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

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30 views

The verb as a noun

I have a question regarding the use of verbs. As a simple example, let's say I want to be nice to someone who is dancing and I want to praise the way that person dances. Instead of saying: I ...
2
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2answers
97 views

How to politely say to sellers in stores that you don't need help? [on hold]

This happens quite often. You're at a store, and while looking for clothes sellers come over and ask if you need any help. And since my English is far away from normal English I just use what I know ...
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3answers
215 views

“Pass me by” or “pass by me”?

Should I say he passed me by or he passed by me? I think it's passed me by, but I'm not sure.
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2answers
46 views

What is his name again? vs. What was his name again?

Which sentence from the title sounds more natural when asking for clarification about something which has already been discussed? Is one tense preferable overall? Take the following examples: ...
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0answers
30 views

Asking for more time in AmE [on hold]

I've been speaking english for like 2-3 years.. And I want to know what is the polite way to ask a potential client to give me 2-3 minutes to provide information about a new offer (on the phone) I've ...
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0answers
29 views

To laugh over vs. about

Most of the time when I need to reference something using the word "laugh", my go-to preposition is "about". However, at times, "over" sounds much more adequate in day-to-day use. The big question, ...
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0answers
16 views

Driving across versus driving through

Does the term "driving across the state" imply that I am driving from east to west (or west to east)? If yes, what do I say if I am driving north to south (or south to north)? Am I driving through the ...
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3answers
43 views

“Shortcut to” or “shortcut for”

Which of these sentences would be correct, or are they both correct? "A shortcut to finding the inverse of a 2x2 matrix is..." "A shortcut for finding the inverse of a 2x2 matrix is..."
3
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1answer
151 views

Are prior, previous, and preceding interchangeable?

If I have four moments in time (A, B, C, D), where moment D is the present, would previous, preceding, and prior be interchangeable as adjectives to refer to moments A-C? Is one of them more likely to ...
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0answers
23 views

Origin of the phrase “There's a fine line between pleasure and pain” [duplicate]

What is the origin (or original) of the phrase "There's a fine line between pleasure and pain"?
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1answer
88 views

What's the meaning of “I can't imagine why.”? [on hold]

Does it mean "The answer is obvious to me." in a sarcastic way, or does it mean "I really don't know the reason."? I am inclined to go with the former. Surprisingly googling doesn't help. Secondly, ...
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2answers
50 views

Usage of touch the wood? [duplicate]

I've started using English language about 4 years ago after I moved to England. I came across this practice a few times: when people speak about their health or similar things they say this and touch ...
2
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3answers
118 views

Is “coin” still used to mean “money”?

To clarify, I'm NOT talking about money solely in form of metal coins. (As in: I then proceeded carefully to count out the entire 14 pounds 78 pence in coin - Oxford). I'm talking about using 'coin' ...
2
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4answers
68 views

“), or ,”) in the middle of a sentence? [duplicate]

I think commas are typically placed after closed parentheses and within quotation marks. This creates a dilemma when all three are used together. Example one: You may like snelms (or "snail helms,") ...
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0answers
30 views

“Sacrifice something for something” or “lose something in return for something”? [on hold]

Which of the following is more natural? Sacrifice something for something. Lose something in return for something.
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0answers
51 views

What does Antichronic mean? [closed]

I recently came across a word "Anachronous" meaning something which is "out of (from ana) time (from chronos)". Usage eg: A person is wearing an 18th century dress to a 21st century formal ...
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1answer
107 views

The ultimate 'Heart' and 'Brain' question [closed]

Heart and Brain - although of significant importance in Anatomy, equally significant, but in a completely different sense in the realm of Literature. I'd like to know how the earliest literati ...
3
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1answer
83 views

Why did Mother Teresa use the phrase “it is a poverty”?

I frequently see bumper stickers with quotations attributed to Mother Teresa that begin with the words "It is a poverty," for example: It is a poverty to decide that a child must die so that ...
2
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2answers
353 views

How does an animal sit on their haunches?

This should be a relatively simple question—one that I cannot seem to find anywhere. Does, for example, a dog sit down on its haunches, or sit up on its haunches? "Charlie sat up on his haunches ...
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0answers
106 views

Is “cause” instead of “because” becoming Standard English?

Nowadays, I'm seeing a drastic increase in usage of cause in place of because, especially in written English. People are in such a hurry, that a statement like below passes off like Standard English: ...
2
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1answer
76 views

Dropping “then” in “If” statements [duplicate]

As an Example, I want to refer to this Wikipedia article where there are many conditional sentences. Some of them drop the "then", some of them use it. When I change that (drop it where it was used or ...
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2answers
47 views

“It had a lot of interest for me”

I was watching "12 angry men", and there's a line "What did you think of the case? I mean, it had a lot of interest for me." By referring to the context, it sure means that the case ...
0
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1answer
57 views

As to grammar and idiom, is the following extract correct: “… if you know the man or are him, call …”?

Obviously, my questions refers to the pronoun him. Am I wrong to suppose that the use of the subject case pronoun he instead of him would not improve the previous statement? What about this one: “… if ...
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1answer
243 views

Right usage of veranda

Can you please anybody give an example for right usage of veranda. I go through Google and Wikipedia, its not mentioned as proper in Usage
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1answer
33 views

Does this make sense with the use of 'breakthrough'?

