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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.

0
votes
1answer
30 views

Is 'too big of an issue' correct?

Recently, when writing an email, I used the following phrase: 'I hope this does not cause too big of an issue' However, in their response, the recipient (an English teacher) said that he was 'not ...
0
votes
1answer
13 views

“whichever is (the) less”, vs “whichever is (the) lesser”

I would like to have advice on the differences between "whichever is (the) less" and "whichever is (the) lesser". Are they both grammatically correct? If yes, under what circumstances should they be ...
0
votes
1answer
55 views

What is the meaning of the term “town hottie”?

I know I heard this term several times before, but when I look it up, I can't find anything on it. Thanks in advance.
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2answers
35 views

Is “in (an) ever pursuit” correct English?

Was writing it naturally and wanted to double check but couldn't find any use of it on the net so now I'm doubting my language skills. Am a native speaker.
1
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1answer
26 views

Is this use of “it likely” correct?

In the sentence "He never thought it likely that anyone would care about him," is the use of "it likely" correct or would it have to be "it was likely."
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0answers
14 views

In the form of a human being or in the a form of a human being? [on hold]

What is correct? 'In the form of a human being' or 'in a form of a human being'?
2
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3answers
106 views

What does 'turn of the century' mean?

If I wanted to write about 1899, would I call it the turn of the 19th century or the turn of the 20th century? Basically: does 'turn of the century' refer to the beginning or end of a century?
-1
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0answers
29 views

Let us know how you think [on hold]

I just used this sentence on a customer and I thought it sounded rather strange. What is the best way to phrase this meaning?
2
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2answers
56 views

Is there one word or phrase that best describes the emotion of happiness when winning?

Or potentially a word that is used in another language to describe this feeling?
1
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1answer
57 views

Grammaticality of “Don't let's get you cheap”

I have come across a sentence in one of my textbooks with which I seem to have some problems. One just needs to translate it, paying attention to the verb "hold" used with the appropriate particles. ...
0
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2answers
40 views

Meaning of “to be” in this sentence

upstream binaries can starve downstream binaries by allocating all requests to be in experiments prior to the requests being sent downstream I cannot understand the meaning of the phrase "to be" here,...
1
vote
6answers
82 views

What is an expression for something that appears important/valuable but actually isn't that important/valuable

For example, I believe that pie charts of your spending are presented as being important and valuable, but they rarely result in actual better spending habits. Therefore, pie charts of your spending ...
0
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0answers
36 views

When did placing “maybe” in a subsequent verb phrase become common?

While answering another question about maybe, I was reminded of the existence of a specific pattern of expression. Here are a few examples from the Corpus of Contemporary American English: "For ...
2
votes
1answer
45 views

Name for phrases that sound the same but have different meanings?

Is there a special name for two phrases that have the same sound, but mean different things from each other? For example Wishing well Could be used in either the context of "I wish you well," or ...
0
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0answers
47 views

“Being long since so much endeared” and “dispose of him as this young gentleman is”

I read The Life of Samuel Johnson by James Boswell (1791) and see this paragraph: I cannot say I had a greater affection for you upon it than I had before, being long since so much endeared to ...
2
votes
2answers
84 views

Where did the idiom of 'That's gas' originate?

I often say 'That's gas' to refer to something that I found humorous. I have looked to find how it originated but could not locate. Anybody aware of it's history?
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0answers
25 views

I need other expressions for “survey the troops”. I would be grateful if you could help me out. Thanks [closed]

I need an expression with the same meaning as "survey the troops". Could you please help me out?
2
votes
1answer
48 views

What is the english equivalant of Tamil saying 'pul thadukki bayilvan'?

In Tamil, there is a saying புல் தடுக்கி பயில்வான் ( pul thadukki bayilvan ) that translates to something like below: A person who thinks himself as a wrestler but falling down even his legs ...
0
votes
1answer
45 views

Trying to extract information in a casual manner - Which word or phrase can be best used to describe it? [on hold]

Someone (person A) is trying to extract information in a conversation in a casual manner, probably with malintent, without the other person (person B) noticing that they (B) are actually divulging ...
-2
votes
0answers
33 views

English: What does “As I Can” mean?

I'm curious what "As I can" means. Some context: "I'll catch up with you as i can".
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2answers
53 views

What does “that ship never left the port” mean?

I've heard this used in Britain (specifically England). Could someone explain to me what its meaning is?
-1
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0answers
43 views

“Something” meaning in context

Many use the word “something” in a multitude of contexts that don’t appear to correlate exactly with the definition. Specifically, many use the phrase “there is something or nothing” when talking ...
1
vote
1answer
34 views

What to say in a situation like this? [closed]

Basically I want to know a phrase to tell someone who is very sure about his opinion, stubborn and doesn't want to change it, although he is wrong? I want something like "yeah sure man, you're right"...
-1
votes
1answer
46 views

Is it “PhD at [subject]”?

