Questions tagged [usage]

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

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31 views

Difference in grammar and meaning? ‘The eclipse will have alarmed tribespeople.’ ‘The eclipse would have alarmed tribespeople.’ [closed]

Is there a difference in grammar and meaning between ‘The eclipse will have alarmed tribespeople’ and ‘The eclipse would have alarmed tribespeople’?
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1answer
25 views

Can “agency” in the sense of “self-agency” be plural?

My question pertains to academic writing in fields like philosophy. Normally "agency" meaning "the capacity, condition, or state of acting or of exerting power" (Merriam-Webster) ...
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How to convey informally that I acknowledged and I am happy that my advice helped the other person? [migrated]

Acknowledged is a hard long word, every time I say that it's hard and very official. I checked the synonyms like admit, accept, appreciate. But I'm still confused how to tell this in simpler manner. I ...
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1answer
52 views

“A might bit” or “a mite bit”?

"That's a might/mite bit excessive, no?" "He's more than a might/mite bit shy around the opposite gender." "It just seems a might/mite bit offensive, is all." Which of ...
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1answer
29 views

Difference between “Where is” and “How to get there” [closed]

In my article, I would like to answer the following questions "Where is XYZ?" and "How to get to XYZ?" Where XYZ is a location such as hiking trail. What is the difference between ...
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1answer
30 views

Questions about history and usage of the word “paren”

This is related to an earlier question: "parentheses" vs "parenthesis" but is about etymology of the related (and apparently informal, per wikitionary ) word "paren" and ...
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1answer
29 views

Which term is correct grammatically [duplicate]

Are 'death cause' and 'cause of death', both correct? As for the second I'm certain that it's correct but the first, I'm not. I'm sorry if this shouldn't be under the grammar tag, but I'm sure it ...
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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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1answer
38 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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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
56 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
44 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
111 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
97 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
30 views

Why are “in (dimension)” measurements used?

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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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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1answer
40 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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38 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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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
37 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
44 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
43 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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27 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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36 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
41 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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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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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
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
46 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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34 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
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
48 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
32 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
44 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
43 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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16 views

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
36 views

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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30 views

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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31 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
60 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
46 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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16 views

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
22 views

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
31 views

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
47 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
36 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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