Questions tagged [expressions]

This tag is for questions which a dictionary cannot answer asking the meaning of a particular expression.

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1answer
32 views

“My room looks like as follow” or “My room looks like the following”

I asked a question in another post, where I uploaded an image to demonstrate what my room and said My room looks like as follow with concrete walls and I am considering if both expression are ...
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0answers
43 views

Meaning of the idiomatic “biscuits and gravy”

In the movie Line of Duty (about 45:30 in), a guy huge gets a weight thrown at him in a gym. Surprisingly not very bothered nor hurt, he says: "Biscuits and gravy, bitch!" and then starts to fight ...
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22 views

“Not want to hurt” synonyms

I want to express that people act in a way that they do 'not want to hurt/harm' a company. However, I wonder if there is another way to express it without a reference to physical suffering. As people ...
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1answer
19 views

Are there any grammatical errors in the statement “As are you.”?

If someone compliments you, and you want to respond with the same compliment, Is it grammatically incorrect to say “As are you my friend."
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1answer
15 views

A sarcastic expression

When something is obvious and the other person didn’t notice a long time and then lately realised, for i.e someone come up and say I know I’ve broken your heart In my mother language we go and say “...
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0answers
30 views

Other ways to say “What's happening?”

Can you suggest similar expressions to "what's happening"? The first that came up to me are: What's going on? What's up? I am learning English, I am in a small country in Europe. I am ...
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0answers
31 views

How to say “short/little time is left”?

What is the proper way to say that very little/short time is left for something? For example, when there are very few days left before the exams start. I don't want to mention days, but time, in my ...
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1answer
38 views

What is the difference between 1.differentiate and 2.distinguish

Both words are verb transitive.They are of the same meaning.There are many words in dictionary and thesaurus which words are differentiating in their usage. If we use other words of the dictionary ...
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0answers
17 views

Describing the past events with proper tense choice

I want to describe a past incident. Like, a few months ago I faced a bike accident. I tell the story to one of my friends. I describe the story in the past tense. Like, I wanted to buy groceries. ...
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0answers
26 views

I beg your pardon/ I beg you

I realize that it's "I beg your pardon", but couldn't "I beg you pardon" grammatically possible? Is it a mistake to use it? Edit: It's not about beg your pardon vs beg pardon, it's about "you" and "...
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1answer
33 views

“It was reported that..”, which is closer to this idiom: rumor or a fact?

I'm translating the 'Spectre (security vulnerability)' Wikipedia article to my mother tongue, and it contains a sentence like below; It was reported that Intel shared news of the Meltdown and ...
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1answer
22 views

“Fancy for fancy's sake”

I read that expression in a book, but that phrase didn't make much sense to me (at least not when trying to translate to Portuguese). I wonder if it's a common expression and what it exactly means. If ...
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34 views

to film a video

I know that "to film" can be used transitively or intransitively. Example of transitive usages: The cast and crew have been filming this movie for a year. It took them six weeks to film the ...
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1answer
67 views

Is there way to use `respected` in passive voice with object pronoun

I want to say that there two persons who came to do something and I highly respect them and I want to call them by name in the same sentence. I thought it should be like this: "Deeply respected by me, ...
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1answer
40 views

What does “staple of party-favor bags” mean?

following this article, they said: The game has become a staple of party-favor bags since it was introduced in the 1870s. You’ve probably played a 15 puzzle. It’s that frustrating yet addictive ...
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2answers
23 views

Difference between “have done to ”and “have been doing to”

This is a scene from a novel: A boy is attacked by a bull in a field, the boy defends himself with a knife and both bull and boy are wounded. Someone asks the boy: "what has the bull done to you?" ...
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1answer
19 views

'the' or 'a' to indicate a specific data type (CS context)

I googled myself a little to see which article is more commonly used with types, and I understood one commonly uses a to indicate a general type such as integer. But what about a specific type such ...
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3answers
116 views

(NSFW) Which one is correct “What a hell” or “What the hell” / “What a fu_k” or “What the fu_k”?

We have "what the fu_k!" & "what the hell!" in the dictionary. But do people say "What a hell!" or "What a fu_k!"? Are there any differences between "What the hell is that?" and "What a hell is ...
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2answers
39 views

Scientific vocabulary for 'to remove flaws and make something complete'

There are tons of vocabularies related to this concept, such as strengthen, improve, or enhance, but I've never found one proper vocabulary for a scientific (or at least formal) usage with this ...
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1answer
43 views

What's the meaning of the word 'there' in this context?

In the song "You are the reason" by Calum Scott There goes my heart beating 'Cause you are the reason What does the word "there" mean in this context?
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1answer
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What is the meaning of these phrases? [closed]

I want to know the meaning of these phrases or expressions: Down to the wood. Feel a fuzz Feel rough. I have also provided a picture of the source.
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0answers
24 views

Expressions to refer to some point in the future

Which of the following expressions is idiomatic and\or grammatical? I think I will be busy until I become 45 or something. By that time, my children will be mature enough to depend more on ...
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1answer
21 views

Educators' slang: “taking people from where they are”

Imagine somebody organising an educational event (e.g. a conference) and trying to set up the programme in a way that everybody attending is being "taken from where they are", meaning: the programme ...
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2answers
21 views

Everybody's gotta learn sometime

https://youtu.be/Xe5LQHCWZRM "Everybody's gotta learn somtime" (As I know, " 's " is a contraction of 'has' in this case) I am confused about what 'has got to' means in this lyrics. Which of the ...
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2answers
32 views

Alternative expressions for “there's a possibility of something”

I usually say "there is a possibility of ..." to describe something that can still happen anytime later, but I don't think this is the only way to describe it. The problem is that, while searching ...
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1answer
20 views

Looking for expressions like “First sight memory.”

