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For questions on how and why certain words are used in varying ways within various contexts.

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Use of the preposition “for” at the end of a sentence

I'm developing web copy for a government agency, but have run into a problem with a tricky preposition at the end of a sentence. I want to avoid using "for" at the end of the sentence below, but I'm ...
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2answers
25 views

“What is more”, “What's more” too informal for academic writing?

A coauthor of mine used the expression "what's more" in a scientific paper. My gut feeling was that this is not a commonly used expression in formal writing, but I could not find clear evidence for ...
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18 views

Look at /watch over my stuff?

Suppose I am in a coffee shop and I would like someone near to "watch over" my items while I leave for some time, what do I say? I have beens saying, "do you mind looking at my stuffs?" This ...
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1answer
28 views

Slow to do and slow in doing

Is there a difference between "slow ( or quick) to do something" and slow ( or quick) in doing something? Various dictionaries list both uses but don't make any remarks as to their usages. Do they ...
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1answer
37 views

Which of the following is the correct usage of: meteor/meteorite

I hope a meteor falls on your head. or I hope a meteorite falls on your head. And why? Definition of meteor: 1 : an atmospheric phenomenon (such as lightning or a snowfall) 2a : any of ...
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1answer
25 views

Correct use of the word 'extant'

Consider the following sentence: "Is there anything you could say which would still be extant in 24 hours time?" Does it make sense to use the word 'extant' to mean that some proposition would still ...
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1answer
60 views

What is a wash dish tongue?

In this article†, Edward Hibbert (who plays Gil Chesterton), describes his character: Gil’s effete and affected with a wash-dish tongue. What is meant by a "wash-dish tongue? Note: Googling "wash-...
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26 views

What difference does a comma make here?

What is the difference between these two: it will not perform well in using the common sense it has stored to solve problems. It will not perform well in using the common sense it has stored, to ...
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32 views

When is omission of “the Mr” or “the respected” considered disrespectful or a serious omission? [on hold]

When is omission of "the Mr" or "the respected" considered serious in nature? The letter was sent to an investment company about my personal investment. In the letter the chief manager (Scale-4) ...
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1answer
22 views

The spirit helps us “in” our weakness?

I am reading some quotes in the Bible to find some wisdom saying on "blaming others" :) But I came across this long quotes and have some questions. But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait ...
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27 views

Is there any website or dictionary where you type a word in and it gives you information whether this word formal or informal?

I'm preparing for an IELTS exam, I have a list of synonyms, for one word more than 10 synonyms. I can't determine all of their usages.
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Using Past tense words [closed]

This is a chorus of a song called "Exercises in Futility VI" by a band called Mgła. Self crucified - missed the right tree. Tore the wrong eye out. The hissing of hellfire. Self crucified - ...
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37 views

Are these sentences natural to use to you? [closed]

I'm recently studying about off. Please check the below is correct of using off or the sentences are correct (and how would you change them) The sudden pull threw George off balance. He got a ...
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1answer
46 views

Why would one number one's paragraphs? [closed]

I understand this is done in formal letters (composed by government officials or lawyers). 1 I would love to congratulate... 2 You may wish ... ... 6 I look forward to meeting ...
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0answers
22 views

Is it correct to say “doing things that he is capable of and skillful at?”

Basically, I am writing a sentence, "...who is engaged in doing things that he is capable of and skillful at (what if we added to it - interested in - is it possible? What rules do work here?)" I ...
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1answer
21 views

“all the more” usage

Is there any case where the phrase "all the more" can be in the begining of the sentence? If so, can anyone give some examples?
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1answer
22 views

Bring about racial justice

During this time,his efforts to bring ___ racial justice won him the support of both blacks and whites. (A) up (B) about Why is the answer not (B)?
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Punctuation at this moment in time

As I edit writing for other authors, I am struck as the 'sudden' lack of commas. Here's the question: Has the use of commas become passe. Are writers being encouraged to avoid using commas no matter ...
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22 views

Rent your house “for the long term” or “in the long term” or “for/in long term”?

what would be the correct as a tagline? I am talking to the house owner Rent your house for the long term Rent your house in the long term Rent your house for long term Rent your house in long term ...
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1answer
38 views

What's the difference between “aspects of” and “aspects to”?

I just wrote There are two strange aspects of this situation. Then I decided that There are two strange aspects to this situation. sounded better, but I don't know why. There are certainly ...
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2answers
57 views

'The origin of the problem' vs. 'The root of the problem'

If I want to say To prevent such a thing from happening again, we should solve this issue from the root of the problem. Can I say from the origin of the problem instead of from the root of ...
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1answer
32 views

What's the difference between have/has been and was? [duplicate]

English is my second language and I have always been confused with 'have been/has been' and the idea that it could be replaced with 'was' in some contexts. For instance, this is a part of an urgent ...
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39 views

When to insert the word “professor” in conversation? [closed]

What is the proper use of "professor" in a formal conversation with a professor? Assuming that this person is really strict on titles, do I have to add "professor" in every sentence? Does it have to ...
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3answers
143 views

Do native English speakers still refer to their teachers by the old-fashioned terms “sir” or “miss”?

In the Indian subcontinent (and some other surrounding areas), there's this practice of putting the titles "sir" and "miss" (not ms.—mind you) after the name of school-level teachers. For ...
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1answer
71 views

How many interrogative adjectives does English have?

