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

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1answer
22k views

Correspond to vs. Correspond with

Is there any significant difference between Correspond to and Correspond with? I only mean in the sense of "matching", here, rather than "communication". I've looked at a few sources, but I can't ...
2
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1answer
3k views

Is there a significant difference between “sorry,” “pardon” and “excuse me”? Are they interchangeable?

I was amused with the line, “Stand-alone 'sorry' may have dressed like a gentleman, but his heart was made of India rubber” in the article titled “A poor apology for a word” in December 13 New York ...
0
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1answer
3k views

What are usages similar to “Need I say more?”?

I recall hearing usages like Need I say more? Need I remind you that ...? instead of Do I need to say more? Do I need to remind you that ...? Indeed, they sound better, at least to ...
0
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1answer
134 views

How to use WHEN on the following occasion? [duplicate]

When I lived in there, I got to know John When I was living in there, I got to know John. While I was living in there, I got to know John. While I lived in there, I got to know John. I have been ...
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3answers
340 views

Can altering the syntax of a sentence, without in any way changing the diction used in describing the subject itself, change the subject's number?

There have been debates raging both here and on ELL about this, but the question has, to this point, been focused solely on expletive constructions with compound subjects. This is not intended to ask ...
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3answers
494 views

Gendered terms — particularly female — becoming neutral?

I have been hearing that many gendered terms are simply being absorbed into the masculine equivalent, while many other words are retaining their usage. A few examples are the terms "actress" becoming ...
0
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1answer
82 views

Is “subject to a theft” a thing?

Is it acceptable to say something has been "subject to a theft"? The only use case I can find is in this policy document from Lloyds Bank. Has it been adopted elsewhere?
2
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6answers
756 views

Is there a way to intensify “blooming” in “The flowers are blooming”?

In some languages, for example, in Korean, it is possible to intensify the act of blooming. For example, using the phrase 핍니다 would imply blooming, for example, simply "The flowers are blooming". ...
0
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1answer
122 views

Nobody must [+ verb]

"Must not" vs. "don't have to" is a famous false friends for many languages. That said, what about a phrase like, say, "nobody must know": Does that mean that a) nobody is allowed to know, or b) that ...
3
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3answers
96 views

Is it possible to 'give prosperity'?

Here's the sentence: Who knows how the prosperity you give becomes the prosperity you get Is it possible to 'give prosperity'?
2
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2answers
181 views

Use the word “higher” or “more” when referring to costs?

Is it proper to say that "the cost of X is more than the cost of Y" or "the cost of X is higher than the cost of Y"? Or are they interchangeable?
2
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1answer
210 views

Equivalence at word level [closed]

Is there a one-to-one relationship between word and meaning?
0
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1answer
276 views

The usage of “but” in non-shift sentence

I have found a sentence: He returned several times to India briefly, but only returned permanently early in 1915. I believe this sentence does not contain any shift. We can say that He returned ...
0
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2answers
71 views

Parentheses surrounding footnote body [closed]

It's unbelievably hard to find relevant information online, as almost every Google search just gives pages of advice and questions regarding citations and referencing styles. If I use a footnote in ...
2
votes
1answer
36 views

Professor Bob's lab

I know "Bob's house" and "Bob's" mean the same thing. Question 1: Is there a name for this grammatical phenomenon? Can one call it an abbreviation? Question 2: In the context of within a ...
0
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1answer
258 views

Meaning of “Smiles Slip”

I don't quite understand something: source Brazil will, in one form or another, be ready for the World Cup. But when it comes to hosting the tournament, those famous Brazilian smiles may ...
3
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5answers
353 views

Word for inability to think in certain ways

Am looking for a word that loosely means inability to think in certain ways. For example, for lyricists (or writers) lyrics come so naturally, but for non-lyricists it's very difficult to think how ...
0
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1answer
192 views

Question about subject-verb agreement

Is this a run-on? By 1990, it was even easier to make bottles and paper products quickly; as a result, competition among companies grew and stores featured products with increasingly interesting ...
0
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4answers
523 views

The proper term for a person who uses words incorrectly [duplicate]

What is the proper term for a person who uses words incorrectly, hoping to impress others?
4
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1answer
137 views

“Advice I wish I'd had ears to hear” — is this phrase in common use? Origins?

Productivity writer Merlin Mann often uses the phrase "ears to hear" on his podcast. An example from his writing: "a discursive mishmash of advice I wish I'd had the ears to hear in the year or ...
10
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3answers
3k views

Do 'learn by heart' & 'learn by rote' mean the same?

Here in India, both the phrases learning by heart and learning by rote are taken to have the same meaning, i.e., blind memorisation without true understanding. However, some sources say that to ...
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1answer
141 views

Is “curate the market” common usage of “curate”?

I found New York Times (November 25) article titled “Helpful definition of modern author” intriguing. It provides humorous definitions of book-related terminologies such as authors, publishers, ...
2
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1answer
56 views

Lose Attendence Numbers

When some sport is "losing attendance numbers", what does "numbers" refer to? I can't find a good definition in dictionaries that would fit this usage.
4
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3answers
363 views

Meaning of “Discretion”

I saw this dictionary entry, and it says "discretion" could mean approximately either 1) the right to choose what to do or 2) the quality of being careful what you do. The dictionary has these two ...
0
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2answers
708 views

Holding off on it or Holding it off or Holding off of it?

