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

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2
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1answer
68 views

About “polyptoton”

I am struggling with these phrase and sentences. Please translate in plain English or can you make it easy to understand. 1) Thank me no thankings, nor proud me no prouds. 2) Tut, tut! Grace me ...
-1
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1answer
70 views

Why we should say North and South City instead of South and North City? [duplicate]

Why we should say North and South City instead of South and North City??
3
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2answers
240 views

Is ‘scooplet’ a popular word?

I came across the word, ‘scooplet’ in the statement of New York times’ reporter in its “What we are reading section” (October 24). Carolyn Ryan introduces “Time Machine” written by Kitty Kelley by ...
0
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1answer
88 views

“Walk in” or “Walk into”? How to decide whether to use “in” or “into”? [duplicate]

"You can't just walk in/into the class without permission". What is the word to go by in this statement?
0
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3answers
346 views

In a story written in past tense, is using present tense grammatically correct in the narration?

For example, just something quickly made up: Sam started to run from the house to the nearby forest. The freezing weather caused him to shiver, but the warmth from running very rapidly heated up ...
-1
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3answers
248 views

Is it possible to say “we were better” meaning “we better” in the past tense?

I know that textbooks maintain that this phrase (even not exactly this, since it's the "incorrect" version of "we had better") should be used only in the present and future tenses but I wonder if it's ...
3
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2answers
165 views

Why did the word “alluring” peak in the 1920s?

As per title. This is the Ngram Graph for the word alluring: For comparison, this is the same graph for the word remarkable:
0
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2answers
52 views

Would you italicize chapatis?

I guess "chapati" is foreign word and should be italicized in a text. But what about plural? The foreign word is actually chapati, and the plural is made using the English "s" (even if, maybe, chapati ...
3
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3answers
1k views

Usage of “to be across”

I have only recently encountered "to be across", meaning "to understand fully". I have long been familiar with "to get across", of course. It seems to be the recipient that corresponds to the giver ...
1
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2answers
152 views

Preposition to use with the phrase “come to an understanding”

So, I'm to translate a sentence to English. It's something like: We've succeeded in coming to an understanding ______ all questions discussed. I suppose that I should use either about or in to ...
0
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0answers
10 views

ask question about the past [duplicate]

English is my second language. Is it correct to say " How did your college ranked on the previous list? Should I use rank instead? Thanks.
0
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2answers
93 views

the usage of the phrase 'be axed'

According to Dictionary.com, one of the meanings of the word 'ax' is... '(informal) to dismiss, restrict, or destroy brutally' (http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/ax?s=t) Labor reforms ...
0
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2answers
41 views

peripheral equipment - only for computers?

If I say "peripheral equipment", does this always refer to equipment attached to computers (such as printers, mice, keyboards, etc), or can it also be used for other things? For example, can I talk ...
1
vote
1answer
165 views

Hospital versus *the* hospital [duplicate]

One oddity in the difference between UK and American usage is that Americans say "I went to the hospital" but British people say "I went to hospital". Is there an explanation for this grammatical ...
6
votes
1answer
227 views

Why in Britain do we stop for a 'coffee', but a 'cup of tea'?

In polite company in Britain one asks ones guest if they have time for a coffee - usually if it is morning. But if it is afternoon one would ask them if they would like a cup of tea. Now this is not ...
3
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3answers
121 views

“Three pieces of email” alternately to “three emails” in AE?

