Questions tagged [usage]

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

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25 views

Waiting for a girl like you vs. Waiting for a girl such as you

I've been waiting for a girl like you. I've been waiting for a girl such as you. I believe both are grammatically correct constructions in English. Loosely speaking, I understand, they mean just about ...
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“around” = “on the subject of”

In recent months I have on a number of occasions heard people use the word "around" when they mean "on the subject of." E.g. "I can answer your questions around your ...
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1answer
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What does “Bastion of righteousness” mean? [closed]

I heard someone use this to describe star wars Obi Wan Kenobi. I know it must mean the quality of being morally right or justifiable but can you define it more specifically.
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What does “briefly noted” mean? [migrated]

I often see the expression "briefly noted" on weblog posts (and also New Yorker). In general, what does it mean to say "something is briefly noted". Some Examples: In New Yorker ...
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1answer
42 views

Why does standard usage of “percentile” vary from other _iles (quartiles, deciles, etc.)?

In my experience, the standard usage of "percentile" is as given by OED (September 2018): Each of the 99 intermediate values of a variate which divide a frequency distribution into 100 ...
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2answers
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“Imaginatively” as a synonym for “in imagination”

The expression "in imagination" shows up in phrases such as "meanings may be infinitely combined and rearranged in imagination" (John Dewey). I have also, just once or twice, heard ...
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“Don't try to be a hero” vs “Don't try and be a hero”

"Don't try to be a hero" "Don't try and be a hero" What's the difference? They both seem to be common according to Google. Do they mean exactly the same thing? Is one more ...
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69 views

Is this sentence correct? Her performance is commendable and was outstanding [closed]

Is this sentence correct? "Her performance is commendable and was outstanding". Sarah was a member of our volunteer group. She is no more in the team. Further, as a performer, "Sarah's ...
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This sentence works both in Simple Past and Present Perfect in my head, prove me wrong [closed]

"No one met any locals during the field trip." "No one has met any locals during the field trip." So, as an English (as a foreign language) teacher (Portuguese (BR) <-> ...
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34 views

Usage of “of” with an implicit object

Consider this sentence from an article about a killing: “Based on repeated threats on the night of, they (Rose, Ford and Liakos) decided to go on a scouting mission that was preserved on video,” ...
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1answer
37 views

Can one use transpire in the future tense?

My partner used the phrase ".... something planned... whether it transpires or not remains to be seen.". Now, I don't know for a fact, but I feel that transpir(es/ed) is (or should be) used ...
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What does “would” mean in this context?

Questioner: Should I use 'can' or 'could' in the following sentence? If I had superpowers, I "could" or "can" teleport to different places in a second, and I "could" or &...
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Formal email/letter writing : correct usage of “issue which pertains to” / “issue pertaining to” /“issue that pertains to”

In my humble attempt at writing a classy formal letter, I am stuck with a bug in my brain .. probably due to my background of a non-native speaker of English. I am trying to draw the reader's ...
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18 views

For a long time (future)-Usage

I am looking to tell my group of long-time friends, that the meet up they had last week (which I missed) would hopefully not be the last one for at least the next several months. Would it be fine to ...
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1answer
31 views

Crossing / Knocking at/on door

Context: I have received a feedback request for an interview process. The company didn't offer me the job, but I appreciate their approach in requesting feedback, so I am inclined to provide it. ...
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1answer
43 views

Revisiting “ee.g.” (versus “e.g.”)

How is "e.g." pluralized? Responses to the above article and other critiques of "ee.g." (insisting on "e.g.") roundly dismiss it as an aberration and even vilify it. Yet ...
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31 views

Hyphenation of compound adjective as object complement

Consider these three cases: Here is the up-to-date information. Mark this information up-to-date. This information is up to date. Those are spelled the ways that feel correct to me, but I'm not ...
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2answers
47 views

Which is correct: “The animal within you” or “The animal within yourself”?

I'm coming up with a slogan for my DJ personal brand. I want to convey the idea that we all have a wild side in us waiting to be triggered. From similar questions, it seems that either version would ...
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1answer
42 views

This reminds me of… how to use the word “remind” if we have no personal memory of something

Let me preface this by saying English isn't my first language. There was a comment by an user on facebook today that went like "This reminds me of the 90's", but the user was born in 94 so ...
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1answer
31 views

How to mention an uncertain object/thing in English?

I want to know how to mention an uncertain object, like X country. e.g. I want to go to a certain country no matter where it is because I just need to go out right now. I found a Question on this ...
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1answer
39 views

What is the difference between “in the extent that” and “in the extent to which”? [closed]

So, if you replace "in the extent to which" by "in the extent that" in the following sentence, will it mean the same thing? There is a limitation in the extent to which Sarah can ...
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1answer
41 views

Many users, one address each: Users address? Users addresses? User addresses? [duplicate]

In the context of writing a technical document, I need to refer to a data structure that contains a list of addresses, in fact one address for each user in the system. Should I call this data ...
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Can “Free” be a noun? And what does it mean? [duplicate]

I saw this sentence when I was studying British Culture. "William Shakespeare composed plays that broke FREE of England's past style of plays and theatre." I was quite confused about the ...
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1answer
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Which example sentence is better? [closed]

I'm unsure which would be the best way to write the following example sentence: You asked me to call you today about X. You asked me to call you about X today.
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Proper usage of 'more often' , 'more frequent'.?

When we read an article on the internet saying that some Event X takes place more often than you think. What is in the mind of the author who writes this article? Does the usage of more often implies ...
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29 views

Can I use 'more younger' in some cases?

