Questions tagged [usage]

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

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48 views

The usage of “need + verb+ing” [closed]

In Michael Jackson's "Got to be there", you can find The moment I know she loves me 'Cause when I look in her eyes I realize I need her sharing the world beside me". My interpretation ...
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0answers
15 views

Difference between “time” and “timing”? [migrated]

I want to ask regarding the time at which I will be interviewed. Which option is correct? Or both are incorrect? I am confused regarding the usage of "time" and "timing"? What is ...
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17answers
24k views

“Can I” vs “May I” in restaurant setting when ordering

A while back, while we were getting fast food, my friend commented on my usage of "can" versus "may" when asking to take my order. I said: Can I have a ....... and my friend argued you're ...
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8answers
18k views

Usage of “ladies and gentlemen” to address two people of different sex

It seems to be not quite logical to use the traditional address "ladies and gentlemen" when there are only a single lady and a single gentleman in the room, not counting for the person who is speaking....
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1answer
34 views

Using article “a” [closed]

What is the correct sentence? I'm neither a man nor a god I'm neither man nor God I'm neither a man nor God I'm neither man nor a god
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0answers
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student vs alumnus/alumna [closed]

Since I've learnt some basic Spanish, I know the word of "student" in Spanish is alumno/a. But in English language, I also found there's this similar word alumnus/alumna. I checked it up in ...
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1answer
77 views

Can “Tentacles” be used for branches?

Reading through the following sentence It had been my father’s word which had got me a footing in the multinational company which had its tentacles in Asia, Europe and the Middle East. Oxford ...
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1answer
3k 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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1answer
53 views

What rules make these comparative clauses grammatical? [closed]

We invited more people than came. Fred reads more books than Susan reads. These than-clauses which appear in a grammar book seems weird to me. Are they grammatically acceptable? What about the ...
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1answer
42 views

In what conditions should a pronoun use forms of singular they? [duplicate]

Are there grammatical errors in the following sentences? Semantically, one of them seems not right. Someone parked their cars at the entrance. The scientist dedicated themselves to the research.
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2answers
106 views

Are there rules about the subject of a subordinate clause?

The following two sentences, which is commonly used and grammatically correct? When Lisa unwrapped the package, she found the cellphone inside it was broken. When she unwrapped the package, Lisa ...
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4answers
93 views

Question about how to use the word suicide [duplicate]

I got this note from a literary agent and am curious about usage of the word suicide. I had written, "my father was a suicide." Which sounds a little archaic but wanted to avoid saying "...
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1answer
19k views

Can I use the phrase 'nigh-on-impossible' in a report?

I'm currently writing an academic report and I began to write out the phrase 'nigh-on-impossible' without a second thought. It then occurred to me that this phrase may actually be slang. I did a ...
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1answer
156 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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1answer
21 views

Labeling measurements

The rock is six feet in height. The rock is six feet tall. The rock is nine feet in width. The rock is nine feet wide. The rock is ten tons in weight. The rock weighs ten tons. I don't ...
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2answers
242 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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4answers
4k views

Is it “more just” or “juster”?

I was recently writing a sentence and added the words "more just", only for my extension Grammarly to flag the phrase and suggest "juster" instead. Is "juster" really a comparative form of "just"? If ...
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3answers
289 views

Does “commit <action>” always imply a negative moral judgement?

The word "commit" has a couple of uses: "to commit (oneself) to X", or "to commit X". The former seems to generally imply commitment to doing something good, while the ...
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0answers
29 views

“of the opinion” vs “at the opinion” [closed]

Can the sentence 'at the opinion' be used anywhere? I know that 'of the opinion' is heavily used. I remember someone saying the first is correct, but I could not find anything on the internet.
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2answers
9k views

“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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0answers
8 views

Can I say “towards November” instead of “towards early November”

I am not sure when the project will finish. but I know it is going to be in November. Can I say "Towards November this project will be ready" or it only works "Towards end of November ...
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3answers
539 views

Is “curate the market” common usage of “curate”?

I found New York Times (November 25) article titled “Helpful definition of modern author” intriguing. It provides humorous definitions of book-related terminologies such as authors, publishers, ...
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1answer
38 views

Preparatory it; not possible for complements

I was reading Practical English Usage, by Michael Swan and got into something that has got me deeply confused. It basically says that preparatory it can be used as a preparatory subject or object, but ...
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0answers
56 views

usage of adverb “comparably” [closed]

I'm an English teacher in South Korea. I've always taught my students to use adverbs to modify verbs or adjectives and adjectives to modify nouns. So I know "They offered a number of jewels ...
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0answers
36 views

Waiting for a girl like you vs. Waiting for a girl such as you [duplicate]

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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4answers
111 views

Alternate way of saying Tech Tree

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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2answers
49 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
107 views

Which sentence is correct? Which tense is better to use?

How to say grammatically correct that I had a problem, but then it's gone when I tried a recommendation: I had the same problem. Thanks, recommendation above helps me! or I had the same problem....
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0answers
21 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
36 views

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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1answer
81 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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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
113 views

Is it correct to write “the adjacent room” even if there are multiple adjacent rooms?

Recently, I posted a puzzle on Puzzling.SE. The puzzle describes a prison containing thousands of hallways which all run next to each other, like the pipes in a pan flute. In my description of the ...
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1answer
58 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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1answer
153 views

Is using “than with” to connect an independent clause to a dependent clause is grammatically correct?

"Human processor model of interaction, in cognitive psychology, views the user as another computer in the system. In this model, the user is like a computer processor that takes input from the ...
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1answer
81 views

Correct form of saying of what will be left?

Imagine a hypothetical situation that someone is left to do home duties and you are writing a note to him. Which is the correct form? 1) "Turn on the robot cleaner. After it finishes all that will be ...
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1answer
43 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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1answer
2k views

“Departed” or “departed from” before place/object?

I'm working on an essay and the first line of my introductory paragraph currently reads as: Too many times, when sitting in an English classroom, have bitter groans departed the lips of around ...
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2answers
41 views

“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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0answers
24 views

“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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0answers
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
39 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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1answer
61 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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0answers
24 views

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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6answers
9k views

Why don't Americans refer to Indians (and others from the subcontinent) as Asians?

I know there is a related question here, but I am not seeing an answer to "Why is there a difference?" Merely that an explanation of what is used in each country. I am a speaker of American English, ...
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5answers
31k views

Preposition in vs. of

Which is correct; "in" poverty or "of" poverty? The children have survived 10 years of poverty. or The children have survived 10 years in poverty. Thank you!
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0answers
19 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
44 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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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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0answers
33 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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