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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
15 views

The difference in the meaning of the two mentioned sentences?

That is an actually sufficient account. That is actually a sufficient account. What is the difference in the meaning of 1 and 2? Are both 1 and 2 correct gramatically? If both mean the same, ...
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1answer
15 views

be a point taker?

What does "point taker" mean in the following? Is it natural English? Doing X is a point taker on most standardized tests. I'd appreciate your help.
2
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1answer
31 views

“Don't I just bet you were”

What does ""Don't I just bet you were" mean in the following? A: I was about to demonstrate how to use the tool. B: Don't I just bet you were. I'd appreciate your help.
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1answer
32 views

“haven't gone to a restaurant”—is “gone” used correctly?

I am wondering if the following is grammatical and idiomatic. I really love the restaurant but haven't gone in a while. Is the word 'gone' used correctly here?
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1answer
16 views

What other good C++ books are there?

I've started reading a book about C++ written by [some author]. The book is very good. What other good C++ books are there? Does the selected question sound natural? Do native speakers say that way?
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1answer
71 views

Meaning of “So say the knights who say NIH”

So say the knights who say NIH. I don't get the above reference. What does it mean?
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2answers
28 views

Is it correct to say “to save on the electricity bill” instead of “to save money on the electricity bill”?

I heard both phrases, but the first seems to be wrong, but I am wondering if the omission of the word money is allowed in the English grammar, and why is it allowed? Is it allowed in British English ...
3
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1answer
657 views

Is the expression “To think you would stoop so low” often misused?

I found the following sentence in a fanfiction: To think you would stoop so low as to become that girl's second husband. I am thinking it's wrongly used, because the sentence is incomplete. What ...
2
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2answers
25 views

Is “A hole for peeping in” grammatical?

Is “A hole for peeping in” grammatical? I am wondering if the phrase is grammatical, because I found it as a definition for "peep hole" in a Hindi dictionary, but I am not sure if this is something a ...
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1answer
16 views

Can we treat “gibberish english” as a language?

I am wondering if we can treat "gibberish english" as "english". By that I mean can we replace "english" with "gibberish english" in any sentence without changing the meaning of a sentence in ways ...
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1answer
14 views

Is “gambling in relationship” idiomatic?

I am wondering if the expression "gambling in relationship" is idiomatic. By that, I mean "go into a relationship that has very little chance of lasting a long time." Here's an example: Dating a ...
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1answer
23 views

“Invited someone over to a channel/website/forum/community”

I am wondering if we can use the phrase "invited someone over to X" can be used for channels, website, forum, community, because it seems like we can use it for physical places such a house, but I am ...
2
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1answer
26 views

Why the definite article in “with just the suggestion of a smirk”?

This sentence from the Oxford Dictionaries Online makes me wonder about its use of the definite article. I leaned back in my chair with just the suggestion of a smirk on my face. (source) Why is ...
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1answer
16 views

In the past and now

is "in the past and now" a commonly used collocation? For example, are titles like these correct: "London in the past and now", "Life in the past and now" etc.
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1answer
25 views

What's the shortest way of saying “$20 billion worth of U.S. bonds”?

What's the shortest way of saying "$20 billion worth of U.S. bonds"? I was thinking it was "$20 billion of U.S. bonds", but I am thinking worth is necessary. Is it? Can we shorten it even more and why?...
9
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6answers
2k views

Please, smoke with good manners

In Tokyo, I saw this sign next to the smoking area. It says Please smoke with good manners in the area surrounded by planters. The part "with good manners" sounds a bit weird to me. Is it just ...
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2answers
20 views

What do you call the market for a certain job?

I am not sure, but the only phrase that comes to mind is "X market" as in "janitor market", but I think it may sound odd in certain situation. Here's an example that might help understand what I mean:...
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1answer
18 views

“From this reason” instead of “That's why” is idiomatic?

Is saying "from /by this reason" instead of "that's why" is considered idiomatic? For example: "People like to be happy; That's why they agree to pay for it." Vs. "People like to be happy; ...
3
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1answer
49 views

What is a proper response to “What's up”?

I am wondering what a proper response to "What's up" can be. In the following example, we have "Your time, Cage" as in you will die, but I am not sure how this can be a proper response, to "What's up" ...
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3answers
102 views

Is there a better way to say “see someone's dreams”?

