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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1answer
12 views

A verb/phrasal verb for removing an impasse

This debate has reached an impasse. We need a novel approach to _____ the current impasse. What would be an idiomatic verb for the blank? Remove? destroy? resolve? bring us out of? bring the debate ...
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1answer
22 views

How do you idiomatically say that a character is doing an animation?

How do you idiomatically say that a character is doing an animation? I can't think of a good way to say this. Sometimes, when you make a game you must animate characters in the editor you've been ...
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7answers
3k views

Phrasal verb for carbonated drinks exploding out of the can after being shaken?

What's the phrasal verb for carbonated drinks exploding out of the can after being shaken? "Exploded out" doesn't sound right, because it doesn't sound idiomatic. I also checked pop off, but it seems ...
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1answer
23 views

Is there a restriction in the use of the idiom “I am done with”?

Is there a restriction in the use of the idiom "I am done with"? For example, when we say "I am done with the paper", can it mean you finished reading it, writing it, copying it or burning it, etc.? ...
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2answers
16 views

Is it “burning at/on the stakes”, “burning at/on the stake”, “burning at/on stake” or “burning at/on stakes”?

Is it "burning at/on the stakes", "burning at/on the stake", "burning at/on stake" or "burning at/on stakes"? There's an entry for "burn at the stake" on the dictionary, so I am guessing it's correct, ...
-1
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1answer
15 views

meaning: raise meat vs. raise beef/pork

"Raise meat" means "raise cattle (or other animals?) to be slaughtered for their meat." Can we say "raise beef" or "raise pork"?
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1answer
7 views

Should it be “in, at or with an exchange rate of 2:1”?

Should it be "in, at or with an exchange rate of 2:1"? I am not sure what the right preposition is for the expression "exchange rate of". All of them sounds fine to me, but I think at least one of ...
2
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1answer
12 views

Is the phrase “more and more x the more y” idiomatic?

Is the phrase "more and more x the more y" idiomatic? I think it is, but it's hard for me to know if it's the case and if there are some constraint to the phrase and how we can use it. For example: ...
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0answers
19 views

Guess someone (to be) noun - is it idiomatic?

She guessed him a quiet man and he wouldn't want people to know that he was the police. Who would have guessed him a mere sneaking meddlesome spy! I must have guessed him a widower. I found ...
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2answers
40 views

Do we need to repeat the verb after and?

Pupils at the primary education level are less violent and are hard workers. Do we need "are" and what is the natural thing to do?
2
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1answer
13 views

“either” used with two “or's”

Is "either ... or ... or" used properly used in the following? When something bad happens, you have three choices. You can either let it define you, or let it destroy you, or you can let it ...
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0answers
21 views

Is “using animations” idiomatic?

Is "using an animation" idiomatic? I think it's the most idiomatic way to say that a character in a video game has a particular animation, but I am wondering if it's really the case, or there's a much ...
0
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1answer
16 views

How is “from the top” synonymous to “from square one”?

How is "from the top" synonymous to "from square one"? According to the dictionary, it means "from the beginning", but I don't see any valid entry for "redesigned from the top", which means "...
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3answers
41 views

Idiomatic usage of “well worth the ride” to refer to a journey (on foot)

The idiom "well worth the ride" is usually used for a journey made on horseback, bike, motorcycle, or vehicle. But what I mean in the following example is "ride" as a journey on foot (e.g. mountain ...
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1answer
41 views

Using modal verb “could” as an independent

"Dan was so successful at school, he made it, he could." Can the modal verb "could" be used as in the above example, as a standalone without a verb following it? "Dan was so successful at school, he ...
2
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1answer
22 views

lack of knowledge or the lack of knowledge

Once I see "of", I spontaneously consider to use "the", like "the screen of mobile phones" because the screen here is specific and it is related to mobile phones. However, the following sentences are ...
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2answers
24 views

What's the proper way to say “1 unit of caviar”?