Can anybody tell me exactly how many interrogative adjectives does English have? I have been researching for many days. Some places say that there are only three interrogative adjectives: which, what,...
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help me understand “off” when it comes to phrasal verb , thank in advance [migrated]

I have seen those words on the internet Based off.... Better off... I thought "off" meaning get away from something but why does "off" mean quite not the way I thought
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1answer
20 views

Usage of 'consequently to' in a scientific article

In a scientific context, can you say "consequently to"? e.g....depicting a gradual re-organisation of these tracts consequently to the gradual loss of coverage.
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42 views

In Canadian English, are “this Sunday, next Sunday” used differently from their usage in American English?

I think that Canadians use "next Sunday" to mean the very next Sunday after the day you are speaking, while Americans use "this Sunday" to mean the very next Sunday from the day you are speaking, and "...
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What is the right way of asking someone to give the more detailed explanation of what he just said (or wrote)? [migrated]

I was told something. Now I want to get the more detailed explanation of what person just said (or wrote). For example, the person wrote to me: The key difference between the two definitions is ...
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2answers
1k views

What's the origin of the second-person 'we'?

I've often heard the phrase what do we have here to mean what do you have. And also, recently, I've heard a teacher ask one of his students struggling with an assignment: do we have a problem?, as in ...
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21 views

Usage of Noun or gerund

Generally when using “personnel” as an adjective, it is often used before a noun. Is the following usage correct? Should it be motivation and drive or motivating and driving? Gerund or noun? I ...
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2answers
761 views

Is “cute” used sarcastically in Scottish English?

In American English, "cute" is sometimes used sarcastically or to mean "clever." An example of the latter is the recent headline "Donald Trump tells Harley Davidson: 'Don't get cute with us'". I've ...
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1answer
66 views

“every couple months” vs. “every couple of months" [closed]

Consider this sentence: For most patients, he will monitor you once every couple (of) months Which is correct: "couple" or "couple of"?
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2answers
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The use of the preposition 'about' in a distinct sense

The ODE defines the preposition about in such a distinct sense that other dictionaries don't: 1.1 So as to affect. I Just found one example of 'about' used in such a sense: 'there's nothing ...
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3answers
109 views

Is it possible for an adjective to modify another adjective?

While I doubt an adjective can modify another one, I'm wondering if it may be possible. Here is the example: "An immaculate black three-piece suit." Most likely, I'd have to use the adverb ...
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2answers
102 views

Sardony sarcasm, irony, satire, or what [closed]

What is the literary term or convention that best describes the following sentence: "Socrates drank hemlock, therefore you should drink hemlock" The term I seek is similar in form to sardony/...
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47 views

Which is correct, the use of “it” or “they” with the word “Audience”? [duplicate]

The Question is about the Sentence: With the lighthearted tone of the play, the audience never doubts a happy ending, and it is never caught up in the tension of an uncertain outcome. Is the use of ...
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26 views

It's not mine, though

I have given something for them to use and saying "It's not mine, though". Is it correct to use this way?
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14 views

My inquisitiveness about my achievements [migrated]

Does "English language and usage" reputations and badges subsume reputations and badges of "English language and usage meta" because they have the same user number?.I do not know whether my question ...
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2answers
34 views

Type of usage/ commas restrictive appositive

Volunteer, Lucy has set out to arrange a charity run. Jenny and her partner, Steven would instead be attached as potential owners. Could you use two commas here instead of one ? What is the ...
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2answers
29 views

usage of words-round and around [duplicate]

The masters, many of them young men who agreed that Chips was hopelessly old-fashioned, rallied round him Why is it round him and not around him? What's the difference?
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1answer
23 views

''Save up to 50% of installation time'' vs. ''Save up to 50% on installation time''?

"Save up to 50% of installation time" vs. "Save up to 50% on installation time" Using of seems incorrect to me. If you wanted to use of, it should be followed by 'your' or indeed leave out of ...
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1answer
82 views

Consume versus Subsume? [closed]

After reading the definitions of both, I can't see how these words differ, however, given their prefixes, I assume they must. Could someone explain to me the difference between 'consume' and 'subsume'...
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31 views

Did I use propitiate correctly in this sentence? [closed]

We feel we have done everything we can to propitiate your requests.
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1answer
80 views

“Objective” vs “Subjective”: what is the difference (really)? [closed]

I have trouble understanding the difference between these two words, especially when people use them while talking about aims and goals. Any help please?
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1answer
40 views

Punctuation to denote more interest/excitement than a full stop, but less than an exclamation mark

Is there a punctuation mark to express more interest/excitement than a full stop, but less than an exclamation mark? I ask this because it seems uncouth to end two sentences in a row with an ...
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2answers
29 views

How to concisely describe the act of engaging in pork barrel politics?

Is there a verb that means 'to engage in pork barrel politics'? To give an example, suppose John, a legislator, tells the proponents of a bill that he will not vote for it unless they add a line item ...
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“I don’t have as much of an appetite”, could someone verify my explanation?

I've read these sentences: In summer, when the weather is warmer, I don’t have as much of an appetite, so I’ll eat something lighter. The part that confuses me is 'I don't have as much of an ...
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1answer
70 views

Meaning of race baiting

I was reading a CNN article titled "Is Australia becoming a more racist country?" The Race Discrimination Commissioner was quoted as saying: "I take no pleasure in saying this, but, right now, it ...
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41 views

What is the difference between “continue” and “continue with”?

What is the difference between "continue" and "continue with" in these following sentences? They continue with their tribal traditions. They continue their tribal traditions.