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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What's it called when person A's shoulders are in person B's shoulders in a reassuring way, and B's hands are on top of person A's hands?

What's it called when person A's shoulders are in person B's shoulders in a reassuring way, and B's hands are on top of person A's hands? If there's not a word please help me describe it in a clear ...
lila.popelier's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
38 views

"Being in advantage", as used in the video gaming world of fighting games

In fighting games such as Street Fighter, it is common to say that you're "in advantage" to say that you're "in an advantageous state" as opposed to your opponent. Is it ...
Stefan Schouten's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
61 views

Infinitive phrases modifying adjectives [duplicate]

I'm having a hard time trying to figure out how these infinitive phrases function (if they are infinitive phrases at all) in the following examples. I have learnt that they can act as nouns, ...
fonema Jimena's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
69 views

Look forward very much to

One example of Cambridge grammar confuses me. I look forward very much to hearing from you soon. Is the sentence correct? Why does it put "very much" together with verb phrase "look ...
Kebab King's user avatar
6 votes
2 answers
825 views

"And I'll tell you for why". Why the "for"? [duplicate]

English is my second language, so maybe I'm just missing something simple. I've come across the phrase "and I'll tell you for why" a couple of times and I'm wondering why you'd say that ...
Hans Kilian's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
58 views

Is there premodification in this noun phrase "too many victims"

I have to analyze the noun phrase "too many victims" but I somehow can't figure out whether "too many" is a determiner or premodification. Given the fact too is an adverb and many ...
Alex's user avatar
  • 13
0 votes
1 answer
36 views

The semicolon (;) put before "one of which"? [duplicate]

Today I took an English Writing class, and my professor assigned sentence correcting practice exercises. Five components of defective parts have been identified, one of which is severely damaged. My ...
User's user avatar
  • 1
-1 votes
1 answer
44 views

Crust and crumb [closed]

" Crust and crumb " is the title of an 1895 picture " toy " book in the Montgomery Ward catalog. The title feels like an idiom. I welcome input.
Kathleen Tirpak's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
70 views

What part of speech is the word "having" in this context?

What part of speech is the word "having" in the following? Having signed the contract, we went for a party.
Reem Abodeeb's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
61 views

Let's assume X+into is a phrasal verb meaning A. X is also used with into again but with a different meaning (B) Can we count it as a phrasal verb?

Let's assume that we have 2 words: X and into. In dictionary the phrase X+into is accepted as a phrasal verb when it means A. We can also use X with the word into again, but then it literally means ...
Melis's user avatar
  • 1
0 votes
2 answers
59 views

How do you interpret 'high risk eggs' in this context? [closed]

I was watching a documentary about border control at an airport. One woman was carrying prohibited foods. The relevant part of the original sentence is as follows: This woman ... has been caught with ...
SuperDuperMario's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
281 views

Put oneself together vs. pull oneself together

I'm reading a book about makeup, aesthetics, the concept of beauty, etc. One of the author's interviewees said, That notion of beauty as a strength and putting yourself together well as a self- ...
Olivia Lo's user avatar
  • 589
2 votes
3 answers
173 views

Phrase for a person in town known for being insane?

This is my first post, forgive me if it is unorthodox. So, I’m looking to title a video, and this is bothering me: I could’ve sworn there was a phrase to describe a local crazy person in a town or ...
Randy's user avatar
  • 21
3 votes
1 answer
62 views

Some phrases follow a two person pattern - what are these kinds of phrases called?

In English we have some composite phrases that are meant to be said by two people. Person A says the first part and person B finishes with the appropriate response. An example would be the classic ...
WhiskeyHammer's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
102 views

Phrase that is more business-appropriate than "got screwed"? [closed]

What is a more business-appropriate phrase that has the same meaning as "got screwed" (the non-sexual meaning). In all the examples below, the people "getting screwed" were ...
End Anti-Semitic Hate's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
77 views

What is a band box? [closed]

She looks like she just stepped out of a band box. In this sentence, what does "stepped out of a band box" mean?
Elizabeth's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
1k views

What is the origin of “give it the beans!”?

There’s a phrase, possibly specific to British English, to “Give it [some/the] beans!” when referring to a task that somebody should put more effort into. It’s similar to “Give it some welly!”. What I ...
deeBo's user avatar
  • 121
1 vote
3 answers
98 views

How to understand this phrase: a native son of Negro descent?

