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

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1answer
76 views

I want to know the meaning of “ to be”

There are two sentences She appears to be stupid. She appears stupid. What is the difference between the two sentences?
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37 views

“To dedicate” for “to inaugurate” in AE

What's the difference between "to dedicate" and "to inaugurate" in the sense [to open or begin use of formally with a ceremony, as of a highway, park, or building]? What's the story to "dedicate"? ...
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1answer
61 views

In AE, is it okay to drop “with” in grammatical constructions with “to supply”, “to furnish”, “to present”, “to issue”, and “to endow”?

In analogy with "to provide" and "to feed", which can be both constructed with and without "with" (at least in AE) -- [This application will provide you (with) all the information you need] and [The ...
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1answer
60 views

What does “to take/catch someone off stride” mean in AE?

I guess it might originate from ball game terminology, and mean pretty much the same as "catch/take someone off balance". But, sad to say, I just can't seem to find an authoritative source online that ...
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2answers
55 views

what does it mean, “foot up” as verb? [closed]

I'm just guessing "foot up" means "kick something up"? Can I say "do it , or foot up your face"? Thanks,
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1answer
61 views

“Hussy” for a sewing folder in AE

Does the term "hussy" [alteration of Midde English husewif "housewife"] have any currency in modern day AE to refer to a sewing folder, or is it sort of better known as a derogatory term for a ...
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1answer
55 views

“Mobile” vs. “cellphone” in AE

I already heard Americans use the term "mobile" for "cellphone" -- which I thought was chiefly BE -- and so I wish you could tell if such usage of "mobile" has any currency in GAE? Unless it might be ...
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1answer
32 views

“To be retired” vs. “to be a retiree” vs. “to be a retirant”

Are both of these responses in current use in modern day AE to the question: What's your job? Is it I don't have a job, I'm retired. Or I don't have a job, I'm a retiree. Also, does ...
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1answer
63 views

“To a fare-thee-well” for “perfectly well” in AE

Does the idiom "to a fare-thee-well" have any currency in modern day AE speech and writing, or does it have sort of an old fashioned feel to it? http://www.thefreedictionary.com/fare-thee-well ...
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2answers
60 views

“Associate with [someone]” for “socialize with [someone]” in colloquial AE

What's the difference in AE between saying "I like to associate with new folks" and "I like to socialize with new folks"? E.g. I am a positive person and I like to associate with other positive ...
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2answers
47 views

Have a sexed up weekend ahead! - is this correct [closed]

Have a sexed-up weekend ahead! This is what my friend told me. He wanted to convey that I have a good/crazy/exciting weekend. Does it make sense?
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80 views

Is it ordinary to use “between” for selection among two or more things?

AP Radio News (March 3) narrated that: “It’s anybody’s guess who win the best picture. It seems to be a close race between “American Hustle,” “12 Years a Slave” and “Gravity.” I was under ...
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1answer
120 views

“As long as” for “since” in AE

Some of you might have noticed that I oftentimes use the conjunction "as long as" in my questions and my posts. I was just wondering -- does "as long as" in the sense "since" [=in view of the fact ...
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2answers
80 views

“Multi tiered parking lot/garage” vs. “multi story/storied parking lot/garage” vs. “multi level parking lot/garage” in AE

Are these terms current enough in AE to be used just about interchangeably in modern prose?
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2answers
325 views

In AE, is “tin” used instead of “can” to designate an eco friendly BPA free can of sardines?

I've always thought that "can" was the typical term to refer to a can of sardines (or the like) in AE, and "tin" the BE equivalent, until I recently stumbled across "tin" used instead of "can" on a US ...
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2answers
50 views

Cowboys, cowpokes, cowpunchers, wranglers, vaqueros, and buckaroos

Depending on where you are regionally located in the US, can these terms be used just about interchangeably in the sense "a hired hand (a cowhand) who tends cattle and performs many of his duties on ...
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3answers
50 views

“Tote” vs. “carry” in AE

Aside from formality/informality registers, what is to "tote" that is not to "carry" to AE native speakers? Does "tote", unlike "carry", imply a certain way to hold or support something while moving? ...
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1answer
56 views