If I say "Doctor Strange is a PhD at Mystic Arts" would this sentence be right?
-1
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0answers
33 views

Last year I took the bus to work. Since then I've taken the train [migrated]

Just read this in a textbook (not written by natives I believe). Is that correct, unambiguous? I would expect "Since then I have been taking the train".
-1
votes
2answers
57 views

Term for “people who get easily traumatized”

I am surfing over google and dictionary and books but cannot find a term for people who are easily traumatized. Is there any term for it? Or should we just say like: She is easily traumatized.
0
votes
1answer
29 views

Is this sentence correct? If not, how can I rephrase it? [on hold]

I will send a copy of my renewed passport as soon as I receive it, that is before the 14th of May.
1
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1answer
24 views

Which tense would be correct in this context?

Since I moved to my parents' old house, I have been going to work by bus. Is this tense correct? I am currently living in that house, so I believe a perfect tense is the right one, and I assume ...
0
votes
1answer
20 views

Is “this 'Joshua' character” a crude way of talking about someone?

I am writing a letter to a friend (Joshua) for his birthday and I want to recount all I had heard about him before we met. An excerpt: Since I got to know Aditya, I had been hearing about this '...
1
vote
1answer
35 views

“Can live no more” vs “can no more live”

Is there a difference in meaning between the two versions of this famous phrase/quote: "Man can live no more without air than a fish can without water" vs "Man can no more live without air ...
0
votes
1answer
33 views

I need to learn some expressions [closed]

I saw this short sentence in the Merriam Webster. "slopes off into the night" — Wolcott Gibbs What does "slopes off into the night" mean in this case? Thanks.
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0answers
35 views

Spot error on “You'll find several good biographies of Beckham in the fiction department”?

I was recently asked to spot the error in the given sentence, with the premise that there's one (and only one) error even if the sentence is grammatically correct. Someone told me that the error can ...
0
votes
1answer
61 views

In the bus vs. On the bus

Why is it when you’re trying to describe to someone while you are utilizing public transit (bus, train, etc.) you say you’re “on the bus” or “on the train”. You aren’t technically on the vehicle, ...
1
vote
2answers
77 views

be the face of something

be the face of something: to represent the nature or character of an organization, industry, system etc, and the way it appears to people This is the sense I came to using the Longman definition. ...
21
votes
3answers
4k views

Why is “breaking the mould” positively connoted?

I'm not a native speaker so this may be obvious to some of you. I've come across the figure of speech "to break the mould", basically meaning to do your own thing and not adhere to traditions or rules,...
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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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votes
1answer
33 views

What is the meaning of the phrase “What it could do though” [closed]

Could you please explain the meaning of the phrase "what it could do though"? Is it usually used as below? What it could do though is S+V
1
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0answers
29 views

Things to do with a deadline

I was moved by another question to ask the following. You can move a deadline. But what verbs or expressions may be used to express the movement of a deadline forwards and backwards in time? Don'...
0
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2answers
54 views

What does “Ship complete” mean to you?

I'm looking for a better way than "Ship Complete" to say "Do not ship products individually." "Ship Complete" is an option found in an order entry process. The order process goes as follows: A ...
1
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2answers
40 views

Consider something “to be of importance” - OR - “of importance”?

Translating agency translated a sentence (a question from an interview) from Czech to English like this: "Do you personally consider interdisciplinary dialogue of importance?" Is it correct? I ...
0
votes
1answer
95 views

What is the meaning of the phrase 'to the extent to which'

The following is an excerpt from the newspaper 'The Hindu'. The Supreme Court on Friday gave the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) “a last oppotortunity” to withdraw a November 2016 Disclosure Policy ...
0
votes
1answer
45 views

Meaning of phrase “knock against sth.” [closed]

I have encountered the phrase "... the knock against [sth.]" from this reddit comment. Does this mean that the person has concerns or problem with [sth.]? Is this expression used commonly? The full ...
1
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0answers
90 views

…Your baby gonna come out naked

I heard this in a casual how-to video. It seemed random and not associated with anything they were doing. Someone said, "My favorite one is... your baby is going to come out naked. If you keep working ...
57
votes
12answers
13k views

“Whatever a Russian does, they end up making the Kalashnikov gun”? Are there any similar proverbs in English?

I'm translating a Russian blog post into English and got stuck with the proverb, "Whatever a Russian does, they end up making the Kalashnikov gun." (Humorously meaning it's hard or even impossible to ...
0
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1answer
21 views

American communities vs communities in America

Is there a difference in meaning between: "Helping migrants became part our communities in America." vs "Helping migrants become part of our American communities." It feels like option 1 is more ...
0
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0answers
40 views

Is there a difference between the phrases “iron cross” and “cross of iron”?

Is there a difference, however small, between iron cross and cross of iron? Or are they the exact same phrase but just worded differently? To me, iron cross sounds like a Germanic construction while ...
0
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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 ...
0
votes
1answer
39 views

What does it mean by the phrase “not my story to tell”

I recently heard the phrase in the season 3 of Blindspot series. One of the characters used this phrase: Well, if i knew it, i'd swear that i'd tell you, but it's not my story to tell, so, sorry. ...
0
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2answers
29 views

Is “stabilize into” a valid collocation? [closed]

Here is the full sentence: "Despite the fluidity of this trope, in the middle of the twentieth century, it briefly stabilized into a distinct shape". Thanks for the help!
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1answer
35 views

with which/what and wherewith

Let we have the statements like We are doing observations by telescopes, by radio-telescopes, by heliometers etc. But stars do exist independently of by which (what?) they are (being?) observed (??) ...