Questions tagged [word-choice]

This tag is for questions about choosing the best word FROM A GIVEN SELECTION for a particular context or meaning. The selection to choose from must appear in the question. If you do not know the word already, use single-word-requests.

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23
votes
3answers
9k views

“User accounts” or “users account”

Is it correct to say user accounts or users account when referring to the accounts any user has on a site like this one? In general, in the case of a noun that is used as adjective for the noun that ...
6
votes
1answer
2k views

Conditional sentences not starting with “if”

Were I rich, I would live on Long Island. If I were rich, I would live on Long Island. Is the first sentence still used, or is used in particular contexts (in example, to give emphasis to the ...
6
votes
3answers
15k views

When should you use “then” and when “than”?

As far as I know, then is used in a conjunction and in time-related sentences; than in all other cases. I believe that these are correct: Because I'm older than she, I should be the first chosen; I ...
7
votes
4answers
21k views

'to check' versus 'to verify'

My interpretation is that sentences like the following have a slightly different meaning. Check the application output. Verify the application is running. Is there any difference between to ...
125
votes
2answers
1.8m views

Is it “bear” or “bare” with me? [closed]

Is it "bear" or "bare" with me?
10
votes
4answers
16k views

“Irregardless” vs. “irrespective”

Why is irrespective considered a proper word but irregardless is not?
4
votes
2answers
563 views

Is there a general thesaurus for conceptual fields?

My question is about ways to find out about, or remind oneself of, related concepts. Say I'm writing an article and I'm stuck finding the right expression. I want to say that the author is confused ...
13
votes
2answers
29k views

“Built-in” or “In-built”

Is there any difference between using in-built or built-in? Is one more correct than the other, or does it depend on the context, or ”house style”? This oven comes with a built-in extractor fan. ...
4
votes
5answers
182 views

What will “this country” refer to after mentioning a foreign state?

As far as I know, it is typical to refer to the country where the speaker lives as this country. For example, if a person lives in Great Britain and he wants to mention weather in Great Britain, he ...
11
votes
3answers
2k views

Is it acceptable to use “google” as a verb?

With the popularity and ubiquity of Google, it has become a verb to describe "searching for something online" and it appears in conversations and informal writing. How can I know if it is acceptable ...
8
votes
9answers
2k views

Alternative to “maze” as a description for Pacman's environment?

Pacman's maze is not a maze in the sense of being a place in which we get lost since we can clearly see where we are going. So what should we call the restricted environment in which Pacman operates? ...
5
votes
11answers
2k views

What should I call the English spoken in UK?

I have read that saying British English is too specific, and that I should say English English. Is that true? When I say British English, what do people think I am referring to?
25
votes
5answers
227k views

“Half an hour” versus “half hour”

I'll be back in half an hour. I'll be back in half hour. Which is the correct sentence? Are there any differences between British English and American English?
6
votes
5answers
1k views

Which is correct: “web host” or “web hoster”?

Which is the best way to refer to a company that hosts your website: My web host supports Ruby. or My web hoster supports Ruby. or My web hosting service supports Ruby.
5
votes
10answers
1k views

Read ( Beautiful + Interesting ) stories

I'm looking for a word to express something that is beautiful and interesting at the same time, to use in this sentence: Read [term] stories Can you help me find one?
3
votes
5answers
2k views

Should I use “speaker” or “loud speaker” to refer to the signal → vibration → sound thingy?

I am a native german speaker, so I have absolutely no good intuitions when it comes to choosing the right alternative out of a candidate set. Today, one problem was: How should I call the sound-making ...
1
vote
2answers
10k views

What is an alternative way to say “I am done”?

Is there a different way to say "I am done" to mean that I completed a task? I am trying to avoid misunderstandings with somebody who doesn't speak English.
20
votes
8answers
59k views

Are there any differences between “I believe” vs “I think” vs “I reckon”?

These are the three most common ways to say "I think." (At least, I believe so. I mean, I think so. Um...) Are there any subtle differences between them? Are there situations where one of the three ...
5
votes
2answers
416 views

May versus would

Which one of the sentences is the correct / preferable one? May you send me a screenshot of the application you are developing? Would you send me a screenshot of the application you are ...
17
votes
3answers
147k views

“Differ to”, “differ with” or “differ from”

In what ways are differ to, differ with and differ from different? Providing examples would be really appreciated.
26
votes
15answers
17k views

What is the name of the first decade in a century?

80s: the "Eighties" 90s: the "Nineties" 00s: the ??? For that matter, what is the second decade called? The "tens" just doesn't sound right.
28
votes
2answers
9k views

Which is correct: “math” or “maths”?

Which one is considered correct? I say "math", however I believe I heard somewhere that "maths" is correct. Also, should it (and "mathematics") be capitalized or not?
8
votes
4answers
6k views

Gin & Tonics vs Gins & Tonic vs Gins & Tonics

When I order multiple G&Ts which should I ask for?
8
votes
4answers
6k views

Why does “under the sea” mean “in the sea”?

Why is it OK to refer to things in the sea as being "under the sea"? Wouldn't that really be the sea floor and below?
4
votes
1answer
10k views

“Change” or “changes”?

