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

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2answers
854 views

“What I have to do is” + verb inf [duplicate]

I'm confused about the following examples, and I'm pretty sure I've seen both of them in books and white papers. What I have to do is find her. What I have to do is to find her. What I would like to ...
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2answers
854 views

Losing bottles and bottling out

ODO's definition for bottle includes the following: 2 [mass noun] British informal the courage or confidence needed to do something difficult or dangerous: I lost my bottle completely and ran ...
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2answers
163 views

X Shared Y's Something [closed]

I was looking up information about popes and then I found this: found here Pope Julius III (1550–1555) was alleged to have had a long affair with Innocenzo Ciocchi del Monte. The Venetian ...
0
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1answer
71 views

Urge Her Against Him [closed]

For this: google book "With one hand on the small of her back, and another just a bit lower, he urged her against him again. The woman was melting his resolve and calling into question his ...
4
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1answer
1k views

Fall Hard For Something

I am trying to find the right definition of "hard" in this piece of writing: newspaper Looking for a tranquil hideaway after years as a paparazzi magnet, Mr. Frazier bought the single-level ...
9
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2answers
420 views

Correct usage of the verb “to hock”

Sometimes I read/hear the verb "to hock" used as a synonym of "peddle/hawk", as in "The street vendor hocked his wares." Is that correct? I always thought that "to hock" meant "to pawn". Perhaps it's ...
0
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2answers
525 views

Can “kitchen” be used as an adjective? eg: Mother painted the kitchen wall [closed]

My little sister was to identify the adjective in this sentence: "Mother painted the kitchen wall purple and green". I understand how kitchen can be an adjective as in kitchen sink, but I'm not sure ...
0
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1answer
350 views

Under which cases should an article (a/an/the) not be used? [duplicate]

The current machine has been repaired. Current machine has been repaired. Which is more natural? What are the subtle differences between them? Under which cases should an article ...
3
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2answers
202 views

“this represents” vs “this is”

I want to explain to one of my students why this usage is so common in scientific or academic reports but not (as far as I can see) elsewhere: This represents the best evidence to date of ...
1
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2answers
324 views

I am confused about the meaning of this sentence with the placement of the commas [closed]

All teachers under age sixty-five, and those over age sixty-five who are not eligible for Medicare, shall be allowed to purchase medical coverage. Does this mean: All teachers under age ...
1
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4answers
1k views

“Hold Out Promise” vs “Make a Promise”

Is "hold out a promise" the same meaning as "make a promise"? Or did I misunderstand them? I found definitions for "make a promise", but couldn't find definitions for "hold out a promise".
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1answer
3k views

Use of Apostrophes - FAQs vs FAQ's [duplicate]

Is it also correct to say FAQ's as some sites like http://transition.fcc.gov/oet/rfsafety/rf-faqs.html refer? Or is FAQs the right and correct way to say it?
2
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4answers
8k views

Does “turning down the air conditioning” make it warmer or colder?

As the title says, I've heard two possible meanings for "turning down" the air conditioning: It could mean "set the target temperature lower" (i.e. colder) or "make it work less" (i.e. warmer). ...
0
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3answers
306 views

a hard close look [closed]

Are "close" and "hard" the same below? He took a close look at the cat. He took a hard look at the cat. Or are they subtly different? For this particular usage, web dictionaries appear ...
1
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3answers
419 views

Purpose For, Of [closed]

1 He has no intention for marriage. 2 He has no intention of marriage. These two sentences are good English and have the same meaning. In this PDF I read: A review of the grading permit ...
0
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4answers
1k views

How to ask “Where are you going?” when event already passed? [closed]

If my friend went to somewhere on weekend but i didn't know where did he go? And if i want to ask him like "Where are you going?" on Monday which sentences should i ask him? Where did you go? Where ...
6
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4answers
4k views

Install on, install in, install to

When I say "programs to install on a new PC" it sounds alright to me, but I'm not sure if it's the correct usage. Which one of the following should I use? Programs to install on a new PC Programs to ...
5
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3answers
910 views

usage of “yet to be”

Can I say He is yet to be a murderer. to mean the he is not a murderer, but very soon he will be one?
5
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1answer
116 views

When Things Used To be “Worth 'X' Millions”

I was reading Raymond Chandler's Farewell, My Lovely, and a character described a rich man as "Worth 20 millions". At least in AmE, we don't use "millions" in the plural anymore in this ...
22
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6answers
3k views

Are “Fish in a barrel” and “Sitting ducks” similar?

Do the phrases "Fish in a barrel" and "Sitting ducks" convey the same thing? In my opinion, they have the same tone and express something to be an easy target. Eg: Out there, they are just fish in ...
0
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2answers
174 views

“One of the courses I took that year was x” where “x” is a unique identifier

I have a vague feeling that there is something wrong with this sentence I wrote: "One of the courses I took that year was John Doe's Introduction to Literature." I feel that the following sentences ...
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1answer
121 views

Is this 2nd sentence 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.
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3answers
2k views

To Be Used Of/For

Does "to be used OF" mean "to be used FOR": wikipedia The English term "empiric" derives from the Greek word ἐμπειρία, which is cognate with and translates to the Latin experientia, from which ...
2
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3answers
1k views

Descent, Ancestry, Lineage

Please help me with the words 'descent', 'ancestry', and 'lineage'. Dictionaries show that they are loosely the same: 1a. He has German descent. 1b. He is of German descent. 2a. He has ...
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2answers
110 views

Post Question To

If Craig wrote a question on an online forum and the question was intended for Larry: Craig posted a question to Larry. Should the part "to Larry" modify "a question", or "posted"? In ...
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1answer
49 views

Other than “Final Point”? [closed]

I'm writing a blog post, and I'm almost done. There's left a summary to write in my last abstract and I want to name it. So I came up with "Final Point", but that doesn't sound. Can you suggest ...
1
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4answers
371 views

A letter to/for Jason?

