Questions tagged [expressions]

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

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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
52 views

Staring blankly at

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
41 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
22 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
50 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
26 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
8 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
35 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
19 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
72 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
11 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
21 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
38 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
29 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 & ...
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3answers
24 views

How to express the plural of “<role 1> and <role 2>”?

If someone is both a singer and a writer, I would normally say "a singer and writer". When I say "a singer and a writer", it should mean that there are two persons, one is a singer and the other is a ...
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0answers
18 views

About the usage of “about the same” in this context

Jim, Jack, Raul, Kim, Beti are the members of this group. Jim spent 100 euros, but Jack spent 10 euros. About the same difference is between Jim and each of the other members. The last sentence ...
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1answer
52 views

which one: “so and such” or “Bla Bla Bla …”?

friend has said something, that is, something which is not true. I want to talk about what my friend said, but I won't actually say those words. I know I can use a sentence with following form: My ...
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0answers
15 views

celebration phase vs celebration period vs celebration mode

Which following sentences are correct and usual to express that a person or a group of people are in a period of celebration (eg after an achievement) ? We are in a period of celebration / ...
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1answer
27 views

Is this expression “she busied her new home herself” a common usage of “busy”? [closed]

It sounds like the lecturer is speaking Can you even do this? like the computer busy programs itself I guess that lecturer's meaning might be "the computer busy itself with (writing) programs" ...
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2answers
41 views

What's the origin of “price of fish”?

I heard an old song by Scooter where he sings "How much is the fish?", realizing that it sounds so irrelevant and stupid that it might be something idiomatic with it. Turns out it's an expression ...
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1answer
49 views

The expression “I'll take it as take out”

If I order a coffee and want to take it out. (To go..) The expression "I'll take it as take out." makes sense? And use that in common?
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1answer
27 views

Is this expression clear and idiomatic, “what is the value N/(2<sup>k</sup>) at least should be”? [closed]

I asked a question just now. Thanks for your answer. In your context, what is the value N/(2k) at least should be? Is this expression clear and idiomatic? All the discussion is in the field of ...
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2answers
38 views

Different people like different things - how to say it in a more informal way?

I am translating a text, and I should be as precise as possible. I am wondering whether there exists such an expression 'who likes what' (it sounds weird to me) meaning 'different people like ...
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1answer
34 views

Is this modification necessary, to add something between these two parts “You did something stupid” and “you tried to”?

There seems to be some errors in this post. I am trying to fix some. Here is the original, It may be a pain to see compile errors, but trust me, getting error here is good for you. You did ...
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3answers
34 views

How are you finding [something]?

I have read the expression "How are you finding [something] ?" (= What are you thinking of [something] ?) for the first time today. Is it used only/mostly in UK?
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1answer
27 views

Is “should never run” more appropriate than “should never be able to run”?

There seems to be some errors in this post. I am trying to fix some. It may be a pain to see compile errors, but trust me, getting error here is good for you. You did something stupid you tried to ...
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1answer
22 views

“decide which one is equal” seems to be not grammatical, is this one more appropriate, “check if the two are equal”?

This post says It may be a pain to see compile errors, but trust me, getting error here is good for you. You did something stupid you tried to compare string with int and decide which one is equal. ...
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1answer
24 views

Is “nor does it to human” an reasonably condensed version of “nor does it make sense to human”?

This post says It may be a pain to see compile errors, but trust me, getting error here is good for you. You did something stupid you tried to compare string with int and decide which one is equal. ...
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1answer
31 views

Is this expression clear and idiomatic, “Mathematically, is 21 ideal for Blackjack in some sense”?

I asked a question just now, where I would like discuss if 21 is in some sense ideal. Mathematically, is 21 ideal for Blackjack in some sense? The "mathematically" qualifier is opposed to other ...
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2answers
35 views

Which one is more grammatical and idiomatic, “view something is” or “view something as”?

The lecturer is saying Something hits you really hard and then goes away, and then nothing happens for a very long period of time. And you'll learn this in the future, you can kind of view ...
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2answers
24 views

Is this expression “whose definition” idiomatic?

