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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7 votes
2 answers
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Is 'I am glad to hear that' very formal or informal phrase?

I said this to one professor when she expressed about her current research work. Later, I realized that that phrase could be very informal.
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3 votes
2 answers
95 views

Is "punching a number" still used?

I'm a second-language speaker of English. I wonder if "punching a number" is still correct when calling on a smartphone and whether there are more precise alternatives?
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3 votes
0 answers
146 views

Term for/etymology of the opposite of a nosism (using 'we' to mean 'you')

A nosism is the term for using 'we' to refer to oneself. I am looking for a term for/etymology of using 'we' to mean 'you'. EDIT: Another way of putting it is that I'm looking for the proper term ...
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3 votes
1 answer
7k views

Grant somebody access to something or Grant access to something for somebody

Often I have to request access to specified resource for specified person. Is there any error in any of these forms and what is better to use? Grant somebody access to something Grant access to ...
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3 votes
1 answer
307 views

Prepositional verb structure - "[rely] [on John]" or "[rely on] [John]"

It is difficult to determine the correct consituent structure of prepositional verbs, such as rely on someone. Either on someone forms a constituent to the exclusion of rely, as in (1), or rely on ...
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3 votes
1 answer
56k views

Usage of "give it a read"

Is the usage of the phrase "give it a read" correct? For instance, "Hey, I have attached my essay. Do give it a read and let me know what you think".
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2 votes
0 answers
34 views

Why use "Team" while voting?

While I'm surfing the online forum and social media about Godzilla VS Kong movie, I found lots of people said Team Godzilla & Team Kong to mean Support Godzilla & Support Kong. I want to know ...
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  • 21
2 votes
0 answers
106 views

What's the Origin of the phrase "build bridges?"

For the past several days, I am coming across with "build bridges" phrase. I am keen to know about the origin of this phrase. I've done a lot of research on the internet but couldn't find it....
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2 votes
0 answers
141 views

When a noun phrase can act as the post-modifier?

According to Oxford Learner's Grammar by John Eastwood [ISBN:0-19-437-597-8], page 187; it is possible for a noun phrase to act as a postmodifier of the head noun. Example: The weather that day was ...
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2 votes
0 answers
510 views

Are both versions correct?

source: AT THE BACK OF THE NORTH WIND | GEORGE MACDONALD But for a four-wheeler as takes families and their luggages, he's the very horse. I was searching for the usage of luggages and found ...
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2 votes
0 answers
55 views

Is there a name for this grammatical structure where a verb is followed by a direction?

In English there are lots of phrases where a verb is followed by a direction and it takes on a whole new meaning. Examples: get up, get off, get down, take in, take out, take off, etc. This is ...
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2 votes
0 answers
467 views

Does this adverb prepositional phrase modify the adverb, or vice versa?

The McGraw Hill Handbook of English Grammar and Usage (pg. 42) gives "We got there late in the evening" as an example of an adverb prepositional phrase ('in the evening') modifying an adverb ('late'). ...
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  • 653
2 votes
0 answers
5k views

Came "into" fruition?

My friend wrote some copy, explaining that her "company came into fruition because she realized the opportunity..." I've never used "came into fruition" -- only "came to fruition". Is "came into ...
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  • 21
2 votes
0 answers
156 views

Leave someone out. Discard somebody out. What is wrong with this sentence can someone help

In a demo session a demo students said the sentence. Sometimes you just have to discard somebody out. I didn't know how to fix it but I know he meant sometimes you have to leave somebody out. But how ...
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2 votes
1 answer
18k views

What's the correct phrase to use? In our app or on our app

This new service will be available in our app. This new service will be available on our app. What's correct? Second one feels wrong but interested to know what's right here.
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2 votes
1 answer
578 views

In the phrase "Good afternoon" what type of word is "afternoon"?

