Questions tagged [phrases]

This tag is for questions about phrases in the linguistic sense. In linguistics a “phrase” is a group of words that make a unit of syntax with a single grammatical function. Use [phrase-requests] if you are searching for a phrase.

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1answer
13 views

What does this phrase “hover around” mean?

"Until the late 1800s, diamonds were incredibly scarce with the total world production hovering around a few pounds per year" What does the phrase "hover around" mean in that sentence?
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22 views

As per vs in accordance with

I am not a legal expert and English is not my first language. I have to make some changes in a draft of a legal document. I am not sure which sentence is correct. The situation is like "Mr. ABC ...
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0answers
52 views

Is “pending for her return” grammatical? [migrated]

Is it valid to use: We will be pending for her return instead of, for example: We look forward to her return
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1answer
46 views

Wider width or larger width?

I'm hesitating between these two and I don't know which one is more correct: wider width or larger width?
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1answer
21 views

Two subjects that are inextricably linked/bonded together

I'm doing a piece where I am trying to state that a place is linked/bonded together with a river tightly. Just using "linked/bonded" as a term seems weak, is there any phrase to replace them that ...
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0answers
11 views

Need a word phrase to describe a really good thing happening at the worst possible time [duplicate]

Trying to find a word to describe something good happening at a really bad time
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2answers
35 views

origin of: sleep tight, make sure the bugs don’t bite

Where does the phrase sleep tight, make sure the bugs don’t bite come from? Is it part of a longer poem? A Google web search didn't reveal anything useful. I'm not a native speaker of English, I don'...
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1answer
34 views

The usage of 'to'

My problem is that I don't know whether I should use 'to' or not when I say the sentences I wrote below. Can anyone tell me which one is right and why, 'have you gotten New York safely?' or 'have you ...
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41 views

What is “keep handy” in this context?

Joseph Conrad, "The Nigger Of The "Narcissus": A Tale Of The Forecastle": The men, knitted together aft into a ready group by the first sharp order of an officer coming to take charge of the deck ...
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1answer
86 views

Why do people say “no offense” when starting a sentence?

English is my second language and I mainly learn it from shows like modern family and the bigbang theory. I know what “no offense” means, but I don’t think I fully understand its usage. I’ve seen ...
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1answer
34 views

Want an existed word for my story i'm making for my friend

While i'm writing my 4-pages book for my friend, i have a problem what word that will fill the [?]? Here's a section The entire Imperial Family of Japan was immediately shot by Haruki's 2nd ...
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1answer
45 views

If I have a game level that needs precision and fast decision making, what skills are being challenged?

What should I put in the empty space? "Challenge your ___ skills..."? "precision skills"? Just "precision"? Maybe something else? Thank you! I am talking about a scenarion in a 3D game where your ...
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0answers
156 views

What are some tricks to determine whether a text chat partner is a native speaker? [closed]

Update: My question is a request for idiomatic expressions satisfying certain well-defined criteria, but I am not asking for an exhaustive list; I only want some good examples. A response with 1-3 ...
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1answer
64 views

What do you call someone who answeres a “yes” or “no” question with "it depends on what you do?

What do you call someone who refuses to answer a yes or no question, but instead of taking responsibility for their own answer, they say it depends on what you do? Example: Q: Will you allow me to ...
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2answers
36 views

Use of phrase “high experience”

I read a text translated from Spanish to English. In the English version, they used the phrase "high experience" to describe a specialist in a specific field of medicine. I pointed out that high ...
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0answers
25 views

Does reducing adjective clauses make my writing less formal?

Judgers are people who prefer a structural and predictable environment. Judgers are people preferring a structural and predictable environment. Is there any difference in terms of formality? Is ...
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1answer
36 views

What does “It had better be good” mean in this context?

From the Wellcome library collection: When the Wellcome Trust Sanger Centre (now the Sanger Institute) was named after him in 1993, he told the Director, John Sulston: "It had better be good." ...
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41 views

Short phrase for “… for the first time in five years.”

When I did something for the first time in five (or ten, several, etc...) years, is there any phrase to describe the same situation shortly? Sometimes I feel "... for the first time in five years" ...
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14 views

Can we use 'I think' after 'In my view'? [migrated]

The following sentence is given in my book: In my view, I don't think this is a good idea. I know it very well that if phrase 'In my opinion' is used instead of 'In my view', then it won't be ...
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0answers
33 views

Does the 'phrase' “Take your time – your time will come” sound weird? [closed]

Does it sound weird to say "Take your time – your time will come" when everything isn't working out for someone?
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2answers
58 views

A word/phrase to mean 'Beauty is in the eye of the beholder' without sounding old school/erudite/pretentious

To tell someone you don't agree with their view on what is good looking in a light-hearted way. For instance, you visit a very skilled tattoo artist but his view on what looks good is not the same ...
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1answer
37 views

What did Jane Austen mean by “employ for captivation”?

I read the phrase employ for captivation in Jane Austen’s 1813 Regency novel, Pride and Prejudice: “Undoubtedly,” replied Darcy, to whom this remark was chiefly addressed, “there is a meanness in ...
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23 views

letter head paper or letter headed paper

Which is correct when asking for a paper between letter head or letter headed paper.For example 'please give me letter head paper or please give me letter headed paper.Which is correct.thanks
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0answers
36 views

How should I phrase this?

