This tag is for questions about choosing the best word FROM A GIVEN SELECTION for a particular context or meaning.

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9
votes
3answers
12k views

“Good bye”, “Bye”, “Bye bye”

I'm a non-native English speaker and sometimes it's hard for me to pick up the right word in some situations. Could you, please, explain when it's better to use "goodbye" for ending a conversation, ...
6
votes
2answers
2k views

Did she judge him “wrong” or “wrongly”?

Which one is the correct use? She judged him wrong. She judged him wrongly. Or, are both correct, but have slightly different meanings?
5
votes
3answers
2k views

“Not empty” set in one word? [closed]

Is there a single word which means "not empty"? That is, a word which one might use to describe a field with one or more cows in it, as opposed to an "empty" field with none? Full or even ...
4
votes
2answers
11k views

Correct usage of was/were on the object of a sentence [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: “Wasn't” vs “weren't” On a Tuesday morning, which of these sentences is the better way to express that I already want it to be Friday? ...
3
votes
2answers
10k views

What is the difference between seems like /seems that/seems?

Is there any difference between these expressions? It seems like they have not completed the task yet. It seems that they have not completed the task yet. It seems they haven't ...
3
votes
4answers
3k views

“Communicate over” vs. “communicate through”

Also schemas can communicate over database links to schemas in other remote databases. Could one replace the preposition over with through? Will it change the meaning, and if so, when should we ...
17
votes
4answers
3k views

Is there anything wrong with the word “denigrate”?

A few years ago there was a controversy over the word niggardly — a perfectly innocent word that unfortunately sounds like a racial slur. Given that controversy, is it safe to use denigrate, which ...
15
votes
4answers
73k views

“At” or “in” the office?

When do you use at the office? And when do you use in the office? What's the difference between the phrases?
11
votes
4answers
112k views

To gain insight into or on?

Should I write: To gain insight on this obstacle, she will begin to analyse . . . or To gain insight into this obstacle, she will begin to analyse . . . Google shows (much) more results ...
11
votes
5answers
46k views

Which is correct — “a year” or “an year”?

The word year when pronounced starts with a phonetic sound of e which is a vowel sound making it eligible for being preceded by an. Yet, we tend to write a year. Why?
9
votes
3answers
1k views

Is “get” (in the sense of “become/make”) appropriate for formal writing?

Is the use of "get + adjective/participle" appropriate for formal writing (for example, scientific papers)? I am thinking of usages analogous to get fat get inflated get sick where the meaning ...
8
votes
5answers
5k views

“Irregardless” vs. “irrespective”

Why is irrespective considered a proper word but irregardless is not?
7
votes
7answers
56k views

Word for “willing to try new and unfamiliar things”

Example: A: Hey, do you like to do bungee jumping? B: Um, OK. Haven't done it before, but let's try it. I'm not looking for adventurous or something similar. That word should also fit in ...
6
votes
4answers
20k views

When should we use “and” and/or “and/or”?

What's the difference between "and" and "and/or"? How do we decide whether to use one or the other? Note: Also it would be great if someone could explain how do we actually pronounce "and/or" ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

How acceptable is “fully fledged” as opposed to “full-fledged”?

As a native speaker of English, I had never heard the "fully" version until recently. Now I seem to hear it a lot, but only from non-native speakers. Are the two equally acceptable in semi-formal ...
4
votes
5answers
1k views

Why aren't there any common words for 'defecating' and 'urinating'?

Besides 'poo(p)ing' and 'peeing/weeing' used by and to children, besides 'shitting/crapping' and 'pissing' which are spoken, not polite, says the Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English, besides ...
4
votes
4answers
450 views

Usage of “to” in “I've got some slides to talk to”

In Lucy Kellaway’s 2012 Golden flannel Award, the Preposition Award is given to a usage of to. But the winner is the innocuous word “to” as increasingly heard in presentations: “I’ve got some ...
4
votes
4answers
39k views

“I have received” vs. “I received”

The option of using simple past vs. present perfect in situations like the following has been bothering me for quite some time. I sent you a letter a few days ago; I was wondering if you have ...
4
votes
2answers
6k views

The correct usage of “too” and “also”

I always have problems in deciding whether to use "too" or "also". For example, if the previous sentence is: Peter ate the cake. Which of the following should I say?: He ate the pie too. He ...
4
votes
4answers
680 views

What do you call the exploitation of ambiguous statements to form a logical argument?

If I were construct an argument containing the postulation Men commit more crimes than women. I would be guilty of a logical fallacy because this statement implies All men commit crimes. The ...
3
votes
1answer
479 views

What's the most preferred spelling of auto fill, auto-fill, and autofill?

When you are trying to say that something is automatically filled in, you use the word autofill, or if you were using past tense, autofilled. I see 3 main ways that people use it: auto fill / ...
3
votes
5answers
1k views

“Put it at the backseat” or “Put it onto the backseat”?

What preposition should I use in the expression "put ___ the backseat"? The sentence goes like this: I have a few items on my plans, item A is the least important one, so I will put it ___ the ...
2
votes
2answers
15k views

Expect +to VS expect + ing

I know that expect is used this way: I expect you to do that. But I have also seen examples like with verb in its "ing" form: > What to expect working at... > I will expect you doing ...
1
vote
2answers
2k views

Usage of “will” and “would”

Which one is correct? What would I do without you. What will I do without you. You would always be my favorite travel buddy. You will always be my favorite travel buddy.
1
vote
2answers
4k views

Should I use 'that' 'which' or 'who' in this sentence?

