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.

233 questions with no upvoted or accepted answers
Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
4
votes
4answers
2k views

to begin with vs in the first place

I was wondering if it would be grammatically and idiomatically correct to use to begin with in the sense of used at the end of a sentence to talk about why something was done or whether it ...
3
votes
0answers
67 views

To burn something to the ground

According to Collins Dictionary to burn something to the ground means to completely destroy it by fire. I have two questions regarding this phrase: 1- What is the exact connotation of it: Does it ...
3
votes
3answers
48k views

What is another phrase for one stop shop?

I am writing a small description and need a phrase to highlight a range of services. Is there another phrase for "one stop shop" which is both catchy and apt?
3
votes
1answer
213 views

Burning the candle at the other end

I came across this while reading "Along came a spider" by James Patterson. Chapter 48 begins with the sentence: The rest of that day, I burned the candle at the other end. Followed by: It ...
3
votes
1answer
92 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
103 views

Word for eyes “pleading for approval”

I would like to know a word/phrase that can be used to describe the eyes of a person seeking/pleading approval. Similar to the colloquial usage 'puppy eyes'. Sample usage: Her mother insisted on ...
2
votes
0answers
73 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
217 views

What is exactly “This sounds like barn door statistics!”?

This sounds like barn door statistics! How to understand this phrase?
2
votes
0answers
64 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
55 views

A word or phrase for a hypothetical reaction of a person from the past to the present

This question arises from an essay in a recent bird guide, in which the author imagines how ornithologists past would react to changes since their time, and which of these would interest them most. ...
2
votes
2answers
105 views

Looking for a word that captures knowledge, and falsely assuming that everyone else has it, thereby selling oneself short

Ok so I realize the title seems confusing, so let me elaborate: Often times someone with a high level of knowledge in a some subject, may be inadvertently over-charitable to others, in assuming that ...
2
votes
0answers
431 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'). ...
2
votes
0answers
2k views

“These kids I tell you” or “kids I tell you” expression meaning

I have read them in few disconnected articles and in conversations but could not understand them completely. "These kids I tell you" or "kids I tell you" expression meaning. What do they mean ?
2
votes
0answers
3k 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 ...
2
votes
0answers
151 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 ...
2
votes
0answers
7k views

What is the origin of “over index”?

I often encounter (and use) this phrase in a context meaning to weight more heavily during decision making than is sensible, or to focus more heavily during a discussion than is warranted. For ...
2
votes
2answers
42 views

Which noun was referred to after comma?

I am reading a paragraph in English. English is obviously not my first language. I like to confirm my understanding of a sentence. This is the sentence. Copernicus had offered his replacement for ...
2
votes
1answer
6k views

seems vs. seems to be vs. seems like

I've noticed that “seems like” is the most commonly used phrase out of the three. If I were to say that Los Angeles appears to be a nice city, would using any of these three phrases work because “to ...
2
votes
1answer
440 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'...
2
votes
1answer
27k 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".
2
votes
1answer
390 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
256 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
21 views

“Aim for hard problems” vs “Aim for solving hard problems”

In my resume, I want to communicate I enjoy solving hard problems. I used a phrase backend programmer with an aim for hard problems In my natural language leaving out the solving word does not ...
1
vote
0answers
145 views

'I disagree that either of these options is correct'

I thought that I mastered the usage of "either" (and neither)...only to be unsure about the following sentence (which I heard, not that it was me who said it): I disagree that either of these ...
1
vote
0answers
35 views

How do you say in English that something is “genuinely good regardless of its disadvantages”?

I'm writing about a certain product. I want to describe all its shortcomings but then move on to make the point that it is still good, and I can't find a word. Google and Ludwig Guru translated it: '...
1
vote
0answers
38 views

Will+inf+before+present perfect weird structure?

