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

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6
votes
3answers
226 views

Hypernym for “audiobook”, “podcast”, “speech”, etc.?

I am looking for a short and concise term (preferably one word) that can be used as a hypernym for essentially everything that contains (audio) speech (e.g. audiobooks, podcasts, recorded news ...
6
votes
6answers
7k views

Translation for Dutch “tot en met”: until and including?

In Dutch language we use the expression "tot en met" to signify a quantity between two measures including the last measure. So, for instance, the following: woensdag 22 juni tot en met vrijdag 24 ...
5
votes
5answers
2k views

A word with a wide range of meanings

Is there a better alternative to ambiguous for a word with a wide range of meanings, difficult to find, because they become different in connection with person's opinion.
5
votes
1answer
187 views

“Got it at” or “Got it in?”

If someone asked you where you bought something, you could say, I got it at Walmart. but what if instead of referring to a store you were referring to a city? Would you say, I got it at ...
5
votes
6answers
11k views

When to use “Elven”, “Elvish” and “Elfic”?

Well, these are three adjectives for "something from the elves". But I'm spanish and in my language there's only one adjective for these (élfico), and I can't understand what's the difference.
3
votes
3answers
266 views

“become a President” or “become President”

If he had not been a film star, he would not have become President. In my opinion, "a President" is correct. Examples: "My dream is to be a teacher" "My dream is to be a President" ...
3
votes
4answers
1k views

“Which” or “what”

Much of (what/which) scientists know about dinosaurs has been recently discovered. The phenomenon of (what/which) are known as corporate networks has also attracted attention. And yes, the ...
3
votes
2answers
1k views

“Does not make changes” or “makes no changes”

I was thinking of using this sentence on my computer program: This action does not make changes on user's machine. Just to be sure, I checked Google Translate which suggested: This action ...
2
votes
5answers
3k views

“Available jobs to/for them”

First of all, English is not my first language. I have a question, maybe a basic one, about this phrase: The situation highlights the mismatch between some areas of training and available jobs ...
2
votes
2answers
10k views

'Did see' and 'Saw'

The blog post here uses the title “Isn’t this just the cutest thing you ever did see?” I am sure this is correct, but my question is, but what difference it would have made had he used the ...
2
votes
6answers
4k views

“Checked into the database” versus “checked in to the database” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: When should “into” be used rather than “in to,” and vice versa? I was recently submitting ("checking in") some data to a database and composed an ...
1
vote
2answers
3k views

“Could not have been” vs. “must not have been”

What's the difference between "could not have been" and "must not have been"? For example, That could not have been an easy task. That must not have been an easy task. I've seen both ...
0
votes
2answers
475 views

What's a word to describe someone who thinks quick?

A word to describe someone's personality trait that think quick. For example he gets lost in the woods then comes up with a solution on the fly to find his way back home.
0
votes
3answers
22k views

A word or phrase for “someone who learns from their mistakes” [closed]

What would be a word or short phrase for "someone who learns from their mistakes"? I thought of insightful, but am not satisfied with it.
0
votes
2answers
495 views

“Lives” vs. “life” in “the life of those living on the farm”

James is giving a tour of his farm to some of his friends. Which sentence is correct: James introduces some of the animals on the farm: "This is Elmer, the pig... That's Mini, the mouse, and that ...
0
votes
3answers
20k views

“I understand you” vs “I do understand you” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What is the difference in meaning between “I play” and “I do play”? What is the difference between "I understand you" and "I do understand you", ...
0
votes
0answers
181 views

A becomes an before a word beginning with a vowel, does this apply to u? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Use of “a” versus “an” Is it “a uniform” or “an uniform” In spoken English we do say: He is an unhappy person But I ...
-1
votes
1answer
4k 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”? ...
232
votes
37answers
89k views

Is there a non-sexual phrase for sleeping with someone?

The phrase "sleeping with someone" often means "having sex." What is the origin of this sexual connotation? Is there a non-sexual equivalent of this phrase to express sleeping with someone without ...
27
votes
1answer
67k views

Which is correct: “feedback is welcome” or “feedback is welcomed”?

I am used to write feedback is welcome. Is that correct, or should I write feedback is welcomed? Why?
23
votes
13answers
20k views

What is a word for a person who throws a “fake smile”?

Most people, especially receptionists and air hostesses have the ability to smile in a fake way. Being professional, their smile isn't real. Inside they cry and die a thousand dead of tensions but ...
51
votes
10answers
36k views

You quench your thirst. What do you do with your hunger?

What is the equivalent of "quench" when speaking of hunger? Is it appropriate to say you quenched your hunger?
30
votes
12answers
4k views

Is there a word that describes a statement whose negative is senseless or would otherwise never be used?

