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Questions tagged [expressions]

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

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4 answers
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Is it correct to say: My friend can play more instruments than my A's at school?

I have a friend who is really talented; he can play 5 instruments. I'm talking to another friend and want to express how impressed I am by the other guy. Can I say: Mann. He can play more instruments ...
An IELTS Learner's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
58 views

"Social men" who have entered the real world and experienced lots of social challenges and complexities?

In Chinese, we can distinguish students, or even teachers, in the ivory tower from those who have entered the real world, infused with challenges, unspoken rules or norms, and complexities, using the ...
Lerner Zhang's user avatar
  • 3,539
2 votes
1 answer
48 views

Is ''grace someone with you presence'' always humorous?

I have seen that many dictionaries say this expression is humorous. If that's true, what other alternatives exist that can be used in a formal setting such as a business meeting or at a meeting in ...
K945's user avatar
  • 37
1 vote
1 answer
126 views

The meaning of "yourself" in "Getting ahead of yourself."

Earlier, I needed to make a sentence like this: For dating, it's important not to get ahead of yourself. This made me question what "yourself" here is indicating. This expression means, &...
Gwangmu Lee's user avatar
  • 1,133
-1 votes
1 answer
65 views

Is "London" is used as emphatic expression? [closed]

In Emma (2020), in presence of Mr Elton, the local vicar, Mr Woodhouse commented on his daughter Emma's potrait of Harriet, a young girl: Mr Woodhouse: Yes. It is very pretty. When It is finished, ...
M. K Ang's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
29 views

To what extent does saying "I'm sorry" acknowledge one's own fault?

This may be a duplicate, but I'm wondering how much I should be careful about saying sorry. I'm Japanese, and often it is said that Japanese people say sorry too easily and it could cause troubles in ...
sundowner's user avatar
  • 564
1 vote
0 answers
32 views

'You in my office' AAVE meaning

I'm watching Glory Road (2006) and there's a moment where one of the players yells to another "you in my office!" after pushing him to the side to dunk. What's the meaning of this expression?...
Baudelaire_18's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
96 views

Is "excruciatingly painful" a correct phrase to use in a sentence since "excruciating" already means very painful?

I have often come across the phrase "excruciatingly painful" in articles and even in short stories or novels, but is this a correct phrase? Since "excruciating" already means ...
Madhur's user avatar
  • 355
8 votes
1 answer
876 views

Heavy Lies the Crown - what does it mean?

I watched 'The Crown' and faced the expression 'heavy lies the crown' several times throughout the series. What does it mean and how can we use it in a daily sentence?!
fateme's user avatar
  • 413
2 votes
1 answer
44 views

Is 'time-impaired' in this context idiomatic?

I am reading Limited Liability Companies for Dummies by Jennifer Reuting, and the use of 'impaired' sounds strange to me in this context: I know, I know — you’re busy! You operate on a need-to-know ...
Lerner Zhang's user avatar
  • 3,539
2 votes
2 answers
36 views

Place of a time expression in a negative sentence

Is it possible to put the time expressions before or after the negative word? Or is there only one way? For example : The students usually don't like eating fish The students don't usually like eating ...
שבי לוי's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
80 views

Does 'Service with exception' look native to English speakers?

I saw this error message on my university's website, which seems weird to me. After googling, I found no other people using this error message in their apps or websites. But some of my schoolmate ...
AprilGrimoire's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
45 views

a fair amount of/a good deal of

Does 'a fair amount of' mean the same as 'a good deal of' and 'a great deal of'? I think the two latter idioms mean 'a lot of', but 'a fair amount of' is somewhat less than that. Maybe it is just my ...
azz's user avatar
  • 2,971
1 vote
0 answers
53 views

Why is “of” in “the speed of 200 km/h”?

I encounter expressions which are a name of a quantity + “of” + a value. Examples: “The car is going at the speed of 200 km/h.”, “The top of Mt. Everest is at the altitude of 8848 meters above sea.”, ...
matj1's user avatar
  • 135
10 votes
4 answers
3k views

Seeking an English Equivalent for the Concept of "Evil Eye"

I'm trying to understand how to express a concept from my culture in English. In my language, we have a term, which roughly translates to casting the evil eye. This term is often used in situations ...
Iman Mohammadi's user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
1k views

What does "idle dog" mean - is it slang or just a regional expression?

