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Questions tagged [idiomatic-language]

is for questions about whether or not a particular phrase or sentence is a usual or common way that fluent English speakers might express something.

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2answers
37 views

Is it ok to say 'come out as a winner'?

Grammatically, semantically, there seems to be nothing wrong with it, but Google News finds only several thousand search results. Why? (please, don't ask for context, it's perfectly clear as it is)
0
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0answers
7 views

To go off of something meaning

I hear this a lot especially in group discussions when someone says, "Going off of [an earlier comment],[I want to say that]..." I've also heard "I want to bounce off of [another person's point and ...
0
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0answers
17 views

Can square mean a reounded number?

Can square mean a rounded number as in "Can you knock 50 dollars off the price and make it a thousand dollars square"? The seller is asking 1050 dollar for the merchandize and the buyer is trying to ...
0
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1answer
40 views

Is it natural to say “I’d like a…” when ordering from a restaurant?

If ordering from a restaurant over the phone are the phrases written in bold completely natural in the context? Me: "Hi, I'd like to order a cheese burger..." Restaurant guy: "A cheese ...
0
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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? ...
-1
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1answer
36 views

How to talk about official procedures?

How often do you take photographs? Every day I'd say. I take a photo of one of my children because they do something funny. Also, nowadays, I have to finish a lot of government official ...
1
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1answer
28 views

An idiomatic meaning of “call” in “-How about a club? -…call.” [closed]

There will be not much context since I don't remember the exact novel it came from. Two characters are talking after a hard day. The setting is close to the current time. -How about a club? -......
2
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1answer
30 views

How to use “back home” phrase?

One can say "get back home" or "went back home" to talk about going back home after hanging out with friends. In response to this question: Who do you usually like to hang out with? I say: Back ...
0
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1answer
42 views

“Good buy!” with a connotation of “Good bye!”

My friend (which is not a native English speaker) asked me to send him on Whats-app the pictures of the books that I bought, and his comment to it was: "Good buy!". I had an immediate connotation with ...
0
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0answers
15 views

Can I say “What do you do the most?”

Can I say "What do you do the most?" when I want to know what you spend most of the time on? Is it correct? I searched for the sentence online but I couldn't find it.
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1answer
33 views

An amusing idiom about forgetfulness?

There is an idiom in Indian languages about forgetfullness. A shepherd keeps a baby lamb under his armpit and searches for it the whole village Is there an equivalent and amusing idiom in English.?...
6
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4answers
1k views

Ambiguity - Should it be “mindful of committing logical fallacies” or “mindful of not committing logical fallacies”?

From Collins, If you are mindful of something, you think about it and consider it when taking action. When I am writing, I am always mindful of committing logical fallacies (e.g., red herring, ...
1
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1answer
37 views

Is the use of “why it is” in this sentence correct?

The following is an excerpt from this NYT article ( 9th paragraph). It is a comment that senator Romney made over Trump's decision to pull back the U.S. troops. Critics in both parties condemned ...
2
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1answer
24 views

A verb for a raise in a feeling

The studies conducted 10 years ago shows that the feeling of belonging to the group is very weak among the members. We have no evidence that the feeling _____ in the meanwhile. I want to say that ...
0
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2answers
58 views

An idiomatic word meaning “very good” in this context [closed]

The country's ranking in global output has been _____ for quite some time now. What is an idiomatic adjective, or adjectival phrase, meaning "very positive" or "very good" or "very high", to put in ...
2
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1answer
41 views

What does “take a nap between the snoozing lion and lamb” means?

This phrase is from the below paragraph in the book Behave: The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst by Robert M. Sapolsky. The book has a number of personal roots. One is that, having had ...
7
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8answers
619 views

An idiomatic word for “very little” in this context?

The country has produced less than 1 percent of the global output. The country's share of the global output is (very) _____ . Small, little, tiny, few, low are in my mind. But I don't know what is ...
2
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2answers
26 views

get in/into the habit of reading

1) Is there a difference in meaning between "get in a habit of reading" and "get into the habit of reading"? 2) I also want to make sure whether this is the idiomatic way to say this. 3) Is it ...
0
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1answer
50 views

Why do we say “involve any risk” and not “involve any risks”

Financial Times: The near-obsession with defending the rating has ensured that where the bank loan involves any risk..... The Guardian: This is not at all to say that we should demonise youth ...
1
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2answers
776 views

What does the phrase “The horse has left the barn” mean?

What does the phrase "The horse has left the barn" mean? I'm asking this question because I was watching the live testimony of Acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire before a ...
0
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1answer
21 views

How to idiomatically say that you have to quickly go to your home everyday [closed]

I got the following question in a speaking test: What do you usually do after work? Here is the answer: Actually, I have to run to my home in order to have some sleep before going to work in the ...
0
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1answer
40 views

How is he? VS What is he like?

If we want to ask about a person's particular qualities, which of the following fits best? A. How should a teacher be like? B. How should be a teacher? C. What should a teacher be like? ...
0
votes
1answer
36 views

First or Second conditional form?

Which form would a native English speaker use here? I'm the kind of person who doesn't like a movie if it's not very convincing. I'm the kind of person who wouldn't like a movie if it wasn't very ...
1
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1answer
39 views

persistent [high] levels of unemployment or persistently high levels of unemployment

Here is a sentence that I wrote for an academic paper: ... the provision of longer benefit durations in regions of high unemployment creates long-term EI dependency among seasonal workers, which ...
1
vote
3answers
54 views

he not be stopped

He kept her gait down because it was very important that he not be stopped. This sentence is from Cold Iron by Miles Cameron, a medieval fantasy book. I find this sentence strange. Could we rephrase ...
1
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3answers
66 views

Is “draw in electricity/energy” idiomatic?

