Questions tagged [expressions]

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

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Why do we say “in or during the daytime” but “at nighttime”? Why not “in the nighttime”?

night‧time /ˈnaɪt-taɪm/ noun [uncountable] :the time during the night OPP daytime at nighttime animals that hunt at nighttime day‧time /ˈdeɪtaɪm/ ●●○ noun [uncountable]: the time ...
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Can I use “I don't see it” to mean “I don't agree” here?

Guy 1: She don't think we should see each other anymore. Guy 2: Well, maybe it's for the best. Guy 1: I don't see it. Is "I don't see it." natural here to mean "I don't agree."?
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Can I respond “I will” to this

"She's on her way. Let me know when she's here." "I will." Is "I will" natural here or how else could you respond to this other than "OK" or "Yes"?
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What is the idiom in English which express “you only started to do things when it already happened, there was no preparation”?

What is the idiom in English which express "you only started to do things when it already happened, there was no preparation"? For example, America only started to make more masks and ventilators ...
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1answer
24 views

How to learn to speak idiomatically?

As a non-native speaker, I struggle a lot to come up with quick responses that sound idiomatic. It sucks because it also means it's harder to express some thoughts in fast-paced situations like ...
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Is it idiomatic “She is sitting with her hand / hands under the chin / the temple / the cheek”, etc?

Look at these pictures & Is it idiomatic to say: 1- "She is sitting with her hand under the temple / chick" or "She is sitting with her temple / cheek on the hand" 2- "He is sitting with his ...
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29 views

Is “flies off” natural when talking about a cut off arm

She strikes him with the lightsaber and his arm flies off. Is "flies off" natural here?
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28 views

What is the pun of “If I could keep my Gmail account, I’d be okay with that.”

The following is from the sitcom "The Big Bang Theory" Leonard: My point is, immortality is not only a possibility, it is real. Raj: Only if you’re this jellyfish which periodically reverts ...
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“Why the long face?” or “Why a long face?”?

I learned that when someone looks unhappy, then you can ask him/her "Why do you have a long face?". And I also learned that the expression can be shortened into "Why the long face?" My question is, ...
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Expressions to convey multiple points using “with” or “without”?

For instance, I want to list four possibilities of outcome like the following way: there are four possibilities, namely A with or without a, and B with or without b. Or must I express in this way: ...
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How to use the phrase “draw a (clear) line between” for more than two things?

When we need to express differentiating two things we can say "draw a (clear) line between A and B", but can we extend two things to three or more things? Can we say something like "draw two lines ...
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What does “on the right” mean?

Reading this article now, The first passage says, As the global coronavirus outbreak continues to shutter businesses and schools across America and upend the stock market, a number of commentators ...
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Number as proverb

I see that some numbers in the following conversation appeared standalone maybe as a proverb. Can they be explained grammatically? Raj: Okay. Well, a couple of things. Don't tell them I come from ...
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Can I say: “This server is healthy.” knowing that “server” is a material thing?

I was wondering, is it proper to say: "This server is healthy." knowing that "server" (https://www.lexico.com/en/definition/server) is a material thing? Thank you!
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What is the meaning of AFAIK abbreviation? [closed]

I would like to understand what is the meaning of AFAIK, as used in this answer at StackOverflow!
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How to say “you don't own me” in a relationship context?

I am searching for the best way to answer my friend. He's always apologizing for everything, and I want him to realize that he don't own me anything, he's free to do whatever he wants. Do you know a (...
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The usage of “What weather is it today?”

Is it possible to ask "What weather is it today?" instead "What's the weather like?"
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And idiom for “You were right”

Is there an idiom to say "You were right", in a regretful way, when for example you didn't listen to what someone kept telling you and now he's proven to be right. As in: You were right about it. I ...
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34 views

“To be on the same page”

As you are fully aware, the using this idiom within the construction below: I don't think we are on the same page. means: I don't think we understand each other. This idiom on the other hand has ...
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29 views

How to write about this kind of situation?

I've tried hard for my physical test to be able to pass every items, Unfortunately I had a bad performance and in conquence, very bad results in my physical examinations, now I have to say about ...
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A query about closing line in mails

I generally use this sentence at the end my email before signature: 'Please let me know in case of any queries.' Is this phrase correct to use for closing a mail?
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Is it a right situation to use the phrase?

"We apologize for any inconvenience you experienced" Can I use the phrase when I am eager to apologize for an inaccuracy in documents?
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What expression fits the best for the intended meaning?

I'm looking for an expression that would mean someone takes control over someone else, like in a bad relationship, when someone takes a dominant posture in spite of the other person. Google would ...
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(Expression) Bag of bones / Sack of bones / Bones sack

Are all of these expressions correct ? For rhyming purposes I was planning to use the third one, but I'm not sure it is correct because I've never seen that formulation : 1 - Bag of bones 2 - ...
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Is there some prepostion required between “a wall” and “16 inches on center” in a little bit normal written english

It sound like the tutorial is saying today I'm going to show you how to frame a wall 16 inches on center ... I am awar of what he said, which is a clear expression in everyday speech. The ...
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1answer
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From-time-to-time vs. From time to time

I used to use from time to time but I got recently corrected to use from-time-to-time (actually it's from time-to-time but I think both are effectively the same). It seems like from-time-to-time is ...
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1answer
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How to express “Please don't hold or keep the milk or water in your mouth, swallow it”?

Sometimes, my little child takes a sip of water or milk & then he keeps or holds the sip in his mouth without swallowing it. Is it idiomatic to say "Please don't hold or keep the milk or water in ...
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“He is in the horizontal position”, “supine”, which expression is more clear and idiomatic?

This post is derived from this one. Consider the guy pointed out by red circle the following image (img_1), which expression in the following is more clear and idiomatic? He is in the horizontal ...
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What does “we’re it” mean in this context?

As their common name implies, house crows (Corvus splendens) stick pretty closely to people. So much so that there are no known populations living independently of us. You might say that, in so ...
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“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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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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“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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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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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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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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138 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
51 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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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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1answer
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“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
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“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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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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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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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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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
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'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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165 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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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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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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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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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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