I'm reading the book The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame, and I read this about a Mole: And instead of having an uneasy conscience pricking him and whispering ‘whitewash!’ he somehow could ...
MariaD's user avatar
  • 53
0 votes
1 answer
26 views

What does "Fun!" mean when it is said just by itself?

An example from Modern Family: Woman1: Desiree just moved in down the block Man: Fun! Where? Woman2: 314 An example from The Office: Micheal: Look (He is pointing out a bottle of wine that has been ...
Alim Gölcük's user avatar
12 votes
3 answers
4k views

What Does 'It's on' Mean When Used in Anger?

I often hear the phrase "It's on" in conversations, particularly in situations filled with anger or confrontation. Could someone explain what this phrase means in such contexts? Is it always ...
Iman Mohammadi's user avatar
-1 votes
1 answer
2k views

What does the expression "just keeping it a buck" mean and where does it come from?

The context is "Just hit the books and learn what works otherwise I've got no sympathy for you. Just keeping it a buck."
phil1008's user avatar
  • 295
0 votes
1 answer
38 views

Variant of in reference to

Chinese officials and experts on Monday lambasted a G7 statement calling for ending import bans on Japanese food products, in what Western media reports said is an apparent reference to China's move ...
ForOU's user avatar
  • 1,677
2 votes
1 answer
233 views

What's the actual meaning of "sits down to a banquet of consequences" in this sentence?

Sooner or later everyone sits down to a banquet of consequences. — Robert Louis Stevenson I don't find any relevant definition for the phrasal verb "sits down". And what's the thought ...
Sam's user avatar
  • 1,925
5 votes
2 answers
3k views

An American expression for "a packet of crisps"

According to the Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English, it seems that this is called "a packet of crisps" (Lognman | crisp), but the same dictionary says that "packet" is ...
Kaguyahime's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
42 views

What does the word "another" refer to in the sentence “He could not forget or pardon a lapse in another"?

I am quoting from The Return of Sherlock Holmes, The Second Stain, by Arthur Conan Doyle: “Mr. Holmes, I will tell you everything,” cried the lady. “Oh, Mr. Holmes, I would cut off my right hand ...
user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
101 views

Does "I'm gonna get it" mean that I'm going to get scolded or punished?

As per the title: is I'm gonna get it an idiomatic, fixed expression? I cannot find any reference online where they provide a definition/explanation of such an expression. I'm almost certain that in ...
Cal-linux's user avatar
  • 111
1 vote
1 answer
151 views

What is the difference between "Seem focused on" and "Seem to be focused on"?

And also, is the expression "seem focusing on doing something" also correct?
J.W's user avatar
  • 25
-2 votes
1 answer
61 views

What does it mean when someone asks "what's on the register?"

I was joking around with a friend saying I'm accepting wedding presents already despite not being prepared for marriage just yet, then she asked: What's on the register? I googled it and the only ...
grammargirl98's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
153 views

What is the range of 'many hundreds of something'?

What is the range of 'many hundreds of something'? Or, does the expression only suggest an indefinite, large number of something?
Lifeispicnic's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
136 views

"Getting shot out" for an object?

I vaguely heard somebody describing broken objects as getting shot out. I briefly looked up dictionaries, and the only "close enough" definition was (well) from Urban Dictionary. I already ...
Gwangmu Lee's user avatar
  • 1,133
1 vote
1 answer
57 views

Meaning of the phrase "strike a bonanza"

Just as a tribe might occasionally strike a bonanza in the game of primitive warfare, sometimes a state might do the same, given the opportunities offered an Alexander the Great or a Hernan Cortes. ...
Dmitry's user avatar
  • 11
0 votes
1 answer
563 views

What does the expression "got smoked" mean? [closed]

The WEBP library got smoked. The exploit allows for arbitrary code execution. Update your browsers immediately!! —Twitter Could anybody explain what does mean the expression "got smoked" in ...
Jorge Luiz's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
40 views

Is "words in <suffix>" correct?

As I was writing an answer in another SE language forum, I used "words in -act" for words ending in -act like impact or contact. Words in -act are always pronounced /akt/ I said this both ...
Teleporting Goat's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
72 views

Is the expression "either overshoot or fall short" excellent English?

A. Medical treatments either overshoot or fall short. B. Medical treatments either overshoot or fall short of the mark. I would like to know if the figurative expression "either overshoot or ...
user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
261 views

Is "reach for help" a valid expression?

I have been using "reach for help" as an alternative to "seek help" or "ask for help" in a university paper I am writing. Someone pointed out that "reach for help&...
raquelhortab's user avatar
-1 votes
1 answer
45 views

Can "second only to something" express the two are similar?

