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

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Calling on him, she found that he was studying at his desk

As I was deceived so often, I am now on my guard. → (Having been) deceived so often, I am now on my guard. Q1 : In the above sentence, I think inserting "Having been" is better. Am I right? When ...
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4answers
34 views

What does 'a couple of' mean?

A 'couple' is two of something, typically two people or a matching set of things. But it seems like there is ambiguity over what 'a couple of' means. Dictionaries often claim that, 'a couple of' ...
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2answers
47 views

Am I using the word 'leverage' correctly ?

The sentence is, "I want to leverage my understanding of topic A with the knowledge of topic B to prepare myself well for a particular career". I want to convey that I already know topic A and ...
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37 views

Get somewhere and sit down now, before I knock the black off you

On the HBCU Sports's forum under the topic "Sayings that Old Folks Say" one African American wrote "Get somewhere and sit down now, before I knock the black off you". A brief googling revealed that "...
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1answer
22 views

Is it proper to say “at lesser cost”?

Would it proper to use "at lesser cost" in the following phrase: Get better outcome at lesser cost
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22 views

Is “R&D sector” a right term? [on hold]

I want to join R&D sector in XYZ industry. Does this sentence sound right ? Is there a better way of saying it ?
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1answer
23 views

Is “In the both cases” correct?

I have personally never heard (or seen): in both cases being referred to by: in the both cases before; therefore, my first instinct was that it is an obvious mistake. However, looking up "in ...
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0answers
33 views

What's wrong with the my statement?

I have received feedback on the following statement that questions its grammar and meaning. I have no idea why. Could you please help? "As discussed in the sequel of responding to their general ...
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2answers
86 views

Usage of the idiom ‘Crossing the Rubicon’

Wikipedia gives the following information on the search “Crossing the Rubicon” Julius Caesar's crossing the Rubicon river was an event in 49 BC that precipitated the Roman Civil War, which ...
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1answer
32 views

Is the position of “everyone” in “time wears everyone down” correct?

I'm trying to write a quote that conveys that time wears down everyone (in that it spares none). In order to emphasise 'everyone' it seems it should come before 'down' (Ex. You let everyone down). ...
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1answer
41 views

How to ask what is your number in the siblings or to your parents.? [duplicate]

How to ask what is your number in the siblings or to your parents
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29 views

A question regarding the usage of “those people”

When we say the phrase “those people”, does this include oneself? I’m new to this stack so I apologize if this is a trivial question. Sample sentence: “I shave those people who don’t shave themselves....
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36 views

To be form or ING form?

I have a problem about starting sentences with to be from of the verbs or gerund ones. I have read the similar articles here and some on the net but they are so confusing. Could you please tell me ...
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2answers
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he dropped out of sight - has it a clear meaning?

Dear fellow Stack users, I got into a little dispute with my english teacher today. We got tasked to analyse a text and answer related questions. There was one sentence in the text which read: "His ...
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1answer
72 views

Is “X is a risk of substance abuse” an ambiguous statement?

I recently happened upon a health assessment quiz with the following question: Which is not a risk of substance abuse? Bullying Death from Heart Failure Lack of Coping Skills Addiction The correct ...
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1answer
35 views

How do I be good?

In the ad wherein Steve Martin promotes his master class I note that, at some point, he asks this: How do I be good? Is that usage standard in the English-speaking world? Or is it just some kind ...
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1answer
30 views

Is it correct to say “Open shift”?

Is it correct to say open shift and close shift or is it more preferred to use begin shift and close shift? By opening shift, I mean it from the perspective of the worker that uses a cash register or ...
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1answer
28 views

Can I say “Putting forward our clients daily needs”?

Is it a right way to write like this? I would like to emphasize on the meaning that our clients daily needs are the most high priority, and we put all of our effort.
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3answers
373 views

Is “in the pipeline” an AmE idiom?

American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms defines "in the pipeline" as: In process, under way, as in The blueprints for the new machine are in the pipeline, but it will take months to get approval . ...
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2answers
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About the AmE expression “pound the pavement”

Webster’s New World College Dictionary defines the idiomatic expression “pound the pavement” as: (US Slang) to walk the streets, as in looking for work. and according to The American ...
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4answers
227 views

What does “extend a finger” mean exactly? Is it a commonly spoken phrase?

I came across the phrase “They’ve extended a finger” in the article that came under the headline “Mazie Hirono’s blunt style makes her a favorite of liberal looking for fighter” in Washington Post ...
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1answer
77 views

Correct usage of countless hours

What is the correct usage in this case: A: Say goodbye to all the tedious manual steps and countless of hours spent finding and correcting code errors. B: Say goodbye to all the tedious manual ...
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1answer
56 views

Is it grammatically and semantically correct to use “didn't much like” as a phrase?

Does "didn't much like" accurately express the idea that the writer did not like it as much as she would have desired. Would it be actually wrong, or would it be better if it is expressed as "didn't ...
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7answers
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Why is “bat down” not listed in any of major English dictionaries as an idiom, set phrase, collocation, no matter whatever it is?

I came across the following passage in September 17 “The Hill.” under the headline, “Trump says Kavanaugh may be delayed.”: “If it takes a little delay it’ll take a little delay.” Trump told ...
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1answer
38 views

“Prevail upon” or “Prevail on”?

I just used "prevail on" in a sentence. The whole sentence was: "If we can prevail on them to provide some donuts, the meeting may be more attractive." Should I have said "upon"? I understand ...
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3answers
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Am I using the word “firebrand” correctly?