I googled "the contact draws in electricity" and found 0 result, yet it seems something you would read in an engineering paper or journal. I couldn't find anything. Is there a more idiomatic way of ...
0
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1answer
21 views

Can we use “all manners of” in this particular way?

The definition of the phrase is as follows: all kinds or sorts of (things or people) It seems to be used when you have a lot of things or people of different kinds, so can it be used in the ...
0
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1answer
38 views

Is “for you” redundant or unnecessary?

Is "for you" redundant or unnecessary? This is enough for you to attain an expert proficiency in guitar. This is enough to attain an expert proficiency in guitar. I don't think the second ...
2
votes
1answer
38 views

How to idiomatically say that you are late for your appointment with someone?

I had this question in a speaking test "Do you think it's important to be on time?" In the following answer, What is the idiomatic way to say the latest expression in British English? Answer: Yes ...
0
votes
1answer
27 views

Is “well” correct when using sarcasm?

Is "well" correct when using sarcasm? "What's the time?" she asked. "Well, aren't you in a real hurry?" he said sarcastically. I am not sure if the word "Well" belongs here, especially in a ...
0
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1answer
58 views

How to say don't leave the door open when you leave!

Basically, I want to say something like Don't leave the door open when you leave the office. However, this sounds a bit awkward in my opinion because it has two leaves in a row. So, I thought about ...
-1
votes
1answer
44 views

What does “fire from the hip” means?

What does "fire from the hip" means? When I read this phrase, I think of a person shooting with the gun touching the hip below the belt, I think of a person with a handgun with his gun low and firing? ...
2
votes
1answer
30 views

Can we use “this” to refer to several things?

Can we use "this" to refer to several things? There's a new attachment added to the gun. There's also a monopod with a hinge on the back for increased support and stability. We replaced the old ...
1
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2answers
45 views

What's the meaning of stock? [closed]

I am not sure if we say "stock build" or "stock". It seems to be a noun, but it seems to be used as a noun adjective in certain case, so I was wondering what's the correct and idiomatic way of using ...
0
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0answers
33 views

How to talk about a commute?

A) Which of the following sentences are idiomatic and grammatical? B) Is it necessary to say "every day" if I used "commute"? 1) It's 30-minute commute to my work every day. 2) I commute to ...
0
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3answers
62 views

“there are no special names for each city”

I got this question: What names are most common in your hometown? My answer: There are traditional names like "Jake", "Jacob" and "Holmes", but they are used across the whole country, and there ...
0
votes
1answer
16 views

Is there a phrase that means “give a lot of attention to”?

Is there a phrase that means "give a lot of attention to"? I am trying to think of a good idiomatic sounding phrase I can use, but I can't really think of one. The best phrases I could come up with ...
0
votes
1answer
34 views

Answering with “Doing alright” to “How are you”

"Doing alright" sounds like a good answer to "How are you doing?". Is it an acceptable answer to "How are you?" too?
0
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2answers
47 views

Starbucks'/Starbucks Song

Let's say I frequent Starbucks, and there a particular song gets played so often that I start to associate Starbucks with that song. Would saying I like Starbucks'/Starbucks song. or Do you ...
0
votes
2answers
19 views

Is it idiomatic and grammatically correct to say “these are just basic math”?

Is it idiomatic and grammatically correct to say "these are just basic math"? When looking at a bunch of math scribbles on a chalkboard, is it correct to say "These are just basic math"? I did so one ...
2
votes
1answer
110 views

What are some proper responses to “How are you?”?

What are some proper responses to "How are you?"? I am asking this question, because I am wondering if you can answer indirectly. For example, instead of saying "Fine." or "I am doing great.", Can you ...
1
vote
4answers
105 views

How do you use “smooth sailing” idiomatically?

How do you use "smooth sailing" idiomatically? Can someone explain to me how to use "smooth sailing" idiomatically? I thought it was a verb, but being an idiom I am wondering if you can use is as if ...
0
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1answer
38 views

To step up to a broken promise

Could anyone help me understand the meaning of this apparently idiomatic expression: "To step up to a broken promise." I did not find it on the net. I'll appreciate it.
0
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1answer
47 views

Is “deflected to” grammatical?

Is "deflected to" grammatical? I think it is grammatical, but I am not sure if it means what I mean. For example: He deflected the bullet to the shooter's face. He deflected the bullet back ...
1
vote
0answers
40 views

Why the passive form is wrong here?

On the other hand, paper-based books are more difficult to be stored \ to store than electronic books. A research using Google Ngram shows that the passive form "difficult to be stored" is never ...
2
votes
3answers
102 views

X's chances of doing or the chances of X doing

Which one of the following is correct? and which one is idiomatic? This is because a proper education will enhance the chances of women reaching high-level positions, consequently, the ...
0
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1answer
23 views

On Friday morning, at night…but what about on\at Friday 9 AM?

Should it be on Friday 9 AM or at Friday 9 AM?
3
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3answers
64 views

When do we say “on a place” instead of “in a place”?

When do we say "on a place" instead of "in a place"? I was told that saying "landed on a place" is wrong, why is that? Is there any situation where "on a place is appropriate"? For example: "The ...
-1
votes
1answer
28 views

Grammaticality and idiomaticity of “Help clarify”

Is the following sentence grammatical? An example could help clarify the problem. I hear the construction help clarify quite often, is it idiomatic?
0
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1answer
24 views

Why we use the singular form when we talk generally about “lifestyle”?

Both examples are extracted from The Guardian newspaper. Clark points out that Coca-Cola is at least promoting its Coca-Cola Zero at the Rugby World Cup later this year rather than its full sugar ...