Questions tagged [usage]

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

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34 views

Define “Islamist”

If you google "Islamist definition" the result you'll get is: an advocate or supporter of Islamic militancy or fundamentalism Google says they receive their definitions from Oxford ...
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Population Percentage Singular/Plural Verb

Sixty-seven percent of the United States' population plays video games. Sixty-seven percent of the United States' population play video games. Which of these is correct? I understand that I can write &...
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2answers
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This allows to . . .

I'm writing a PhD dissertation in Physics in the United States. I would say I'm fluent in English, but it's not my first language. Recently, I sent a draft of my dissertation to my adviser, and there ...
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Does “such as” require an adjective?

Someone changed a sentence in a Wikipedia article from These cassettes became associated with genres like Gipsy rhumba, light music and joke tapes. to These cassettes became associated with genres ...
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Usage as the prime language directive

I once studied Old English in college and remember a reference to a Scottish minister who said that the language was essentially strictly driven by usage. Now in my very senior years I cannot recall ...
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You can ask me any question vs. any questions [duplicate]

I know the answer is any question. But Do you have any questions is right, other than any question. What's the difference here?
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Is it correct/preferred to use “present” as adjective instead of “this” when writing legal stuff?

Sometimes there are legal documents that, literally translated into English, contain the phrase "the present document/contract" whenever a reference to the document itself is made within the ...
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Why does “…at once” sound fine but “…right now” doesn't?

A non English native colleague asked a questioned today that I couldn't answer clearly. The only thing I could come up with was that it sounded strange. The sentences: "They liked him almost at ...
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1answer
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Uses of the word “graze”?

Graze: (of cattle, sheep, etc.) eat grass in a field. "cattle graze on the open meadows" So why do we use the following: He is grazing the animals. What's the logic behind this?
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usage of it vs itself

One scary example is a 2016 Google thought experiment, euphemistically called ‘Project X’, that openly hypothesised behavioural data being “given a volition or purpose rather than simply acting as a ...
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“on the link,” “in the link,” or “at the link”?

Which is the correct usage: Follow the instructions on the link mentioned above. Follow the instructions in the link mentioned above. Follow the instructions at the link mentioned above.
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1answer
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Use of “would have” unclear

Consider the following two sentences: For now, we cannot be sure how the machine worked back then. But once it existed, people would immediately have used it. Sentences like these, where the first ...
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eLearning writing: Beginning with “while”

I am aware that using While to begin a sentence brings in a dimension of time to it. Could you please tell me if this sentence is grammatically correct? Thank you.
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Is the term “sexual preference” generally considered offensive now, and has it always been?

In American politics, Judge Amy Barrett used the term "sexual preference" during her confirmation hearing. This was criticized as offensive by writers at publications such as CNN, USAToday, ...
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History of the term “Legal Mind”

Is there a specific history behind the term "Legal Mind"? Meaning, the following phrase would be quite typical in describing a lawyer or closely related occupations: That lawyer possesses a ...
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1answer
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Is it correct this construction with the expression “have something in mind”?

I have a doubt related to the expression "to have something in mind". Is it correct to add information between the beginning and the end of it? For example, like this: "I have so many ...
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How do we use “which” with a preposition in front of it to create a relative clause that you want to further describe the quality you have mentioned

Tom has a good mixture of characters, among which I am the most amazed by his patience and focus to solve puzzles. Is it correction to use "among which" in the sentence above?
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have you ever heard 'Flitter lip'? [closed]

my dad used to say "flitter lip" a lot. Like, 'oh darn', or maybe a way to cuss in front of us kids. I can't find any reference to it's use outside of him. He did serve WWII in Germany and ...
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Correct usage of the word “lack”

I was writing an email yesterday which was about a rough draft of doc to be reviewed by a peer. There was just one part of the document which I thought needed improvisation. What I wrote is → "...
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Go gerund vs go to inf

How can I use gerund form and to infinitive with go? I found out in the Cambridge dictionary that go is used with -ing when we speak about general activities that involve movement. If the activities ...
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2answers
54 views

Is respect awarded, accorded or afforded?

I was revising a colleague's work, and saw the phrase "awarded the respect it deserves". This struck me as incorrect, but I was struck harder still by an uncertainty as to whether it ...
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3answers
59 views

Can a Secondary Definition Violate/Negate the First Definition

I have a specific word in mind, but I'd rather not use it to avoid potential bias. I'll edit and post the word if I need to. Hypothetically, I have a word, "CanHoldWater", defined by Merriam-...
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1answer
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“[Plural] are one of them”

I don't think I found this question on the site. I read in a game tip "Most of the animals are not dangerous. Bears are not one of them." Is it grammatically correct? It feels off, I would ...
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2answers
29 views

place constraints on sth

The planet was discovered by TESS, NASA's planet-hunting space telescope designed to find exoplanets that pass between us and their home star, by detecting the telltale dimming as the planet blocks a ...
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2answers
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Usage of “Rather”

I'm a bit of crossroads which one is to use. Here's an example: -You're behaving rather strange; or -You're behaving rather strangely; I'm not sure which one is correct or maybe these two are both ...
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Is there any alternative for “You're welcome” in actual talks? [duplicate]

I've heard that it's quite awkward to say "You're welcome" in actual talks. Is there any alternative for this sentence?
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Using 'a' or 'an' different in speaking and writing [duplicate]

There is an acronym- RPD. In a ppt, made by my teacher for the students, there is a sentence- When the posterior abutment opposes the edentulous space or a RPD. However as I speak this sentence I ...
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Much as… so.. structure?

