Questions tagged [phrase-usage]

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

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40 views

“Way out at sea” meaning

enter link description here This is the third question from the editorial "I Don’t Want to Be the Strong Female Lead" from NYtimes. Butler felt to me like a lighthouse blinking from an island of ...
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In the “after a day of ~ and a night of ~ structure,” do the two things happen on one day?

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/07/opinion/sunday/brit-marling-women-movies.html I have been reading an article from nytimes, "I Don’t Want to Be the Strong Female Lead" I have several questions, ...
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37 views

What's the difference between “Welcome to Berlin!” and “Welcome in Berlin!” [migrated]

From related questions (see below), I have understood that the meaning of "welcome to" and "welcome in" is dependent on the context. Because of that, the question What is the difference between "...
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49 views

“Studied at” vs. “Went to”

What is the difference between the two. I realize "went to" might be a bit less formal but both are correct, aren't they? For context, while in class I said to the teacher "I went to (name of school) ...
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The meaning of “He deserted me for others.” [migrated]

I’d like to ask about the sentence from The Veiled Lodger by Conan Doyle. From that day I was in hell, and he the devil who tormented me. There was no one in the show who did not know of his ...
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27 views

Opaque vs transparent to the observer?

When you want to describe that a change should be made in a manner that is not visible to the observer (in other words, the change should retain the current behavior of the system/process/application),...
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64 views

What does 'there's nothing to say that…' mean?

I stumbled upon a sentence: There’s nothing to say that you have to process all the state transitions at the same time What does this phrase mean? Specifically as a 'clause' if I can call it that (...
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59 views

Is “under tension” a widely enough understood phrase to explain the presence of electric current? [closed]

I'm trying to write an operations manual for a machine and use the best phrase to explain that certain parts are "live" ie carrying electric current. If I say "Check that the machine is not under ...
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48 views

“you would not be prepared to swear to me” Swear what?

I’d like ask about the sentence from The Naval Treaty by Conan Doyle. “How are you, Watson?” said he, cordially. “I should never have known you under that moustache, and I daresay you would not ...
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63 views

If someone went to the bathroom & already came back where he was, what would we say? “He has been to pee” or “He has been peeing”?

I know that "gone to" & "been to" have been asked so many times. But I think my question is not duplicate. OK, here is what makes me confused. Ok, everyone knows that we use been to describe ...
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136 views

Over the phone: “I know who that is” vs “I know who this is” [duplicate]

My dad is reading the novel Once Gone and there are several paragraphs as follows: To her relief, Bill's voice came over the phone. "Hello," he said. Riley's heart jumped. She didn't know whether to ...
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51 views

What does “period charm” mean?

Does period charm usually refer to some specific "period"? (Must it?) Or can it refer to any period? Australian historian at Cambridge Christopher Clark (The Sleepwalkers: How Europe Went to War in ...
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About “even more the case for” and “much more the case for”? [duplicate]

In the first paragraph I describe a bad situation about the global economy. In the next paragraph I want to say that the situation is even more intense for developing countries. Would it be ...
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118 views

On the go - can it refer to something being consumed?

Dictionaries define 'on the go' mostly as: very busy (Cambridge) very busy or active (Macmillan) very active or busy (Oxford) to be very active and busy (Oxford Learner's) constantly or restlessly ...
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60 views

“For the sake of” vs “for sake of”

Are for the sake of and for sake of both equally correct and idiomatic? The dictionaries I know list only the former, while the latter also seems to be commonplace.
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72 views

What does a la carte mean as an adjective or figuratively?

From James Poulos, "Actually, The GOP Will Struggle To Capitalize On Obama's Perfect Storm Of Scandals," Forbes (May 14, 2013): The GOP, conservatives are told, needs to endorse life templates a la ...
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Usage for 'Person of another individual'

Where should the phrase "Person of an individual" be used? Sentence I couldn't understand - Any direct application of force to the person of another individual without his consent is a wrong I ...
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2answers
69 views

What is “since before” without anything between these two words?

Here's a sentence from the "Critical Introduction to Law and Literature" by Kieran Dolin: His decision denied that these indigenous peoples had proprietary rights to the lands in question, despite ...
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About the expression “not within a ----th part of”

I’d like to ask about the following sentence from The Blue Carbuncle by Conan Doyle. It is absolutely unique, and its value can only be conjectured, but the reward offered of £1000 is certainly ...
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Adding “dot com” to the end of a sentence?

Overheard this one while I was getting my hair cut. The two ladies were arguing about whether or not a given shampoo was appropriate for a customer that had just left. Something about the customer's ...
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120 views

“Not that I heard of”. Is this a somewhat shortened form of a full sentence?

"Not that I heard of." I understand its meaning, but It sounds like a somewhat shortened form of a full sentence. Am I wrong?
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66 views

What this “he could chalk his billiard-cue with his knuckles” indicates?

I’d like to ask about the following sentence from The Missing Three Quarter by Conan Doyle. and the old boy is nearly eighty—cram full of gout, too. They say he could chalk his billiard-cue with ...
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Can you use “privy” without following it by the article “to” colloquially?

I know you can say "John was privy to the details," but does it make sense to colloquially say, "the only one privy was John"? It feels like I'm not just making up the second example and other ...
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42 views

“Intent of” versus “intent to”

I'm writing an essay and looking to explain my intentions behind a creation. I'm stuck on the usage of the word intent. Is this the correct usage: I did (xyz) with the intent of creating an (abc). ...
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“complexity of bug finding” or “complexity of finding bugs”

Which of the two following sentences sounds more idiomatic? This report contributes theoretical results concerning the complexity of bug finding in finite-state programs with bounded queues. This ...
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66 views

What does V.C. mean in this passage from Sherlock Holmes?