What's the proper way to say "1 unit of caviar"? Caviar is an uncountable noun even though technically it's countable unlike water, so because of that I am not sure if you can refer to "1 unit of ...
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0answers
12 views

Doing something to take the regret away or reduce it

Is there a phrase or idiom in English to mean that you are engaging in something to make yourself not feel as bad about having done or not done something?
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0answers
19 views

Can we replace “as if you were” with “like”?

Can we replace "as if you were" with "like"? I am thinking both are synonymous, but I am not sure and is it context specific? In the example, I am thinking of I think it's synonymous. For example: ...
0
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1answer
21 views

Is “restaurant I ordered from” idiomatic?

Is "restaurant I ordered from" idiomatic? I am not sure if it's correct, but I see a lot of people saying it, but I don't think it's grammatically correct. Don't you "order food at a restaurant"? ...
0
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1answer
17 views

“different eras in history” or “different eras in the history”

The Ngram says here that both expressions are used; however, I think "the history" is the correct expression because there is one history like when you write "the sun". On the other hand, my gut is ...
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1answer
13 views

Is “turns into X until” idiomatically and semantically correct?

Is "turns into X until" idiomatically and semantically correct? I often hear the phrase "turns into X until", but it doesn't seem to be correct. Instead of that, it should be "turns into X and remains ...
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2answers
18 views

Is “flip your glove inside out” idiomatic?

Is "flip your glove inside out" idiomatic? I know that the expression is "turn your glove inside out", but sometimes I see "flip" being used, but it doesn't seem to be standard, idiomatic or even ...
0
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1answer
19 views

Is “synchronize X with someone” idiomatic?

Is "synchronize X with someone" idiomatic? I am not sure how idiomatic it is, because this phrase is not seen often, but I feel it might be possibly correct, because semantically it seems to be ...
1
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1answer
28 views

My children are the most important thing in my life

My children are the most important things in my life. Is this is the correct idiomatic expression because my children definitely are not things and I wonder whether I should say thing instead of ...
1
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1answer
24 views

It is with A as with B

I saw the following passage and am wondering whether "it is with A as with B" is current English. What is it used for? And what does "it" refer to? It is with learning as with wealth. A few cannot ...
3
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1answer
43 views

When guide someone to think something which one is more appropriate, “find” or “find out”?

I answered a question just now, but I am not sure I expressed appropriately. I am trying to guide the guy who posted this question to look into source code take a look at the source code, you'll ...
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0answers
17 views

Is “to get a view on” idiomatic in this context?

I do this study in order to get a view on that social phenomenon. Is "to get a view on" idiomatic in this context? Or, any other suggestions?
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1answer
21 views

Is “throw in X at Y” idiomatic?

Is "throw in X at Y" idiomatic? I am wondering if I am using the phrase idiomatically or not. It's difficult for a non-native English speaker to determine if a phrase is idiomatic or not, so I rather ...
2
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1answer
27 views

Can you say “I savaged myself” or “She savaged herself” for something or someone?

Can you say “I savaged myself” or “He/She savaged himself/herself” for something or someone? For instance, someone was trying to prepare themselves for a contest or a competition, fiercely changing ...
1
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1answer
7 views

A verb for when mistrust increases?

After what he did, her mistrust in their relationship _______ . So they already had mistrust in this agreement, but with the recent turns of events their mistrust ______ . If you do that, ...
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2answers
34 views

“I have an emergency up here” vs “I have an emergency in here”?

"I have an emergency up here" vs "I have an emergency in here"? Which one is idiomatic and what's the difference exactly? Are they pretty much the same? I feel you can use either of them in most ...
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3answers
24 views

“what do say you we meet up for a cup of coffee” or “what do you say if we meet up for cup of coffee”?

Tell me please which sentence sounds grammatically correct. What do you say we meet up for a cup of coffee sometime. What do you say if we meet up for a cup of coffee sometime. What I am ...
0
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1answer
16 views

Coup vs coup d'état

The 1953 Iranian coup d'état was staged by the United State. The 1953 Iranian coup was staged by the United State. Are 1 and 2 mean exactly the same thing? Which one is more idiomatic: coup or ...
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2answers
30 views

“What went wrong?” Vs. “What did go wrong?”

