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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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1answer
9 views

A word/expression that encapsulates all your familiar people

As we all know, acquaintances are the people whom we know but do not know well and therefore they are not considered as a friend. We have a term which can encompass all the people we know, including: ...
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1answer
13 views

When you can recognize someone's character by taking a look on their faces

Dictionaries say: to be a good/bad etc. judge of something means: to be someone whose opinions about something are usually right, wrong, intelligent etc. Example: - My sister is a very shrewd ...
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1answer
10 views

An influential person / a very influential person who can pull strings in your favor

What do you call an influential connection in an organization or a governmental entity who can help you out of problems related to that organization or even more powerful one who has relations in ...
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1answer
14 views

A person who has developed only in one or many aspects of their life

What do you call a person who has been developed in only one aspect of their life? For instance, someone who has just studied and did not achieve any needed experiences in society dealing with ...
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0answers
14 views

I've seen this expression “not to worry” used sometimes, but why do these invented expressions sound unnatural?

I've seen "not to worry" used to mean like "Don't worry" sometimes in conversation, so I think I could invent some similar expressions like that like Not to mind. It gonna be all right. (meaning ...
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0answers
19 views

Every why has a wherefore

Is there such a proverb "Every why has a wherefore" in current English? Does it sound natural to you? If it exists, then what is its precise meaning? Also, I wonder if you could provide me with some ...
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2answers
17 views

When you're going to discover the amount of someone's financial loss

Let's suppose you have lost a specific amount of money in a deal and your partner is going to find out how much it had been. What shall he ask you? Once, I had a close American friend who had ...
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2answers
31 views

An expression/idiom/proverb to say “losing a small amount would be much better than losing everything”

Is there any common English expression, idiom or proverb which implies: Stop and accept a small loss, rather than continue and risk losing everything. When someone is losing or possibly would lose ...
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1answer
14 views

Beating one's head against the wall / a brick wall

Dictionaries say that the idiom "beating one's head against the wall" means: To attempt continuously and fruitlessly to accomplish some task or achieve some goal that is or seems ultimately ...
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1answer
21 views

When you are a role model for children

What does a child do (the verb / idiom / expression) when they look at their elderly and try to do what they are doing? E.g. it is said that you'd better be careful when you're smoking etc. so that ...
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2answers
37 views

An obvious model/example/type of someone or something

There is an expression in our current language which has entered from legal jargon into the common language. (I'm trying to translate it.) We say something like: He/she is an obvious example/...
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0answers
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“A determinative factor”, “A determinant” and “A decisive factor”

To me, and based on dictionary definitions a "determinative factor", a "determinant" and a "decisive factor", imply a truely "crucial factor" which can lead you to make a decision about something. ...
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0answers
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From (somebody's / something') side VS On behalf of (someone / something)

Please consider the following sentence: I went on a long-term mission from the company side. I need to mention that the company's authorities have sent me to this mission and they have asked ...
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3answers
4k views

A person lacking money who shows off a lot

There is a proverb in our language which is used when someone tries to show off and pretend to be very rich and also try to spend much money, and somehow prepare well-brand clothes to keep up with the ...
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1answer
40 views

Can “lot” stand without the article 'a' to mean “so much”?

Thank you for [...]. It means lot! Thank you for [...]. It means a lot! Can the first sentence be used instead of the second one when wanting to give the word a different value than the one in ...
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1answer
17 views

What do you say when you're referring to a chess game?

Playing as blacks Playing black Playing with blacks On the internet, I've found these 3 versions and people are using all of them. However, I don't know which one is a correct version.
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5answers
2k views

What does the expression “right on the tip of my tongue” mean?

After googling, I'm not really sure what exactly it means. I have two conclusions: It means that I don't remember an easy word or a name right now although I already know it and I was able to ...
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2answers
36 views

About “take in”

Take the doll in the box! It could seem to look like a very easy question to some native speakers, but that sentence is actually confusing in meaning in that it could mean either "take the doll into ...
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1answer
37 views

What's the best among these expressions if in a formal news report? [closed]

the railway will become operative on Saturday. the railway will begin operation on Saturday. the railway will come into use on Saturday the railway will be put into use on Saturday. the railway ...
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1answer
19 views

A saying / an expression to say: “most of the problems occure to the weakest people”

There is a proverbial sentence in our culture which says: Every obstacle is often on the way of (the weakest / the most poore etc.) people. (literal translation) Connotation: it means ...
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2answers
22 views

A proverb/an expression to convey “a tendency towards a very big and unrealistic objective can be indicative of a failure”

In the old times, when it came to a match between our ancient wrestlers, the participants in order to define the strongest ones used to grab a rock and raise it to gain more popularity; but prior to ...
0
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1answer
19 views

“Put a spoke in sb's wheel” Vs “Throw/put a (monkey) wrench in the works”

The English expressions: throw a spanner in the works put a spanner in the works throw a (monkey) wrench in the works Mean: to do something that prevents a plan or activity ...
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1answer
24 views

A proverb about the belief that “there is a downhill for every uphill”

Is there any fixed saying in English which can encompass the mesaage that you should not get proud of what you have or what you are; because as you got famous/wealthy/etc. you might get weak or poor......
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1answer
16 views

how to express a different parts of a career?

in an interview, interviewer asked me to introduce my career. there are following 2 expressions. my career is comprised of 2 parts, 2 years customer support and 3 years sales. my career could be ...
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1answer
42 views

Is the expression “confound it” a euphemism?

