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

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3
votes
1answer
13k views

Difference between “picture” and “photo”

When should I use one or the other?
2
votes
2answers
267 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"
1
vote
2answers
725 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
votes
1answer
636 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”? ...
-1
votes
2answers
865 views

Correct usage of “which”/“that” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: When is it appropriate to use 'that' as opposed to 'which'? From what I understand the second sentence is correct, and the first is not. What are the ...
-2
votes
3answers
428 views

Fire (at, on, in, to) target

How to correctly choose the preposition in "fire (at, on, in, to) target"?
52
votes
11answers
14k 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?
28
votes
5answers
9k 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
67k 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 ...
8
votes
5answers
17k views

Expressing an opinion: to me or for me?

Which one should be used? To me, it makes no difference, but I'm not really sure why. vs For me, it makes no difference, but I'm not really sure why.
40
votes
7answers
3k 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
5k 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
46k 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...  
24
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 ...
15
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 ...
13
votes
5answers
8k 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 ...
8
votes
6answers
46k 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
12k 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
52k 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 ...
15
votes
4answers
11k views

“Relation” versus “relationship”

What is the difference between relation and relationship? Some say that relationship often refers to social connections. For instance, She has a close relationship with her daughter. How ...
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.
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 ...
10
votes
4answers
10k 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
624 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 ...
10
votes
4answers
19k 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?
8
votes
4answers
8k 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?
22
votes
9answers
5k 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 ...
20
votes
5answers
4k 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
17k 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 ...
17
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 ...
14
votes
5answers
810 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 ...
14
votes
6answers
5k 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
9k views

“Sick” or “ill”?

If I'm not healthy, am I sick or am I ill? Are these interchangeable, or do they merely overlap?
12
votes
2answers
61k 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?
11
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
706 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
22k 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
10answers
13k 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 ...
8
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.
8
votes
3answers
7k 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
4k 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?
6
votes
3answers
3k views

Word for “reading carefully”

Sometimes we read books rather quickly and don't give them much (or any) thought, so the action 'reading' does not necessarily imply that we have given enough thoughts to any book we read. Is there ...
6
votes
2answers
38k views

“Congratulation” vs. “congratulations”

Congratulation vs. congratulations — which one to use? How/when?
5
votes
1answer
14k views

“Answer to the question” vs. “answer for the question” vs. “answer of the question”

The answer to the question. The answer for the question. The answer of the question. Which is grammatical? What are the differences? And what is the preferred usage?
5
votes
2answers
9k views

“Can” vs. “could” in asking a question [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: When do I use “can” or “could”? I am a little bit confused about asking a question: Can you please tell me my next work? or Could you please tell me my next ...
4
votes
4answers
4k views

What's the difference between 'allow' and 'allow for'?

To be precise, I know that allow means to permit, and allow for is more like to make something possible, to enable, to make a provision for, but I'm still in doubt when I have to decide whether to use ...
3
votes
2answers
6k views

“Because of” vs. “due to” — best choice to explain a reason? [duplicate]

Given the sentence, This exception was thrown __ invalid input. Which preposition should I use to fill in the blank — because of or due to? Is either generally preferable for specifying cause ...
17
votes
1answer
11k views

Ones or one's: Which is the correct usage?

I've been confused about this as long as I can remember. Should it be: One should do ones duty. or One should do one's duty. I'm guessing it should be the latter. But that doesn't sit well ...
16
votes
4answers
27k views

“Can hardly wait” versus “can't hardly wait”

This has been bothering me for a while and I'm finally at a forum where I feel like I might get an answer. I have heard people say "I can hardly wait for summer to get here" and I've also heard "I ...