Had you had asked

Let's say in this scenario: Someone asked me for help to do certain thing. I gave a negative response. That person then asked for the reason. I responded with: "Had you had asked me nicely ...." ...
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2answers
115 views

Translating Gerunds from Spanish to English (verb+ing)

In Spanish, the gerund form (-ando, -endo) is frequently used adverbially to modify and describe the verb: El alma es dichosa dando y sirviendo. El niño anda bailando. El artista vive provocando ...
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3answers
119 views

Yards, courtyards, and gardens in AE

As long as reportedly Americans commonly designate an area of land, usually planted with plants, trees, flowerbeds, etc., adjoining a house as a yard (front yard/backyard); and a plot of land used for ...
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1answer
83 views

“Decide/Intend on [gerund]” vs. “decide/intend to [infinitive]”

In analogy with "plan on [gerund]", do the gerund constructions above have any currency in AE, or are these chiefly dialectal and might sound folksy to most ears? E.g. We decided on taking our ...
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1answer
186 views

“Have you ever been” to France? vs. “Have you ever gone” to France? vs. “Did you ever go” to France?

Which of the grammatical constructions above is (or are) more typical of what is commonly said and heard in colloquial AE? If all three options work, is there any difference to them meaningwise? ...
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2answers
129 views

Is it correct to say “We did a make”?

When we build software using Make or a similar build tool, is it correct to say "We did a make"? Also, do we need to say "The files were built using make" instead of "The files were made"?
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2answers
61 views

Is the expression “The States” used by Americans when referring to the US?

Does the expression "The States" have any currency in AE when referring to the US, or is it chiefly used by native English speakers from outside?
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1answer
80 views

What is the difference between transplant and transplantation when they are used as noun

transplant is used as verb in a normal sentence. In particulary, transplant is used as noun in some sentence. Is there any reason why we should use 'transplant' as noun form although we have already ...
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2answers
123 views

“Sofa bed”, “hideaway couch”, “hide-a-bed”, “couch bed”, “sleeper sofa”, “day bed”, and “studio couch” in AE

Which of these terms is (or are) more typical of AE to designate a convertible consisting of an upholstered couch that can be converted into a double bed?
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2answers
56 views

“A food is fed (to) someone or something” vs. “Someone or something is fed on (or with) a food” [closed]

Focusing on the passive voice, which of the following grammatical constructions is (or are) more typical of AE? More research is necessary before *soy formula is fed to babies^ source More ...
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1answer
154 views

“Balconies”, “porches”, “decks”, “terraces”, “verandas”, “lanais”, “galleries”, and “piazzas” in GAE and dialectal AE

In AE, a porch is apparently just about the same structure as a veranda, i.e. an open or enclosed gallery or room attached to the outside of a building. http://www.thefreedictionary.com/porch ...
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4answers
304 views

“Shag” for “chase and bring back, fetch” in AE

Does "shag" have any currency in modern day AE to mean "chase and bring back, fetch (an escaped animal/prisoner)"? Is its use limited to the pursuit of runaways, or can it be extended to a broader ...
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1answer
21 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 ...
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5answers
3k views

What is the difference between Ukraine and the Ukraine?

Time magazine (March 5th) carries the article titled, “Ukraine, not the Ukraine: The significance of three little letters,” in which the following comment of William Taylor, who served as the U.S. ...
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1answer
32 views

The problems with “Showed”

Is it right to say " Fisher (1935) has showed that normality is guaranteed in case 1" Or should it be " Fisher (1935) has shown that normality is guaranteed in case 1" ? Personally, I guess both ...
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1answer
50 views

Why does the word 'calculative' not exist in the Oxford dictionary?

