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

learn more… | top users | synonyms

0
votes
1answer
79 views

What is the difference between “depth of the trench” and “trench depth”? [closed]

As a non-English native speaker, I don't know what is the difference between these following expressions and whether or not the first expression is correct? The first expression: Then you ...
2
votes
6answers
876 views

Another way to say “it never hurts”

It wouldn't hurt you to be a bit more serious. Wouldn't/won't/never hurts make perfect sense in this example. I'm wondering if there's any alternative way to preserve the meaning of this phrase in a ...
2
votes
5answers
665 views

Is there any scenario, situation, or way to make “doing something selfishly” have a positive connotation?

The thing is, I am confused whether the word selfish itself can be used without expressing a negative connotation. I am a bit biased about it since I believe that by using this word it automatically ...
0
votes
2answers
97 views

“is to make sure” vs “is making sure”

I've encountered both variants: My goal is to make sure we are safe. My goal is making sure we are safe. Another example: His biggest challenge is making sure all the wood is legal. ...
1
vote
0answers
84 views

Is there a nuance in meaning between 'non-managed' and 'unmanaged'?

Context: I am writing about 'devices not managed by professionals' and debating the subtleties between non-managed devices vs. unmanaged devices
-1
votes
2answers
50 views

How are Engineers and Engine related? [closed]

I guess there should be some relationship between Engineers and Engines, because they sound similar. Also Engineers work with engines. I would like to know the specific instance of what made people ...
9
votes
5answers
10k 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 ...
0
votes
3answers
2k views

“Wise man” vs. “wise guy”

Two very similar expressions yet quite opposite connotations. Wise man is an older phrase but wise guy is a newer one. I found two possible connections to wise man. There is the surname Wiseman ...
0
votes
1answer
126 views

Isn't it redundant to use “then” after “if”?

Since "if P, Q" is grammatical, is it not the case that the "then" in "if P, then Q" is redundant? Where P and Q are clauses. For example, "if it rains today, the road shall be wet tomorrow" is ...
3
votes
1answer
4k 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 ...
1
vote
3answers
67 views

“here to 6” or “here until 6”?

I'm here to 6. I am currently debating this sentence with a colleague. I say this should read "until 6", not "to 6". He insists he is correct. Which way is right?
0
votes
0answers
372 views

“has been effected” or “has been affected” [duplicate]

For some reason I'm really struggling with this one... Here's the sentence that I found it in: "We'll start you off with a free identity theft scan to see if your good name has already been ...
0
votes
2answers
93 views

'Belong to' or 'have belonged to' - simple present or present perfect? [closed]

Which sentence is correct? I have belonged to the tennis club for three years. OR I belong to the tennis club for three years. I would appreciate it if someone would kindly answer my ...
1
vote
1answer
1k views

Meaning and use of “would have to be” in this sentence

I'm a beginner of English and really appreciate that you can help me learn more. I noticed a sentence: I think all the girls in the anime are awesome, but my favorites would have to be Nozomi and ...
1
vote
2answers
423 views

“Sorry excuse for a” VS “Sorry excuse of a”? [closed]

Which of the two is the correct sentence: You are a sorry excuse of a magician OR You are a sorry excuse for a magician If both applies, then what is the difference between the two and when should ...
5
votes
1answer
107 views

Can “apocryphal” be used to mean “not true”?

I always thought that apocryphal should just mean "of doubtful authenticity". But more and more I am noticing that people use it positively to mean mythical or untrue, especially in phrases such as ...
2
votes
1answer
52 views

Usage of how instead of as? [closed]

I am hearing and reading this construction more often: You can have your meal how you want it. AND Design your own color combination how you like. Whatever happened to "as"?
0
votes
2answers
88 views

What is the correct visualization of “first left down the hallway”?

I hear a lot of native speakers say something like this: Once in the arena take first left down the hallway Take your first left down the hallway. When you come to the second floor, make a left and ...
1
vote
2answers
1k views

as best I can vs as well as I can [duplicate]

I have to say I have an issue with the phrase "as best I can". After all, "best" is the superlative form of "well" and does not belong in the comparative construction "as... as" - not to mention that ...
0
votes
1answer
29 views

articles before two adjectives

If we describe a child as friendly and enthusiastic where should we use article?Is it she is a friendly and enthusiastic child or she is friendly and a enthusiastic child,
0
votes
1answer
187 views

How old are you? or What is your age? [closed]

Which is more common or used more and also the correct way of asking?
1
vote
1answer
81 views

In what (semantic) context might “REFUSE” be used with a gerund complement?

I know that, prescriptively speaking, that the verb "refuse" is supposed to be followed by an infinitive. For example: The parents refused to buy the dangerous toy for their kid. Since language ...
8
votes
1answer
104 views

The use of possessive pronouns in phrases like “I don't know my geography” or “He certainly knows his Star Wars”

There's a rather peculiar use of possessive pronouns. In my experience, it normally occurs in the context of referring to someone's familiarity with a particular subject (or lack therof), e.g. You ...
1
vote
1answer
56 views

Another or/nor usage question

Both sound OK, but the phrase with nor seems more emphatic. Are both correct? "An examination that was performed greater than 30 days prior to patient services cannot be utilized nor updated." vs. ...
1
vote
2answers
426 views

“Time” versus “Time”: When is time plural?