I came across this phrase in a paper on African American literature, and it made me wonder whether the phrase "a native son of Negro descent" could be used to describe a child who has an ...
Yuhang Ma's user avatar
22 votes
6 answers
4k views

Throttle is to slow down, but full throttle is max speed?

According to Merriam-Webster, to throttle means to regulate the speed via a constricting valve, especially to speed down. For example, "to regulate and especially to reduce the speed of (...
Juan Perez's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
42 views

Why is it "have a care", and not "have care"?

I was reading The Lord of the Rings (or actually I was listening to Andy Serkis' reading of it), wherein Frodo once says to Gollum as a warning, "have a care". I instantly perceived it to be ...
Shathur's user avatar
  • 643
2 votes
0 answers
261 views

'My bad' vs 'My bag'

Over the years I've noticed a non-insignificant amount of people use the term 'My bag' to admit guilt when getting something wrong (i.e. 'Mea culpa'). For example: "Happy Birthday!" "My ...
Daniel's user avatar
  • 21
2 votes
0 answers
99 views

Why are "all together" and "altogether" exact homophones in American English?

This question was inspired by the interesting discussion here: Why isn't the T in "relative" flapped? It seems like the adverb already and the two-word phrase all ready should be ...
Quack E. Duck's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
113 views

"Ay me" origins and usage?

I have been recently reading Romeo and Juliet, and towards the beginning of the balcony scene, Juliet says Ay me. What does this phrase mean and when was it first created/used?
Enderman's user avatar
  • 103
0 votes
2 answers
434 views

"Don't start blowing up my line"

In Le Sserafim's Perfect Night there's a line: "Don't start blowing up my line". Tonight I don't care what's wrong or right Don't start blowing up my line I'd care at 11:59 But nothing ...
Huy nguyen kim nhat's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
149 views

'Go on a binge' in British English?

If said without any accompanying information, is 'go on a binge' primarily understood by Brits as meaning a 'drinking binge'?
Swenglish's user avatar
  • 107
0 votes
0 answers
44 views

how to properly use expression '3000 strong' army?

i recall reading some phrase to express when one wants to assess the size of a group or army: "he has 3000-strong army", not in a sense "strong army" but to estimate the size of ...
ERJAN's user avatar
  • 376
1 vote
3 answers
486 views

"Out of sight" to refer to something that is very good — could it be based on German?

There is a word in German, ausgezeichnet which vaguely sounds like the English phrase "out of sight" but that is usually translated as "excellent". I could see some non-German ...
releseabe's user avatar
  • 593
1 vote
1 answer
57 views

Prepositional phrases next to adjectives

-The boy akin to an impassioned bard recited his stories -The girl similar to him stood still. These adjectives (italicized) and others similar are always placed next to a prepositional phrase (bolded)...
anu's user avatar
  • 15
2 votes
0 answers
117 views

Which work of Shakespeare "oftentimes better than a master of one" appears in if it it accredited to him? [duplicate]

A jack of all trades is a master of none, but oftentimes better than a master of one is apparently accredited to William Shakespeare. Just to clarify - I mean the FULL quote, not just 'Jack of all ...
Ziarek's user avatar
  • 131
0 votes
1 answer
63 views

"my stomach told me" VS "my guts told me"

I'm an English learner and I came across this sentence: My stomach told me that this was unprecedented. Does this expression mean that I had a feeling or my instincts told me that something that had ...
Ali.twoforkstower's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
50 views

Is "no good" or "it is no good" gramatically correct English? [duplicate]

I recently came across some discussion on the fact that "no bueno" is not gramatically correct Spanish, and generally not a phrase Spanish-speakers use, unless they find it funny. Of course, ...
D.R's user avatar
  • 113
0 votes
2 answers
54 views

Is this use of "complete with" idiomatic? [closed]

"I’ve seen a Japanese brass band competition complete with the equipment in Youtube and the performance was simply great". Is the use of "complete with" correct there? Based on ...
Joseph Virgil Edang's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
106 views

Is "went off in search of her hedgehog" a VP, and can it be broken down further?

I am new to linguistics and am currently learning how to figure out phrase markers for sentences. I am unsure about this sentence: She went off in search for her hedgehog. I know that "she" ...
lingheng's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
41 views

'No one she recognized'. A slightly strange sentence [duplicate]

Good afternoon! Can you please tell me the meaning of the phrase: "No one she recognized" The context is as follows: a woman is watching from afar a stranger who is swimming in her pool. ...
Dmitry Acemonte's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
67 views

Can you link action verbs with verbs of being in a sentence

Can you link action verbs with verbs of being in a sentence? As in say These are people who think critically, solve problems collaboratively, and are prepared to thrive in a global society.
user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
448 views

What is the origin of the phrase "toothless wonder" and what's the meaning of this?

