Questions tagged [phrase-usage]

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

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1answer
35 views

I just got to know him last year [on hold]

"I just got to know him." If I'm not wrong this sentence means, I recently meet him? If that's the case, what does "I just got to know him last year" mean? One year is a long time, so what does this ...
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0answers
23 views

Do stretching or do stretches [on hold]

Do stretching or do stretches,which ones are correct and more commen? If both are right, where and when should I use them?
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1answer
31 views

what is the meaning of “it was to be”?

If you are writing in the past tense, does "it was to be" have a different meaning than "it was"? e.g. "It was to be the first of many sleepless nights." vs "It was the first of many sleepless nights....
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22 views

Is it 'it's not suitable to play with VR' or 'it's not suitable to be played with VR'?

We were talking about a pc game and I said, so as to indicate that the game I'm talking about is not suitable for VR, 'it's not suitable to play with VR!'. Later on, I thought what if I said '......
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0answers
23 views

Why is it 'means to make' and not 'makes' or 'helps'? [on hold]

Being organized ________________ you spend less time on something useless but more time on something useful. Why is it 'means to make' and not 'makes' or 'helps'
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1answer
33 views

Is it possible to use the phrase 'Suit yourself' with other reflexive pronouns?

Some dictionaries list the phrase in the generic form of 'Suit oneself' (e.g. Merriam-Webster). Although I have come across the phrase 'Suit yourself' many times, I haven't seen any example usage for ...
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0answers
41 views

Meaning of “fresh drummer” 1890-1944

I've begun reading the introduction to Best of H.T. Webster on Archive.org and came across this paragraph on page 9: Webby had not yet reached his teens when the family moved to a small Wisconsin ...
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1answer
25 views

Is one-way communication a countable or uncountable noun?

I was wondering whether one-way communication is a countable or uncountable noun. I've seen both usages (e.g. The Guardian leaning more towards uncountable while The New York Times is more towards ...
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24 views

Usage of conform to/with and comply to/with (and their adverbs)

I want to express in technical writing that a certain piece of data follows the technical standards outlined in some norm. Such a norm might, for example, say "the packet must be 8 bits long, start ...
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1answer
43 views

The idea that … seems absurd OR the idea seems absurd that

The following sentence: The idea that we are all created equal seems absurd to me. Seems better to me than: The idea seems absurd that we are all created equal. Is it correct to ...
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0answers
20 views

Is it correct to say “I … myself …”, for example “I had doubts myself on whether…” or “I have doubted it myself whether…”

I have read several questions on the usage of "I myself", but didn't find anything about whether it's OK to insert things between them. Would it sounds right? Like: I had doubts myself on whether I ...
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“have sm accoplished” [migrated]

I'm just wondering why we can say "What do you want to have accomplished in ten years ?" is it right to use "have sm done " in such sentence ? or we use present perfect here... im confused
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I'm JUST SAYING = its usage according to the context provided here? [duplicate]

https://youtu.be/vKdSaunduTE How does " ... I'm JUST SAYING , ... " exactly used in the Youtube video ? I think the context began at "2:08min " .
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30 views

I'm Just saying = its usage according to the context provided here? [duplicate]

https://youtu.be/vKdSaunduTE How does " ... I'm JUST SAYING , ... " exactly used in the Youtube video ? I think the context began at "2:08min " . P.S : really hope some true fans of Batman dc ...
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0answers
23 views

Why do many people say “try and”

The expression "try and" does not exist in common English, yet I constantly hear it used in expressions like "I will try and win the race". The speakers invariably mean "try to". Is this a case of ...
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0answers
44 views

“I am looking forward” [migrated]

I am curious if it possible to use a short phrase: I am looking forward. It is a short version without to + noun/gerund. I would like to use it at the end of the discussion with somebody, when it ...
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2answers
37 views

I’m not sure if this is correct [closed]

“and don’t get me started on how adorable that picture on the back cover is” while it seems correct, but it kinda itches me a little bit. it doesn’t sound right somehow. or is there a better way to ...
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2answers
51 views

Which is correct and why? He looked up at the sky and found that night ____ [fell _ had fallen _ has fallen]

Which one is correct? He looked up at the sky and found that night ___. [1] fell [2] had fallen [3] has fallen
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3answers
59 views

Usage of “of that”

I am working on a translation of a poem. My current versions is: Leaping toward first light
 I left my body nearby singing the sorrows of that born. My problem is in the last line, "of that born." ...
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1answer
138 views

What is being toasted by “Here's looking at you”?

Some time ago, a question has been asked here about the meaning of the famous toast from the movie Casablanca: ‘Here's looking at you, kid’. Several answers have been posted to it, including a very ...
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1answer
21 views

What does `attested to` mean in a legal document? [closed]

What does attested to mean in a legal context? "...are reviewed on a quarterly basis and attested to by <authority-figure>"
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0answers
60 views

Is “fanning over” merely a corruption of “fawning over”?

I just heard someone today say that some person was "fanning over" some celebrity. I've always heard it as "fawning over." I see plenty of examples around the web of people using "fanning over," but ...
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1answer
62 views

Can I use “as of today” as a substitute to “nowadays”? [closed]

I wonder whether it’s ok to use “as of today” just to describe the state of things how they are now without making any assumptions about how the things were beforehand. For instance, let’s consider a ...
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0answers
66 views

Why “delivered of a son”? [duplicate]

Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Sussex was safely delivered of a son at 0526hrs this morning. I would expect the child was delivered of the mother, not the other way around.
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1answer
117 views

Is using “if you would” instead of “if you will” in the sense of “if you wish/want/like” technically “correct”?

