers
21 views

The use of 'of' at the end of a sentence

Is this sentence correct? 'I know about things you don't know of.' Or should I dismiss 'of' from the sentence? Is there a better way to form the sentence? Thank you.
0
votes
0answers
17 views

Which / That problem in a bullet point [on hold]

In the following fragmentary bullet point it is not clear to me which word should be used: • Investigation of available tools and systems which/that can potentially be integrated Should "which" or ...
0
votes
0answers
31 views

Which is correct? Try to … or - Try and [duplicate]

I hear and read people saying for example - "Try AND do it" or "Try AND do that" instead of the way I learned it - "Try TO do it" or "Try To do that". I thought Strunk & White told us to use - ...
3
votes
1answer
35 views

Origin of “even you” without connotations of surprise/insult/praise? (Indian English)

I live in southern India, and I've noticed that in a Indian English, the word "even" can be used without indicating surprise, as it does elsewhere. Some examples: Even you should be able to ...
9
votes
1answer
94 views

What is the origin and extent of the Indian English usage of “only” to emphasize something?

I live in southern India, and for a long time I've been curious about this phenomena that I've observed. Indian English uses the word "only" in a special way. They use it to emphasize things. Sort ...
0
votes
0answers
30 views

How to know if a word formal or not? [closed]

If I want to write a formal letter, how can I choose the best words for this task? Is there a software can help me in this, a website...etc?
0
votes
2answers
35 views

The usage of “it is recalled that”

My professor (whose first language is not English) keeps adding "It is recalled that" at the start of different sentences describing facts/products. I do not think it is used appropriately. What ...
3
votes
1answer
43 views

An old (19-20th century) usage of “but”

Here's the sentence "Not a wrong in this world but had him as its champion ; not a cause of liberty or reform but gained his support." The statement falls in a paragraph of introduction of a ...
0
votes
4answers
192 views

“defeat Trump badly”

In a live-streamed speech, the Vermont senator made it clear he is no longer actively challenging Clinton and that the goal is to ‘defeat Trump badly’ … “The major political task that we face in ...
0
votes
1answer
32 views

Why does “face” turn to “faced” when used as a compound adjective? [closed]

I ask this question out of curiosity more than anything. We use the word "face" as a noun, but when it is used in a compound adjective, it turns into "faced": The features of his face hardened. ...
0
votes
1answer
28 views

“Responsible for” vs. “responsible to” [closed]

1.Method responsible to retrieve active offices by country. 2.Method responsible for retrieve active offices by country. For and To when to use? That's right ?
-1
votes
0answers
77 views

Past Continuous signal word from.. to [closed]

please clarify me on the usage of Past Continuous tense. Some grammar books (written by non English authors) suggest using signal word from.. to.. with Past Continuous. e.g. We were plaing tennis from ...
1
vote
1answer
51 views

Use “will” or “would” in the following sentence?

The following dialogue is part of a TOEIC test I am editing: W: Good afternoon, sir. What seems to be the problem? M: Well, all of my joints are aching, and I think I have a fever. W: Have you ...
2
votes
2answers
60 views

Use of “Vigorous” in a sentence [closed]

I'm editing materials for a TOEIC test and the following answer came up: "Leo is quite vigorous." The picture shows a boy on a bicycle struggling to get up a hill. There is a discussion in the ...
-2
votes
1answer
35 views

What is your position in the company? [closed]

When someone sent you an email without signature, how to ask - in a polite way - which is the person's position in the company ?
6
votes
1answer
113 views

an idea about “for vs. to” issue [duplicate]

I am into finding a convincing formula, or at least a rule of thumb, about when to use "to" and when to use "for" after adjectives - such as easy, difficult, important, interesting, and useful - and ...
2
votes
2answers
53 views

Usage of “unless”

I have found a restriction on the use of "unless" which was difficult to explain to my students (advanced ESL). The student's sentence was: I would have had to go to the bank unless you had lent me ...
1
vote
2answers
29 views

Mac OS X “Revert Changes” usage/syntax in dialog?

