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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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-2 votes
1 answer
38 views

What are the natural words/phrases that native speakers use when they want to elaborate on what they’re talking but haven’t thought of anything else?

For example, when talking about global warming and the causes leading to the problem, suddenly I run out of ideas to talk about (not because I can’t find the exact words to express what I want to say, ...
-1 votes
2 answers
41 views

To buy some pastries/baked goods/bakery products

Hello: which one of the following expressions is the most idiomatic? I made them up myself. Thank you! To buy some pastries To buy some baked goods, or To buy some bakery products
2 votes
4 answers
1k views

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 ...
0 votes
2 answers
60 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 ...
1 vote
1 answer
57 views

content is the focus or in the focus

If I want to say that disturbing icons have been removed from my webpage and from now on, the content is emphasized, should I use the "content is the focus" OR the "content is in the ...
2 votes
1 answer
52 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 ...
1 vote
1 answer
110 views

Concrete examples to supplement(s) when talk about some operation or explanation

I am confused with the usage of the word supplement. A similar usage might be a 16-page advertising supplement where it means an additional part of a book, newspaper, report etc Following is ...
2 votes
2 answers
516 views

"For all our safety" instead of "for the safety of all", "for everyone's safety"

In the sentence: "It is vital that retailers, businesses and residents abide by these new measures which are being put in place for all our safety." From this source. Does "for all our ...
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, ...
1 vote
1 answer
63 views

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!
0 votes
1 answer
107 views

Can you use "confer merit" like this?

Is "confer merit" correctly used in the following sentence? The context is a job description, where the employer talks about skills, degrees etc that are not required, but that provide ...
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 ...
1 vote
1 answer
139 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, &...
0 votes
3 answers
601 views

"we are only given something" or "we are given only something"?

chapter 1 of the book "Machine Learning - A Probabilistic Perspective" says The second main type of machine learning is the descriptive or unsupervised learning approach. Here we are only ...
-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, ...
1 vote
3 answers
4k views

Which expression is correct: 'for working with' or 'to work with'

For me it seems that in the following case expression seems not to be fitting, I think the second example is shorter, simpler and may even be more correct. dugite - Elegant bindings for working with ...
0 votes
0 answers
30 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 ...
1 vote
2 answers
4k views

Introduction "on" or Introduction "to", which one is more appropriate and idiomatic?

the title of section 2.1 of book "Deep Learning and Convolutional Neural Networks for Medical Image Computing" is Introduction on Deep Learning Methods in Mammography I see Introduction "to" more ...
1 vote
1 answer
97 views

You're not gonna get away with this!/You'll not get away with this!/You won't get away with this!/You're not getting away with this!

I'm writing a story. A burglar breaks into a man's home and threatens him with a gun. As the burglar locks the man into a room so that he can rob his things, the man yells at him - 1) You're not ...
2 votes
2 answers
38 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 ...
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?...
0 votes
1 answer
102 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 ...
0 votes
2 answers
55 views

Banned/censored books go to the "pulp mill"?

Would it be accurate to say that an author's censored books were "sent straight from the press to the pulp mill", i.e. shredded by the government? I got this translation from a translation ...
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 ...
0 votes
2 answers
859 views

The meaning and the usage of the expression "Don't you dare"

To me, "Don't you dare!" is an expression that communicates a warning to someone. For instance: Don't you dare talk to me like that! Don't you dare follow me! (ete...) But I wonder if you ...
8 votes
1 answer
881 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?!
3 votes
5 answers
25k views

Is there any phrase or idiom meaning "I wish you were there too" or "it was good if you were there also"?

In Persian we have an idiom literally meaning "I wish you were there too" or "it was good if you were there also". For example, if you had been in party and a friend had not been there you may say ...
0 votes
1 answer
60 views

On scientific merit

Someone said in another thread that the following sentence may not be correct because it is lacking "any": (1) 60% of academic papers do not offer scientific merit. Here's what the right ...
0 votes
3 answers
2k views

Linking expressions to introduce advantages and disadvantages

In an argumentative text/essay what linking expressions can be used to introduce the pros and cons of the essay topic/object/theme, after a short introduction? For example, if I'm writing an ...
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 ...
0 votes
1 answer
22 views

Which of the following sentences is the correct usage of the question?

Which of the following sentences is the correct usage of the question or most commonly used in the conversational context? Was the rental equipment returned today? Has the rental equipment been ...
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 ...
0 votes
2 answers
67 views

This guy MAKES vlogging HIS LIVING? (Expression)

Let's say you have seen tons of Youtube videos made by a particular guy. As we all know, there is money earned out of it, then you reacted to his way of earning money and you say: Oh my, this guy ...
2 votes
2 answers
3k views

How to describe "burst into laughter and spit out water" in more idiomatic English?

Today I texted my friend to talk about something. I was drinking water when I got his reply which was so surprisingly funny and I burst into laughter and spit out the water in my mouth. I am wondering ...
0 votes
0 answers
46 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 ...
0 votes
2 answers
62 views

Is this expression incorrect? Why?

Could you explain why is this news report using "sift signal from noise" instead of "sift the signal from the noise"? According to some native speakers, it is utterly incorrect to ...
0 votes
2 answers
379 views

Expressions for live alone

I believe there are some other ways to say "I live alone". Can you provide me with some expression explaining its formality? What about these: be on (oneself). (?) live with (oneself) (?) Do these ...
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.”, ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
2 votes
2 answers
167 views

"can" or "could" in the following sentence?

In the following sentence, why is "can" more appropriate than "could"? Is it a grammar thing? Please explain. The more satisfied you are with your job, the more effort you could ...
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 ...
4 votes
1 answer
178 views

What would be natural way to say this?

Recently I was watching a movie with someone which had a good amount of grandiloquence, as is common in any historical love story where things always tend to be regal, which are really good to hear ...
-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."
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 ...
2 votes
1 answer
236 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 ...
6 votes
3 answers
7k views

Is "Don't be" correct as a response to "I am sorry"?

I heard someone saying "Don't be" in response to "I am sorry". I wonder whether it is correct. Some native speakers said it was a mistake, however, some said it was correct. Is ...
0 votes
2 answers
94 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 ...
4 votes
1 answer
2k views

How do you say two or several things are about equivalent to each other in English?

How do you say two or several things are about equivalent to each other in English? For example, if I post a question here and receive two answers which seem equally good to me, and I don't know ...

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