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

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86 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 ...
3
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1answer
74 views

Question about “languish.”

I have a few questions about the verb 'to languish.' In the OED, it suggests that this word must be used for a living thing. Couldn't it be used metaphorically for something like an idea or a ...
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2answers
93 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 ...
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1answer
100 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 ...
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2answers
56 views

'Vote their conscience' or 'Vote with their conscience'

Is the preposition required in this sentence? Representatives should vote their conscience on Monday. OR Representatives should vote with their conscience on Monday. Or are both okay? Is one better? ...
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1answer
161 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 ...
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6answers
236 views

Usage:“ I wish…would…”

What does the author mean? The following sentences are from a book: We use "I wish...would..." to say that we want something happen. But we do not use "I wish...would..."to say how we would like ...
3
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2answers
66 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 ...
3
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3answers
120 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 ...
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1answer
42 views

“Metrics” definition and usage

Does the term "metric" (or plural "metrics") apply only to the metric system, or can it be used to define something that does not apply the metric system?
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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.
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2answers
180 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?
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2answers
426 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 ...
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0answers
260 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 ...
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1answer
35 views

Should “something, and therefore something” be referred to as singular or plural?

For example, if I have the sentence Due to the improvement of our algorithm, our model, and therefore simulation, becomes more realistic. Should the becomes be instead written as become? Does ...
1
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1answer
831 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 ...
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2answers
42 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' ?
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1answer
91 views

Usage of “imperative to [verb]ing”

From what I learned, we could use imperative to [verb]ing, but when I read my book, I see this sentence: An accurate analysis of surveys is imperative to building a good understanding of customer ...
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3answers
71 views

In “Dear X” what function does “X” serve?

I answered a question (Should I use capital or small letter here? "Dear All" or "Dear all"?) about capitalizing "all" in "Dear All," In answering this, my thinking was "what ...
3
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1answer
66 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 ...
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4answers
165 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 ...
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1answer
118 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 ...
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1answer
100 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 ...
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1answer
52 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 ...
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3answers
71 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 ...
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0answers
102 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
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1answer
59 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
305 views

Interview, taking, giving, being interviewed

So what is correct to use in the context of the interview? (If one is an interviewee) I am taking an interview. I am giving an interview. I am being interviewed. (If one is an interviewer) I am ...
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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 ...
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1answer
62 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 ...
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2answers
136 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.. " 😁 ...
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3answers
1k 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" ...
2
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1answer
120 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 ...
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2answers
141 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 ...
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1answer
160 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 ...
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3answers
91 views

I'm looking for a word similar to an abstract concept

I'm looking for a word to describe when you are aware that something is real, however because you've never experienced said-thing firsthand, the thought of the thing seems like an abstract concept ...
0
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1answer
116 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 ...
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2answers
201 views

Is there any difference or nuance between “At the start, …” and “In the beginning, …”?

"At the start, ...", this is from the book, I am reading now. It sounded very rare to me so I was wondering what an occasion I can use this expression comparing "In the beginning, ...". Thanks.
2
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1answer
48 views

“eldest” vs. “firstborn”

A family genealogist discovered that his grandparent who was believed to have had six siblings actually had two more who had died very young; one died a few days after birth. The firstborn died at ...
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1answer
53 views

Use of “workarounds”

Let's say there is problem X, and I have in mind some methods, each is a workaround for X. For a single workaround, it seems fine to say: "I am suggesting a workaround X", but I feel the following ...
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1answer
80 views

Can't understand a 'but' word usage [Daniel Defoe] [closed]

Can someone please explain me why Daniel Defoe uses a 'but' word literally everywhere? (See photos, last string in both occasions). Thanks a lot for your answers!
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1answer
121 views

How do I choose between “was” and “were”? [closed]

Should I use the singular “was” or the plural “were” in the following sentence? The first thing that I noticed was (OR) were the street performers singing near the main entrance of the park. ...
0
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1answer
61 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] ...
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3answers
177 views

Can the word petrify be used correctly in the sentences below?

Can the word petrify be used correctly in the sentences below? He was petrified with exhaustion! He was so petrified he slept without moving a muscle.
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4answers
2k views

What is meant by a “two-lane” road?

When people say that a road has "two lanes"? Two lanes total, one travelling in one direction, and one travelling in the opposite direction? Two lanes travelling in one direction, and two more ...
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7answers
2k views

Can a statement be “hissed” without any sibilants?

Is using hissed as a replacement for said technically acceptable in dialogue without the presence of any sibilants? "You fool!" she hissed. I understand that hissed could be used to indicate a ...
0
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1answer
39 views

Usage of “so to” in the place of “to” as part of infinitive construction

Example: We make wine by hand in small lots and taste the wines constantly so to profit from its constant change. I would normally drop the "so" and phrase it like "we do it to profit" Are both ...
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1answer
36 views

Use of 'such as themselves'?

Would it be correct to use the following sentence? The group make for a handsome lot. And that poise of talk can only be found in the most opulent of beings, such as themselves. I have been ...
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1answer
86 views

Are proper adverbs falling out of usage in current spoken American English?

While watching American movies and TV series, I notice that in dialogue very often the usage of a proper adverb is replaced by the corresponding adjective (in the case where the adverb is formed by ...
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6answers
3k views

The meaning of 0% and 100% as opposed to other percentages?

Oftentimes, percentages are rounded to the nearest whole number. A $49.99 item may be marked 50% off, even if the price becomes $24.99 (it should be 50.03% off). However, I have come to notice that ...