Questions tagged [phrases]

This tag is for questions about phrases in the linguistic sense. In linguistics a “phrase” is a group of words that make a unit of syntax with a single grammatical function. Use [phrase-requests] if you are searching for a phrase.

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Single word substitution for a given phrase [closed]

What to call a person who has talents but couldn't express it to others?
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What does "he grew so out of heart" mean? [closed]

For example ...and he grew so out of heart that he sat down on a stone and began to weep. Is it somehow related to fatigue or exhaustion or despair?
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Is it okay to start a sentence with an appositive?

I know you can use them in the middle of a sentence, but is it okay to start sentences with them? Example: A kind of a duck, the Mallard, can be found all throughout the world.
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What do you call work or tasks that are Not part of the main(highest priorty) work that a person is doing at the present time?

What do you call work or tasks that are Not part of the main(highest priority) work that a person is doing at the present time? In lexico.com ,there is a term called side work: ( Credited reference: ...
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What does "I'll not go a step further" actually mean in this specific context?

Maybe you know the Norwegian folk tale Doll i 'the Grass. The story features the sentence "But if you'll only say at once you'll be my wife, I'll not go a step further," said Boots to Doll ...
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Is "thank you so much" equal to "thank you" nowadays? [closed]

I recently came to the US. Sometimes people use "thank you so much" where I only expect a simple "thank you" after a simple favor (like holding the door), and I find myself doing ...
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Is the highlighted part a noun phrase acting as an appositive or an absolute phrase, modifying the previous clause?

His chest and arms were thick and roped with muscle, testament to the athlete he’d once been. In the sentence above, is "testament to ..." modifying the previous clause "his chest ..&...
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Adjective similar to "in-depth" or "slow-paced"

I need to know whether there's an adjective that could work in this sentence: I will provide ___ help so you can solve problems independently. I hope that the answer could be similar to "in-...
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2 votes
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Usage of the phrase "to which" in this mathematical explanation

I'm sure I am overthinking this, but I wanted to understand this explanation better (and in turn, be able to explain it to students better). Observe the following explanation of a function in ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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Why is the word "Honours" in plural form when used in "x Graduated with First Class Honours?"

Is it because one has a lot of "honours"? Is "Graduated with First Class Honours" common/acceptable? (I'm not quite sure how to properly tag this question. Sorry about that.)
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What is a phrase or analogy for something that has both fixed and customizable parts?

I am looking for a way to describe to my students that some of their courses must be taken at a certain time while others can be taken whenever. Therefore, I am trying to give an example or phrase ...
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1 vote
4 answers
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A word to describe that you ate too much so you don't like it anymore now [duplicate]

In our native language we have a word for saying that you can't eat something because you ate too much of it and now you don't like the taste of it (for some time). When and how we use it: No, I don'...
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1 vote
4 answers
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Word or phrase to describe bashing one's opponents to make oneself look good

Is there a word, phrase or expression that would describe the action of defaming or speaking ill of someone just to raise your own standing or reputation? I'm looking for something like what you ...
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1 answer
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"Do this, and while you're at it, do the other." Can we use "on the way" instead of "while you're at it"? [closed]

"Do this, and while you're at it, do the other." Can we use "on the way" instead of "while you're at it"? "Bring me coffee. On the way takesome candies"? Is ...
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1 answer
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"What we are going to do is we are gonna ..."

I see people using this redundant phrase a lot. How/why did this phrase become so popular and where is this used most frequently? I personally hear this frequently in academia (STEM) on the east coast ...
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Phrase for getting distracted by other things and turning away from the true purpose [duplicate]

I apologise in advance for the rather confusing title as I’m having a hard time wording it. I’m looking for an idiom which suits the statement below The public has been focused on pressuring the ...
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What style, term, or phenomenon is this phrase is an example of?

The following phrase is an example of which grammatical, literary, or linguistic style, term, or phenomenon? Good times; have them. or Good times: feel them. For context, I was browsing Wikipedia ...
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Origin of the phrase "to have no truck with"

This phrase "to have no truck with" has bothered me ever since I stumbled upon it, the reason being it makes no logical sense whatsoever even remotely if you go by the lexical meaning of the ...
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1 answer
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Where did the "picking flowers" euphemism for "answering the call of nature" come from?

Where did the "picking flowers" euphemism for "answering the call of nature" come from? Although, saying it like that makes it sound a bit obvious. I first saw it in SCP-6385: ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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Sentence grammar usage "as"

He was exposed as lacking in intelligence. I'm writing this sentence but I feel there is something amiss with the grammar, but I can't tell exactly why or where. Something to do with "as" I ...
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Phrase like "margin of error" or "buffer" but specifically about spare team capacity?

I am trying to think of a phrase that means something like "margin of error" or "buffer," but specifically applying to spare capacity of a working team within a company. "...
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1 vote
1 answer
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"Neither wonder" - is it a thing?

In response to a surprising realisation, one might say something like "No wonder {x} is {y}". However for a great deal of my life I was apparently erroneously saying "Neither wonder&...
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Is "information and data" a redundant duplet in this context?

I understand information and data are not the same. Here are the two main differences I have found: Data are items of information (Data on Wikipedia) Data are collected for reference or analysis (...
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-1 votes
1 answer
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Apostrophes in sentences with implied words [closed]

From a card game where the question is: How many apostrophes are in the following sentence? "Thats a bigger car than any of my brothers friends." Does "friends" need an ...
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What are the subtle differences between the four sentences about "leave"? [duplicate]

He leaves for Japan next week. He is leaving for Japan next week. He will leave for Japan next week. He is going to leave for Japan next week. Though I know all the four sentences are correct, and ...
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Usage of "broaden the perspective"

I would like to ask if the phrase "broaden the perspective" can be used in academic papers or is there a way to write it better? The usage is the following: "I believe that children ...
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Can one say "I swear on my mother's grave" when their mother is alive?