I’m developing a 3-pronged description of my professional self for LinkedIn using words that start with f (example: “freelancer”).... At the moment, one of my prongs is “firebrand of innovative ...
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1answer
163 views

To let some of my cats on the table

While reading J.L. Austin's book How to do things with words I found this (to me) curious sentence: ... and here I must let some of my cats on the table... The context seems to imply that the ...
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2answers
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Using Past tense words [closed]

This is a chorus of a song called "Exercises in Futility VI" by a band called Mgła. Self crucified - missed the right tree. Tore the wrong eye out. The hissing of hellfire. Self crucified - ...
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1answer
26 views

Is it a proper usage for 'a top of'? [closed]

I am currently working with writing so-called 'fancy' English sentences, and here is one of such samples: Of course, moi knew about that ring atop of the other rubbish thou acquired! A 'normal' ...
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1answer
22 views

Most appropriate phrasing of a sentence containing an exception

Consider the following two paragraphs: The data was compelling. It appears that all of the companies abandoned that manufacturing method - with one exception - when it was determined to be less ...
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2answers
53 views

Blend in/blend into?

could someone please suggest me if the sentence below is correct or not (in context to the usage of blend in/blend into)? Please also share the reason/logic behind your answer. Thanks. "Never ...
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1answer
79 views

Does the phrase 'tongue bath' have sexual connotations when used to refer to sycophantic behavior?

When I first heard this phrase as a teenager (late 90s/early 2000s), it was being used to describe sycophantic talk or fulsome praise of someone. At the time, I figured the phrase originated as a ...
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1answer
324 views

Difference between “With all due respect” and “Without disrespect” [closed]

What is the difference between the below two phrases? With all due respect and Without disrespect
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1answer
92 views

The use of respectively

I already read several posts on this forum, for example: Use of "respectively". I was however wondering about a specific use case: Items 1, 3, 4, and 6 dealt with motivation directly, ...
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5answers
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Is it good grammar to say or write “different to”? [duplicate]

To me it seems natural to say something like: "I am different from you." or "You can't marry him, he belongs to a different species than you do." But recently it seems to be more and more common to ...
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3answers
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What does “was Troy” mean in this sentence? [closed]

I recently read this sentence: He was doing a good job, was Troy. What do the words "was Troy" mean at the end of the sentence?
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1answer
32 views

Which one is true: try to not repeat it or try not to repeat it? [closed]

Which one is true: try to not repeat it or try not to repeat it? English is my favorite lesson😁😁😁
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2answers
287 views

Does 'all but useless' mean useless or useful?

I saw a product review that was complaining about the built-in microphone of the camera, and in one paragraph stated it was 'all but useless'. I have seen 'all but [negative word]' in different places ...
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Origin and usage of “wild” in “my wildest dreams”?

Collins Dictionary defines wildest dreams as: If you say that you could not imagine a particular thing in your wildest dreams, you are emphasizing that you think it is extremely strange or unlikely....
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1answer
74 views

Why do we use open and closed instead of opened and closed

(Originally posted in Linguistics but I was told here is more appropriate) When talking about a door, for example, we usually say: "the door is open" and "the door is closed" why don't we say: "...
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33 views

Meaning of precisely in this paragraph

Consider this paragraph from 'The Elements of Programming': This uses the special form if, a restricted type of conditional that can be used when there are precisely two cases in the case ...
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1answer
47 views

Usage of “it's to”

When I finally wake up, it's to his arm slung over me, holding me close to his chest. The sentence above is the extract of a reading source. What possibly could be the meaning of "it's to..."? ...
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1answer
63 views

It's about time (vs) It's a matter of time

I would like to know if there is a difference in usage between these 2 structures. In other words what situations might suit one and not the other? It's about time. It's a matter of time.
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1answer
78 views

Is 'multiple-choice question' a misleading term?

In a multiple-choice question there is usually only one correct answer. In other words, you make a single choice from a list of options. However, 'multiple-choice' suggests that you should be ...
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0answers
42 views

Is “as well X as Y” correct and equivalent to “X as well as Y”?

I'm proofreading a text for a friend and she uses the construct "as well X as Y", but I've never seen it this way and can't find anything on the net. Example: The structure is fused and takes part ...
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2answers
272 views

Is there a better way to say “The second most popular response was …”

The context for this question is that we administered a survey and the results are part of a reflection blog post. The number one response was bug-free code, and we think this is ... The second most ...
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2answers
359 views

“Push against boundaries” meaning? [closed]

What does the phrase " to push against boundaries " mean as in "it is important to be able to say ‘no’ to children when they misbehave or try to push against these boundaries"?
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0answers
17 views

Using and not using indefinite article in phrases [duplicate]

What difference in meaning is achieved by omitting an indefinite article in the second of the following phrases: 'a half of a yellow sun' and 'half of a yellow sun'?
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2answers
78 views

What’s does “if the dog bites once mean?”

Someone has recently messaged me the phrase “if a dog bites once”, I do not understand what this phrase could mean and my friends do not understands it either. I’m getting a threatening feeling off it ...
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1answer
78 views

Is it correct to use the phrase “Dreaming on another love”?

Is it correct to use the phrase "Dreaming on another love"? I am aware that the most often used phrase would be "Dreaming of another love", however I wonder if one can say "Dreaming on a star" or "...