Questions tagged [usage]

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

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0answers
22 views

Why is there no relative pronoun in Bronte's sentence?

I have a question for which I hope to get an answer from a professional. My question is: why is there no pronoun in the following sentence in Charolotte Bronte's Jane Eyre, Chapter XXIV? Here is a ...
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2answers
87 views

Is "taking liberties with something" always disapproving?

The expression "to take liberties with something" are defined by different dictionaries as follows: to make important and unreasonable changes to something, especially a book (Oxford ...
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1answer
65 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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0answers
24 views

Is it fine to keep & in the end of a word at a line break? [closed]

For Example, I would like to create an advertisement where I would need to use "&" but as I am limited with the area space in the ad, I wanted to keep it as follows, with the ampersand ...
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4answers
12k views

Is 'take a sauna' the correct expression?

I'm not a native English speaker and I was just wondering if take a sauna is a correct way to say that I'm going to sauna, the same way you can say take a shower. I have tried to search this up online,...
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21 views

When to use a vs the [closed]

I know when to use a vs the most of the time, but it can get pretty tricky. “All kinds of different operations happen in a brain.” “All kinds of different operations happen in the brain.” Is the ...
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2answers
62 views

Aversion to already? [closed]

A non-native translator into English, I use a native editor to check my translations. My current editor has an absolute aversion to the word "already", deleting it every time. Here are the ...
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1answer
19 views

"probably be only" vs "probably only be"

Which is more acceptable: "probably be only" vs "probably only be" Feel free to exchange "may" for "probably". Actual usage context In reality, there will ...
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21 views

Is No2. wrong or still acceptable and No.1 is better? [closed]

I came to school by bus this morning. I came to school this morning by bus. Is No2. wrong or still acceptable and No.1 is better?
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34 views

What does the word "hole" mean in this context?

My friend came to me with the sentence There was a time not so long ago when the word engage was most commonly used when two people plighted their troth with the goal of matrimony or holy wedlock ...
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1answer
95 views

When was the first documented use of "do you copy" by the military?

I have found a documented use from 1960. But WWII movies use the expression. So are the movie people making it up, or do they know something I don't?
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43 views

Jury: oath-takers or judges? [closed]

Familiar as we may be with the modern jury, the right to judgment by peers is set forth in the Magna Carta: NO Freeman shall be taken or imprisoned, or be disseised of his Freehold, or Liberties, or ...
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1answer
55 views

Dialectal variation in subtleties of usage of the word "sore"

I grew up in southern England, and now live in Scotland. There are many interesting and well-known quirks of usage that differ between Southern English English and the various Scottish dialects and ...
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2answers
125 views

Can "x exclusive" and/or "x-exclusive" mean that x is excluded?

Is it reasonable for the statement "y is x exclusive" to mean "y does not include the patronage of x"? For instance, is it correct to say that a "members-only" lounge is ...
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1answer
108 views

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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27 views

'We advise her to review and practice all the concepts taught in class for better performance next term.' do we need an 'in' after performance?

We advise her to review and practice all the concepts taught in class for better performance next term. Or We advise her to review and practice all the concepts taught in class for better ...
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2answers
281 views

"Since" being used in conditional sentences

I've come across this line in a movie: Ever since she got her test results back, she'd get mad whenever someone asked her about it. I've known about how "since" can only be used in present/...
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2answers
243 views

What does "Government is a corporation in the limit" mean?

In one of the videos Elon Musk defines Government as a "corporation in the limit". What does "in the limit" mean in this context ? As retweeted, a more complete quotation is: "...
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2answers
48k views

“I know“ or “I do know”

I have seen people using I do know that instead of I know that Is this usage correct?
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1answer
43 views

"Catch one's breath" vs "One's breath caught" [closed]

I was looking into the usage of 'to catch one's breath'. To my understanding, it's used to denote a pause between an intake of breath and the release. However, I was told that the idiom is more ...
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1answer
44 views

"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
69 views

Ad hominem for non persons

An ad hominem argument is typically, according to Wikipedia, "a rhetorical strategy where the speaker attacks the character, motive, or some other attribute of the person making an argument ...
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0answers
37 views

When does repetition become cycling?

When does repetition become cycling? I've looked up several sources for definitions and there's nothing I see that helps tell me when to use one over another. For example, is operating a light switch ...
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5 views

Correct phrase to use about feeling before actually happen [migrated]

I want to say someone about miss him already before he actually leaving. Can i say I already miss you from now on
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2answers
335 views

usage of 'more common'

We all know that tigers are found only in Asia and not in Africa. So is it correct to say that tigers are "more common" in Asia than Africa?
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51 views

Different from from before

If we wanted to avoid "different than" in "different than from before", we would end up with "different from from before", which is clearly non idiomatic. Yet, I don't ...
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0answers
26 views

Punctuation after "This is X..." when introducing oneself

I would like to politely remind someone who I am over email. I'm not sure about the usage of the semicolon in the sentence below. I find if I replace it with a period, it's too abrupt sounding. I'm ...
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2answers
19k views