Boys don't play with dolls that they know for a long time, unless they see another boys playing with them. Well it means that boys sometimes boys are not interested in a ...
-1
votes
3answers
163 views

Where my employers/professionals at?

I want to use something like this in a cartoon, animated banner advertisement: Where my employers at? or Where my entrepreneurs at? Are there connotations of the phrase I should consider, ...
16
votes
7answers
20k views

What's the difference between “big” and “large”?

What's the proper way to say: a large family or a big family? What's the difference between them?
9
votes
7answers
36k views

Does one “drive” a motorcycle or “ride” it?

When you are the one steering the motorbike/motorcycle, are you driving the motorcycle, or riding the motorcycle? I am asking because someone tried to correct my status update. Here's my status and ...
9
votes
3answers
2k views

“home to” or “home for”?

Which of the following is correct? Himalaya is home to diverse flora. Himalaya is home for diverse flora. Or is there a better third possibility?
8
votes
3answers
3k views

Referring to adult-age sons and daughters as children

Is it normal to refer to adult-age sons and daughters of someone as children? A native speaker of Arabic learning English has said that in Arabic, the word for sons and daughters is "أولاد" (awlaad) ...
8
votes
6answers
31k views

'Expired' or 'Passed away'?

When someone dies, do we say they expired or passed away? Does the word expired give any more respect when used? Or less respect than passed away?
8
votes
3answers
3k views

“So long as” vs. “as long as”

Which phrase is more formal — "so long as" or "as long as"? Example: So long as Google Voice allows free long distance in North America, I will use it. As long as Google Voice allows free ...
7
votes
6answers
2k views

“all that” vs. “all what”

I’ve heard somebody say: All what is needed is … I thought the correct way to phrase it was: All that is needed is … However, thinking about it more, the former doesn’t sound too ...
7
votes
7answers
37k views

“based in” vs “based out of ”

I have seen people use both forms below. Which is correct? If both are, in which situation is each better used? I am a software engineer based in New York. I am a software engineer based out ...
6
votes
4answers
2k views

Is “autodidact” too obscure to use in a résumé?

I'm updating my résumé and I'm trying to describe myself as "someone who learns on his own", though more briefly. I think the word "autodidact" fits but an informal survey around the workplace showed ...
6
votes
8answers
1k views

What would you call a person who is not a student, but takes interest in exploring academic topics?

A person who is not formally enrolled as a student, researcher or faculty in some university or college but who takes interest in exploring academic topics/stuff. For e.g. Such a person could be ...
6
votes
6answers
18k views

“Told” vs. “said to” somebody

I told him that you hate him I said to him that you hate him I was choosing between these two options, and I can't help thinking about the subtle differences. For example, "I told him ...
6
votes
3answers
836 views

Determining which good sentiment to wish at each holiday

Is there any rhyme or reason to how we wish people sentiments for various holidays. For example: "Merry Christmas", "Happy New Year", "Happy Birthday" are all acceptable sentiments but if we ...
5
votes
1answer
11k views

“Awoken” vs. “awaked”

I understand that the verb awake has two different past participle forms, awoken and awaked. Checking Google Ngram I saw that the former has become more popular than the latter in the last century. I ...
5
votes
5answers
34k views

Should I write “any question” or “any questions”?

Are they both correct? Should there be singular or plural that right after "any"? If they are both correct, what's the difference? Here, I quote some sentences from the Internet and I wonder if the ...
4
votes
5answers
2k views

“Comic” vs. “comical”

I am confused between these words. Dictionaries say they are similar, but I vaguely remember my schoolteacher apprising me of a difference between them. I would love if someone could elucidate.
4
votes
3answers
1k views

“End with” vs. “end in”

I'm writing up some documentation, and I'm unsure which phrase to use: Option X: Find all strings ending with foo. or Option X: Find all strings ending in foo. Are both correct? (Google ...
4
votes
0answers
313 views

“Now I am become death, the destroyer of worlds” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: “Is become” vs “has become” This is a famous quote from J. Robert Oppenheimer after the successful detonation of the first nuclear weapon. The ...
3
votes
1answer
4k views

Is “tri-quarterly” a real English word meaning 3 times a year?

Is "tri-quarterly" a real English word meaning 3 times a year? Are there any other words that mean 3 times a year?
3
votes
3answers
694 views

Correct usage of “see” vs. “watch”

I have seen them grow up. I have watched them grow up. Though the intended meaning is conveyed in both sentences, I want to know which in this case is a better fit, see or watch.
3
votes
4answers
2k views

Is “between A to B” considered good grammar?

I looked at "Between A and B vs from A to B", but it didn't mention a third variation I've been hearing more often, recently. Even on the Australian national broadcaster, the ABC, I've heard ...
3
votes
3answers
527 views

Word referencing time of creation

I've been wondering if there is a word to express that something was current at the time of its creation. It (in bold) should plug-in into a sentence similar to: The results are based on an ...
2
votes
2answers
231 views

Headline Language

Is there a particular term for the abbreviated language used in headlines (removed of at least articles and conjunctions)?
2
votes
2answers
291 views

Should I use “in” or “on”?

Which is the correct form in this sentence: "in" or "on"? "I'm sending you the requested permission for using my photographs in/on your project"
2
votes
1answer
6k views

“It was from that moment where” vs. “it was from that moment when”

Now that I think about it, it was from that moment where I started to have doubts about him. Would it be better to use the word "when" instead of "where," or are they both equally valid word ...