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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2answers
72 views

crashed out in practice for the Australian grand prix

An English dictionary gives the following example sentence: Schumacher crashed out in practice for the Australian grand prix. I'd like to know how to parse "crashed out in practice for the ...
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1answer
55 views

Another phrase for “we recall that” [closed]

I am writing a thesis and frequently I have to use the phrase "we recall that....". Is there any other phrase to use for better writing? Thanks a lot for the help.
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1answer
76 views

Is one-way communication a countable or uncountable noun?

I was wondering whether one-way communication is a countable or uncountable noun. I've seen both usages (e.g. The Guardian leaning more towards uncountable while The New York Times is more towards ...
3
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1answer
456 views

Origin of the phrase “What's crackin'?”

My web search turns up accounts of it being Southern, Black American or/and Aussie slang. Would like some clarification on this.
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1answer
66 views

What does “nothing unknown” mean in this quote?

I am reading a book which contains the following quote by Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe at the beginning of a chapter: For him who seeks the truth, an error is nothing unknown. What does it mean? In ...
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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 ...
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2answers
215 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
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1answer
71 views

The idea that … seems absurd OR the idea seems absurd that

The following sentence: The idea that we are all created equal seems absurd to me. Seems better to me than: The idea seems absurd that we are all created equal. Is it correct to ...
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1answer
62 views

What does the phrase “fire a long line” mean here? [closed]

Here is a sentence from an action game: You need to grapple downward, then fire a long line through a gap. I am not sure about the meaning of the phrase fire a long line. The preceding sentence ...
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3answers
8k views

Origin of the phrase “stone cold loser”

I have googled but can't find any reference to this. Does anyone know the origin of this phrase (recently used by Trump to refer to the London Mayor)
2
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2answers
72 views

What does the phrase “level them up” mean here?

Here is a sentence from a combat game: If the player wins battles, she collects yellow slime which she can dump on her favourite characters to level them up. I am not sure about the meaning of ...
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1answer
119 views

How come? and How is it that? [closed]

I use the set of words,not very often-"How come?" and "How is it that?" Can both the set of words be used to express same meaning? Phrase and idiom meaning of the two sentences are nearly same. ...
-1
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1answer
83 views

Which is standard usage in British English? [duplicate]

Which is standard usage in British English? He said, 'Bite me.' He said, 'Bite me'.
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2answers
200 views

Grammatical/Semantic basis for the phrase “what with”

Example: We are changing all the vehicles in the fleet, what with the new regulations and all... How did that what sneak in there? What is it doing? (*) Edit: will award bounty to Talies after ...
3
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2answers
129 views

When to use “in number” and when to use “in numbers”?

When talking about a quantity of people or things, I get 2 phrases "in number" and "in numbers". It's a little bit confusing for me, so I ask for help. These are some examples I got from online ...
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3answers
72 views

Idiom/phrase for “example picked purposefully”

For example, when one is talking about a chemistry equation and they use values one wouldn't see in real life to illustrate a point better, or give a specific example that requires extra steps that ...
2
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1answer
64 views

Set a trap up / set up a trap

are both phrases correct? E.g. She set a trap up for her brothet-in-law. He set up a trap in secret.
19
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10answers
4k views

The deliberate use of misleading terminology [duplicate]

Is there a word or phrase which describes "choice of misleading words", or the negation: "choice of non-misleading words"? The nearest phrases I can think of are linguistic deception, or controlled ...
1
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1answer
275 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 ...
1
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1answer
713 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 ...
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1answer
116 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
83 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
37 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."
4
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3answers
2k 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?
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2answers
79 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?
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1answer
64 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
48 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,...
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6answers
94 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 ...
2
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1answer
521 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
445 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?
2
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1answer
438 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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1answer
73 views

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

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 ...
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2answers
124 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?
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1answer
67 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"...
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1answer
49 views

Is it “PhD at [subject]”?

If I say "Doctor Strange is a PhD at Mystic Arts" would this sentence be right?
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2answers
94 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.
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1answer
32 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 ...
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1answer
26 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 '...
3
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1answer
65 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
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1answer
35 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.
-1
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1answer
349 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, ...
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2answers
1k 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
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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
30 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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1answer
100 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
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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'...
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2answers
714 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 ...
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2answers
324 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 ...
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2answers
1k 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
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1answer
95 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 ...

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