I have difficulty in using time and times correctly. I understand that times may be used for some idiomatic purposes such as "at all times" or "of all times" or "some times", although sometimes it ...
0
votes
1answer
38 views

the usage of the apostrophe [closed]

Which is more correct to say: in todays' classes or in today's classes? Can we consider that today represents the days that we live in general, so it might be considered as plural, and add the ...
4
votes
3answers
3k views

The etymology of “redhead” vs. “ginger haired”

All my life I have known people with reddish, orangey hair, to be termed ginger haired. Just as you don't call a blonde a 'yellow head' red head just wasn't a word that was said (wouldn't orange head ...
1
vote
1answer
172 views

Are "out of the box“ and “(right) off the bat” interchangeable”?

I came across with two idioms associated with immediacy in different context recently: (1) Anyone who was hoping that the Watch would flop out of the box and fall short of the high standard that ...
2
votes
2answers
217 views

First floor vs ground floor, usage origin

Ground floor – First floor: In British English, the floor of a building which is level with the ground is called the ground floor. The floor above it is called the first floor, the floor above ...
-1
votes
1answer
40 views

is there a special term for using “very” in combination with adverby which can only be either/or [closed]

Sometimes people use the word "very" in combination with adverbs which can only be either/or. for instance: "the floor is very wet". This may not be the best example, but the floor can either be wet ...
0
votes
2answers
95 views

Prediction / Foreshadowing - Adverb

What is a way to say "as you _____ mentioned" where _____ is meant to convey that the person correctly predicted / foreshadowed your response?
5
votes
2answers
2k views

Does 'twink' imply a specific sexuality?

I know that twink is a slang term for hot young homosexual guys who do not have facial hair. This word is very common in the gay community (and their adult industry) and recently I've heard a debate ...
0
votes
1answer
51 views

usage of amid instead of between [closed]

Can I replace between with amid here? The engineers need to design the relationship between these function blocks. Turning into The engineers need to design the relationship amid these ...
-3
votes
1answer
22 views

Which is correct regarding worry about [closed]

You need not to worry about me stressing you out. Or You need not to worry about me who stresses you out.
0
votes
1answer
124 views

Usage of “On” vs “About” [closed]

In a recent history essay, I wrote the following sentence: "As banks began to fail, the regional banks were divided on whether to assist all banks or only member banks." My teacher corrected the "on", ...
0
votes
1answer
47 views

When should I say “a clear voice” over “clear voice”? [closed]

I have a question about the usage of the word, voice. When should I say "a clear voice" over "clear voice"? I would like to say that A clear voice is one of the qualities for the job. Is it ...
-2
votes
1answer
80 views

What's the difference between “end up” and “be ended up” [closed]

Is it possible to write as following sentence? I was ended up to have a serious injury on my left foot? I would like to know the proper usage of "end up". Please share the correct sentence and ...
11
votes
1answer
632 views

Data is/are in a global context

I have been commissioned to script a series of brief videos on the importance of data accuracy and consistency. The videos are directed to employees of a company with offices around the ...
0
votes
2answers
74 views

When to use Proverbial? [duplicate]

I was just curious when I could use the word Proverbial in a sentence. Would it be correct to use when referring to often cliched expressions (i.e. putting the "proverbial" pedal to the metal, giving ...
0
votes
1answer
46 views

The usage of “got out” and the indefinite article “a” in the sentence “if it got out that they were related to a pair of”

I'm a English learner and I found the following sentence which seemed strange to me when I was reading Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Chapter one, the American Edition): "if it got out that ...
2
votes
3answers
176 views

Is “Heaven and hell both reside in the details” a well-received English saying?

There is the following passage in the contribution written by Ehud Barak, the former Prime Minister of Israel under the title, “Iran Has Escaped a Noose.” in Time magazine April 2nd issue: “The ...
1
vote
2answers
283 views

Usage of “I'm incredulous!” as an exclamation of shock or disbelief

Would the exclamation "I'm incredulous!" be an appropriate response to finding out some unexpected news, if the intention is to convey shock or disbelief?
0
votes
1answer
61 views

Is it correct to say “Can I enter if don't have a ticket”? [closed]

Is it correct to say "Can I come in if don't have a ticket"? or, Which is more common in ordinary life: A. Can I enter if don't have a ticket? B. Can I enter if I don't have a ticket?
0
votes
0answers
31 views

Using “well” to start a sentence [duplicate]

What does "well" mean when used to start a sentence. Examples: "Well I never like going to the store with my aunt" "Well its still better than cooking onions"
0
votes
2answers
954 views

Why does 'I'm with stupid' have a positive connotation?

I see the phrase ... I'm with stupid ... used in many occasions, especially on forums using a smiley similar to this one: It's almost exclusively used with a positive connotation, in the ...
2
votes
1answer
43 views

Using “redouble” with an object other than “effort”?

While there is nothing in the definition to say otherwise, I can't think of any examples where I've seen the transitive verb "redouble" have an object other than "effort". Would a phrase like ...
1
vote
2answers
78 views

“greater”, or “greater than”, in a dropdown?

This is more a matter of usage and common sense than anything, but I'm faced with the following problem. I have a dropdown with things like greater, equal, between, and then a field where numbers can ...
2
votes
2answers
125 views

I found an unusual usage of adj, please tell me how it works [closed]

Following the terror attacks in London on July 7, 2005, the then Prime Minister Tony Blair insisted those responsible were motivated by an "evil ideology," ... From CNN. It uses those ...
-1
votes
3answers
238 views

Although correct, is “the above” to be avoided?

Although the phrase the above is not exactly incorrect, should it be avoided? For example, imagine a letter with a heading "Re: Order for 79 purple cardboard slugs". Should a paragraph in the letter ...
0
votes
5answers
16k views

What does “What are you into?” mean?

I personally don't use this question in spoken language but I usually see it in written language. I also frequently see that when someone asks this question, it elicits in turn the question "What do ...