Much as in the 1970s when clubby Keynesianism gave way to Milton Friedman’s austere monetarism, and in the 1990s when central banks were given their independence, so the pandemic marks the start of a ...
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Should “Holler Nuff” be considered archaic?

I faced this expression when I was reading The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. At first, it was easy to understand, because "Holler" and "Nuff" make sense in the context. However, I had ...
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1answer
59 views

Being “onboarded into the platform” vs “onboarded to the platform”

In this context, a platform is an on-line service. The process of registering new users is known as onboarding. I do not know if describing such process as onboarding users to the platform or ...
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Is it grammatically right even though a comparative isn't used?

Semantically, syntactically, and linguistically, is it right that a comparative isn't used as in 'I'm cute than her?' I think it's just related with usage or choice of a word, so there's no problem ...
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1answer
63 views

“It is connected” vs “It connected”

I want to know the difference and when to use which construction. For instance: It is connected with the current situation. It connected with the current situation. Thanks
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1answer
77 views

Why does “public” refer to the government?

I'm a non-English native and was quite surprised with the meaning of "public" refering to "belonging to government" or "provided by government", etc. In my past ...
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1answer
45 views

Using “the” before a company name whose first word is “The” [duplicate]

I am working on edits for a training manual that was sent to me. The author consistently uses the word "the" before the company name, whose first word is "The." Is this proper to ...
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What is the origin of extra prepositions added after verbs in Indian English?

It seems that speakers of Indian English often add prepositions to create phrasal verbs in situations where the verb would have been sufficient on its own. Some examples I have noticed: to "pass ...
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1answer
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Can a person be described as 'oriented'?

She knows her way in life. She knows what's good for her and what is bad. In short - she is **oriented**. Is this a possible and correct use of the word "oriented"? Thanks
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The meaning of Let us not or Do not let us

As far as I know, the negatives of Let us are Let us not and Do not let us. And Let us has two different meaning: one is a suggestion and the other is an imperative. Then doesn't Let us not or Do not ...
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1answer
50 views

Using 'is“ or ”are" [closed]

What is the right way to write the following sentence Profit and Loss Statement and Income Statement are the same thing. Profit and Loss Statement and Income Statement is the same thing.
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Does the idiom/phrase “place is your swamp” exist or is it worded differently?

So I was talking a bit with a person and a joke came up about collecting treasure in the desert and how there's only sand, and so I stated "I mean, if your into collecting sand then the desert is ...
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2answers
80 views

Blood “from” or blood “of”?

I was watching a series and at one point the police say “there was blood from her wife”. Is it ok to say “blood of her wife" too?
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1answer
60 views

'quickest': adverb

Page 442 of Collins Cobuild English Usage reads Quick is an adjective. You do not usually use it as an adverb. Instead you use quickly. In writing, you usually use more quickly. He began to speak ...
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Test or testing

Which one is grammatically correct? "for test purposes only" or "for testing purposes only" . Can I use them interchangeably.
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Is it OK to say '“an earlier way to do something”?

I want to describe a method that can help achieve some goal earlier than conventional method. Is it OK to say "an earlier way to do something"?
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2answers
86 views

Is the Usage “I are” proper English? [closed]

So I'm reading a 19th-century novel called The Count of Monte Cristo, and I came across this particular usage, which is: [H]e continued," let us make all possible speed. I are most anxious to ...
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1answer
150 views

Always has been / has always been

I'm deeply sorry for my poor english skills but I need to know. :( Can I answer: "It always has been happening" after the sentence: "This is happening because of you" ?
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When do you close? vs Until what time are you open?

I have just came across this situation. At I can't get rid of this question what should I say when do you close or until what time are you open? it might sound really silly question, but when you ...
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How might we parse the phrase “put [something] out to board” to better understand its meaning?

The phrase is found in John Cheever's The Swimmer: He wondered if the Lindleys had sold their houses or gone away for the summer and put them out to board. I understand the phrase to basically mean ...
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1answer
56 views

Founding father/mother or founding figure?

I'm quoting an author who is known as the "founding father" of a scientific discipline. However, I feel that I want to make it sound less patriarchal. Of course, many disciplines had women ...
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1answer
76 views

What does the word “literal” or “actual” mean as in a literal or actual something?

I mean like when someone uses a certain word with more than one meaning, they often say it's a "literal" something. For example: (something I made up) "John's corporate seal logo for ...
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Got it and I got it

If a boss says to an employee: I need you to get this project done by today. Then, the employee replies: 'Got it.' or 'I got it.', some youtuber expresses these two answers mean differently. The ...

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