I've sometimes heard people say, 'confound it'. So, I'm wondering whether this is considered a euphemism.
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2answers
38 views

“I’m happy to help”

Let’s say I just helped someone and they thanked me for it, would it be contextually appropriate to reply to their “thank you” with “i’m Happy to help” I’m asking if I can use the expression after ...
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2answers
255 views

Even some useless stuff would be of use some day

Is there any common idiom or expression in English which can convey such a message that: anything that is of no use, will be used someday for sure. It is a translated proverb which believes do not ...
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1answer
22 views

An equivalent English saying for “Those who are more humble and calm are more knowledgeable”

How would you normally convey the following message throgh a fixed saying: Those who are quiet and seem to be more humble, may belong very deep knowledge or even very strong feelings. Note: It's not ...
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1answer
21 views

Difference between these expressions

Could anyone enlighten me on the difference between these expressions: 1) "So, what about it?" 2) "Oh, what about that?" Is "what about that" the same as "how about that"? Or is there a difference? ...
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0answers
27 views

To say something indirecty to someone through telling it to a third person

Please imagine the person "A" is not going to tell something directly to the person "B" in a company. "A" says it to "C" who has a more friendly relations with "A", but in the manner that "C" (who is ...
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0answers
14 views

'greater understanding' without the preceding article 'a'

I'm aware that by default it is ...a greater understanding. However, I would like to know if I could leave the indefinite article out in the following case: The goal of this programme is simple: ...
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2answers
42 views

An equivalent for the proverb “A creaking door hangs longest or…”

Please have a look on the following scenarios and let me know what is the current English equivalent for the meaning in my question that can be used to fill in the blanks: Please imagine a couple ...
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2answers
38 views

To burn the midnight oil

Please consider the following scenario: a) I'm really jealous of him; he's a really successful engineer. b) Instead, I'm really proud to have such a colleague! You see! He's been a truly ...
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1answer
34 views

“Not faraway” for talking about a related matter

Can I use the expression "Not faraway" when wanting to talk about another matter that is strongly related to the previous one? For example: She always appears in the most beautiful clothes ever. ...
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1answer
22 views

Cut your coat according to your cloth

I have found two similar sayings in English which say: undertake only what you have the money or ability to do and no more. But apparantly they work only in British English, whilst I need something ...
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1answer
17 views

A proverb / an expression to imply: “One can manage their own affairs”

Is there any idiom / expression or proverb in English which can imply the situation that someone can manage their own affairs in rather severe conditions? For instance, a) I'm going to go ...
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2answers
27 views

When someone suddenly loses their everything

Is there any idiom / expression in English which can imply the situation in which someone due to some bad happenings suddenly and quickly plummets from the height of success and glory to the depth of ...
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2answers
39 views

An English equivalent for the proverbial sentence: “if gold rusts, what will iron do?!”

I've been looking for a proverbial sentence which literally says: People usually sprinkle salt on "every perishable thaink" that is going bad or has started to rot! But, imagine the case when ...
1
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1answer
28 views

A proverb / an expression to imply: “Enough is as good as a feast” or “Too much spoil, too little doesn't satisfy”

Please imagine a situation that a person goes too far in doing something and in another task they son't put enough effort! Or a cook who's making a food and salts a it too much, and the other food ...
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1answer
25 views

An equivalent for “Carrying coal to Newcastle” widespread in both AmE and BrE

What is the Americans equivalent for the following proverbial sayng which means: "to supply something to a place or person that already has a lot of that particular thing": Carrying coal to ...
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1answer
32 views

A very slow, weak and loose person

How would you normally in informal (not vulgar) English criticise a slowpoke how normally is very loose, weak and drags his feets when it comes to performing a task and you find it really difficult to ...
0
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1answer
32 views

There's many a slip twixt the cup and the lip

There is a proverb in my language which says: While there is big gap between now and the future and anything can happen in this time gap, so things can change in this period of time. Therefore, we ...
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4answers
1k views

Your bread will be buttered on both sides

Imagine a person who's been looking for a better hierarchical position in the organization where he works in order to obtain more salary! The day comes and he achieves his favorite position! His ...
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2answers
35 views

When someone/an animal hides and waits for their/its enemy/prey

Please imagine a troop of soldiers which are hiding and waiting for their enemies to arrive to their hiding place so that they could suddenly attack the enemies! Or Let's suppose an animal which is ...
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3answers
42 views

Many experiences in many occasions are needed for a person in order to be counted as wise

There is a proverbial hemistich in my language about a person who is not well-experienced yet. It says: An unexperienced person should travel a lot in order to be wiser / experienced. [literal ...
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1answer
17 views

A proverb to imply two people cannot get along together

For two people who usually don't get along and often argue for any insignificant matter or in general don't see eye to eye, there is a proverb in our language which says: Their water does not ...
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2answers
23 views

When you are looking for someone or something far away while it has been just beside you

Please imagine you're looking for something or somebody; you go around everywhere and are asking everyone in sorrounding area to find out whther they know where it/he/she... is! After awhile (it can ...
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1answer
17 views

A person who is potentially able to do something, but just doesn't find the needed situation to perform what they want

In my language, when there is a capable or malicious or any other person who is potentialy able to do something ("usually" a negative act), but they just don't have the needed requirements to do what ...
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1answer
36 views

A proverb to imply the message that: “To all mothers their children seem to be the most beautiful”

As we all well aware about mothers emotions toward their children since birthgiving up to the end! Usually, all mothers think deep down inside that their children are the most beautiful and no other ...
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1answer
19 views

A seemingly difficult task at the beginning (while you've not started it yet)

How do you call a simingly quite difficult task (not necessarily mental or physical one) which requires lots of efforts and looks too difficult "at the beginning"? The term / expression / idiom ...