Questions tagged [usage]

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

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Correct usage of I've

Understandably "I've" is a very versatile conjunction, however I have found it being used increasingly more as a possessive. I think in proper English this is unacceptable, but not so sure ...
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Why does 'tropical' mean 'figurative'?

I came across the word tropical in a context which seemed nonsensical but, according to Merriam-Webster, the word can mean 'figurative' or 'metaphorical': tropical: ... 2 : FIGURATIVE sense 2 ... an ...
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Do original languages in Greek and Hebrew Bible texts use formal or informal language where traditional translations in English used Thee and Thou? [closed]

After reading comments re: use of Thee and Thou vis-a-vis accuracy of translations to modern (not Elizabethan) English, all very informative, I am still wondering if the original texts of Hebrew and ...
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2 answers
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archaic (Victorian prosaic?) use of "but"

My daughter is a first-year uni student (a hapless English major, like I was). She encountered a particularly evil homework question that employed uncommon (archaic) uses of the word 'but'. For ...
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Do you gather, collect, or receive points when taking an exam? [migrated]

Imagine I took an exam and got 50 points. Which of the following sound right to a native English speaker? I gathered 50 points. I collected 50 points. I received 50 points. Obtained/garnered/attained/...
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"interest + gerund" or "interest in + gerund" [closed]

Which is more appropriate usage: "Please let me know your interest attending the game" or "Please let me know your interest in attending the game". Thank you in advance.
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2 answers
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How to understand, "had things gone" and "had we had gotten" in a given sentence?

In this transcribed radio interview, I saw two sentences as follows: He said had things gone as forecasted a few days ago, it could have been much worse. You know, had we had gotten that 3 to 6 ...
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Keep his memory alive. Is this a proper use of the personal pronoun? I assume it is. But a literalist internet is not very helpful

Here is one example from the internet, however, where my understanding of this usage is demonstrated: "The last time I saw my dad was over Thanksgiving. I have a box of his things to keep his ...
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What's the correct use of "what obtains"? [duplicate]

I changed Compared internationally, the use of robots in Mongolian supermarkets is still in its infancy. to Compared to what obtains internationally, the use of robots in Mongolian supermarkets is ...
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Usage and etymology of "a pair of ..."

There are several good answers to a question entitled What is the etymology of a pair of trousers but more generally why are many items of clothing worn below the waist also described as "a pair&...
1 vote
2 answers
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Using singular language to discuss generality [duplicate]

I am somewhat confused by the use of singular langauge to discuss generally true statements, for example: A cat is smarter than a dog. The intention of this statement is to say that in general any ...
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2 votes
0 answers
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Please explain this sentence: "Organizations the world over need your help!" [closed]

This sentence is from bugcrowd. Organizations the world over need your help! To me, it's such a weird usage of English language but grammarly doesn't find anything wrong with it. Yet, I don't ...
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2 answers
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Is the use of "boot" in "it'll boot you none to try" weird or strange?

I seem to have a phrase in my head for a long time that i can't remember where I picked it up. It will boot you none to attempt this/try. The implication being that there will be no advantage or ...
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1 answer
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Grammaticality and register of: 'In my pencil case there are scissors/a pair of scissors' versus 'There is a scissors' [closed]

I am trying to understand how to use the word scissors, I have read this question and I would like to ask if this information is correct. Am I right about these sentences? In my pencil case there are ...
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4 votes
3 answers
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About the use of 'say please'

I'm not a native English speaker, so maybe there are something I don't pay attention to, today I said 'Can you do ....?' and he said 'Say please'. Does that mean what I said is impolite? I'm confused, ...
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Usage of "out of point" and "off the point" to mean "out of scope"

I have seen people use both phrases (and I have even used the first phrase many times) to mean that something is out of scope/not relevant to the topic at hand. Say your teacher gives you an essay on ...
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Is it possibile to use infinitives after the expression thank you?

Is it correct to use the infinitive after the verb to thank? Example : Thank you to be in my life.
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Is the phrase "albeit the fact that..." correct?

I recently came across the phrase albeit the fact in a book I was reading, and, as a professional editor, I was immediately struck by how ungrammatical it sounded to me. So I searched Google Books and ...
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Usage of "which + noun" clause after a noun [duplicate]

In my native language, we can follow a noun with a "which + noun" clause to provide more information about the said noun. For example, if we want to say that a certain man owns a "house&...
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"I do, don't I?" What is this type of phrase called, and what is its function within speech?

This kind of saying something then asking if it isnt so, seems on the surface, wasteful and pointless. "I do (X), don't I?" "I (do) (X)." "Do I (X)?" "Don't I (X)?&...
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"It is notified for general information that" usage

I've seen this phrase used in Government Gazettes of different countries. I have a feeling that it's a formal and old-fashioned expression used in legal writing, which is not in use anymore and never ...
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Would like. Can we use it in the past?

I listened to "15 facts about Pierre Cardin". And there's a phrase "but at the age of 8 years old he showed his interest in fashion and design when he would like to dress up the dolls ...
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1 answer
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Hook, line and sinker [closed]

I learned that "hook, line and sinker" is used to emphasize that someone has been completely deceived or tricked. I'd like to know whether it is appropriate to use the phrase in a formal ...
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"From which" vs "of which" vs "by which"

I came across this sentence while reading an article: Four people were killed after a BMW from which they were traveling rammed into a truck. My questions are: Is "from which" correct in ...
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2 answers
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What is the meaning of "both" in D. Defoe's text?

