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

learn more… | top users | synonyms (1)

6
votes
6answers
14k 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
674 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
3k 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
4answers
1k 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
175 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
269 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
3answers
409 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
751 views

“I know where you work at” vs. “I know where you work”

Which one is correct? I don't need to know where you work at. I don't need to know where you work. Could you also please tell me about this rule is called in grammar so I can learn more ...
1
vote
2answers
2k views

How to write out dates correctly

I have a document dated 05/05/2012. What should I say? Based on the document from 05 May. Based on the document from 5th May. Based on the document from 05 of May.
1
vote
1answer
24k views

“To have a dinner” vs “to have dinner”: which one is correct?

Does one need to use the article in this case?
1
vote
5answers
5k views

“Put it into the refrigerator” or “Put it in the refrigerator”? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: When should “into” be used rather than “in to,” and vice versa? I am sorry if the question is silly, but I think I heard both options spoken by ...
-1
votes
1answer
858 views

“I”, “me” and “myself” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: “My friends and I” vs. “My friends and me” vs. “Me and my friends” Can “myself” stand for both “me” and “I” in “my mother and I/me”? ...
-2
votes
3answers
486 views

Fire (at, on, in, to) target

How to correctly choose the preposition in "fire (at, on, in, to) target"?
52
votes
11answers
15k views

What is the difference between “it's up to you” and “it's down to you”?

I see both "It's up to you" and "It's down to you" in conversations. So what's the difference?
29
votes
5answers
10k views

What are the differences between “assume”, “presume” and “suppose”

I believe that "assume", "presume", "suppose" are similar in meaning of to take some facts as a truth without proof. But it seems to me that "presume" is more formal, "assume" is less formal and ...
17
votes
6answers
74k views

“Call me through/at/on this number”

What is the difference between the following when referring to telephone calls? Please call me on this number. You can reach me on this number. Please call me at this number. You can reach ...
40
votes
7answers
4k views

Is there a difference between “disc” and “disk” for naming digital storage media?

I thought that a disc was a disc, and it is sometimes spelled disk. I now have got an indication that those two are not the same thing. In this answer on Graphic DesignBeta, I wrote floppy disc in ...
38
votes
8answers
6k views

Can I “wear an umbrella”?

Does it make sense to say the following? Yesterday I wore an umbrella and a coat.
22
votes
8answers
54k views

What's the difference in meaning between “emigrate” and “immigrate”?

What's the difference between emigrate and immigrate? They seem to have the same definitions in the dictionary but they are antonyms...  
25
votes
11answers
2k views

What word defines a category suited for both header and footer?

So there I was, trying to ask a question (now on SO) on Webmaster.SE partly involving a 'header' and a 'footer'. One part of my code defines shared aspects of both the header and the footer. Anyway ...
22
votes
6answers
44k views

How should I ask for a bill in a restaurant politely?

I used to say check please, but my English teacher said that it's wrong, and the proper way is to say something like bill please. What's the truth?
17
votes
3answers
8k views

Is “since” a synonym of “because”? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: When are “because”, “since”,“for” and “as” interchangeable? A few years ago, I was told that "since" should only be used ...
14
votes
5answers
9k views

Difference between “computation” and “calculation”

If the words computation and calculation are not perfect synonyms what is the difference between them? Which one describes more accurately what is done by a person computing or calculating something ...
13
votes
3answers
2k views

“whether” vs. “if ” [duplicate]

How can I know when should I use whether or if in a sentence? I can not see any difference between whether and if. When should I use each? For me, they are the same and I am not sure if there is a ...
9
votes
6answers
48k views

When should I use “a discussion of” vs. “a discussion on” vs. “a discussion about”?

“A discussion of”, “a discussion on”, and “a discussion about”: When is each phrase used in preference to the other? If context is important, I want to use it as a subheading on a piece of ...
4
votes
4answers
14k views

“I have no …” vs. “I don't have …”

I have no house. I don't have a house. What's the difference between the phrases like the ones above?
34
votes
4answers
61k views

Which is correct, “buck naked” or “butt naked”?

"Butt naked" or "buck naked" both refer to completely naked, or do they? Where the phrase comes from I have no idea but that would be of interest. This is a phrase I am too afraid to google and ...
14
votes
8answers
4k views

Is there any subtle difference between “to study” and “to learn”?

