For questions on how and why certain words are used in varying ways within various contexts.

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2
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1answer
59 views

In “laugh your head off”, Is “laugh” an intransitive verb?

I am a little confused with a transitive and intransitive verb form. Can someone help me with this, please?
1
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2answers
113 views

temporal “directly” in AmEng usage: “immediately/without delay” or “shortly/in a little while”?

What does directly commonly mean in standard AmEng when used as a temporal adverb, immediately/instantly/at once/right away/without delay -or- soon/shortly/in a little while? DIRECTLY At ...
0
votes
1answer
74 views

Can you say “don't tell me” in a monologue?

"Don't tell me" is often used in dialogues, for example "Don't tell me you're tired already!". But can you use it in a monologue? Let's say you have a character in a movie just talking to themselves. ...
1
vote
1answer
39 views

Same as.. vs as much as

I'd like to know whether the following sentences express the same meaning. Are both of them correct without the "provided with" at the end? Have the foreigners been provided with the same level of ...
22
votes
6answers
5k 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 ...
4
votes
4answers
503 views

Using “who” twice, why?

I'm intrigued by the use of 'who' twice in the following quote from the movie 'The Imitation Game' Sometimes it is the people who no one imagines anything of who do things that no one imagines. ...
-1
votes
2answers
60 views

What is the difference between “As per” and “As for”? [closed]

What is the difference between "As per" and "As for"? As for our professional services or as per our professional services?
4
votes
4answers
564 views

“[will] likely” vs. “[will] probably” in AmEng usage

As far as AmEng goes, can likely be an acceptable alternate to probably in the following OUP quiz? The traffic is terrible so I'll probably be late this morning. Climate change is likely to ...
5
votes
3answers
301 views

“conclude” vs. “decide” in AmEng

Can, in some instances, conclude and decide be used just about interchangeably as far as AmEng goes? Please, consider the following examples: The committee concluded on a plan of action. The ...
6
votes
4answers
5k views

Are “not uncommon” and similar phrases double negatives? Should their use be avoided?

When I think of double negatives I think of phrases that grate on the ears, like: I'm not going to do no homework. I'm never going to not go visit Graceland. There are some phrases that ...
0
votes
4answers
4k views

What is difference between sadness and sorrow? [closed]

What is the difference between sadness and sorrow? I researched a lot on internet but the results literally show the same meaning. If both sadness and sorrow are different, what are their usage?
2
votes
2answers
769 views

What is the meaning of “morality is a question of time”?

I never succumbed to that or to any of her many other lewd temptations, but she did not believe in the purity of my principles. Morality, too, is a question of time, she would ...
0
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0answers
140 views

Does an invitation to do something “together” imply “with a group”?

I need to know the meaning of the following sentence, if being sent to one person. "Would you be interested in trying out a new restaurant together sometime"? Does this mean that this is a group ...
0
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3answers
46 views

Reversal in word meaning [duplicate]

Are there any words that were pejorative but are now used in a positive way? Obviously, there are slang words that have changed meaning, but are there any others?
0
votes
0answers
37 views

Having 'At Least' x Versus Having x [duplicate]

Here is a really juicy one for a hard-core grammar nerd with some decent logical reasoning skills: Suppose I have FIVE $20 bills in my pocket. Is it correct to say "I have 20 dollars in my pocket" or ...
1
vote
5answers
371 views

Ambiguous meaning of NAmEng sense of “skill” in Harrap's English-French Dictionary

Harrap's New Shorter English-French/French-English Dictionary, Ed. 1982, states, skill n 1. habileté f, adresse f, dextérité f; technical skill, habileté, aptitude f, technique; ...
-1
votes
2answers
111 views

What is the meaning of “banned” in this sentence? [closed]

I'm wondering what the correct definition of "banned" is in the following sentence: The private ownership of handguns ought to be banned in the United States. Does "banned" refer to an outright ...
1
vote
1answer
52 views

Whence come “Alaskan” and “Hawaiian” as adjectives?