Suppose Jason were at home and a mail carrier came to his front door with a letter addressed to Jason. Which of the following is correct? It was a letter for Jason. It was a letter to Jason.
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1answer
100 views

To Lay A Hit, Blow

Is 'to lay a hit/blow on' someone (as in cheap shot) a slang expression?
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2answers
182 views

Assemble, Convene A Conference

Is the verb 'assemble' sloppily used as 'convene' here: link 1 "Mr. Husseini was speaking at a hastily assembled news conference in the mainly Palestinian Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of East ...
0
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1answer
134 views

On His Post, At His Post

I have this: link On 21-22 April 1914, while leading three picket launches admist heavy enemy fire, McCloy was wounded but remained on his post, enabling cruisers to save American lives. For ...
0
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1answer
122 views

Pattern: It is X that Y

I might be confused about the "it is X that Y " pattern: 1a That he is not the best player is a surprise. 1b It is a surprise that he is not the best player. 2a That he is not the best ...
1
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2answers
127 views

He _____ his ego [closed]

When talking about not letting one's 'ego' prevent oneself from helping his enemies: He __ his ego and helped his enemies. Would "swallow", "hide", "put down", "lay down" work there?
1
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2answers
153 views

'Cromulent' Etymology

Given its first use: "I don't know why, it's a perfectly cromulent word." The verb is "is" (=> it's) and the noun is "word". Since cromulent links them both and directly addresses the noun, ...
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2answers
105 views

“Did China Birth the Next Steve Jobs?”

As the title of a Forbes article, it has been drawn to my attention because of the use of birth as a verb. I think it should be give birth to or bear.
1
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0answers
191 views

What does it mean that I made a doctor? [closed]

I want to know exact meaning that I made a doctor. Does it mean that I strived to be a doctor and I finally became a doctor? I want to know the exact meaning of it?
1
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3answers
166 views

“Removals Service” or “Removal Service”?

Take for example the tag line: "reliable removals service". Is this correct grammar/usage? Or should it be just "removal", singular? To me, "removals" seems more correct because it is describing ...
5
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4answers
270 views

What is 'draw on'

This question was asked earlier (not by me), but closed and deleted by a mod. But I thought it was interesting, because I didn't know the answer. So I'm reposting it.... The verb phrasal 'draw on' ...
3
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1answer
5k views

Usage of “In the hope that” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Is it all right to use “in hopes of” to mean “with the aim of”? Which of the following is preferable: "I'm doing this in the hope that it will be helpful to someone", or ...
1
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3answers
3k views

“You got it” vs. “I got it”

When I watch TV drams or movies, I sometimes come across the expressions “I got it” and “You got it” meaning “I will do as you ask”. I am wondering if there is any semantic or pragmatic differences ...
3
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3answers
464 views

Term for strong/weak words (in context)

Over in Mi Yodeya Meta, commenting on the proposed Mi Yodeya site scope — for people who base their lives on Jewish law and tradition and anyone interested in learning more — I ...
4
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2answers
536 views

What is a term to refer something in the middle of a list just like “former” and “latter” is used in a list containing two things?

In a sentence, if someone says the former, they are talking about the first thing they listed, and says the latter for the last thing they listed. What would be the term to refer something in the ...
4
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2answers
132 views

Incorrect? “I only have one distinct memory from the movie, a scene where …”

Should I say “I only have one distinct memory from the movie, that of a scene where …”, or would it work without the that of? If it wouldn’t work without the that of, what if I replace the comma with ...
2
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3answers
537 views

Does “intellectual gymnastics” always have a negative connotation?

As far as I know, “intellectual gymnastics” is used in a negative sense. For example, the discipline of philosophy can be belittled as “intellectual gymnastics”. However, a university in Japan seems ...
3
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3answers
266 views

Where can you use “and/or”?

I know that in formal contexts, the construction and/or is very ugly and undesirable (and there are many questions here that deal with said formal usage). Has it become acceptable to use it ...
0
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1answer
179 views

What kind of noun is 'splurge'?

I was reading a grammar book the other day, it was mentioned to omit articles "before names of substances and abstract nouns (i.e uncountable nouns)." The nouns splurge and howler are abstract nouns ...
0
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2answers
5k views

Usage of “make up my mind”

Can "made up my mind be used" in context like: I made up my mind about quitting smoking. I am being persuaded that resolved should be used instead, but it seems to me that both versions are ...
2
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1answer
433 views

How do you use the expression “to come out in front” (as in “to gain an advantage”)?

The usage of the expression "to come out in front", in the sense of gaining an advantage, or succeed in an endeavor (in spite of all odds?), isn't very clear to me. As far as I can tell people use it ...
3
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5answers
378 views

Is there any phrasal verb to mean “teeth are falling out because one is getting older”?

The sentence would be: He is Xing now. Where X means "losing teeth" or "teeth are falling out" because he is getting older. I am assuming such phrasal verbs or words exist because it would be ...
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2answers
2k views

Meaning of 'within' in “the task has to be submitted within a month” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: “Within” and “in” when referring to time if there's a sentence : The task has to be submitted within a month Does it mean that the task has to be submitted before ...
1
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2answers
95 views

When is “place” used as “home”?

Today, while chatting, I just made a sentence: I want you at his place at 9. But I am not sure when to use place with the meaning, home, or work place? Is it correct usage? What will be the ...