I may be wrong here, but I think of the verb "will" as in the set phrase "if you will" as an actual verb, with the rare sense "wish, desire, want", not as a mere future marker. Therefore, in this ...
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0answers
26 views

Use of can't even or even can't [duplicate]

I saw a question while going through spotting error exercise.(See question) Book says to replace even can't with can't even. He has been going to office/ for a year now and/ he even can't understand ...
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0answers
29 views

Can “domine” be used to refer to a woman?

In my native language God is named "Dumnezeu" which comes from Latin "Domine Deus". Wiktionary indicates that "Domine" is still being used in English (or at least a dictionary contains it) meaning: ...
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1answer
408 views

“Last days of Rome” phrase, meaning with examples

I would be interested to know the origin and evolution of meaning, along with example usage, for the phrase "last days of Rome".
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1answer
46 views

Showing 1-10 from 56 items [closed]

I have a grid displayed in my app, and the app can show 10 rows of data at a time. At the bottom of the grid it provides buttons for left and right to browse through the data. What is the best ...
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1answer
42 views

Is “pushing at an open door” a common expression in English? [closed]

I'm not sure if the expression "pushing at an open door" is used and understood by a native English speaker.
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1answer
19 views

A Question about “full marks”

Is that correct to say that I have completed several courses with full marks? I want to say that I have finished some courses that I obtained full marks in exams. Does it make sense to use the ...
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1answer
46 views

What does 'shrink' mean in this sentence: “I don't talk about me like a TV show character would to his shrink” [duplicate]

"I don't talk about me like a TV show character would to his shrink" I've heard this alternate usage very rarely, so I couldn't understand what the person means when he/she says it. I guess this is ...
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1answer
38 views

Is 'Another Europe is possible' correct English? [closed]

Given that we don't have a second Europe, I thought it should be something like 'A different Europe is possible'. Or does this sentence have the same meaning?
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1answer
39 views

The usage of “I see not”

I've read a lot of novels written in English, and one thing I've come across many times is the phrase "I see not..." (e.g I see not how this plan is going to work). I am very curious as to whether "I ...
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1answer
22 views

I want to know the meaning of “get into my bones”

From Churchill’s My Early Life, I gained an immense advantage over the clever boys. They all went on to learn Latin and Greek and splendid things like that... We were considered such dunces that we ...
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1answer
38 views

Postpositive adjectives [closed]

I know that there are a few cases where we can use the adjective after the noun, which is called postpositive. Here are some examples: Attorney General / Secretary General / court martial But I ...
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2answers
112 views

What is the meaning of “make up someone's mind”? [closed]

I don't understand about meaning of word of the phrase: "make up someone's mind". For example: he makes up his mind about something. Thanks you for helping.
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1answer
24 views

Using inversion in conditionals

Is this sentence correct: Had this happened around the time of mad cow disease, it'd be easier to explain. Shouldn't this read : Had this happened around the time of mad cow disease, it would have ...
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0answers
70 views

Using 'would' or 'used to' with a time reference in a different sentence

In a test there are such sentences: "When I was little, I shared a bedroom with my sister Catherine. As I was eight years her junior, I obviously (used to go / would go) to bed earlier than her." ...
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1answer
270 views

Which is correct? Launch Ceremony or Launching Ceremony?

I have been having a disagreement at work. We have several events where we commemorate the launch of something like the start of an alliance or an award. My colleagues (whose first language is not ...
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1answer
41 views

Can something be “very historic”?

In the video NASA Administrator Bridenstine Chats with Elon Musk of SpaceX Bridenstine uses "very historic" three times out of four times near the beginning of the video: the historic launch complex ...
2
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1answer
197 views

Alternate sentence for I reached home [closed]

I saw a creepy man coming towards me I start running straight to my home. After "i reached home" I locked all the doors and windows. In this para what alternative word can I use instead of "I reached ...
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0answers
23 views

Can you say “what was —- a reaction to?”

If I mean to ask the main causes of something, so I want to know what something reacted to, can I say “what was the war a reaction to?”? It sounds pretty weird to me... I’d rather say “what did the ...
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1answer
72 views

Usage of “as of”

Can this phrase be used other than referring to time? For example, is it correct to say: "If condition A happens, then do option 1; as of condition B, do option 2."?
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2answers
49 views

What meaning of/phrase based on the verb to call is used in “I call [noun]” (for instance bull****) and considerations with count nouns?

Sometimes you hear people say something like "I call [noun]", mostly with bullshit ("I call bullshit"; and there's also a question on the site with shenanigans). It feels like an opinionated statement ...
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0answers
32 views

How does one use the Latin word “cum” in a sentence? [duplicate]

Is this usage correct: The Tim Smith show takes listeners through Tim's day to day life as a broadcasting legend cum podcaster. Are the dashes "-" necessary? and is the broadcasting legend too much?...
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3answers
74 views

Does “beat the distance” make sense?

I'm walking in a direction and there is someone who is ahead of me and walking in the same direction as me. I'm trying to catch up with him. If I say: If I speed up, I might be able to beat the ...
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2answers
87 views

In contemporary use, does 'white noise' enjoy common figurative meaning?

In at least the ELU hyperlocal environment, the claim that 'white noise' has only one meaning seems to be mostly unchallenged. For example, as commentary on a recent question (now on hold) titled "...
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1answer
118 views

X being Y versus X is Y

I was recently chastised by my supervisor for describing something as being something else. The problem: "Species A has genes X1, X2 and X3, Species B has genes Y1 and Y2. Protein X3 being the ...
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1answer
119 views

Why are there vague terms in science and mathematics? [closed]

In the sciences and in mathematics there are a great number of words and terms in use that do not, in any literal sense, describe the concept they are meant to describe. Let's explore the use of "...