Curiosity and imagination are the breakthrough to having any form of discovery. Does "breakthrough", as it is used here, make sense?
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1answer
34 views

lecture for Quality Inspectors - how to write on CV

I need to write a CV in English, however, I have a problem how to express an idea that I was giving lectures for quality inspectors and that I was giving lectures about a specific subject. Right now ...
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0answers
15 views

Known or be known

Is the usage correct? "Let the desire be known to them" —of course, the best would be: "let them know the desire"
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1answer
42 views

Swapping first letters of different words [duplicate]

What is it called when you swap the first letters of two words?, for example - red truck is what is intended...instead ted ruck is what comes out.
2
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2answers
54 views

Is “over-babble” a common word usable in day-to-day conversation?

There was the following passage in New York Times (May 14) article under the title, “Wow, Jeb Bush is awful.”: "The bottom line is that so far he seems to be a terrible candidate. He couldn’t ...
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4answers
98 views

The Difference Between “I just love you” and “I love you” [closed]

What is the difference between "I 'just' love you" and "I love you"?
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4answers
86 views

Is this statement incorrect? “I'm a former English major” [closed]

Is this statement incorrect? "I'm a former English major" Is "I'm an English major" a better way to say it? Isn't the fact that a person majored in English make the usage of the word "former" is ...
1
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2answers
70 views

Why is “Grab” so common in advertisments (and other places where it might not make much sense)?

We area bombarded by advertisements which say "grab these offers NOW !" or "grab 2 @ 20% Discount or grab 3 @ 30% Discount !". Dictionary meanings of Grab : Take hold of so as to seize, ...
2
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3answers
78 views

What is the difference between “large” and “massive”? [closed]

What is the difference between large and massive? They both seem the same but when I read this article I stumbled across this: Scientists using NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope have discovered that ...
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0answers
15 views

“Didn't”, “did not”, “don't” and “do not” problem [duplicate]

Though English is for us all, I think it's not for me. I get confused every time I read books or hear people speak the words didn't, did not, don't and do not. I cannot figure out the right word to ...
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2answers
55 views

Usage of word “withheld” [closed]

I'm reading this one website insurance of employees and got confused. The employee's portion of the insurance contribution is withheld from the employee's pay So does it mean, the employee's ...
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0answers
3 views

How to use present perfect precisely [migrated]

My exercise has a question like this: My father learned to drive when he was 16. -> My father... Of course, i know this is easy, just a little transformation. But then i thought: " I can not use 'my ...
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2answers
45 views

What is better: I can tell or I tell..? [closed]

I tell a bad car from a good one by.. is this correct or should I use.. I can tell a good car from a bad one by.. I am confused because I always hear the second option but someone told me the first ...
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0answers
15 views

Difference between while and whilst [duplicate]

What is the difference between 'while' and 'whilst'? When to use them?
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1answer
39 views

Usage of 'that' in place of 'than' [closed]

Is it right to use 'that' in place of 'than'? Eg.football is more popular that cricket. 2.he is better that him.
2
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1answer
250 views

Is the expression, “I was the admissions mistake” grammatically right?

I was drawn to the phrase “I was the admission mistake” in the following passage in the article of the Washington Post (May 2) titled, “As Ben Carson bashes Obama, many blacks see a hero’s legacy ...
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0answers
40 views

Why are we using 'the' less?

I saw this ngram, and found that the word 'the' is less frequently observed these days, as compared to the past. I know this is a silly question. But why is this happening? Also, surprisingly, ...
1
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1answer
106 views

“Boyfriend” and “girlfriend” usage

Why is it customary for a heterosexual woman to refer to her heterosexual female friend as a "girlfriend",but not the case for a heterosexual man and his male buddy to call one another "boyfriends"? ...
2
votes
1answer
35 views

If A subtends B, can B also subtend A?

I wrote: Things farther away subtend smaller angles at the eye. Wiktionary has this example of the usage of "subtend:" A 43° angle subtends an arc about ¾ meter long on a circle with a ...
-1
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2answers
32 views

Is it policy holder or policyholder?

I work in insurance where we refer to our customers as policyholders (one word); however, I always thought it was two. Can anyone enlighten me?
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0answers
19 views

How do we use the words 'electric' and 'electrical' correctly? [duplicate]

These two words are used differently as shown below: Electric engineering (incorrect✖) Electrical engineering (correct✓) Electrical lamp (incorrect✖) Electric lamp (correct✓) And sometimes, they're ...
0
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1answer
43 views

Should I use “the” in a list of multiple subjects? [closed]

Which of these sentences is correct? The assets of the thesis are the parser library, tag library and external database, which can be used in other applications. or The assets of the thesis ...
4
votes
1answer
45 views

Am I parsing this incorrectly, or is it really possible to read in ambiguity without more context?

A while ago, I saw the following advert on Facebook: Uber is a flexible way to earn extra money and meet new people giving rides with your own car. Now, being a bit of a pedant, I concluded that ...
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votes
3answers
53 views

Why Birthday/Event day is called birthday/Even tday but not birth/Event dayMonth

My birthday is 26 Jun 1992 assume I Celebrate birthday on 26 of June every year. So if it's birthDAY,then I, can celebrate Every 26(Not possible if I was born on 30th though). My question is why they ...
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0answers
77 views

Is is correct to say the a part of speech is a matter of its function? [closed]

Determining a part of speech is a matter of functionality. Do you agree or disagree?
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0answers
31 views

Correct usage of “anymore” [duplicate]

The word "anymore" is used as such: I can't take it anymore. He isn't here anymore; he left. But I have also seen it used like so: People are so dumb anymore. Are these both correct?