I came across the phrase "What went wrong?" and I doubt if it has a correct form "What did go wrong?" or it would be already not idiomatic in this way. Is it idiomatic to use "What did go wrong?"?
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2answers
26 views

How do you say “Game of Thrones-themed” idiomatically?

How do you say "Game of Thrones-themed" idiomatically? I can think of multiple ways of saying it, but I have no idea what is the right way. Is there a correct format for this? It's easy when the title ...
1
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1answer
37 views

What do “nailer” and “hanger” mean in these lines?

A dialogue from the movie Body of Lies Ferris: When they find him, they are gonna torture him and they are gonna kill him. Ed: You gotta decide which side of the cross you're on. I need ...
0
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1answer
30 views

Is “enter a dance animation with” idiomatic?

Is "enter a dance animation with" idiomatic? It's a very new expression, because it's mostly used for video games, so I was wondering if it was idiomatic? I am not sure, but maybe there's a better way ...
0
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1answer
22 views

How do we use “drill in”?

I found an entry in a dictionary, but it only says "teach by drills and repetition" without providing any example. Now, my question is if we can say "drill yourself in X". For example: You can ...
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0answers
25 views

Is “doing X in morse code” idiomatic?

Is "Yawned words in morse code" idiomatic? I am not sure if it's idiomatic, but I don't think I've ever seen a phrase like that in my life. I know that "blink in morse code" is idiomatic, but I am ...
0
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1answer
20 views

How do you say your Youtube account is getting view-suppressed idiomatically?

How do you say your Youtube account is getting view-suppressed idiomatically? I've been trying to find a way to say it and I can't really find a good example on Google, so I thought of asking it here. ...
1
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1answer
28 views

Is this an improper use of “look like”?

Is this an improper use of "look like"? I am not sure, but I think you usually use a "noun", but in the following case I am not sure if the use of a phrase is correct. For example: Your hair looks ...
0
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0answers
29 views

Is “call in a taxi” correct?

Is "call in a taxi" correct? I thought "call in a taxi" was correct, because you would say "call in a supply package", but after looking up Google, I barely get any results telling me that it's not ...
1
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1answer
29 views

How do we use the phrase “To think…”?

How do we use the phrase "To think..."? I am wondering how it should be used and what it means exactly? Is it used to say someone is astounded or surprised? I remember seeing it used before, but I am ...
0
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1answer
16 views

Is it “transfer onto x”, “transfer to x” or “transfer on x”?

Is it "transfer onto x", "transfer to x" or "transfer on x"? I am not sure what is the correct way to say transfer something from y to z. What if the something is an image on a flat surface? For ...
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2answers
34 views

Is it “beat three men off” or “beat off three men”?

beat someone/something off succeed in resisting an attacker or an attack. This is the definition of the phrasal verb, but I am wondering if you say "beat three men off" or "beat off three men", I ...
0
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1answer
10 views

Is “doing a dance” idiomatic?

Is "doing a dance" idiomatic? I am thinking this isn't idiomatic, but I am not sure. Is it the case? I think I have heard it being used, but I think it's not idiomatic and there are better ways to say ...
1
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1answer
30 views

I hope vs. I wish

When someone starts a new endeavor, how can I give him my best wish? I wish you best luck in pursuing the Ph.D. I hope you best luck in pursuing the Ph.D. I wish everything would go ...
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1answer
15 views

Is it “mobilized to X” or “mobilized into X”?

Is it "mobilized to X" or "mobilized into X"? I am not sure what's the correct idiomatic use of the verb mobilized. I think it's the former, but I am thinking it might actually be wrong, so I am ...
0
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1answer
21 views

Is there a better way to say “I don't know everything he's thinking right now”?

I *, but if I were to guess I would say "he's doing this because he's hungry." Is there a better way to say "I don't know everything he's thinking right now"? I was thinking of writing the sentence ...