Does American English allow the use of "email" as a mass noun, in such a way that it is not uncommon to hear any such of the following phrases from native speakers? I've still got a huge backload of ...
3
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2answers
76 views

Usage of the word “glitch”

I have been attending few speech sessions lately where I found the word "glitch" as being referred to human mistake or error. I couldn't help but search its usage all over the web. All I found was, it ...
4
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7answers
1k views

Another way to say “it never hurts”

It wouldn't hurt you to be a bit more serious. Wouldn't/won't/never hurts make perfect sense in this example. I'm wondering if there's any alternative way to preserve the meaning of this phrase in a ...
6
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5answers
12k views

“Thus” vs. “Thusly”

I read an article that used "thusly" and was wondering if there is any grammatical credence to it. The quote: The issue started when Sokolowski quickly ran out of storage capacity in his 32GB ...
9
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1answer
402 views

Influence of Spanish and usage of Spanish words in US English

A recent report by Instituto Cervantes ["El Español una lengua viva, informe 2015"] lists the US as the 4th country in the world with the highest number of native Spanish speakers (41.343.921), ...
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2answers
49 views

Renown vs. renowned [closed]

Which is correct? 'The event will be held in the renown abbey' OR 'the event will be held in the renowned abbey' ?
3
votes
2answers
512 views

Can “must not” be used alternately to “can't” in AE to say that sth is logically impossible?

Does American English allow the use of "must not" instead of "can't" to say that something is believed to be logically impossible? Please consider the following examples: It must not be true! How ...
0
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2answers
338 views

Can a junior “appreciate” a senior's work [closed]

Is it OK for a junior( a student or an official) to say "I really appreciate your work" to his/ her senior?
0
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0answers
1k views

Is it better to say “research under Prof. Aho” or “research under supervision of Prof. Aho”?

When a professor advises and supervises a PhD or MS student to complete their research, is it advisable say? The student is conducting his study under Prof. X. Or The student is ...
1
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1answer
3k views

“Yes, Please” vs “Yes, Of course”

I have heard people saying: Que: Can I use your pen? Ans: Yes please. and also Que: Can I use your pen? Ans: Yes Of course. I wanted to know if there is any difference between these two ...
7
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4answers
29k views

Why is mutton used for both sheep meat and goat meat?

The meat of an adult sheep is called mutton. The meat of an adult goat is called chevon or mutton. In the English-speaking islands of the Caribbean, and in some parts of Asia, particularly ...
1
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1answer
204 views

“You all should have” vs. “you should have all” vs. “all of you should have”

Which one of these three constructions is more correct: By now, you all should have received your insurance cards. By now, all of you should have received your insurance cards. By now, ...
1
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1answer
1k views

“Go ahead” vs. “Carry on” in AE usage

Back when I was a student, I can recall my nonnative English teachers -- after discussing a certain word, or phrase, or passage from a text with the class -- saying for me or some other guy to please ...
3
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1answer
90 views

Has the expression “powered by”, as used in website or softwares, a positive connotation?

This question is a spin-off of this one in Portuguese SE. In that question, the OP wanted to know how to translate to Portuguese the expression powered by as used in websites or softwares when another ...
0
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1answer
21k views

Is “keep updated” proper usage of those words?

I'm far from being an English major, but I have a simple question. If someone were to say keep updated in a sentence, is that correct? I know the usage, tense, and other things matter, but is it ...
0
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4answers
238 views

Understanding dichotomy [closed]

I am having a hard time understanding the definition of dichotomy. I saw this recent article from a Harvard student: "• Dichotomy means two mutually exclusive alternatives and does not mean ...
-1
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1answer
145 views

English of Modern Technology [closed]

English is a dynamic, fast evolving language. Many new technological terms and expressions have been recently added to the language. My question is where to find good resources (books, forums, etc) to ...
-2
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1answer
169 views

“However, Discipline Committee meetings, nor Discipline Appeal meetings…”: is this grammatically correct? [closed]

The parent requested a copy of the minutes from the Discipline Committee meeting. However, Discipline Committee meetings, nor Discipline Appeal meetings, are formally recorded in any manner.
0
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1answer
157 views

Which is correct: 'leaving at…' or 'leaving by…', '..end of this week'?

My understanding of correct usage is 'leaving by end of this week', and that is what I have been using all along. However looking at an example of 'informal letter', at an IELTS preparation site, I ...
4
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5answers
468 views

For computer science, are the files corrupted or corrupt?

