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

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“You are being it” - why? [on hold]

In this video the person says "you are being it" Why did he use present progressive? It seems strange to me, as the verb be in that context does not have any telicity.
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3answers
10k views

What is the exact meaning of “You've got yourself a deal”? Is it only an American slang?

I came across the phrase, ‘got yourself a deal’ being introduced as a vulgar American English by a character in Jeffery Archer’s, fiction “The Fourth Estate.” In the scene Keith Townsend, Australian ...
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0answers
21 views

“trade” for “business deal; transaction” in North American vernacular

Harrap's New Shorter English-French Dictionary, Ed. 1982, states, trade [...] 2. (b) NAm (i) transaction (commerciale); (ii) clientèle f (d'une maison); carriage trade, grosse clientèle. ...
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1answer
51 views

“available (availability)” vs. “valid (validity)” for “having sufficient power or efficacy” in AmEng vernacular

Per Random House Webster's College Dictionary, Ed. 1991, available suitable or ready for use; of use or service; at hand: I used whatever tools were available. readily obtainable; ...
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2answers
15 views

Any better alternatives to “open doors to a new world/findings/horizons/etc. for sb”?

Results of experimental models show great dependency on site conditions and experiment method. Under these conditions, statistical and AI-based methods (artificial neural networks and fuzzy ...
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1answer
43 views

“Try to open the car” vs. “Try opening the car”

I have a few questions. Do the following structures sound natural to native speakers? Is there any difference in meaning between them? Try to open the car. Try opening the car. You ...
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1answer
26 views

Is “yet” and “ever” interchangeable in “the most pivotal contest yet / ever”

Today’s (February 7) Time magazine carries an article titled, ”Republicans ready for eighth debate,” which starts with the paragraph, “Republican presidential candidates will face off in New Hampshire ...
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1answer
19 views

What's the difference between “Thanks anyway” and “Thanks though”?

To me, they seem to have almost identicial meaning, but I believe there's a difference in usage. Could you please decribe the difference with specific examples?
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1answer
31 views

Synonyms for “untilted”

In a physical/technical context, I (being not a native speaker) am looking for an adjective that describes the absence of tilt and found “untilted”, which seems however not widely used. More ...
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31 views

amount or number [on hold]

For a number of year snow the term "amount" has ben substituted for "number". This grates on my ears. People can not be poured through a funnel as an "amount'. Does anyone else here feel this way too? ...
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1answer
39 views

rephrase vs paraphrase vs restate vs reword: usage nuances

I was wondering how the above terms differed in usage, and hope someone can enlighten me by using them in sentences that highlight their nuances. Here is my current understanding: Rephrase - to ...
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1answer
56 views

a or the before “better” [on hold]

I am bit confused on what to put - 'a' or 'the' before "better" for example better life better job better work
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4answers
215 views

“[a/the] equivalent of” vs. “[a/the] equivalent for” vs. “[a/the] equivalent to”

Which of the following constructs sound more idiomatic to you? Is there any British/American equivalent to the French phrase "broyer du noir"? Is there any British/American equivalent for the ...
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2answers
87 views

must vs have to: British usage and academic rules

I am teaching 'have to' vs 'must' (British English usage) and, according to the book, the difference is as follows: must: it's necessary to do it (because the speaker says so) have to: it's ...
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4answers
117 views

Collective “linens” vs. “linen” in AmEng vernacular

What's the difference in using the uncountable noun linen either in the plural or in the singular to refer to articles or garments, such as sheets, tablecloths, or underwear? How did originally ...
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3answers
86 views

“crash” vs. “wreck” for [road/air] accident in AmEng

What's the difference between those terms in relation to a road or air accident? crash verb (Aeronautics) to cause (an aircraft) to hit land or water violently resulting in severe damage ...
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2answers
187 views

How to refer to something “demanding” which doesn't happen all of a sudden?

Looking for a verb to express something that requires some time and effort to evolve, like collecting. I want to express that collecting requires some time and the collection doesn't just come out ...
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0answers
31 views

How do you tell the difference between “wrong” and “run” in perception test?

Background Just developing a linguistic test - native English speakers can pass(100% correct), and L2 learners cannnot pass(even though they are very proficient). "Wrong vs run" pair was chosen. ...
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5answers
300 views
+500

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; ...
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0answers
31 views

Difference: 'leave somebody wondering' vs. 'make somebody wonder'? [migrated]

Is there a difference between (a) 'leave somebody wondering' and (b) 'make somebody wonder'? If so, what difference? Is there some difference in aspect? For example, does 'leave somebody wondering' ...
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2answers
54 views

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

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 ...
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2answers
172 views

Would an “affector” be appropriate for an event driver?

I'm trying to come up with a better word to describe a "driver" or "conditional"; basically, the name of an object or event which is a trigger for something else. Would it be appropriate to say that ...
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1answer
43 views

What about 'short detail?'

If you want to give various bits of information (say variables like age, nationality, occupation, and so forth), would it be correct to use the phrase 'in short detail?' This is the sentence I have ...
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2answers
66 views

What is the difference between “irreligious” and “non-religious”?

