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

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Differences between “very” and “very much” as adjective modifiers

The following examples are clearly wrong: × I am very much tired × She is very much clever But the following sounds fine (at least according to OALD): I am very much afraid that ... I am ...
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3answers
2k views

What does “have a pastrami on wry” mean?

I was drawn to the expression, “I wish I could have pastrami on wry“in the beginning sentence of Maureen Dowd’s article, titled “Still mad as hell” in New York Times (February 8): "I often wonder ...
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2answers
128 views

“I am poor in english” or “I am poor at english” Which one is correct? [duplicate]

Well the title pretty much speaks for itself. Also all kinds of other suggestions are accepted. I just want to know the correct usage.
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2answers
38 views

Proper use of retrospective

I am writing a narrative essay and I am currently working on the final touches. Right now I am focusing my attention on the title. The essay is a look back on a couple days, several years ago that a ...
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1answer
25 views

' when we hold': usage

The daily judge assignments are posted on the Clerk of Court site – see side bar. I have an attorney going tomorrow to research the records for the name of the judge responsible on February 5 ...
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2answers
47 views

Difference in Usage of Specificity & Specification [closed]

I found two noun words such as Specificity and Specification. When can we use Specificity over specification.
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0answers
75 views

Usage of `é` (e-acute) [closed]

As a French person, I am always amused by the usage of the letter é in English. For instance: fiancé café résumé touché (coulé) Pokémon (yup, that's a good one) This letter, though very common in ...
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2answers
31 views

Is it correct to say “No users have configured this setting”?

Is it acceptable to say "No users have configured this setting"? It is an error message. It sounds odd to me. "None of the users have configured this setting" seems OK. Please provide your advice.
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2answers
44 views

The occurrence of comparative degree

I've checked in LGWSE by Douglas Biber, Stig Johannson et al (2004) but failed to find the explanation as to what the cases of usage of the comparative degree are. In all Russian grammar texbooks of ...
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2answers
72 views

Is there any other way to say 'Sent Successfully'?

The actual message is 'Message was sent successfully'. But, we are not sure that the message was delivered to the person or the person has read the message. Is the use of 'sent successfully' correct?
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3answers
36 views

Right usage of “undergo” with syndrome [closed]

Is the sentence.... XYZ (n) is undergoing ABC syndrome. Right?
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1answer
59 views

It's not affect, but can you “effect” something?

I understand the differences between affect and effect, and generally when to use them. However, in some cases while reading I have seen authors use the phrase "effect a change" (among others) ...
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4answers
926 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 ...
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3answers
122 views

The word “geriatric”

Would you say describing somebody as "geriatric" is offensive? I think it's neutral in American English, but the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary describes it as "informal" and "offensive".
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2answers
164 views

Is the sentence “are you done your soup?” proper English? [duplicate]

My mother in law is Scottish and has lived in Canada for the last 45 years. She will often omit the word "with." When asking my child if he is ready to get out of the bathtub she will say "Henry, ...
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1answer
45 views

Phrase: 'cited after'

I don't understand what's the meaning of "cited after" in books, when they cite a source, e.g., (cited after Manin 1997: 3)
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2answers
82 views

To see them play and to see them playing

Excuse my limited acquaintance on English usage; which sentence is grammatically correct, and if any, which meaning do they convey to ? I saw them play chess. I saw then playing chess. Many ...
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5answers
173 views

Is “less bad” correct usage of the language?

If an outcome is not as bad as the alternative. Is it correct to use "less bad" to conclude a comparison? A: I've got bad news, her brother was in a car accident. B: Is he hurt? A: No, ...
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3answers
354 views

What's the difference between “content” and “contented”?

What's the difference between "content" and "contented"? I feel content with my present condition. I feel contented with my present condition. When she calls me by my name sweetly, I ...
2
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1answer
131 views

How do you use “knack” in a sentence?

On this post here, it says: Another word which comes to my mind is "Knack". It can be used to show how someone has a specific talent. Again as an example - Tim is good with musical ...
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2answers
157 views

English Syntax Rules Based on Word Choice

I was reading the Wikipedia article on Animacy and came across something I found to be very interesting: The higher animacy a referent has, the less preferable it is to use the preposition of for ...
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0answers
67 views

Why did it become acceptable for children to call adults by first name? [closed]

I realise this will not be the case everywhere. This seems to have happened, here in Australia, from my generation to the current generation. i.e. sometime in the 90's, but the question is why did the ...
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1answer
183 views

Are “I will have been going” and “I would have been going” rarely used today?

As far as I know these are tenses that you do not often use. Am I right? Will have been + verb+ing Would have been + verb+ing
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3answers
39 views

Can someone please tell the Usage of “its” in the following is correct? [duplicate]

Here is a quote from "Ever Wonder Why / the color red angers a bull? " (page 20). It has been suggested that this reaction to red (my note: of bull which is color-blind to a shaking cape in red) ...
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2answers
63 views

“Am I going the right way for Downwood?” versus “Is this the right way to the station?” Why the change of preposition?