Consider the statement "I like to have fun" or "I like to spend time with my friends". These border on tautologies though I don't think they would be considered as such by most. Although these ...
19
votes
4answers
66k 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?
14
votes
5answers
31k views

“Know about” vs. “know of”

Recently one of my friends told me that there is distinct difference between 'know of something' and 'know about something' expressions. 'know of' is used when you have personal experience with what ...
13
votes
3answers
4k 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
5answers
22k views

In what case you would say “I am seeing” instead of “I see”?

In what case you would say "I am seeing" instead of "I see"?
23
votes
9answers
9k views

How do you politely ask for someone's gender? [closed]

If you, for example, have to add a person to an application whilst that person is on the phone, how do you politely ask for that person's gender if the voice and/or name has not proven decisive? To ...
18
votes
4answers
16k views

Difference between “spicy” and “hot”

I make a distinction between "hot" and "spicy" food ("hot" not referring to temperature). I consider "hot" food the kind that "burns" and "spicy" food that has lots of flavor, but that may or may not ...
17
votes
3answers
104k views

“Congratulate for” vs. “congratulate on”

Which is correct? I congratulated him for coming first in the race. I congratulated him on coming first in the race.
17
votes
9answers
27k views

Do native English speakers use the word “touristic”?

A word usage that always annoys me and feels like Euroenglish to me is "touristic". I don't believe I've ever seen it printed or heard it used by a native English speaker and I've travelled in most ...
12
votes
3answers
1k views

“Can I help who's next?”

This seems to happen every time I go to my local bagel shop. Everyone is waiting in a line, and when the cashier is ready to help the next person, he/she asks, "Can I help who's next?" or "May I help ...
11
votes
4answers
27k 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?
10
votes
3answers
20k 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, ...
30
votes
6answers
5k views

A word that says a person is both female and your friend

It's often confusing for me to talk about my friends, especially my female friends. This is because in Dutch there are words for both male ("vriend") and female ("vriendin") friends. In English ...
18
votes
11answers
102k views

“The point is moot”

I was recently called out for using the phrase "the point is moot" incorrectly. My intent was to indicate that I felt that the point wasn't really worth debating or discussing. I was then shown that ...
15
votes
2answers
10k views

How popular is ‘Contrafibularities’ as a day-to-day English word?

I found the phrase “My sincerest contrafibularities, Tim” given to one of the comments to my question about the word, 'Cromulent' in EL&U site. As I was totally unfamiliar with the word, ...
14
votes
4answers
19k 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?
12
votes
6answers
2k views

“Toward” or “towards” – what would a native speaker use?

In this question we learn that toward and towards are interchangeable, but that the former is somewhat more typical of U.S. English and the latter of British English, although there is some indication ...
9
votes
2answers
147k views

“Angry with” vs. “angry at” vs. “angry on”

Which is the most appropriate/correct usage? Are you angry on me? Are you angry with me? Are you angry at me?
21
votes
7answers
22k views

Difference between “the very first” and “first”

I have the sentence: Who wrote the very first dictionary ever? Is it any different from Who wrote the first dictionary ever? I don't get how something could be more first.
20
votes
9answers
5k views

Is there a good word for a square-rectangle relationship?

Any given square is always a rectangle, but a rectangle isn't necessarily a square, so squares and rectangles have a _ relationship. I've been noticing this sort of thing everywhere ever since I ...
13
votes
6answers
15k views

“peak” vs “summit”

According to the dictionary: peak — the pointed top of a mountain; a mountain with a pointed top summit — the highest point of something, especially the top of a mountain In the picture of the ...
13
votes
4answers
161k 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
2k views

What is the adjectival form of “nemesis”?

If I have a non-person object or idea that I consider to be my nemesis1, how could I refer to the object as a noun but use an embellishing adjective to emphasize that the object is my nemesis? For ...
9
votes
3answers
25k 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?
9
votes
5answers
6k views

“Irregardless” vs. “irrespective”

Why is irrespective considered a proper word but irregardless is not?
7
votes
7answers
11k views

Is there a word for one who enjoys to eat for the sake of eating (a food hedonist)?

Does such a word exist? I don't mean to excess (IE, a glutton), but rather one who eats because he enjoys eating. Essentially, I'm looking for a word that's synonymous with "a food hedonist", or "a ...
7
votes
7answers
83k views

Name for the relationship of wife’s sister’s husband

Is there a name for the relationship of my wife’s sister’s husband in English? Or in case of a lady, what is the relationship of her husband’s brother’s wife called? There are words for these ...
6
votes
4answers
63k 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 ...