Irreligious (Dictionary.com 1st definition) not religious; not practicing a religion and feeling no religious impulses or emotions. Non-religious (Google definition) not relating to or ...
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1answer
88 views

word for “owners/operators of a pastry shop” and “patissier's wife”

What would native speakers call a couple who runs a pastry shop? In France, the one in the pair that makes the pastries would obviously be called pâtissier if a man, and pâtissière if a woman, but so ...
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2answers
28 views

“Thousands-Dollar” or “Thousand-Dollar”? [duplicate]

If a prize is worth thousands of dollars, is it called a thousands-dollar prize or a thousand-dollar prize
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5answers
58 views

Is it proper to say, “This is my Uncle Archie's current wife.”

He is on his 4th wife. Is it proper to say, "This is my Uncle Archie's current wife."
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1answer
26 views

How do I understand when to use the phrase 'mad props'?

In Legally Blond the musical they use the phrase: MARGOT: Dear Elle, He's a lucky guy. I'm like gonna cry, I got tears coming out of my nose! Mad Props! He's the campus catch, You're a ...
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2answers
56 views

Usage of Beautiful

I have been taught in English language classes that using "Beautiful" for a girl, represent your rudeness? for example you should not say "what a beautiful girl". Is it correct?
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41 views

English language [closed]

My sister and I are in the process of started a business. She wants the title, CEO and I have the title President and COO. Because I am doing the majority of the work, (because I am retired and she is ...
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2answers
102 views

“[ball]park” in AmEng vernacular

Are the terms ballpark and park specific to baseball in AmEng, or can they also be used for every which athletic stadium in which ball games like soccer or rugby are played? For example, would a ...
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2answers
604 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 ...
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3answers
72 views

“road” vs. “pavement” vs. “roadway” for French “chaussée” [road surface] in AmEng vernacular

What's the difference between those terms? Can they be used just about interchangeably? road: a long, narrow stretch with a leveled or paved surface, made for traveling by motor vehicle, carriage, ...
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1answer
138 views

Various meanings of “mind and do” which can mean “be cautious/careful to do”, “take notice/give heed and do”, and “behave obediently and do”

How would you define the meaning of "mind and do" in the following examples: I will mind and do as I am told, Master Yoda... Mind and do your work properly... As long as you mind and ...
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3answers
1k views

“Bakeshop” vs. “bake shop” vs. “bakery” vs. “bakery shop” vs. “bakehouse” for a baker's shop, and “bakeries” for “baked goods” in AmE

Are all four terms in current use in AmE today to refer to a bakery's shop where bread and other baked stuff like cakes and pastries are sold? As far as I know, "bakeshop", "bakehouse", and "bakery" ...
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2answers
113 views

Exaggeration of … into

I'm studying for the GRE and came across the following question: "Recent years have witnessed the posthumous inflation of the role of the hobbyist Alice Austen into that of a pioneering ...
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3answers
203 views

“To tame” for “to cultivate [vegetables, a land, etc.]” and “to domesticate (or farm) [poultry, fish, etc.]” in AmE

The Harrap's New Shorter French and English dictionary Ed. 1985, defines both verbal and adjectival "tame" as Americanisms for respectively "to cultivate" and "cultivated", as of a plant or a land ...
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2answers
692 views

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

My bilingual dictionary marks "snub out” as an Americanism for “stub out” as in, “He snubbed out his cigarette.” Is this phrasal verb common enough in present-day spoken AmEng that it can be used ...
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0answers
14 views

Order of words to be used in a sentence [migrated]

I apologize in advance but I cannot clearly describe the Title to this question. For the sentence, 'It was wrong earlier.' and 'It was earlier wrong', what is the correct usage?
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1answer
23 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 ...
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1answer
35 views

Can be no less than or cannot be no less than [closed]

Which is correct, A or B ? A)I can be no less than genuine or B) I cannot be no less than genuine
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1answer
46 views

“tab” for “hotel bill” in AmEng

In AmEng vernacular, is the word tab specific to restaurant and bar checks, or can it also be used for hotel bills? E.g. Guest: We'll be checking out early tomorrow morning, so if it isn't too ...
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2answers
28 views

What's the meaning of “is there any other way to see it?”

A: Are you saying accepting your help obligates me? B: ls there any other way to see it? A: No. I found this line from the movie, As Good As It Gets, and I'm curious about this phrase ...
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0answers
38 views

Including or omitting the 'to be' verb in a compound subject [migrated]

With regard to including or omitting 'am', which sentence is correct, and why? I humbly acknowledge and thankful to you. or I humbly acknowledge and am thankful to you. If correct usage ...
3
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1answer
75 views

“Connected by” vs “Connected with” vs “Connected to”

I want to know the difference and when to use which construction. For instance: The island and the city are connected with a bridge or The island and the city are connected by a bridge ? ...
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557 views

“jam,” “jelly,” and “jello” in AmEng vernacular

What exactly is the fruit preserve called "jam" in the U.S.? Is it what is referred to in France as "confiture"? If so, then what would be the French for, what is called "jelly" in the U.S. ("jam" ...
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0answers
21 views

“talk of conditions”VS“make a bargain”

I was wondering the difference between "talk of conditions" and "make a bargain"in the following sentences, would you like to help me?Thank you in advance! 1.I know you marry him just for his money ...
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2answers
213 views

“The government 'is' always changing 'their' mind” in AmEng

Why would using the construct "is/their" instead of "is/its" in the following examples likely be frowned upon by some native speakers and marked as incorrect on tests? The class is working on its ...
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0answers
35 views

“OF” between the subject and the verb “seem”?

When reading "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz," I came across the sentences as following: "'They of seem so helpless and frail. But there are none in the forest so bright as these.'" What is this "of" ...
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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 ...