My friends and I have been using 'calculative' and not 'calculating' to describe a person given to doing or planning things only for their benefits; but it seems like we have been wrong for so long. ...
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1answer
54 views

“Should I” vs. “Shall I” vs. “Do I” in AE

In colloquial prose, is there some difference to saying "Should I/we", Shall I/we", "Do I/we" to ask someone's advice? E.g. Should I call the police? Sounds like I'm asking someone (or myself) ...
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3answers
81 views

Borrowed idea synonym

I am preparing a presentation to pitch for an 'idea' that I think should be implemented in my team. The problem is that it is not something new and it is not my brainchild. Several implementations of ...
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1answer
100 views

I've been betrayed by the Jedi Order, but I don't wish “for” them to all die [closed]

Does the presumably nonstandard construction "(verb) for someone/something to (verb)" instead of "(verb) (someone/something) to (verb)" have any currency in modern day colloquial AE speech and "not so ...
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4answers
117 views

What does “throw down (an order, an idea)” as in “The offer was thrown down to join the Sith” mean?

What's the actual meaning to "throw down something" as in "His offer was thrown down"? Is it the same as saying "His offer was rejected", or is it like saying that the offer was made for ...
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1answer
57 views

“Assist someone do” vs. “assist someone to do (or ”in/with“ doing)”

I just recently came across "assist someone do" searching Google for examples to my previous question, and would like to check with you whether it is an acceptable option to "assist someone to do (or ...
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2answers
52 views

“Occupation” and “professional occupation (plus calling and career)” vs. “vocation” and “professional vocation” [closed]

Is "professional vocation" an acceptable alternative to "professional occupation", and to "professional calling or career" also? You might want to consider the following sourced examples for this: ...
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1answer
36 views

“Directory” for the main board in an airport, etc., informing people on arrivals/departures, floors/levels to certain stores, etc

In AE, is it appropriate to designate as a "directory" the main information board found in the concourse or front room of a public place such as a passenger station, an airport, a shopping mall, an ...
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1answer
52 views

'See' and 'Hear' in the progressive?

I'd like you to go into details about the difference between 'see', 'hear' and 'seeing', 'hearing'. I'm not a native speaker, so it's a bit hard to understand this explanation that 'see' and 'hear' ...
3
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1answer
219 views

“Home appliances”, “household appliances”, “domestic appliances”, and “brown/white wares” in AE

In AE, do the terms "home appliances", "household appliances", and "domestic appliances" mean just about the same, or is there a subtle difference to these? You might want to consider this Ngram for ...
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1answer
45 views

Charge payment “to”, “on”, or “against” a credit card/an account; charge a credit card/account/a person “with”an amount

Are all of these options acceptable and in current use to denote payment with a credit card? E.g. Please charge this amount on me/my credit card/my (credit card) account. Please charge this amount ...
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3answers
425 views

“Coat” vs. “jacket” in AE

In some regions of the U.S., can the term "coat" be used to designate what other native speakers of other U.S. regions -- and from farther out -- would call a jacket? Please consider this Ngram: ...
2
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1answer
87 views

“Hew to” and “conform to/with” in AE

Can "hew to" and "conform with/to" be used just about interchangeably for whatever register of AE, including the most formal prose? ...shall hew to the law and the recognized standards of legal ...
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1answer
48 views

“To be headed for” and “To be headed over to”

Can these expressions be used just about interchangeably for all but the most formal prose, or is there a subtle difference to them? E.g. He is headed over to the garage. He is headed for the ...
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4answers
159 views

Why do we say that we “observe” traditions?

Why do we say that we "observe traditions" rather than "following traditions" or some other term?
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1answer
120 views

“Snub out a cigarette” for “stub out a cigarette” in AE

My bilingual dictionary points up “snub out” as an Americanism for “stub out” as in, “He snubbed out his cigarette.” But, does is this expression current enough in modern day spoken AE to be used ...
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1answer
67 views

“Lobby”, “foyer”, “front (of house)/front room”, “entranceway”, “entry”, and “entryway”

"Lobby", "foyer", "entry(way), "entranceway" and "front (of house)/front room" seem to be used to designate an area or a room near the entrance to a public building such as a hotel, where one can ...
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2answers
40 views

Proper usage for the word “obverse”

I believe "obverse" has several meanings, with one being "the flip side of something (coin)." I'm trying to cleverly contrast opposite approaches of a person's management duties. "From a wide ...