The use of "Revert Changes" always throws me off and I was wondering if this usage/syntax is actually correct. It seems to me that technically speaking, when you select that you're not actually ...
0
votes
0answers
20 views

'Poetries' as plural form used in 'poetics'

My friend used 'Poetries' in a poem to rhyme with 'trees', to which my son objected saying 'as a uncountable Noun, it has no plural and 'Poetries' is wrong'. I replied that in poetics, although ...
1
vote
1answer
72 views

What's the difference between fully, wholly, completely and totally? [closed]

I would like to know if there are any differences in usage, grammar and meaning of: fully, wholly, completely and totally. According to the Macmillan Dictionary; fully means completely, completely ...
1
vote
2answers
58 views

Help with meaning of “the difference narrowing the longer women had the vote”

In the quoted passage below, I came across a sentence I don't understand: In 1955 Maurice Duverger published The Political Role of Women, the first behavioralist, multinational comparison of ...
0
votes
1answer
25 views

Can “nor” be used after “and”? As in “and nor”?

I came across this post on Facebook: "Well, if it makes you feel any better..." It doesn't, and nor do I think you intended it to. Can "nor" be used after "and" like that? Doesn't look ...
1
vote
0answers
50 views

Whence visa “stamp”?

This question is inspired by http://travel.stackexchange.com/questions/69496/whats-the-deal-with-stamping-us-visas. The US government calls the visa sticker that is inserted into a passport a foil. ...
0
votes
0answers
28 views

Need an accurate verb [migrated]

Is it correct to say "solve a dilemma"? If "solve" is correct only in regard to a "problem," what verb would be used in regard to a "dilemma"?
0
votes
2answers
22 views

Use of 'this' – relates to the directly preceding noun

I am a german native speaker. I am currently in the finishing stages of writing a thesis. One of my advisors (English is his mother tongue) provided feedback on the language of my writing. One point ...
1
vote
2answers
49 views

difference Criterion vs Criterium [closed]

Extending this question: "Criteria" versus "criterion" What is the difference between "criterion" (singl, noun) and "criterium" (singl, noun) ?
1
vote
2answers
47 views

“Answers arrive in a piecemeal fashion”

I am being told that this sentence is not in a proper construction: "Answers arrive in a piecemeal fashion." Neither Book Google nor standard Google search yields a single result using quotation ...
3
votes
1answer
52 views

Is “thanks to” now used also in negative contexts? [closed]

Recently I saw some uses of the idiom thanks to in negative contexts. They sound strange to me, probably because thanks express a grateful feeling or acknowledgment of a benefit, so I thought thanks ...
0
votes
2answers
58 views

Usage : Am yet to read those

Conversation : A- I am reading the Harry potter series. B- I am yet to read those. or is it better to use "I am yet to read them" or is there a better alternative?
7
votes
2answers
153 views

Is 'take a sauna' the correct expression?

I'm not a native English speaker and I was just wondering if take a sauna is a correct way to say that I'm going to sauna, the same way you can say take a shower. I have tried to search this up online,...
-1
votes
2answers
56 views

Use of catch you “in some time” [closed]

I had an interesting discussion regarding this. We (non-native speakers) tend to transliterate the words in English whilst trying to convey our message. I have often seen here, people use this ...
1
vote
1answer
36 views

scene to vs scene of

I am a non-native speaker wondering which of the following sentences would read more naturally to a native speaker: The market looked like it had been the scene of a mass murder. The market ...
-1
votes
5answers
275 views

What's the reason for using the ‘passive voice’? [closed]

I would like to know the why and when the 'passive voice' is used instead of the 'active voice' in English. The following definition did not help me very much. passive voice the voice ...
0
votes
0answers
4 views

what is meaning of subject to in the following sentence [migrated]

hello there I m Sajid and I exceptionally confounded about the utilization of subject to what is the significance of subject to in this taking after the sentence? This was partially because ...
1
vote
1answer
34 views

Pant legs or pants legs?

With all this I don't see the answer to which is the correct form "He rolled up his pant legs" or "he rolled up his pants legs."
2
votes
2answers
25 views

Use of the word competent

Can you use competent in the context of an inanimate object such as an instruction manual, or a voltmeter? e.g. "In my opinion Standard 12345 is considered a competent document." or "The potentials ...