I'm looking for an expression to describe something like "first sight memory." For example, if I remember the word interesting as intresting because I got it wrong the first time I saw it. And then, ...
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1answer
52 views

What does it mean “might as well have ”?

I read the thread about "might as well have" on a website. But I still don't understand the last sentence in the following text. Would you please tell me what the last sentence means? Thanks! Rachel: ...
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23 views

If so or If you do, which one is more correct and natural?

I'm modifying my writing. I have a question about the expression. Do you enjoy playing computer games or any phone games? After this sentence, I wrote If you do, you need to pay attention to ...
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1answer
75 views

I want to know this expression “get any worse” meaning

How could this day get any worse! I want to know the meaning of this expression "get any worse". TIA!
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0answers
36 views

OK or very strange? [duplicate]

"He's on the fifth drink or something since we got here. It looks pretty intense. Maybe we should go talk to him." Is the line in bold OK or very strange?
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2answers
55 views

Is this a correct expression in English?

Once, my friend and I wanted to go to some place, so we took a tram (train) to reach this place but we missed our destination twice, forward and backward, because we were busy talking to each ...
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1answer
27 views

The expression “have been here.”

I've been here for more than sixty years. I want to make sure if the expression "have been here for...." imply that he didn't live here originally, and he moved here 60 years ago. I mean if a person ...
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1answer
33 views

Pulls to a stop

If someone "pulls to a stop" when driving, does it indicate that that someone stops the car abruptly/suddenly and forcefully?
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0answers
18 views

What is the proper expression for a case when someone lacked intelligence and as a result had to make up for it using their feet?

What is the proper expression for a case when someone lacked intelligence and as a result had to make up for it using their feet (or some other means of locomotion)? Examples: Someone forgets a car ...
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1answer
37 views

What is the significance of 1st of October?

In the song Paper Planes, there's a passage as quoted below. My name is Olushola, I just got off my visa I live everyday like it's the first of October I wonder what the significance of the 1st ...
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2answers
67 views

Staring blankly at [closed]

I have a few question that I hope you can help me with. Monica is sitting on the couch staring blankly at the TV. She snaps out of it, grabs the remote, and turns off the TV. Can I use "staring ...
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1answer
45 views

what is a better phrase than “is there a problem with that”

Is there a better way of saying "is there a problem with that?" I feel that this phrase is a bit disturbing to some people, is there a better way of asking this question in a nicer friendlier way? ...
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1answer
25 views

Is 'for an interval' okay?

Suppose there is a certain condition with the time interval, only during which it holds. For example, Condition: High humidity / Interval: June to September What I want now is describing that '...
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1answer
52 views

How natural for Native English Speakers these phrases and how to recognize it in advance?

I'm using Mark Skipper Advanced book and there are some phrases which in my opinion are strange. Do you use the following phrases in your speech (books, films, etc.) today? Are they common/relevant? ...
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1answer
31 views

“(a) little less” in a sentence

John is eating a little less than usual. John is eating little less salt than usual. Are the expressions a little less and little less grammatical? Also, are there more cases in which different ...
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2answers
15 views

The expression “It allows for” doesn't make any sense to me

English is not my mother tongue so I'm still learning. I have never heard someone say something like "it allows for". But I am in IT and I keep reading this in a lot of documentation. Every time it ...
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1answer
37 views

Which of these terms are common in AE & BE?

I found this term in the dictionary to go get a breath of (fresh) air I found these on the internet but not in the dictionary to go out for a fresh air to go out to take a fresh ...
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0answers
43 views

what IS the COLOUR OF vs. what COLOUR IS?

I have a beginner's question: A friend of mine has a shirt. I would like to ask about its colour. What is the correct way to do that? What is the colour of your shirt? What colour is your shirt? If ...
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0answers
22 views

Making one's own word / opinion the one that counts

I am looking for an idiom/expression which implies defeating the opponent in a debate / an argument / a discussion and making one's own word / opinion the one that counts. I know the idiom "have the ...
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4answers
87 views

To beat someone in a competition/debate/etc in a humiliating way

What is the most common informal/casual idiom / expression / verb to imply making someone feel defeated in a humiliating way in AE? For instance, let's say two youngsters are playing soccer against ...
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2answers
15 views

Meaning of 'go out to'

I came across a sentence: 'The doctor came downstairs and went out to Linda,' and I was confused by the use of the expression 'go out to' in such kind of way. So far as I know, the expression 'go ...
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1answer
22 views

Which one is closer to the idiomatic usage of the verb 'have': 'have got' or 'get'?

Let's suppose we have a situation that someone is holding a gun on his hand, and people are yelling that he's holding a gun. Since I'm a non-native English speaker, I'd say something like this in this ...
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1answer
41 views

Idiom for a doctor telling a patient that he's terminally ill

Suppose a doctor is telling his patient that he is terminally ill and he's got only a few months to live. I assume this kind of situation can be described concisely with this form, A doctor is X-...
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0answers
30 views

Another expression for “Introduction”

I'm writing a work, and one of the initial chapters is an introduction. However, I strongly dislike calling that chapter just "Introduction". I think it's too short, too general... I'm looking for ...
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0answers
28 views

How to express this action in English?

Let see this picture https://drive.google.com/open?id=1xeTdG2unA0FegT4TpxqYjdlW1RjHSsno a dad is doing this action to lure the baby to sleep. He may rock the baby or cradle the baby back & ...