I am not entirely sure this is the correct forum to ask this question, but here I go nonetheless. I was talking to somebody the other day and they said "I swear on my mother's grave" to ...
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3 votes
2 answers
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Is "punching a number" still used?

I'm a second-language speaker of English. I wonder if "punching a number" is still correct when calling on a smartphone and whether there are more precise alternatives?
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Can "to be" be ommitted if it's implied? e.g. "These items need completed by Friday" [duplicate]

Can "to be" be ommitted if it's implied? i.e. Are the following sentences acceptable grammar? "These items need done by Friday" "These items need completed by Friday" ...
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Using "As" at beginning of a sentence

A company called Goodbrothers (for the sake of argument) wants to advertise its environmental credentials, using As Goodbrothers, we always pay attention to environmental concerns. In this context, ...
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1 vote
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Practicing sentence structure exercises. Did I handle the verbal phrase correctly?

I'm a writer who was never really taught all that soundly the formal aspects of parts of speech. Basic public school education. Was an English major, but we focused on the act of writing moreso than ...
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3 votes
1 answer
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As powerful as black holes are

Recently, I've come across some "as+adj+as" patterns that don't fit into the famous "as+adj+as" pattern. Like, he is as old as me. The new patters are as follow: As powerful as ...
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1 answer
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Significance of the formulation: "give it him what it he wants" [closed]

In his opinion piece, "My dear Russian friends, now is the time for your own Maidan", Jonathan Little uses this phrasing which to my ears sounds very strange: And if you won’t give it him ...
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Is [the act of something] considered a verb or a noun?

For example, take "Teaching people can be difficult" Is "teaching people" (the act of teaching people) a noun phrase and "be difficult" the verb phrase, as in being ...
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"simplify complexity"

I know it's used widely, but is the term "simplify complexity" proper English? I mean, you simplify things to improve them usually. Like: simplify access simplify operations simplify ...
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What's a phrase or idiom for when a person does a task already completed because they didn't know it was done? [duplicate]

Is there a phrase or idiom for "so we don't both do the same thing".
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2 answers
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What's another way of saying "one step ahead"? [duplicate]

I'm looking for another way of saying "one step ahead". This phrase or idiom should be mainly used for describing someone that can think earlier than others, and can prepare in advance as ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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What should I say instead of "you first"? [closed]

Are there any specific phrases for this situations below: When I am approaching to pickup something from a store shelf and somebody else is also doing same at the same time and I want to say: "...
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2 votes
1 answer
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What is the definition and origin of the phrase "force the straits"?

I've seen the phrase used often in information about the WWI Gallipoli campaign ("forcing the straits" or "force the Dardanelles"). I know what force means (power, or using power ...
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A question about outdated English grammar [closed]

So, basically I've been having this argument with my English teacher about this one grammar question. She wrote "I haven't any money" on the board and I told her that "I haven't any ...
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3 votes
2 answers
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"There are fish of every hue." For different kinds of fish, should fish be in plural form here?

In the Caribbean waters, there are fish of every hue. Since one is talking about different kinds of fish, should fish be in marked plural form (fishes) here?
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The identifying properties of "it/that" against the question of "who" [duplicate]

When I ask the question "who broke the bike?" and I respond with "it was Jane", is the word 'it' a pronoun identifying Jane? My understanding is that 'it' is referring to "the ...
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1 vote
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Is there a phrase for a person who supports something which is bad for them and is held up as proof that the bad policy is good?

Is there a phrase which describes the situation in which a person supports something that is detrimental for them, and then held out as evidence that the detrimental policy is correct? For example: ...
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What is the term for the 'bastardisation' of common phrases and idioms? [duplicate]

Recently, I have been analysing lyrics to songs. Frequently, the writer inverts and 'bastardises' common phrases and idioms to play off of the established meaning. I have been using the term '...
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What does honey hustler means?

Hi I am not native english speaker. I just wanna know what does mean when girl says about herself she is honey hustler. Especialy when she is like postitute or former prn actress. Thank you for your ...
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"hot for what you got"

The dialogue in an American TV show goes like this It's just that he walked you to the door, and where I come from, that means he's hot for what you got. How can we rephrase "hot for what you ...
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1 vote
2 answers
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Would it be wrong to say "all in love" as in "all alone"? [closed]

I want to emphasize the concept of being completely in love, but for reasons I have to stick to a very short word, such as "all". Would it sound wrong if I said, "I'm all in love" (...
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3 votes
1 answer
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An English expression for the easiness with which fish are caught

Is there an English word or phrase whose meaning indicates how lucky a person is to get a fish to bite? In my local language, we have a phrase specific to fishing: "clom-giriwil". 'Clom' ...
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0 votes
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The hotel provides breakfast, available at 8:00 am by the front desk

The title and the following sentence sound grammatically correct to me. Are they? If they are, what do I call the phrase "available at 8:00 am by the front desk"? I turned our first server ...
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Origin of phrase "hold harmless"?

Why not use "immune", "exempt", or "unaccountable" rather than the awkward phrase "hold harmless" in legal documents? Is there historical context for the use of ...
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