I don't know how to phrase my question better, but I just want to know if there will be any little difference if I directly replace one with the other.
12
votes
4answers
24k views

“How about” vs. “What about”

Is there a difference between starting a question with "How about" and "What about"? Can we use both expressions interchangeably?
10
votes
4answers
11k views

Which is correct: “home in” or “hone in”?

I've heard people say "Home in on something", but I've also heard others say "Hone in on something". Which is the correct expression, and what is the etymology of these?
10
votes
5answers
636 views

What does the door do?

We would like to enlist your help in arbitrating this grammatical dilemma. Given the question: What does the door do? Which of the following options is most correct as a response to the ...
8
votes
4answers
10k views

“He has yet to” vs. “he is yet to”

He has yet to receive an appointment. He is yet to receive an appointment. Is there any difference in meaning? Is one more correct than the other?
8
votes
5answers
14k views

What is the difference between “begin” and “start”?

The children are eager to start the novel. or The children are eager to begin the novel.
22
votes
9answers
6k views

Do the words “jail” and “prison” refer to different things?

In everyday speech, the terms jail and prison are used interchangeably in many situations. However, my understanding is that, at least in the US, they actually refer to slightly different things. For ...
21
votes
5answers
5k views

Are there any words I can use to disambiguate “biweekly”?

We have two words for events occurring in periods of years - biannual meaning twice a year, and biennial meaning once every two years. However, my colleagues talk about having meetings biweekly. This ...
20
votes
3answers
19k views

“Maximum” vs. “maximal”

What is the difference in usage between maximum and maximal? When would you use one or the other? Maximum can be a noun or an adjective: This is the maximum it can be set to. This is the ...
18
votes
7answers
2k views

Is “penultimate” commonly used? [closed]

Is penultimate commonly used in English, or are its variations (such as second to last) more common? I need to use it in conjunction with the expressions First Payment Date and Last Payment Date to ...
15
votes
5answers
908 views

What Is the Real Name of the #?

I used to say "sharp sign" to refer to the # sign. Today a friend told me that the correct term is number sign or hash sign or even just hash. What is the difference between these options and ...
15
votes
3answers
7k views

“Todo list” or “to-do list”

I always thought it was a todo list, and quite a few places online refer to it as todo, but various spell checkers are telling me it should be to-do. The only meaning I could find was ...
14
votes
6answers
6k views

What is the correct form of address for a police officer?

How should one address a police officer in English speaking countries? More specifically, in a non-emergency situation—asking directions for example—what is the expected form of address used to call a ...
14
votes
3answers
11k views

“Sick” or “ill”?

If I'm not healthy, am I sick or am I ill? Are these interchangeable, or do they merely overlap?
13
votes
2answers
71k views

Should I use “everyone's”, “everyones'” or “everyones”?

I have the following sentence: Joe got everyone's attention and started to speak. Should it be everyone's, everyones' or everyones?
12
votes
2answers
6k views

Fine semantic differences between “thus” and “therefore”

I have seen a few Q&A's with this title but none really reflects my question. I am aware both are adverbs and so forth and how they syntactically can be used equivalently, but what about ...
10
votes
1answer
731 views

Is there a rule in preposition-using?

Like the title, I randomly checked my son's textbook one day and found out some interesting things, like: "I'm on a bus," "I'm in a car," "I'm on a scooter," "I'm on a skateboard," "I'm on a bike," ...
10
votes
8answers
24k views

What is a respectful way to refer to a person who has died?

What is a respectful way to refer to a person who has died? Is it OK to call that person "rest in peace"? The rest in peace guy was a very generous man.
9
votes
3answers
2k views

Which is grammatically correct: “Let he who…” or “Let him who…”

Let he who believes in this prophet speak now what he knows. Let him who believes in this prophet speak now what he knows.
9
votes
10answers
15k views

What is a word for a man who has a lot of sexual relationships?

What do you call a man who loves and tries to have many sexual relationships with girls and usually doesn't fall in love with any of them? To clear what I'm looking for, Suppose a guy at ...
9
votes
2answers
14k views

What's the difference between 'cutlery', 'silverware' and 'crockery'?

What's the difference between 'cutlery', 'silverware' and 'crockery'? Are there any differences between them?
8
votes
3answers
8k views

Should I say “Your order is now complete” or “Your order is now completed”?

When a user finishes an order on my website, what's the correct way? Your order is now complete. Your order is now completed.
7
votes
6answers
5k views

Is there a specific word for describing a person who gets lost easily?

When we travel around, some people get lost much more easily than others, since they cannot remember directions correctly. Is there any specific word for these kind of people?