Ross Douthat, writing in the New York Times, refers to "Rubio’s lonely Minnesotan triumph." This just sounds wrong to me. Is "Minnesotan" ever used as an adjective? Garrison Keillor frequently invokes ...
1
vote
2answers
86 views

Usage of “commit [oneself] to” (=promise)

PPer Cambridge Dictionary Online, commit verb (PROMISE) [I or T] to ​promise or give ​your ​loyalty, ​time, or ​money to a ​particular ​principle, ​person, or ​plan of ​action: Like so ...
-2
votes
2answers
54 views

The car won't start because the battery is dead [closed]

"The car won't start because the battery is dead." This sentence looks a bit strange to me. I think I'm not familiar with the usage of "Won't". Would you add some words for the meaning and usage of ...
-2
votes
1answer
15k views

Meaning and usage of “Make me”

Sometimes the literal translations of "slang" sentences just don't make sense, so after reading a "Make me" answer (which I consider slang, due to its informal use, if I'm not wrong) to a request I ...
11
votes
5answers
1k views

Is there any bad connotation when we say one thing is cheaper than another? [closed]

I'm aware that when we say things like: It's a cheap cell phone. That's a cheapo, throw it out. It does mean something is clearly of bad quality. But how about when comparing things? for ...
19
votes
5answers
4k views

The use of @ in a business email?

My business emails of late have all contained '@Carol' when I am referred to in a string of emails/topic. What does this mean and how am I to refer to this in future? Carol
2
votes
1answer
1k views

Which is correct? …as from today or from today onwards [closed]

I have a water filter in my office. It is broken. I wrote a reminder telling the staff. The word I would like to highlight is "as from" or "from." Water filter can only be used as from 1st March,...
2
votes
2answers
2k views

How should I place “Indeed” in sentence

I would like to say sorry first for my bad english, and I hope you understand me . I have been improving my english recently and I thought about adding "indeed" into my essays , I have certainly ...
2
votes
1answer
135 views

“downtime” vs. “time off” vs. “free time” vs. “spare time” in AmEng vernacular

How do those terms differ from each other? downtime North American A time of reduced activity or inactivity: everyone needs downtime to unwind ODO spare time Noun time available ...
1
vote
1answer
63 views

“separate” and “terminate” for “dismiss/discharge” from employment in AmEng

According to Oxford Dictionary Online, separate US Discharge or dismiss (someone) from service or employment. terminate chiefly North American End the employment of (someone); dismiss: ...
-1
votes
1answer
49 views

Is “conventionally” as adverb used properly here: “It's not conventionally casino news, but …”?

It doesn't sound wrong to the ear for me. But conventionally is an adverb, and it should modify a verb or an adjective. In this case it is obviously the verb is. Can conventionally modify be? On the ...
3
votes
1answer
102 views

“I had been done that” Is this correct?

I teach freshmen English in inner-city Baltimore, and I often get the following: Teacher : Did you complete the homework? Student : I had been done that! I have not been able to give a ...
0
votes
1answer
30 views

“Both win in this case, the students […] and science…” is the sentence incorrect?

I am unsure regarding this usage of 'both'. A friend of mine told me it is not correct. Both win in this case, the students who learned a new technique and science with more replications. Could ...
1
vote
2answers
65 views

Meaning of the slang “a”? [duplicate]

What does the a mean in the following sentences? She is a do it like this. Sam is a visit the new market today. Does the word a represent a future action like : Sam will visit the new market ...
5
votes
3answers
16k views

Function of “too” in the phrase “so too” or “so, too,”

I just ran into this sentence in an online article: But as the App Store’s fortunes rose, so too did the iPhone’s, and later the iPad’s. If I were editing that sentence, I would remove the too ...
0
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2answers
38 views

should I use “is” or “are” in this phrase? [closed]

I'm glad at least one of us are thinking. should I use are or is in the phrase above?
-6
votes
1answer
65 views

The front door sign reads: The Brushes [closed]

The John L Brush family has a sign outside their front door that reads: "The Brushes". Is that correct? I interpret the sign to indicate it's the Brush's house, or that the Brush family lives there....
4
votes
2answers
4k views

Why is “a couple of…” correct grammar, while “a few of…” often isn't?