I would like to say that I'm pausing / postponing work on something. I wasn't sure which of the following is the right way to say it: I'm holding off on it for the time being I'm holding off of ...
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2answers
231 views

The type of expression that makes transitive verb to look like an intransitive verb: How common is it? Should I use it in formal writing? [closed]

The sentence structure Subject has got noun to verb. basically places a noun behind a verb with the help of the infinitive marker to, and it makes the transitive verb looks as if it is an ...
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1answer
339 views

Ending a sentence with “and thanks”

I have a colleague who ends many emails with "and thanks". To me it sounds awkward and random, but I wonder if anyone has seen this usage before? Examples (note particularly the third one!): "That ...
0
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1answer
744 views

What is the difference between “excuse me” and “forgive me”?

I am hesitated when I use the sentence "forgive my fault, please." instead of "excuse me, please." because the word "forgive" has a religious theme and probably carries some additional meanings. Also ...
0
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1answer
306 views

Difference Between “View” and “Viewpoint”?

Suppose the context is people giving their opinions in a discussion. How are "view" and "viewpoint" different? Some dictionaries seem to say they are the same. What do native speakers think?
3
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2answers
63k views

When to use “respectively”? [duplicate]

I have been wondering what it means when people use "respectively" in, before, and after sentences. For example: We are looking for a babysitter to pick up and supervise our kids ages 6 and 3, ...
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2answers
586 views

Plural or Singular after “no” [closed]

After searching product on website, should I show one of these? There is no any product or There is no any products ? Some people on Internet said that singular is used after uncountable noun ...
-1
votes
1answer
299 views

Me and X or X and me? [duplicate]

When should I say, for instance, "Mary and me," and when should I say "Me and Mary?" Example: Which option should I use in the following sentence? After drinking our tea and saying goodbye to ...
-2
votes
1answer
76 views

antiquarian (adjective) misuse re: dictionary definition

multiple choice ... "antiquarian book" refers to: 1. an antique book about anything 2. any age book about old books 3. a book about people who deal in old books 4. a book in the antiquar language or ...
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3answers
7k views

Why does “Please approve it” sound wrong?

Whenever I read an email like this, the English sounds incorrect to me. "I would like to take tomorrow off. Please approve it." I want to say that "Please approve" is more natural, but why is that?
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2answers
1k views

Correct usage of 'but for'?

Does 'but for' mean: 'If we had X (but we didn't), Y would have been the consequence'? Or can it also mean; because we had X, as a result Y happened? Some different examples of but for: (Case 1) ...
0
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2answers
970 views

“Made in…” vs. “Product of…” [duplicate]

What is the difference between "Made in..." and "Product of..."? Both are often seen on product labeling; my understanding is that "Made in" is not used for agricultural goods while "Product of" is?
1
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2answers
439 views

What’s the difference between “Go all out” and “Go all in”?

There was the following sentence in August 12 Time magazine article titled “Why Germany save the Euro,” which deals with the Germany’s roles in restoring the momentum of Euro economy: “There are ...
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1answer
132 views

'they are' or 'these are'

Which sentence sounds more natural? These are first and foremost ethical, not medical questions. or They are first and foremost ethical, not medical questions.
0
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1answer
266 views

Hyphenation rules for product shelf life

Given this sentence: Studies confirm the longest product shelf life of 3 years. How do I make it correct and clear? The product has a set of shelf lives (it is a pharmaceutical product). ...
2
votes
1answer
485 views

“Both are not,” or “neither is?” [closed]

Straight forward question. Are both correct or is one better. "Both are not." "Neither is." Also, are they interchangeable or are there correct times to use one or the other?
0
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2answers
3k views

Should I say “more exact”/“more precise”?

My understanding with the words exact, precise and accurate is that they are absolute. Meaning, there cannot be less accurate or more accurate. Is my understanding correct? If it's exactly 1 meter, ...
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2answers
112 views

the main usage of the “to” as a prepositional condition

when I was young I wasn't from the English area but I am used to learning English grammar already. Well , I am still thinking about one thing maybe because I had not even got to learn this grammar ...
3
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4answers
1k views

“there doesn't seem” vs. “there don't seem”

As an example, consider the two sentences: There don't seem to be any doctors here. and There doesn't seem to be any doctors here. To my ear, the first sounds great, and the second is ...
0
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2answers
2k views

What's the difference between “if” and “whether”? [duplicate]

Using whether is far more common. It is certainly more formal. I would like to know whether it is a true story or fabricated. But we can use if as well in the same sentence. I would like ...
0
votes
1answer
95 views

Is there a quick and easy way to pronounce “W” letter? [duplicate]

I mean, there is a well known 'substitution' for number "0" with 'ou' sound. Like, '107' in military communications will be pronounced as 'one-ou-seven'. Is there similar kind of substitution for ...
1
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1answer
456 views

phrase replacement [closed]

I sometimes use common phrases that I'd rather spruce up with a single word or more direct phrase, or perhaps just by using fresher wording. One phrase I'd like to change is: "was the fact that." My ...
1
vote
2answers
720 views

Lately, I keep hearing and seeing “embarrassed of…” used instead of “embarrassed by…”

It seems very awkward to me. You never hear "thrilled of you", it's "thrilled by you," so what happened to "embarrassed by you"?
1
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1answer
75 views

What does “good enough to lose” in “Red Sox were either good enough to lose, or just plain bad” in the World Series in the past”?

New York Times (October 31st) reported Red Sox’s victory in the World Series under the title, “Red Sox Rout Cardinals to Win World Series” It begins with the following sentence: For much of the ...
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2answers
164 views

What's the difference between: people in England, people of England and English people? [closed]

People in England clean glass with newspaper. People of England clean glass with newspaper. English people clean glass with newspaper. I would like to know which one sounds most natural. I would ...
0
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1answer
52 views

Word usage in emphatic sense [closed]

Consider the sentence: "The need for lawful intervention is being felt more after the terror attacks in November last year." Shouldn't it be even more instead of just more?