Say you corrected a few typos and grammar issues. Is that considered as one change? Or several changes? Would you say "I like my change to the story" or "I like my changes to the story"?
32
votes
6answers
295k views

How should I ask for a bill in a restaurant politely?

I used to say check please, but my English teacher said that it's wrong, and the proper way is to say something like bill please. What's the truth?
11
votes
3answers
24k views

When to use 'an' and when to use 'a' with words begining with 'h'?

Some h-words need 'an' for the indefinite article (I will be there in an hour). Other h-words need 'a' for the indefinite article (It is a history of sadness). Is there a general rule?
12
votes
2answers
13k views

Can “anyways” be used at the beginning of a sentence?

For example, is it acceptable to say “Anyways, I love Stack Exchange" or should "anyway" always be used?
38
votes
6answers
411k views

“Speak to” vs. “Speak with”

What are the differences between these two phrasal verbs and what are the best situations to use each?
7
votes
3answers
24k views

Correct usage of ‘on’, ‘at’ and ‘in’

As a foreign English speaker who never really studied too much English grammar other than the basics at high school, I often struggle to decide what is the correct preposition to use in certain ...
18
votes
6answers
9k views

Can “real” be used as an adverb to describe an adjective?

Is this correct? That is a real cool answer. I learned that that was incorrect, since "real" is an adjective which can describe a noun, e.g. "real answer" but it is not an adverb which can ...
7
votes
3answers
123k views

Are both “in regards to” and “regarding to” correct?

Do in regards to and regarding to imply different meanings or is it okay to use them interchangeably? Example: This mail is in regards to your inquiry. This mail is regarding to your inquiry.
162
votes
11answers
927k views

When to use “If I was” vs. “If I were”?

If I was... If I were... When is it correct to use "If I was" vs. "If I were" in standard English?
29
votes
6answers
3k views

What is the best way to explain how to choose between “its” and “it's”?

Probably one of the most frequent grammar mistakes in the English language is: The dog sat on it's mat. Since spelling checkers don't catch it, and it is even logical, since you would correctly ...
11
votes
4answers
42k views

“Before” vs. “in front of”

Especially in speeches I often hear a sentence like I stand here before you... However during my English classes in school (I'm German) we were told that before should only be used if you're ...
16
votes
5answers
38k views

Should I refer to “Section 2.3” or “Subsection 2.3”?

When writing a document that is divided into numbered sections and subsections, sometimes I would like to refer a certain subsection that has been numbered 2.3, for example. Here the 2 represents the ...
4
votes
3answers
2k views

“For president” vs “for presidency”

Why is this statement correct Someone for president 2012 and not Someone for presidency 2012? EDIT: So far my understanding is that neither of these statements are grammatically wrong. However, at ...
8
votes
5answers
3k views

Is it correct to say “the 'following' customer”?

It happens all the time. You are in line at the grocery store, Starbucks or anywhere cashiers are employed. Having finished a transaction, one will cheerily offer to help "the following customer." I'...
98
votes
8answers
18k views

Which is correct: “__ is different from __” or “__ is different than __”?

As someone who learned English later on in life, I was taught that different from is the correct grammar to use: this is different from that. However, it seems these days everyone uses different than ...
69
votes
11answers
20k views

“Less” vs. “fewer”

I've just received a memo which says (effectively) As more people leave, there will be less people available. I want that word to be fewer. Are there guidelines for which word ought to be used ...
41
votes
13answers
24k views

Difference between “try to do” and “try and do”

What is the difference between try to do and try and do? To me (non-native speaker), asking someone try and do this seems a bit rude. It's like saying you can try all you want but this must be done: ...
32
votes
5answers
23k views

“Specially” vs “especially”

When should each of them be used?
48
votes
7answers
53k views

What are the differences between “assume”, “presume” and “suppose”

I believe that "assume", "presume", "suppose" are similar in meaning of to take some facts as a truth without proof. But it seems to me that "presume" is more formal, "assume" is less formal and "...
9
votes
2answers
4k views

All together vs. Altogether

Do all together and altogether mean the same and if not, what are the differences?
63
votes
4answers
512k views

“Effect” vs. “Affect”

I've noticed that some people use effect and affect interchangeably. What are the differences between these two and when are the proper situations to use each of them?
40
votes
9answers
60k views

Is it correct to say “on accident” instead of “by accident”?

There is a great chasm on these phrases in the US. The great divide seems to be currently centered at the age of 40. The younger generation has began shifting to "on accident" for unknown reasons. ...
127
votes
16answers
173k views

When should I use “a” vs “an”?

In the following example, is it appropriate to use a or an as the indefinite article, and why? He ate __ green apple. I know that in the case of just "apple", it would be "an apple," but I've ...
53
votes
3answers
199k views

When should “into” be used rather than “in to,” and vice versa?

"Into" (one word) and "in to" (two words) are frequently confused. In what situations should the former be used? The latter?
333
votes
22answers
99k views

Is there a correct gender-neutral singular pronoun (“his” vs. “her” vs. “their”)?

Is there a pronoun I can use as a gender-neutral pronoun when referring back to a singular noun phrase? Each student should save his questions until the end. Each student should save her ...
9
votes
3answers
6k views

“What's wrong in/with this question?”

Is it better to say: What's wrong with something? or What's wrong in something?