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

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

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 [adj. ...
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0answers
13 views

Which verb form to use after "had better do that it

what is the right verb form for "had better" sentences? for example: she had better remember that she has to leave the city soon OR she had better remember that she have to leave the city soon ...
35
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6answers
5k views

“To science the sh** out of something”

In The Martian movie, Matt Damon (Watney), when left stranded on Mars with very limited resources to survive, says: Mark Watney: In the face of overwhelming odds, I'm left with only one option, ...
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4answers
4k views

Difference between control and manage?

They seem to function the same. Manage is even "control in action or use" according to http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/manage. Control is a verb so isn't that in action as well? Thus, is it the ...
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1answer
28 views

A and B University

Since "A University and B University" is rather long, which of the following might be true and why? The research job was at A and B University, The research job was at A and B Universities, The ...
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1answer
23 views

postpone to/till

I have a question about the "postpone" verb. If I want to say that it's impossible to hold a meeting today, and we need to wait till Friday (for example), what is an appropriate preposition in this ...
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1answer
28 views

Limit v/s limitation

I suffer from over reading. Have I again? I was looking for a new contract when I arrived at Octapace Consulting. Here is a quote that anchors that page. It reads: “When you compete with a ...
3
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3answers
92 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
31 views

What was the usage of EModE’s four-form system for answering yes–no questions?

It is well-known that Early Modern English, if not earlier forms of English too, had a four-form system for answering yes–no questions. ‘Yea’ and ‘nay’ answered questions phrased positively (analogous ...
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0answers
44 views

“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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0answers
32 views

Is this a proper usage of the word “disheveled”? [on hold]

"in a disheveled manner" Does this make sense? Is it common?
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3answers
179 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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0answers
30 views

Whether words like thou, thee, etc. from old English can be used by a poet or a fiction writer? [on hold]

Whether words like thou, thee, etc. from old English can be used by a poet or a fiction writer to add a suitable color to the spiritual or romantic conversation. I write poetry in English. Although ...
2
votes
1answer
310 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
49 views

Deadlines as instants or periods with various verbs and tenses

I was wondering whether a deadline is more of an instant or more of a period. It seems to have some of both aspects, but with more of an emphasis on the instant. I thought that this should be ...
5
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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 ...
3
votes
1answer
56 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
19 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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0answers
45 views

“Try to open the car” vs. “Try opening the car” [migrated]

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
30 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
22 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?
3
votes
1answer
32 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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0answers
32 views

amount or number [closed]

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
41 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
57 views

a or the before “better” [closed]

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
217 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
91 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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votes
4answers
120 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
87 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
188 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
33 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. ...
3
votes
5answers
325 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; ...
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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' ...
0
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2answers
55 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
174 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
44 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 ...
5
votes
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 ...
2
votes
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
60 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."
0
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1answer
28 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 ...
0
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2answers
56 views

Usage of Beautiful [on hold]

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?
3
votes
2answers
104 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
653 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
3answers
73 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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votes
1answer
139 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
115 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
699 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 ...
0
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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?