In the phrase "Good afternoon" what type of word is 'afternoon'? I've argued that it was a temporal pronoun, but a colleague googled the term "temporal pronoun" and came up with almost nothing, so I'...
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2 votes
1 answer
1k 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 ...
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  • 121
2 votes
1 answer
331 views

Translation of Merkel Speech in Auschwitz

German chancellor Angela Merkel said at the Auschwitz commemoration: "Es ist eine Schande, dass Menschen in Deutschland angepöbelt, bedroht oder angegriffen werden, wenn sie sich irgendwie als Juden ...
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  • 217
1 vote
0 answers
38 views

Is the highlighted part a noun phrase acting as an appositive or an absolute phrase, modifying the previous clause?

His chest and arms were thick and roped with muscle, testament to the athlete he’d once been. In the sentence above, is "testament to ..." modifying the previous clause "his chest ..&...
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1 vote
0 answers
21 views

Practicing sentence structure exercises. Did I handle the verbal phrase correctly?

I'm a writer who was never really taught all that soundly the formal aspects of parts of speech. Basic public school education. Was an English major, but we focused on the act of writing moreso than ...
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1 vote
2 answers
90 views

Is there a phrase for a person who supports something which is bad for them and is held up as proof that the bad policy is good?

Is there a phrase which describes the situation in which a person supports something that is detrimental for them, and then held out as evidence that the detrimental policy is correct? For example: ...
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1 vote
0 answers
62 views

(Rather than) as a conjunction

It is said that, as a conjunction, the two constructions on each side of (rather than) must be parallel. So can this phrase join two sentences like this? (I know there are better ways of doing it) I ...
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1 vote
0 answers
61 views

How to use "Some more so than others"?

Consider the following sentence: Americans all around the world felt a sense of pride, some more so than others. Is such a usage of the phrase correct?
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  • 63
1 vote
0 answers
47 views

Is there a term to describe starting a sentence with its intention?

This is common in the depiction of monotone robots in sci-fi. For example, "Statement: You are only human, after all." "Reassure: This will only hurt a little." "Question: ...
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1 vote
0 answers
98 views

“Can I ask it?”

In the TV show Ted Lasso, one character (of Nigerian descent) asks another for a roll of tape by saying “Can I ask it?” I wasn’t familiar with this phrasing. I think an American would have said “Could ...
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  • 111
1 vote
0 answers
60 views

Can a phrase begin with adjective followed by a preposition?

I read the following sentence recently. To his right the valley continued in its sleepy beauty, mute and understated, its wildest autumn colors blunted by the distance, placid as water color by an ...
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1 vote
0 answers
50 views

What does "sampled surfaces incontinently" mean, exactly?

In their Story of Civilization, Will and Ariel Durant have this to say about Wellington's early years: Like Byron, he proposed to a noble lady, was rejected and sampled surfaces incontinently. In ...
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1 vote
1 answer
62 views

Top down or bottom up for reducing a sentence to all its parts?

I'm still learning grammar. I'm trying to figure out the steps to break down a sentence. My process now is to look at the sentence as a whole first. Then I classify it as either simple, compound, ...
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1 vote
0 answers
43 views

Meaning of "is the same size and"

The following sentence comes from https://android.googlesource.com/trusty/app/storage/ The key value is a hash of the file name and is the same size and the block number size for the file system. ...
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  • 111
1 vote
0 answers
42 views

"Either x or either y-" why does this occur?

Recently, I've noticed several instances of people repeating "either" in sentences, ex. "you're either the predator or you're either the prey." Is this a documented phenomenon, or ...
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  • 11
1 vote
0 answers
109 views

What does ‘put a heavy thumb on" mean?

More recently, I have come across a sentence in Los Angles Times, which says "A White House office dedicated to the issue, similar to the White House office focusing on climate change, would put ...
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1 vote
0 answers
66 views

Infinitive Phrase or Verb Constituent

I refer to Doing Grammar by Max Morenberg as my default grammar reference. Morenberg makes a distinction between infinitive phrases, which function as Noun Subjects & Objects (SC, NDO, etc), and ...
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  • 11
1 vote
0 answers
36 views

Add "you say" when asking a rhetorical question

Is it possible to add "you say" at the end of a rhetorical question? Let me give you an example: Someone says that their new job involves dancing - and then you respond by asking "...
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  • 11
1 vote
0 answers
24 views

Are the maximal noun phrases found by this code incorrect?