Two sentences taken from First Certificate Language Practice by Michael Vince, 4th edition, p. 104, ex. 4, n° 3, and p. 105, ex. 5, n° 5: "Excuse me, is this the right way to the station?" "Am I ...
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1answer
107 views

What does “bullying beat” mean?

There was the following line in New Yorker’s (January 18) weekend book review titled, “A Startup Fairy Tale and the Dark Side of Yoga.” “Emily Bazelon returns to the bullying beat in this week’s ...
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2answers
163 views

Do women tend to use the word “lovely” more often than men?

Do women tend to use the word lovely more often than men do? And also, should men rather avoid using this word when describing something they liked? meta: I hope this question doesn't sound too ...
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13answers
21k views

When should “no problem” replace “you're welcome” as a response to “thank you”?

I have observed a growing trend in which people substitute "no problem" for "you're welcome" as a response to "thank you". In particular, it seems to be an increasingly common response from servers ...
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0answers
28 views

Origin/Usage of “[word] is a [number] dollar word” [duplicate]

I've often been wondering where the phrase in the title comes from - I always picture it as coming from an early television era game show, but more likely it has to do with pricing of telegrams or ...
2
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2answers
71 views

“area” vs. “areal” to describe an estimate of space

E.g. an areal/area estimate of corn in Iowa "Areal" is commonly found in remote sensing and land cover literature (this article, for example). Which is most appropriate to describe the estimation of ...
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1answer
43 views

what will be the alternate word for convey in the following sentence

I am writing my first official email in English which happens to be my second language. I am unsure about the correctness of the following sentence. Please help. The detected error is false positive, ...
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1answer
44 views

Is the given usage of Outrage is correct? [closed]

Outrage in my mind, Smile on my face. This is Life. Can outrage be used the way I used above?
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1answer
129 views

What does “sense of community” mean?

Currently, I'm living in HK. But I am Chinese and I know nothing about Cantonese which is the mother tongue of Hongkongers. So, I feel lonely here and I don't think I belong here. So, can I say I ...
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0answers
16 views

Usage of 'it' in the sentence [duplicate]

What does it refer to in the sentence: It is dark outside?
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2answers
261 views

Why is “Good Night!” dismissive

To start off let us construct a situation were I am walking along and I pass another person. Depending on the time of day and to be polite I say one of the following: "Good Morning!" "Good Evening!" ...
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2answers
102 views

Infinitive Clause For “Curious”

I need some help about the infinitive clause that comes after "curious". Let's say that I am "curious" about a locked room. Then, could I write this: I am curious to open the door. I ...
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2answers
167 views

Is the usage of “night and day” as “completely different” very common?

There was the following line in December 2nd AP News, “Chief White House trouble shooter for healthcare gov.web site says the web site is night and day from where it was October 1st. Jeff ...
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1answer
114 views

Her love letters--to and from Daddy--were in an old box,

Her love letters--to and from Daddy--were in an old box, tied with ribbons and stiff, rigid-with-age leather thongs:1918 through 1920;... Why (Daddy) in this sentence was written with a capital D?
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2answers
209 views

Is the phrase “I feel you” too colloquial?

Does the phrase "I feel you" sound too slangy and somewhat horrible to a British person? Is it ok to use it as a synonym of "I understand what you feel/say" in an informal, casual conversation?
2
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2answers
81 views

“the like” sequence

I have a question about "the like" I found in a book. The sentence: "you who have never seen the like can scarcely imagine what delicate and wonderful flowers..." I've seen "the more you know the ...
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5answers
951 views

“Hello” as a verb

A dictionary says that Hello could be a verb, noun and interjection. I'm not sure I saw it to be a verb though. Q: Could someone provide an example of 'hello' where it's used as verb. In the meaning ...
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2answers
92 views

Is 'damn you' abusive or offensive? [closed]

I would say in jest to someone, "Damn you!, you always get your way." He insisted that I was being abusive. Since my tone or tenor did not convey it, I put it down to his studying in a Catholic ...
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0answers
42 views

“She told I ate an apple” or “She told that i ate an apple” [duplicate]

Should I use That in this case? On my native language (Brazilian Portuguese) the That would be like conjunction Que, I don't know if in english, That are also used like a conjunction. If yes, the ...
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2answers
165 views

Is “nowadays” the same as “today”?

When helping an Italian speaker with her written homework, a cover letter, I told her to change the expression nowadays to that of today. Her original sentence was the following: I would be ...
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1answer
2k 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
353 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 ...
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1answer
823 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 ...
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1answer
60 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
222 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
303 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 ...