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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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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
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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
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 ...
שבי לוי's user avatar
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
1 vote
0 answers
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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
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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 ...
Kata's user avatar
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1 vote
0 answers
73 views

Spun it on me (AmE)

A group of friends is talking, and one of them says she is leaving the town for good. The rest show how sad they are and, after their affectionate words, the girl saying good-bye replies: Well, you ...
Repelús's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
127 views

"Keep it together" VS "Pull oneself together" in AE

Based on dictionary definitions, the following two idioms mean more or less the same thing: "Keep it together:" to remain calm, composed, and self-possessed, especially despite or in the ...
A-friend's user avatar
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1 vote
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36 views

"Internalize someone else's pain into my own pain"?

Is "you must internalize someone else's pain into your own pain" grammatically correct? It basically means you not only need to understand other people's pain, but you should also feel and ...
user3562812's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
107 views

Can "I dare say (so)" mean "Of course" in a certain context?

Can the expression "I dare say (so)" mean "Of course" in a certain context? I know the general meaning and usage of this expression. From Collins dictionary: You can use 'I dare ...
Fra's user avatar
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1 vote
0 answers
31 views

jacket expressions

Does 'to open a jacket' mean to unbutton it? Does 'to close a jacket' mean to button it up? If a man's jacket is unbuttoned and he pulls the two sides further apart, exposing his chest, how would one ...
azz's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
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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 ...
radiotower's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
41 views

Metaphorical reference to someone bad to doing good and being praised more than a good person

I'd like to point out the following phenomenon that frequently occurs in the daily life. Take a mischief, culprit, someone unreliable and well-known to be a lousy piece of manure. Basically a bad ...
Konrad Viltersten's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
2k views

Grate on someone's ears / nerves

What does the sentence below mean? His voice grates on my ears. His voice grates on my nerves. Please have a look on Longman's definition below: To grate on (to annoy someone):  - Mr ...
A-friend's user avatar
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1 vote
0 answers
66 views

Are there 2 distances?

I've searched on Cambridge, Merriam-Webster and Oxford. Only Oxford says "distance" is countable. Assume there are 3 points in a 2d Euclidean space, point A=(A𝑥,A𝑦); point B=(B𝑥,B𝑦); point C=(C�...
user avatar
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 ...
JJJohn's user avatar
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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 ...
user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
32 views

How to describe this figure clearly? 2 dimensional feature vector?

This post is discussing the perceptron model. x_1 and x_2 are x axis and y axis respectively. should I call this figure 2-variable function or 2 dimensional feature vector, or something else?
Jay's user avatar
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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 ...
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
1 vote
1 answer
137 views

What is the meaning of the expression "...where rules are a convenience"?

I encountered the phrase "Paida fun is free-wheeling player fun, where rules are a convenience." in the context of roleplaying games. As a native German speaker, I am uncertain of the meaning of ...
DanielG's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
126 views

Short universal single expression for saying a kind of congratulations

My friend tells me that their physics teacher is such a good man, he's always so thoughtful of them to learn the lesson and answers all their questions patiently and as simply as possible, while our ...
M-J's user avatar
  • 295
1 vote
1 answer
298 views

What does 'make provision' mean in politics?

I was reading Endgame by Frank Brady (Page157) on Bobby Fischer and came across the following paragraph, The Bureau obviously had trouble believing that someone would travel so much simply for the ...
Shun's user avatar
  • 165
1 vote
1 answer
183 views

Brain is equally important as brawn in sports

Any idioms/expressions/phrases which conveys the same idea in the title? Example: In badminton, it's not just how fast or hard you hit the shuttle but you also need to play with smartness to defeat ...
Jony Agarwal's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
23 views

What verb can we use in the following situation (about drawing)?

Assume we are trying to teach someone how to draw a face. "First, you need to "draw the figure pale/faint/???" and once you are sure everything is the way you want, you can make it ...
Askeladd's user avatar
  • 243
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 ...
sundowner's user avatar
  • 564
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 ...
azz's user avatar
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0 votes
0 answers
145 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
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
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 ...
meghatas's user avatar
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0 answers
32 views

Verbs that can go with "contempt"

What are the verbs that can be used to express the idea of "reducing someone's contempt"? Let's say I meet a person who has a deep contempt for my favorite president XYZ. I want to change ...
Underwood's user avatar
  • 151
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 ...
user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
40 views