There was this question in an IELTS reading passage (answer by true/false/not given): The research found that scientists can make chimpanzees possess the same complex culture as human beings. The ...
Dead Scissors's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
109 views

Is "reacts and acts upon" correct?

I am trying to use the expression: A reacts to and acts upon B. The intended meaning is that B influences A ("A reacts to B"), and that A influences B ("A acts upon B"). However, ...
user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
85 views

Using "I'm wishing to.."

In my native language, we often use the expression "I'm wishing to [action]". As in, "I can't wait to X" , "I'm eager to X" . I'm finding that, in English, it's not used ...
user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
114 views

Which does the phrase "consider doing something" imply, suggestion or suppression?

When someone says "Consider doing something", which is implied, suggestion or suppression? For example, "Consider eating more vegetables" sounds like a suggestion for me. But how ...
ynn's user avatar
  • 103
1 vote
4 answers
2k views

Take a taxi or catch a taxi?

Catch a taxi Take a taxi Catch a bus Take a bus What is the difference between these phrases in meaning? Are they all correct?
Elaheh's user avatar
  • 11
1 vote
1 answer
108 views

Article "a" in "as good a job as"

As a learner, "as ... as" is always a little confusing. Say somebody said the following. You should do at least as good a job as them. Now I can understand how there is a noun between two ...
Gwangmu Lee's user avatar
  • 1,133
0 votes
2 answers
93 views

How to express 'speak either Chinese or English in a conversation but both idiomatically'?

During a Twitter conversation, I was misunderstood as recommending others speak Chinglish. What I want to express is something like this: You can speak either 英语 or Chinese idiomatically during our ...
Lerner Zhang's user avatar
  • 3,539
0 votes
0 answers
30 views

What does “thing” mean vs what is the meaning of “thing”?

In our ESL class a student asked teacher “what’s the meaning of “cough”? The teacher replied “You might ask: What does cough mean instead of asking what is the meaning of cough?” I asked why is the ...
Mauricio Pacheco's user avatar
1 vote
3 answers
110 views

Using its been a slice idiom

It's been a slice. I don't see this idiom in any of the dictionaries online. Why could be that? Separately, suppose I had an enjoyable time with my friends and then later that day somebody asks me how ...
nicku's user avatar
  • 775
1 vote
1 answer
65 views

Leave him alone

Leave him alone. I'm wondering if this expression can be used physically (to move away, depart), as well as mentally (don't interfere his choices).
ForOU's user avatar
  • 1,677
5 votes
3 answers
3k views

Why can we use the article "a" with 'a long history' when 'history' is uncountable?

There was a closely related previous question here but wasn't answered properly. Maybe the reason can be as simple as "because people use that way", but is there another clearer answer for ...
Gwangmu Lee's user avatar
  • 1,133
-1 votes
1 answer
610 views

"They've grown so much" vs "They've 'been' grown so much"?

In this sentences the difference is the been. I've been seen this two ways to write this same thing. In the translater, the two ways is right. Why? "They've grown so much" vs "They've '...
Erick Luz's user avatar
  • 123
0 votes
2 answers
306 views

Does "BITEME" have any non-vulgar usage cases? (seen with other food-related words on printed wallpaper at a restaurant)

I need to explain the presence of "BITEME." mixed in with other short phases about food and the eating of it on printed wallpaper in a restaurant in a non-English speaking country. It looks ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 147
0 votes
1 answer
81 views

Can you paraphrase "How long do we give it" in the excerpt below?

I'm still developing my English so it's great if you answer my question in a very short and direct way; the shorter it is, the better. I don't get the meaning of "HOW LONG DO WE GIVE IT" in ...
nat 123's user avatar
  • 65
2 votes
2 answers
519 views

Can I say, "Any help needed?" to offer my help?

I saw a lady on street who seemed lost. She was searching for somewhere by Google Map. I wanted to help her. At that time, could I just say, "Any help needed?", which is grammatically not ...
user479727's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
92 views

The expression "Eat in or take out" [closed]

whats the meaning of this expression? (Eat in or take out)
yasin 's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
36 views

Is "Bring a surprise" always related to food?

I was watching this TV series, "Unstable" on Netflix. In the 2nd episode, the CEO says to CFO, "Bring me a surprise. Make it a croissant!" So, when I heard the first sentence, I ...
user474372's user avatar

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