Does the word "both" in this fragment of D. Defoe's text relate to the verbs? Or does it mean that there were two actors who both suffered the same fate? Those whose avarice, prevailing ...
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1 answer
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Interpretation - Wall Street Is Missing the Risk to Stocks If Inflation Is Beaten

Please help analyze the intention of this sentence from Bloomberg News. Wall Street Is Missing the Risk to Stocks If Inflation Is Beaten The conventional wisdom with stock bulls is that prices will ...
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Is "aka" used in some instances to mean "meaning" more than "also known as"?

I am a native English speaker, and I recently realized that I use "aka" in sentences where substituting "also known as" wouldn't make complete sense. For example, I might say or ...
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Use of 'Happiest' in wishing birthday?

Recently, I have seen some people writing: 'Happiest birthday, John' What exactly does this mean? Happiest implies a comparison with something, but the phrase is usually used without any context that ...
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1 answer
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If you can say that something is pending, can you say that it pends or pended?

The debit card transaction is pending. This is correct. Debit card transactions often pend for a day or two. The debit card transaction pended for two days. Are these correct?
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On coalescence and the usage thereof

https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/coalescence defines "coalescence" as: Noun (countable and uncountable, plural coalescences) The act of coalescing. (phonology) The merging of two segments ...
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Is it acceptable to use alternating caps or studly caps in a professional setting?

For the company Meoito. The actual pronunciation is Meo-I-T-O. But it could be mispronounced as Meo-E-toe or Meo-eye-tow. In professional documents and official social media channels, is it acceptable ...
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When and why did the word "pasta" become commonly used?

I remember sometime around 1980 that people started calling pasta... "pasta". I was in a used book store this past weekend and stumbled across two copies of the Better Homes and Gardens New ...
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What does "having a mid off" mean?

I've seen a lot of people using "having mid off" on twitter and some other app, don't know what it's mean
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Can we still use "detect" if there is only one subject

When we say we have detected the faulty model does it imply there are more than one model in front of us, and we want to pick the faulty ones? In other words, would it still be appropriate to use &...
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3 answers
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Is the term "mobile set" correct?

Whenever I try to reach someone and their phone is switched off, it says "دستگاه مشترک مورد نظر خاموش می‌باشید - the mobile set is off". Searching "mobile set" on the web yields ...
1 vote
1 answer
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What's the special meaning of "address" here?

“But what we’re looking at today — a portrait of a biracial kid with an unusual name and the daughter of a water pump operator and a stay-at-home mom — what we are seeing is a reminder that there’s a ...
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"Who is" or "who was" the last person to do something?

I'm currently watching the US open at one of the commentators said "Andy Roddick was the last American male to win a grand slam". Is this correct, or should it be "he is the last ...
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What is the meaning of the phrase 'for the purpose of' in legal context?

I've come across this phrase many times in contracts and other legal instruments of similar nature, and can't seem to understand what its actual meaning is. For example, For the purpose of this ...
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1 answer
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How do you use the term "of which"? [closed]

I'm trying to find how you would use the term of which in a sentence.
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1 answer
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Is 'Can you make sure...?' rude? [closed]

I know that imperative Make sure... can be not polite. How softer is Can you make sure...? Can I write this to my boss? Context: Something is blocking my work that depends on my boss, and I want to ...
1 vote
1 answer
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Is "in the briefest of moments" a good synonym for "in the twinkling of an eye"? [closed]

I am trying to find a poetic but recognisable synonym of in the twinkling of an eye. PowerThesaurus gives quite a range of synonyms, but most of them are too colloquial and very few contain moment, ...
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3 answers
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Is "create new" not pleonastic?

I wonder why the verb "create" is often followed by the word "new". Does "create" not imply "new"? When I read (in programming languages, for example) "...
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1 answer
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What is a way to say "take pride" without the implication of arrogance?

I want to say "our team takes pride in the quality of our output," but I don't want the audience or my teammates to get the sense that we are arrogant, flawless, or ungracious. How else ...
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What Verbs can Gerunds Follow?

Throughout my life, I have relied on intuition to ensure that my sentences are intelligible and grammatical. I like using gerunds because they can shorten sentences and avoid redundancy. Recently, ...
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Informal Australian use of "as" at the end of a sentence

In Australia I have heard expressions such as “It's fully stressful as.” and “All are really skux(?) as.” What is the meaning or force of this use of “as” at the end of a sentence?
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3 answers
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Nuances between 'more' and 'better' (than something) [duplicate]

For this sentence, which one is correct or more suitable, 'more' or 'better'; or are they both equally valid? Are there any nuances between them? I like baseball ______ than soccer. Please give a ...
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Conjugation of modal verb "would."

The nuns taught me that shall/will is conjugated this way: I shall you will he will we shall you will they will Similarly, should/would is conjugated this way: I should you would he would we should ...
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1 answer
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Cambridge First for Schools: “if you hadn't helped [me] so much”

The following question is taken from First for Schools Trainer 2 with Answers published by Cambridge English and Cambridge University Press. The task below is copied verbatim Test 4 Reading and Use ...
3 votes
1 answer
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Usage of "mobile" and "phone" - which one is more common in the UK?

Similar questions have been asked in the past, but I am curious as to whether this usage has changed as of recent years. Is it more common to describe one's mobile phone as a "mobile" or as ...
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1 answer
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Does the double negative have any implications in "very unlikely that there is no difference"

If the sentence was "likely there is no difference" it would mean that the two things are the same. When it is "unlikely there is no difference", does it mean two things are not ...

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