I asked a question just now I am learning 𝐿𝑝 space, whose definition is based on function spaces. Is this expression "whose definition" idiomatic?
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1answer
50 views

I wonder how native English speaker perceives 'make' in this expression

"make landfall" e.g, The hurricane made landfall. I know what "landfall" means. I know "make landfall" means "to reach or hit or strike a certain area." But I can't understand well the meaning of "...
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1answer
14 views

How to express the meaning that I am trying to figure out a concept?

I asked a question just now What an input space exactly is in the context of machine learning? I am not sure where should I put "exactly", which one in the following is more appropriate? What an ...
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1answer
23 views

Is this mathematical explanation of “except” and “other than” right?

This question is derived from this one. Assume "not including" and "including" have two mutually exclusive meanings. It is impossible "not including" and "including" at the same time. The Oxford ...
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2answers
52 views

Are “right now” and “currently” exchangeably here?

Chapter 2 of the book "C++ Primer Plus, 6th Edition by Stephen Prata (2012)" says Right now the main point to remember is that C++ syntax requires you to begin the definition of the main() function ...
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2answers
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About parenthetical expressions, is the sentence grammartically correct?

This novel method has significantly improved the research period from one year in previous attempts, due to a lack of observatory data, to the longest year with reliable documentary data, 100 ...
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1answer
14 views

Does “**societies**” here mean “groups of people” or “registered organizations”?

This page says In the decades since the 1960s, ACM, along with leading professional and scientific computing societies, has endeavored to tailor curriculum recommendations to the rapidly changing ...
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1answer
21 views

Which one is more appropriate, “only loves baseball” or “loves only baseball”?

I asked a question just now. I am not sure if this sentence is grammatical and idiomatic. the guy only loves baseball in the scope of available options. Is this case, which one is more ...
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1answer
31 views

Which pair is exchangeable, “besides” and “aside from” or “except for” and “aside from”?

This is one of the examples from cambridge dict. Do you play any other sports besides basketball? Oxford dict consider "besides", "except for" and "aside from" are synonyms. To simplify the ...
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0answers
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What is the difference between “… are produced by …” and “… are those that would be produced by …”?

The doc says The comprehension consists of a single expression followed by at least one for clause and zero or more for or if clauses. In this case, the elements of the new container are those that ...
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2answers
37 views

Is it reasonable to say “aside from” means a set does not include something

Oxford dictionary gives this example sentence about "aside from". A full scale search was launched and thankfully she was found unharmed, aside from suffering from the cold. Is it reasonable to ...
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1answer
40 views

Is “get a better understanding about some concept/mechanism” a grammatical, idiomatic and clear expression?

I asked a question just now. I am trying to get a better understanding about this procedure of Python code to be generated. similarly people may say these get a better understanding about ...
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4answers
3k views

“Literally” Vs “In the true sense of the word”

The Cambridge and other dictionaries say that "literally" can be used as an emphasis on something. But there is another term: "in the true sense of the word", which to mea has a quite similar meaning ...
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1answer
20 views

When talking about `apply for` certain operators, `apply to` is more appropriate, is my understanding right?

this doc says Some additional rules apply for certain operators (e.g., a string as a left argument to the ‘%’ operator). Extensions must define their own conversion behavior. per cambridge, when ...
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1answer
27 views

Does 'getting ages' idiomatically sound natural?

We're usually taught (in Korea) to say getting old to describe that something/someone is aging, but I found out this can sound unnecessarily exaggerated as if it's running out of its lifespan. To tone ...
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0answers
19 views

Is the expression “does any of” grammatical, idiomatic and clear?

I asked a question just now. Does any of Python, Java, bash, lua use statement separator? (Python, Java, bash, lua are programming/script language.) Is the expression "does any of ... do" ...
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1answer
43 views

An idiom to mean: to accept / expand someone's statements in formal speech

Let's assume you and someone else (say: Dr. Adam) are giving speech in a meeting. Dr. Adam says something and after his remarks and statements, you'd like to say: I accept Dr. Adam's statements ...
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1answer
20 views

Wordchoice: to barbecue something or to have a barbecue

I've been wondering whether there is a distinction between to barbecue sth. and to have a barbecue I suppose to barbecue something is the act of barbecuing (grilling) food. and having a barbecue ...