"Mobile" vs. "cellphone" in AE

I already heard Americans use the term "mobile" for "cellphone" -- which I thought was chiefly BE -- and so I wish you could tell if such usage of "mobile" has any currency in GAE? Unless it might be ...
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2answers
161 views

Current Usage of Fanny

We are thinking about giving our daughter the name Fanny. We are Germans, based in Germany but we're really curious about the current usage of this word in Great Britain. We are familiar with the ...
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0answers
59 views

Usage of "Full stop. Fresh line" phrase instead of "full stop" or "period"

In Malta, there's a phrase "full stop. Fresh line" (or "full stop, fresh line") that seems to be in use by some speakers. It is equivalent to the British English "full stop&...
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2answers
969 views

Are both gasoline and mains gas called "gas" in the USA? [closed]

I know that "petrol" is called "gasoline" in the USA, but frequently shortened into just "gas". But then there's also the English word "gas", which to the best ...
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2answers
109 views

Missing conditionals

When we talk about Unreal Past using The Third Conditional we know what really happened. Example: "If I hadn't had a lot of money, I wouldn't have gone with her that summer and we wouldn't be ...
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4answers
132 views

Alternate way of saying Tech Tree [closed]

In video games, characters can often aquire new skills, weapons, tools, etc. Usually one must achieve skills in a particular order. This is called a "tech tree". I am working on such a system, but ...
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1answer
53 views

"Given are ..." or " ... are given" - what is the difference between these two?

Also I want to know what voice was used in "Given are ...". Was it passive voice? Example: Given are two tables referring to criminality in Britain. & Two tables referring to ...
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1answer
76 views

Notes in a business report without a verb?

There are notes a in business report like 'Contractor to proceed as per the comments'. I really wonder that there is not verb to complete the sentence and apparently it looks to use as 'contractor ...
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0answers
4k views

Is "on the pretext of" more correct than "under the pretext of" or vice versa?

Is "under" or "on" more correct in this instance? I would like to say "Sysco has had all the business for quite some time under the pretext of a program which they have been grandfathered into."
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4answers
225 views

In what regions is "Do you work tonight?" clear and acceptable usage?

In my answer at ELL regarding a question of whether someone is working that evening, I suggested the alternative: Do you work tonight? There was a comment about this being incorrect usage, because &...
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2answers
19k views

trend for / in / of?

Hi guys, Please kindly refer to the diagram shown above. Which preposition is ok in the sentence: The trends for / in / of both commodities are very similar. I have looked up my Oxford dictionary and ...
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5answers
571 views

What can I call 2nd and 3rd place finishes in a competition?

There are many awards I received from the sport I did. I thought to compress everything and write as 'Inter university and All island winner' but I have placed only 2nd and 3rd places. What is the ...
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2answers
221 views

Was the word "inoculation" regularly used for introducing a disease for purposes other than inducing immunity?

While researching the history/historiography of the British potentially spreading smallpox via blankets at the siege of Fort Pitt during Pontiac's War, I came across General Amherst's letters. These ...
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1answer
60 views

Unusual usages of usurp

Google gives the definition of the word usurp as Take (a position of power or importance) illegally or by force. and cites the Oxford English dictionary. This definition means that someone who takes ...
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0answers
20 views

Is it correct to say, "The king gifted him with a generous amount of gold, horses and chariots"? [duplicate]

Is it correct to say... The king gifted him with a generous amount of gold, horses and chariots Not sure whether 'amount' can be used here, since 'horses' and 'chariots' are listed with an ...
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0answers
96 views

The phrase "in (the) light of" - USAGE 2021

There is a distinction between "in the light of" and "in light of", with the first expression belonging to British English and the second to American English. The Oxford Dictionary,...
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1answer
97 views

Can "filter for x" be used in two opposite senses?

Can "filter for" be used in the following sense: "ABC is very important as it filters for high quality and reliable results." Filter for has been used as filter out: "8. to ...
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1answer
4k views

Why are doctors addressed as Mr. in the UK?

In the US most physicians, surgeons and dentists are addressed as "doctor". Very few other professionals receive the same title. In the UK, however, surgeons and dentists seem to prefer to ...
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1answer
54 views

Could you please help and explain to me how to correct the seemingly incorrect passive voice sentence pattern?

Could you please help and explain to me how to correct the seemingly incorrect passive voice sentence pattern? I would prefer it if we could be sat next to a window.
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1answer
110 views

What would be the correct spelling/hyphenation for "upper mid-tier"?

The phrase is for referring to a noun "company" such as in the sentence: "I bought the upper mid-tier company". (Meaning a company that is middle tier but slightly higher and not ...
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3answers
535 views

Re: "a premise which maintains that…" Can a premise maintain?

I was trying to define false balance [Wikipedia] in my own words. False balance (aka bothsidesism): a media bias which perpetuates misinformation; a premise [which maintains] that two sides of an ...
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1answer
139 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
113 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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