I’d like to ask about the sentence from The Blanched Soldier by Conan Doyle. He was Colonel Emsworth's only son—Emsworth the Crimean V.C.—and he had the fighting blood in him, Can anyone tell me ...
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89 views

What is “being out of job for a personal reason” called?

After I finished my study, I had to chose not to do any job because I had to take care of my parent. The period took 3 years. And then I was back free to have a job. What is that period called. On ...
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110 views

What is some poetry or famous lines/sayings on the “indifference to wealth and fame”? [closed]

I want to describe someone who is austere, stoic, having the purest soul, although living in this world full of the desires of wealth and status. Is the phrase "indifferent to wealth and fame" the ...
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30 views

Is the phrase ''Regarding my educational journey'' correct?

I want to use it in this sentence ' Regarding my educational journey, it is glaring that studying and doing research are endeavors I would like to engage in even more'
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107 views

Where does the expression “money talks” come from?

According to the The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms the saying “money talks” meaning: Wealth has great influence, may derive from: The idea behind this idiom was stated by ...
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3answers
79 views

Did anyone actually use the expression “Go to Jericho!”?

https://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/go+to+Jericho go to Jericho Go away. Oh, go to Jericho, you're annoying me here! I found this expression randomly. But I could not even find one ...
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60 views

What does Trump's usage of “unable to” in this tweet of his indicate/convey? [closed]

Here's the tweet. Quote: [...] to produce & sign into law major Criminal Justice Reform legislation, [...] and which was unable to get done in past administrations As a non-native English ...
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4answers
519 views

She is his would be/ wife to be

In India there is a tendency to call a woman or a man as would be in the sense of his future wife or her future husband. She is his would be ( wife) He is ...
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40 views

What does the formation of putting words an idea or feeling given here mean?

Here's the conversation I was having with a guy: So, in this context, f I drill down, from my perspective, they may not mean anything together. Can you please help me figure out what his expression ...
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437 views

“As per picture below” or “as per the picture below”? [closed]

Suppose you are sending an email which includes some details in a picture below where you are writing. Is it correct to say As per picture below, the meeting is in (...) Or is it better/more ...
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171 views

Which part is the tail of the letter “r”?

I'd like to ask about the sentence from A Case of Identity by Conan Doyle. "a slight defect in the tail of the ‘r.’ " Which part is the tail of "r"? A: The lower part of the straight line of "r". ...
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35 views

Can 'to be gone' be used in this sentence?

I am translating a text, and I am not sure whether I can use 'to be gone' in this sentence meaning 'not left', 'there weren't any of those items left', 'they run out of those things'? Is there a ...
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“Resources monitoring” vs “Monitoring of resources” [duplicate]

Please help me understand a difference between phrases "resources monitoring" vs "monitoring of resources", "characteristics of devices" vs "devices characteristics" and the like.
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5answers
79 views

How to ask for a report separated with 1 hour? [closed]

I want to send an email to someone to provide me a report for a full working day, however, I want him to send the report for each hour, for example, a report from 8 till 9, from 9 till 10... so how to ...
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Is it correct to say “a significantly larger percentage”?

Recently, I've read IELTS essay from British teacher about this: UK residents spent a significantly larger percentage of their household budgets on leisure than their New Zealand counterparts. It is ...
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64 views

'I'm in favour of ___' vs. 'I'm for ___'

Is 'I'm in favour of' considered more formal than 'I'm for', or are they interchangeable? I want to say something like, 'Sometimes people abandon their logic /in favour of/ false hope', but can't help ...
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50 views

Should it be “persistent [high] levels of unemployment” or “persistently high levels of unemployment”?

Here is a sentence that I wrote for an academic paper: ... the provision of longer benefit durations in regions of high unemployment creates long-term EI dependency among seasonal workers, which ...
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Help with rewording my sentence? Or is it fine as is?

Here’s my sentence: “Trying to guess why she’d floundered the attempt would be like taking a shot in the dark.” Here’s the meaning of ‘take a shot in the dark’ from the Cambridge Dictionary website: ...
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answered with some mystification

I’d like to ask about the sentence from The Retired Colourman by Conan Doyle. "Quite so," I answered with some mystification. "And on B row." Could anyone elaborate how Dr. Watson was like when he ...
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38 views

it was in my mind to put that little test

I’d like to ask about the sentence from The Retired Colourman by Conan Doyle. Because it was in my mind to put that little test which answered so admirably. I fear you would not have gone so far. ...
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770 views

“notes on” vs. “notes to”

We usually say "Notes to financial statements" rather than "Notes on ..." However, for other uses, we often say "notes on (something)." I think "notes on" means "notes explaining about something" ...
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37 views

Is 'granted that' interchangeable with 'given that'?

I'm stuck on the following sentence from a piece I'm proofreading: 'Granted that the Maestro had little faith in amateurs, this choir had been well prepared by their chorus master.' To me it feels ...
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Do you now? - Ironic question

Is this question only possible in this format or may it be phrased in other forms? For instance, if the previous sentence was something like 'You'd wish you could tire me out', could the ironic remark ...
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Do you “take”, “make”, or “have” a reaction, or is it something else?

It sounds right to me that you "have a reaction" but I keep doubting myself, and the only other options that have come to me are "take" and "make". At this point all of them sound wrong. Here's the ...
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301 views

'awareness on' vs. 'awareness of'

There seem to be a not-insignificant sample of usage of "awareness on" in publications ranging from reference to academia. What separates it from "awareness of"? My first thought was that using "of" ...

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