Google says just that "toothless wonder" is an individual in the public who is lacking a single front tooth. Well, that's logical. But what's the purpose of word "wonder" then? If ...
Marien's user avatar
  • 11
-1 votes
1 answer
285 views

What does "as fresh as paint" mean in this context?

I saw the following dialogues in the first episode of the Desperate Housewives tv show, Andrew: I'm just saying, do you always have to serve cuisine? Can't we ever just have food? Bree: Are you doing ...
Etemon's user avatar
  • 103
0 votes
1 answer
72 views

Is there a word to describe a sentence in which two positive words are used? [closed]

An oxymoron is a figure of speech in which contradictory terms appear in conjunction with one another. Can there be a figure of speech in which similar compatible terms appear in conjunction with one ...
kamil1995b's user avatar
1 vote
3 answers
166 views

Prepositional phrases in sentence subjects:"The level of maturity in argument here is astounding.”

We’re having a disagreement about the propriety of a prepositional phrase inside the subject of a sentence, as it’s complicated by the presence of a second prepositional phrase, namely “here.” Simply–...
Mike T's user avatar
  • 19
3 votes
4 answers
294 views

What's a phrase that describes a person who keeps making attempts doomed to fail because they don't want their previous work to have been for nothing?

What's a phrase that describes a person who keeps making repeated attempts that they know are doomed to fail because they don't want all of their previous effort to have been for nothing? They feel ...
Alex's user avatar
  • 33
2 votes
1 answer
428 views

What's up with the syntax of "more fool me"?

In UK English, the idiom "more fool me" means something like "and I'm a fool for doing so". But how might you try to understand the underlying syntax? Is "fool" an ...
jogloran's user avatar
  • 123
2 votes
1 answer
87 views

Searching for words/phrases/expressions to describe competitive struggling

You know how when you talk to someone about a bad time you're going through, and they feel the urge to one-up you to achieve some sort of imaginary victory point? E.g. School is challenging because I ...
Ash Menon's user avatar
  • 121
2 votes
1 answer
91 views

Is "foot to" an established, idiomatic phrase?

During my recent research I came across a document containing this line" Hopefully all of my entries foot to the 4 attachments a lot better than the version I sent you on Friday. (original pdf ...
desmo's user avatar
  • 571
2 votes
1 answer
99 views

I was trying to describe a recipe to my friend that I'd had a go of

Is this dialectal use: And I thought I've got a nice kitchen now maybe I should learn to cook. And I'm learning, it's going quite well. I don't always know the right words for things. I couldn't ...
tes389's user avatar
  • 39
3 votes
1 answer
284 views

What is a "hand‑tooled mitre‑crozier applique"?

In Dan Brown's novel The Da Vinci Code, a bishop, in an attempt not to stand out in the airport crowd or on the plane, wears a certain type of outfit. It's been quoted multiple times by critics, ...
Ricky's user avatar
  • 20.5k
1 vote
1 answer
40 views

Does "for all the" mean a contrast or a cause and effect or a irony?

Does "for all the" mean a contrast or a cause and effect? "For all the work he put in, the project was sure a disaster. " Does this mean because of all the work he put in, the ...
jkj's user avatar
  • 11
1 vote
0 answers
25 views

What do you call a noun phrase that is separated by a comma from the main clause? [duplicate]

Please look at these two sentences: It is serene, this piece of the Old World. Word has reached my ears of this Aragorn, son of Arathorn, and I tell you now, I will not bow to this Ranger from the ...
Surojit Ghosh's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
203 views

Origin of "get back on terms"

I'm interested in finding the origin of the phrase "get back on terms". Commentators in the Tour de France and other big bike races use it all the time. I understand it in context; its ...
Barb Chamberlain 's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
95 views

What does this mean: "Summer unofficially begins once the calendar is on point"

The phrase on point has several well-documented meanings (some of which have already been discussed on EL&U, here). But none of them seem to fit the usage in a headline of a recent article in the '...
linguisticturn's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
63 views

What does "defend a lawsuit" mean?

The planters sued hundreds of peasants for breaking their indigo contracts, with over seventeen thousand rupees being spent defending these lawsuits. (source) Does the above sentence mean that the ...
tryingtobeastoic's user avatar

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