I was reading the accepted answer to this question on natural language processing In there an english sentence is given: "Natural language processing (NLP) is a field of computer science, ...
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1 vote
0 answers
46 views

Omission of the noun in the second sentence of two sentences joined by a conjunction like "and"

First, I want to make clear that I'm not a native English speaker. So this question may seem too easy for native English speakers, but it is quite difficult to definitively answer for me. I have seen, ...
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1 vote
1 answer
199 views

Is there a single word for two phrases which are synonymous with one another?

Is there a single concise word for two phrases which have the same or nearly the same meanings as one another? Lately, I have found myself Googling phrases like "loath to admit synonym" or &...
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1 vote
0 answers
60 views

Metaphor similar to "one apple spoils the whole bunch"?

I am trying to describe sectarianism that starts from the oldest generation and seeps down to their children and grandchildren and I am getting major writer's block when trying to find a metaphorical ...
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1 vote
0 answers
80 views

I wish to know meaning of phrase / expression wacky duck

I am writing a story at the moment about one villain from a horror movie and I often need rhymes. English is not my mother tongue. I read on Urban Dictionary that "wacky duck" means a hit to ...
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1 vote
0 answers
249 views

English phrase for Marathi "Aaiji chya Jivavar Baiji Udar" -"At expense of Mother-in-law's efforts, Showoff of Daughter-in-law's Generosity"

In India's Maharastra state in Marathi language ,there is a saying, "Aaiji chya Jivavar Baiji Udar" which means "At expense of Mother-in-law's efforts, Showoff of Daughter-in-law's ...
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  • 2,909
1 vote
0 answers
24 views

Interpretation of phrase with imperative

I want to clear up the usage of imperative in the following sentence: "Come here to earn a coffee." Is this sentence equivalent to "if you come here then you will get a coffee"?
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  • 141
1 vote
0 answers
46 views

What is a single word/phrase that can be used in place of 'mistaken assumption' or 'incorrect belief'?

What is a suitable word that can be used in the below story scenario? I've considered the following words; Delusion, Conjecture, Fallacy, Belief, Erroneous assumption. Is there a better word anyone ...
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1 vote
0 answers
163 views

Face (in) a direction

Which one and why? To face a direction To face in a direction Context: Use this method to ensure your character always faces in the direction they are moving in.
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  • 185
1 vote
3 answers
119 views

Can you please explain the use of “in what” in this sentence below?

I couldn’t figure out the grammatical role of “in what” in the sentence below. What does “in” refer to in this case? Can someone explain it please ? Burroughs killed Vollmer in what he first ...
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1 vote
0 answers
544 views

Is it correct to say "mission completed"?

Is it correct to say "mission is completed" or I should say "mission completed"?
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1 vote
0 answers
78 views

What does “as of” mean in this sentence?

The ocean threw its water over the island with the roar as of many voices.
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1 vote
0 answers
22 views

did + present-continuous form

A conversation between me and my friend: Friend: I was sleeping when you called. And I do that everyday till 13:00. Me: ok ~3 days later he replies to me at 10:00 already~ Now my question: Is it ...
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1 vote
0 answers
31 views

What does „stocks of things, recent stuff” mean?

My friend has a problem with the phrase in the title. We’re both non-natives of English and despite my advanced level I’ve never seen such a phrase. It was said by a bilingual child while telling ...
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1 vote
0 answers
338 views

Is the phrase 'lock a target on sth' correct?

Let's assume a sniper wants to say 'I am aiming at the objective and I have my crosshairs right on it'. I've always thought they would use an expression 'I locked on/onto the target'. However, ...
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  • 21
1 vote
0 answers
72 views

Who this part refers to?

I’d like to ask about the sentence I’m not sure about in The Engineer’s Thumbs by Conan Doyle. .. that of Mr. Hatherley’s thumb, and that of Colonel Warburton’s madness. Of these the latter may ...
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  • 637
1 vote
0 answers
293 views

Word or phrase to describe anything that seems trivial but can be indicative of something important

When I say “anything” I could be referring to a comment, an interaction, a symbol, or an action. I’m not sure how to explain this without using examples. In hospitals, doctors often identify patients ...
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