Let's assume a woman is 50 and looking for a younger guys above 30 and I am 20. Would this be a right sentence? I see you are looking for a younger man, but why not even more younger?
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Schoolchildren population or schoolchild population?

Although we are taught to use singular adjectives to modify nouns, "schoolchildren" population seems to be a more commonly heard and searched (Google) option than the true singular "...
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2answers
57 views

Verbs “COME” and “GO” followed by the gerund

Good evening everyone, I was listening to Tears for Fears' song Everybody wants to rule the world, and I came across the line "when the walls come tumbling down". I looked the expression up ...
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1answer
47 views

“overlooked” opposite meaning

All, I am wondering how the same word may refer to two opposite meanings. According to the free dictionary https://www.thefreedictionary.com/overlooked, overlooked may mean a thorough examination or ...
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1answer
41 views

Use of “whenever” or “when” instead of “if” in logical sentences

The conjunction "if" is used a lot in scientific writing. I wonder if it is correct to replace it with "when" and/or "whenever". For example, instead of writing: (1) a · ...
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1answer
72 views

Difficulty understanding how the word “actual” works in “…actual problems that you face.”

My question is about a sentence that I found in another SE site's help center, and I'm genuinely befuddled because I am having a hard time understanding how many ways the word "actual" can ...
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1answer
56 views

Usage of adverb 'each'

The tickets cost £20 each (=each ticket costs £20). You get two cookies each (=every one of you gets two cookies). They each have their own skills. The question I'm asking is why 'they each have their ...
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What is the rule for using the words “this” or “that” at the beginning of a sentence

I tend to use the word this at the beginning of a sentence when I want to refer to something I said in the previous sentence. For example: The purpose of a singleton pattern is to allow only one ...
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1answer
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Natural Collocations (Finance)

Could you please tell me what the native-like option for this case is: He diversifies his stock portfolio OR He varies his stock portfolio. I am talking about the stock market (finance).
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2answers
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Using “the” without referring to something before [duplicate]

I was surfing the Internet when I saw this sentence: From there, you can see the beautiful scene where the sunset's reflecting over the ocean. As far as I've known, "the" is used when you ...
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1answer
46 views

“Having” vs “Being in” a fight [closed]

I was reading some articles on the Internet when I came across this sentence: I was being in a fight with him. Is using "being in a fight" correct, or does it need to be changed to "...
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1answer
29 views

Hoping to learn the distinctions between aggress and assert

Based on all of the definitions I can find: I understand aggressing is always offensive, whereas asserting can be offensive and defensive. I understand aggressing attempts to take or overtake ...
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Adverbial clause & subject

I was reading through a book when I came across this sentence: But looking at the disastrous state of the kitchen, hopefully what she's making won't turn out to be so... staggering. The adverbial ...
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1answer
87 views

Is there a difference between “clothe with” and “clothe in”?

I would use the verb clothe either with the preposition with or in. Is there any difference in meaning? On free dictionary I found this example: She clothed her children ***in*** the finest garments. ...
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1answer
54 views

Is there a phrase called “flip the switch” or “flip one's switch”?

I was reading a novel when I came across this line: Just by looking at her face, I felt as if the switch inside my head was flipped. I want to ask: is the phrase "the switch inside my head was ...
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6answers
4k views

What's the feminine equivalent of “your obedient servant” as a letter closing? [closed]

I'm a student learning English and recently came across the United Kingdom's declaration of war on Japan, which ends with: I have the honour to be, with high consideration, Sir, Your obedient servant,...
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1answer
65 views

“Unlike” vs. “compared to”

I've been reading a novel when I came across this sentence: Her being so helpless unlike her normal self made me a bit sad. I want to ask about that "unlike" in the sentence. Is it correct ...
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1answer
65 views

Making requests with “are you able” [closed]

Is it ok or common to use "are you able" to make a request instead of using "can you" or "could you" when you know that the person is able to do the task and you are just ...
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1answer
20 views

Longing context? [closed]

Longing = a yearning desire. But is that for something you never had or for thing you had but now are missing.
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1answer
52 views

If+Past Perfect + would + base form or … + base form of 'be' (+ verb + ing)? Mixed conditional!

I know the structure of the mixed conditional, when past event has a result in a present situation - If+Past Perfect + would + base form. But all the example sentences I find are using the base form ...
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1answer
42 views

What's the difference between chip away and chip away AT something? [closed]

I've been trying to identify the difference in usage between saying chip away and chip away at something but I can't see any. The sentences in dictionaries all seem like they could accept both. So my ...
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1answer
33 views

On the hunt for him VS On his hunt

I know the idiom On the hunt But I have a question about the usage. I believe these are correct: He was on the hunt for clues. She was on the hunt for the escaped criminal. However, (1) can I use it ...
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1answer
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Is this sentence ambiguous or not?

To my way of thinking, the last sentence " The upsetting event could even be something as simple as sitting here right now, reading this book, feeling depressed, anxious, or discouraged." ...
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1answer
47 views

Whet's the difference between way to tell and way to say? [closed]

What's the difference in meaning and intention between: A) There's no way to say if she was poisoned. and B) There's no way to tell if she was poisoned.
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2answers
1k views

Is “Black” correct, incorrect, or could it be used as either “Black” or “black”? [duplicate]

I was reading an article that I was assigned by my professor, and I came across the following: “We’re the ones getting killed,” Los Angeles Clippers coach Doc Rivers, who is Black, said in an ...

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