I am writing a cover letter for a resume that will be sent to a hopeful job of four years at my university. I am short on cash and would be beyond ecstatic to receive this job but this sentence or ...
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1answer
44 views

Please parse the phrase “time is of the essence”

Working many years in the legal field, I've seen the phrase, "time is of the essence," many times; I fully understand its meaning. What has always bothered me, though, is that the phrase doesn't seem ...
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1answer
52 views

There was nothing to do than watching films [closed]

I was writing something and I made a sentence 'There was nothing to do than watching films.' Is the usage of 'than' in this sentence correct? I kind of remember 'than' can be used the same way as '...
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2answers
64 views

the phrase “science proper” [duplicate]

Two simple questions related to the phrase "science proper" in the following sentence by Albert Einstein: As long as we remain with the realm of science proper, we never meet with a sentence of the ...
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2answers
39 views

Does it sound strange to use “hands-on background”?

Does it sound strange to use "hands-on background" to describe someone who is informally educated but have an in-depth knowledge in a certain field of study. Not necessarily hands-on experience ...
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34 views

Use -ing after while?

I don't know which one is grammatically correct Here's a picture of my dog eating his food while my parents were trying to figure out where they were going or Here's a picture of my dog eating ...
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1answer
3k views

Phrase origin: “You ain't got to go home but you got to get out of here.”

You ain't got to go home but you got to get [the expletive] out of here. Variations of the above phrase are very popular and a common cultural reference — seen in many movies, TV shows and music ...
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1answer
21 views

A better way to phrase it succinctly

I would like to describe a meeting with business owners. These business owners run different sizes of businesses. The conversations with them is a real eye opener. I've learned so much from them. ...
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1answer
46 views

What is the origin for the phrase “Lend a hand”?

does anyone know the origin of the phrase "Lend a hand"? I'm working on a paper about phrases and idioms and can't seem to find any history about it.
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1answer
47 views

The Cliché of Using the Phrase “[Subject], and You” in Article Titles

I've noticed articles or news stories often use the phrase "[Subject], and You" in titles. I assume the intention here is creating a personal connection with the readers regarding a topic. For ...
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1answer
21 views

Which form is correct with pursue?

I am not sure about which of the following forms would be correct: I was pursuing my passions studying CS at University I was pursuing my passions by studying CS at University I was pursuing my ...
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1answer
51 views

Phrases starting with “The Fruits of …”

I was wondering if there were any other phrases starting with "fruits of ......" like "fruits of labor" and "fruits of love"... The phrases can have different meanings but they need to start with "...
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2answers
39 views

Help that is really not helpful

Is there a word, phrase or idiom that describes someone who is trying to help but actually hindering? I find this a lot in a work context but sure it's common elsewhere. I even think there may be a ...
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0answers
33 views

What is the old phrase meaning that two people do not meet that involves a weather house or cookcoo clock?

I have a faint memory of an old phrase that my mother would use when I was young. It was to do with two people that would happen to just miss each other repeatedly. She would compare them to the man ...
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2answers
57 views

English equivalent of the Hindi saying “Dusre par bill fadna”, meaning “putting on others what YOU want”

What is the English equivalent of the Hindi saying "Dusre par bill fadna"? The meaning of the Hindi saying is stating a request as though it is others who want it when in fact it is you who want it ...
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1answer
62 views

“A rose by any other name would smell as sweet” but with a more negative connotation [duplicate]

"A rose by any other name would smell as sweet" is from Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. It means: what matters is what something is, not what it's called. I feel like this phrase has a very positive ...
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1answer
67 views

What does the phrase “Tubular Journey” mean here?

Please help me figure out the meaning of the phrase "tubular journey" that is used as a title of a running game's description. I know the lexical meaning of the word "tubular", but it doesn't seem to ...
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0answers
26 views

I closed my eyes shut? I shut my eyes closed?

I want to ask if I can say: “I closed my eyes shut.” or “I shut my eyes closed.” Is one of these sentences correct? If yes, which one? Thank you.
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1answer
41 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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2answers
31 views

Another Term for “Long-Thought”

So I was doing a bit of writing and ended up using the phrase "long-thought" (as in, "a technique long-thought forgotten" or "people long-thought incapable of using magic"). I ended up using it quite ...
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1answer
56 views

Another word for “ikigai”

I read with interest an article by Dr. Sanjay Gupta about human longevity in Japan on the CNN website. The main focus was on a word, and as so often happens in linguistics, also a concept: Ikigai ...
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1answer
48 views

What does ‘to be all in’ mean in this context? [closed]

I encountered the following sentence: “This was not in fact an original idea, but was based on the English ‘Harvest Festival’, an old custom whereby people gave thanks to God once the crops were all ...
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0answers
22 views

What is the difference between phrases and collocations?

The Longman DOCE always show the collocations and phrases of a word, but I do not know what do they stand for.
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29 views

One word for 2 or 3 people related by unusual qualities like (cloned/shared/identical) abilities/powers, but not by blood or lineage

Need to know single word for accurately describing two Men/Women related not by blood or lineage but by unusual qualities like telepathic powers or paranormal abilities or any abstract(i.e. non-solid ...
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1answer
97 views

Is it correct to say “Til death do us apart”?

I like the sound of the phrase and I wanted to make a shirt design with it. But as soon as I started googling for some existing ideas, I found that google and duckduckgo just refuse to search for "Til ...
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1answer
28 views

The use of “out of”

The Sentence: In 334 B.C., Alexander the Great took his Greek armies to the east and in only a few years completed his creation of an empire out of much of southwest Asia. Question: In this sentence, ...
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29 views

Can phrases be “nested”?

When parsing a particular sentence for grammar, I am trying to understand how many phrases there are here. My question revolves around whether technically, in a grammar sense whether a phrase can ...