Earlier today I started to type a message and I entered: I can take a couple of hours... After entering the text, I realized that I intended to express roughly three hours so I highlighted and ...
2
votes
1answer
65 views

How to use “In the span of”?

I'm writing an essay regarding the concept of Carpe Diem and I'd like to start my introduction with the following sentence: "In the span of the universe, a human life is an incredibly short period ...
3
votes
2answers
1k views

Why did Mother Teresa use the phrase “it is a poverty”?

I frequently see bumper stickers with quotations attributed to Mother Teresa that begin with the words "It is a poverty," for example: It is a poverty to decide that a child must die so that ...
1
vote
2answers
81 views

“flat,” “stone,” “dead,” “dirt,” “plumb,” and “right” as indicators of directness, completeness, or general intensity [closed]

What's the difference between those words? Can they be used just about interchangeably as adverbs indicating completeness or totality? Please, compare: Looking back over my years of wildlife work,...
-1
votes
1answer
32 views

Which sentence is better to use? [closed]

Which one of the following is correct? Placed his work of art on the museum wall last week or Placed last week his work of art on the museum wall
3
votes
1answer
65 views

“Poor as Job's cat”

In which part(s) of the U.S. can one still hear the colorful simile, (as) poor as Job's cat? poor as Job - Poverty-stricken, indigent, destitute. The allusion is to the extreme poverty which ...
4
votes
1answer
105 views

Usage of the verb “squinch” in AmEng

Collins American English Dictionary says: squinch (skwɪntʃ) (US) transitive verb to squint (the eyes); squinched up her eyes in disgust. M-W 2. a. to pucker ...
0
votes
0answers
26 views

“Many a” or “Many a…alike”

For example, which of these phrases would be more accurate? "Many an artist alike thought highly of the philosophy." or "Many an artist thought highly of the philosophy." In essence, I'm just ...
0
votes
1answer
78 views

Is the word 'get' correctly replacing more and more words in English?

Would it be safe to say that using the word get (or phrases containing it) to replace existing but longer words is now fashionable and acceptable? With already about 50 meanings, it is replacing ...
0
votes
0answers
32 views

Is it “We consider A and B as equal” or “We consider A and B to be equal”? [duplicate]

In usage such as "we consider a label and a tag (as / to be) equal", or "we consider a 'yes' or a 'nod' (as / to be) equal", should we say: We consider A and B as equal. A and B are considered as ...
2
votes
1answer
82 views

“taxwise,” “tax wise,” or “tax-wise”

What should be the correct spelling for "-wise" combinations in adverbial coinages like "sportswise," "weatherwise," "businesswise, "saleswise," "taxwise," etc.? Should it be "NOUN wise," "NOUN-wise,"...
0
votes
4answers
3k views

Behind of or in front of?

We daily use terms like "I was sitting in front of the television" and "Spent the all day behind the computer". What is the most appropriate term to use and why is it that people sit in front of the ...
2
votes
2answers
4k views

Is “those information” valid, or is it “this information”?

I know information does not have a plural form (syntaxically talking), which leads me to the following problem: The username and password are missing. I need [this/those] information. I feel ...
0
votes
1answer
247 views

What strikes me the most - usage [closed]

Can anyone explain what does this mean and how to use it correctly in a sentence? What strikes me the most
2
votes
1answer
46 views

Get hold of someone [closed]

In my office email I asked my colleague of mine to work with a differen team member by using the following sentence: "Please get hold of xxxxx and create an account...." I don't know this xxxxx ...
0
votes
2answers
42 views

World Remained Those of Combination?

I read one book, anyone could describe the concept meaning by following sentence: "In the sixth century, at the very close of the classical period, the great libraries of the Mediterranean world ...