Computer files: Are they "corrupt" or "corrupted"? I feel they could be both. What is the standard?
0
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1answer
62 views

Remove extra “the”s and improve a sentence [closed]

I have the following statement describing a course learning outcome: At the end of this course, the students will be able to: Apply concepts of lighting and illumination technology and ...
1
vote
3answers
96 views

Usage of “cooperate.” [closed]

Almost all of my students use the word "cooperate" in this way: "My company cooperates with X." X can be a company or person. For example, if the student works at MediaTek, they will say "We ...
5
votes
4answers
16k views

“Is” or “was” written by?

We usually speak of the events of a work of fiction in present tense, even though they may clearly have happened in the past: "Macbeth hallucinates a dagger floating before him." This is because the ...
0
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0answers
199 views

How to ask a question about ordinal number? [duplicate]

There are many pupils in the classroom. Peter was the n th( n is a positive integer) student to arrive. Now I want to ask Peter about what n is. How can I ask him? It seems that it is very difficult ...
3
votes
1answer
62 views

Colloquial for House of Commons

In the United Kingdom, what is colloquial for House of Commons? Would you say a member addressed the House, addressed Commons, or would you also say he or she addressed the House of Commons?
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1answer
109 views

Is “have to” appropriate in formal writing [closed]

Is it appropriate to use have to in formal writing? I've seen a number of posts about the meaning of that phrase but none regarding whether it is appropriate compared to alternatives. EDIT: Here's ...
0
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0answers
14 views

Usage of a pronoun properly [duplicate]

I had this question in mind for long and I think this is the perfect spot to ask. Consider the following sentences (Just for instance). We are an equal opportunity employer. However when applying ...
1
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2answers
148 views

Is “Me” instead of “I” as a nominative pronoun actually acceptable?

TL;DR; Has 'Me and whoever' long become acceptable usage in informal speech? In the comments on this answer on ELL, I corrected the usage of "me" instead of "I". "My boyfriend and I.. " 😁 ...
2
votes
1answer
159 views

Why “off the table” is not included in major English dictionaries while “on the table” is shown as an idiom in all of them?

I recently saw a cartoon in which President Obama in a physician’s costume followed by an elephant and a buffalo in suit is lifting up the one end of a surgery tolley marked “Big farma and insurance ...
3
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3answers
2k views

1 o'clock in the morning OR 1 o'clock at night?

Could you help me on this? In my native language I would speak about the "night" starting from around 11 pm till 4 in the morning. So every time I see an English phrase like "2 o'clock in the morning" ...
0
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1answer
72 views

When did it become common to say “because X” instead of “because of X?” [duplicate]

When did this usage become common, especially in a sarcastic or ironic context? Carnegie Mellon erroneously sends computer science admission letters to 800, because computers. [emphasis added] ...
0
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2answers
242 views

“Experimented person” as synonym of “Experienced person”

I occasionally find some occurrences of experimented as adjective, such as experimented user, experimented soldier, etc., but they are relatively rare. Is is accepted usage to consider both words as ...
1
vote
1answer
183 views

Is there a difference between “entrée” and “entry”?

From a recent op-ed in the Washington Post (emphasis mine): But immigration gives Trump entrée to African Americans with an issue that will resonate with many and at least give him a hearing. I ...
1
vote
2answers
113 views

“Snag (a chance, an opportunity, etc.) for ”seize/snatch" in AE

Does "snag" have any currency in modern day AE to say "snatch (or seize) (a chance, an occasion, etc.), and can it be used just about interchangeably with the latter? Or, is there a subtle difference ...
0
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1answer
183 views

Can we use “depart” in the following sentence?

Can we use "depart" in the following sentence? I departed from Jared, heading to the north as he went to the opposite direction. I guess "depart" is mostly used for places. I wonder if it can be ...