Not less than enough and not more Expression or Idiom

I'm looking for an expression or idiom in English that expresses this context: Anything that you overdo or it exceeds its limit is annoying and unacceptable. And also the same thing goes for anything ...
Mohd Sala's user avatar
  • 433
0 votes
0 answers
40 views

When someone is falling out of favor with someone else (Informal equivalent)

I am intrigued to know how would you normally imply the following notion in everyday speech? When you do something which makes people stop liking you or admiring you you might fall out of favor with ...
A-friend's user avatar
  • 14.3k
0 votes
0 answers
40 views

"Get on one's nerves" VS "Get to someone"

Could anyone let me know how the following examples differ in meaning? She’s always moaning. It really gets on my nerves. She’s always moaning. It really gets to me. Get on someone's nerves: If ...
A-friend's user avatar
  • 14.3k
0 votes
0 answers
72 views

Can "is it not that" be used as an equivalent of "is it not the case that"?

I think I encountered the phrase "is it not that," in a context where it meant "is it not the case that." For instance, would "Is it not that fire burns?" be an ...
Miles's user avatar
  • 79
0 votes
0 answers
23 views

Rolled over with lots of work?

I got an email from someone and he said he replied to the email because... I got rolled over with lots of work. I searched for it on Google and dictionaries but could not find a suitable definition ...
Gwangmu Lee's user avatar
  • 1,133
0 votes
0 answers
2k views

"Make a pass at someone" Vs "Hit on someone"

I would appreciate it if someone could let me know what is the usual AE idiom which is used when someone is going to sweet talk to a female in order to persuade her to making friends and starting a (...
A-friend's user avatar
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0 votes
0 answers
49 views

Use of "a good laugh"

Commenting a statement, I want to convey the idea that besides the fact that this statement has the virtue of making us laugh, it is also instructive for such and such reason. Can I use any of the ...
Miles's user avatar
  • 79
0 votes
0 answers
958 views

Is "Are you (or Have you been) informed?" a natural expression even when used without any context or clues?

The other day, my colleague asked me to proofread a checklist with a check item below. Have you been informed by the Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry? Yes or No It was an independent check ...
Takashi's user avatar
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0 votes
0 answers
88 views

How does "a month ago" and "the past month" in the below article differ?

"A month ago...More than 750,000 coronavirus cases were tallied worldwide in a single day... But the past month... New cases have declined to half their peak globally..." (New York Times ...
user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
11 views

How to understand 'with a bit of luck' in this sentence?

This is a quote from a comment on the movie Like Sunday, like rain : With a bit of luck Whaley was looking to cast the philandering, grubby musician who is messing up Eleanor’s life. FYI, Whaley is ...
Rolala's user avatar
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0 answers
39 views

Find one's bearings

Find one's bearings: To recognize or determine one's orientation, position, or abilities relative to one's surroundings or situation: Example: It took me a little while to find my bearings in the ...
A-friend's user avatar
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0 votes
0 answers
25 views

put sth on the tip of sb's subconsciousness

Is the expression in bold understandable to you? "How to put the name of the product on the tip of my prospective customers' subconsciousness so that it could be easily retrieved at the next ...
Underwood's user avatar
  • 151
0 votes
0 answers
78 views

An idiom or expression to describe an atmosphere where everyone in the group is in a creative mode

I am looking for an idiom or an expression to describe a creative vibe in a group. Here is what I mean by a creative vibe: "The group feels elated, lively and in good spirits. They want to go ...
Alev Sönmez's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
22 views

Which preposition?

Does the following work in English? An application for promotion applies to the subject in which the teacher is currently employed. That is, can you say that someone is employed in a subject? To me, ...
Hannah's user avatar
  • 506
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 ...
Hannah's user avatar
  • 506
0 votes
0 answers
23 views

Best expression for 'hesitation towards sharing'

Can someone suggest some good expressions or simple sentences to express to someone when he's hesitating to share knowledge, especially when he already possesses adequate amount of information on the ...
Sabbir Ahmed's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
1k views

An expression or Idiom to describe feeling lost/ confused/ fuzzy?

Can you recommend me any idioms or common-sense expressions for feeling lost/confused/fuzzy? I had the idea to use "being stranded on an island" (cause we had this usage in my mother ...
Alev Sönmez's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
313 views

"I wouldn’t say no" VS "I wouldn’t mind (it)"

For me the two expressions "I wouldn't say no" and "I wouldn’t mind(it)" (where "it" as an optional pronoun can be omitted) mean more or less the same thing and most of ...
A-friend's user avatar
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