I just saw this sentence and I didn't get it, The children will dust all the furniture before their mother has finished cooking. I do get the cooking and the dusting, I just don't know when will/...
1
vote
0answers
38 views

Meaning of “your person”

Please elucidate the meaning of this quote by Immanuel Kant- "so act as always to treat man, both in your person and that of another, as an end and never solely as a means". What's the meaning of "...
1
vote
0answers
25 views

how do I express that women who visit somewhere have no distinct age specific

I want to put more in to this sentence to say about that young women, old women all visit help desk. In other words, there is no varying age change in visiting help desk services. Women seem to use ...
1
vote
0answers
37 views

The phrase “in duplicate”

What does the following statement mean ? Admit card should be submitted in DUPLICATE. a) 1 original & 1 photocopy. b) Both originals. c) Both photocopies.
1
vote
0answers
368 views

Which ones are correct? “At latest” vs “at the latest”

Had a discussion with a friend: In their (foreign) online dictionary, it defines 'at the latest' with parentheses around the article, rendering it optional. In all English dictionaries I found it ...
1
vote
0answers
62 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" ...
1
vote
0answers
39 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
316 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
92 views

I have problems with some Irish slang

I am translating a text set in Ireland and there are some Irish phrases that I do not understand. 1- Bartley Butt-end-of-the-village: I could only find one reference in the internet. Does this mean a ...
1
vote
0answers
37 views

Word for participating in solving a puzzle?

Is there a word or short phrase for collaboratively solving a puzzle, or to describe the individual's role in that collaboration? Looking for something specific to solving something, ideally puzzles, ...
1
vote
0answers
52 views

Is “What have I to write?” correct?

Like it's said in the title, is the "What have I to write?" phrase correct? Or is it necessary to use the form with "do" as the auxiliary verb?
1
vote
0answers
23 views

'Don't do as I do and…' meaning

Let's say you're writing something along the lines of don't do as I do and get a haircut. Would this mean you got a haircut and you don't want readers to do the same, or you didn't get a haircut and ...
1
vote
2answers
96 views

Is the phrase “fitting (someone) in (to a schedule)” alright to use or is there a better way to say this?

fit (someone) in (to a schedule) Is this phrase useful for scheduling meetings and appointments. When you're talking to someone with a busy schedule, you may have to ask them to "fit you in". "...
1
vote
0answers
31 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'...
1
vote
0answers
238 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
78 views

What does the phrase “getting a taste for” mean?

In a movie, I have seen the following scene: A dog licked a face of a man. The man said something. The dog was barking with the following subtitle: "I wasn't licking. I was getting a taste for when ...
1
vote
0answers
67 views

Is this sentence grammatically correct and can be used for Women's Day?

Let women rise and use their strength to contribute to the world. I need to use this sentence for a Women's Day social media design. But there are two doubts: Should it be women or woman? Let women ...
1
vote
2answers
153 views

In house vs home visits

When do we use in house acupuncture, and home visit acupuncture in a situation where organisation works within itself and only for that organisation? But at the same time does house calls?
1
vote
0answers
32 views

spend or have an unforgettable weekend

Is it correct to say: I promise we are going to spend an unforgettable weekend. Or I promise we are going to have an unforgettable weekend Or both are ok?
1
vote
1answer
3k views

“Would there be an availability” vs “Is there an availability” for appointment scheduling?

It's my understanding that the first is a more formal version of the second phrase however I'm not quite certain that's the case or that they mean the exact same thing.
1
vote
0answers
148 views

“fall prey to” or “fall a prey to”

Thanks everyone for checking this question. I was reading Great Books of the Western World, and there is a phrase "fall a prey to" and since I didn't know about it so I went to Collins Dict and ...
1
vote
0answers
78 views

A phrase to claim the presence or existence of something or somebody

Suppose you live in a town near London. You always read/see/hear things about London. How can you claim the existence of your town in a phrase? In spanish we can say "Teruel existe" and this phase ...
1
vote
0answers
21 views

Type of usage with determiners/phrases

The bride looked radiant, a fairy tale princess. The bride looked radiant — fairy tale princess. She'd known him all her life, a great friend. She'd known him all her life — great friend. On these ...
1
vote
0answers
52 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
94 views

Is “swallow spittle” an acceptable phrase?

I came across the following sentence in Ken Liu's Translation of The Three-Body Problem: Her throat hurt so much that swallowing spittle felt like it was a piece of burning coal. The original text ...