By dream I mean the dreams you experience during sleep. Saying "see my dream" sounds weird, I think "experienced" would be a better word, but even then it sounds awkward. The following example makes ...
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1answer
11 views

Is adding “in the (professional league)” awkward here?

I am not sure if this is grammatically correct, I think it's correct, but it's weird and doesn't sound super idiomatic. Let's take a look at this example: We should replace all the old ...
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1answer
23 views

Is there a way to say “each month if we divide for each month”?

I can't seem to find a simple, but idiomatic way of saying this. It's kinda hard, so if you don't understand what I meant by the title, just look at the example below. For example: I get to spend ...
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2answers
15 views

How do you specify which pair of sides in a discussion?

There are two pair of sides on a bus: the front and the rear, and the left side and the right side. The question is how do you specify which pair of sides you are talking about without sounding like ...
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1answer
15 views

Is there a more idiomatic way of saying “continue your love”?

Continue your love doesn't make any sense. It sounds like what someone would say if he had a really broken English, so I am wondering how I could say it better. By continue, I mean resume your love, ...
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1answer
13 views

Is there a better way to say “at the midpoint of your life”?

"In the middle of the life" is too vague and doesn't mean the same thing, correct me if I am wrong, and "at the midpoint of your life" (after 20 years if you are going to live until 40) doesn't sound ...
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8answers
2k views

“You are your self first supporter”, a more proper way to say it

I want to say that the person himself/herself should be the first supporter of himself/herself. I came up with two different ways of saying that, and I want to know if they are all correct, and which ...
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1answer
22 views

Is “elect someone to x” idiomatic?

I looked on Google and there's rarely anyone ever using the expression elect someone to x, as in choose someone to do something, so I was wondering if it was grammatical in any way. For example: ...
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1answer
14 views

“collect a residence permit” or “get a residence permit”

I said I've just collected my residence permit. and then hesitated because I'm not sure if collect precisely conveys the meaning of get or obtain. I've just got my residence permit. I am ...
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1answer
19 views

Is there a better way to say “fast-moving rollercoaster car”?

I am not sure why, but it sounds awfully unidiomatic, but I can't think of a better way to say it. I am not sure if I should even use the word car, and if I should even use rollercoaster as a noun ...
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5answers
69 views

Family dependence [closed]

Suppose a young person is going to separate from his family and live alone! He is talking to an elderly who is familiar with he and his family regarding this matter; the person is going make sure if ...
1
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1answer
24 views

Are “conduct”, “lead” and “teach” near-synonymous? [closed]

I am not sure if it's not idiomatic, but I rarely hear people say "conduct a course". I do often hear "lead a course", but it sounds a bit too general, and so I was wondering how correct and idiomatic ...
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2answers
26 views

Are “as if nothing” and “as if it were nothing” synonymous?

I can't think of anything other than these two expressions "as if nothing" and "as if it were nothing" that mean what they mean, but I am not sure they mean the same thing, because I couldn't find ...
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1answer
15 views

Is “slung it off far into the distance” idiomatic?

"Far into the distance" seem to mean "far away". "Slung it off" seems to mean "throw it", so the phrase makes sense, but does it? I rarely heard it being used this way. I am not sure, but "off" might ...
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1answer
44 views

A more succinct way of saying “everyone you have on your Facebook friend list”?

I can't really think of a succinct way of saying this. I don't know if it's because of my small vocabulary, but I really can't think of a succinct way of saying this that would roll of the tongue. ...
2
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3answers
254 views

Is “for causing autism in X” grammatical?

I am not sure, but "for causing autism in X" seems ungrammatical when X is a person, when x is a particular group of people it doesn't sound off, but when it's a particular person, it sounds ...
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1answer
17 views

What do we say when we ask for an opinion to everyone in a group except the guy who just answered?

Let's say we asked a question to a group of people and a person already answered. What do we say to ask the others to answer? I thought about "What about the others", but this sounds unnatural to me, ...
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1answer
20 views

Idiomatic way of saying “stick with crazy glue”

I am not sure if there's a better way of saying this, but "stick something onto something with crazy glue" neither does "stick something with crazy glue" or any variants thereof. Is there any better ...
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2answers
310 views

Fly on a jet pack vs fly with a jet pack?

Neither "fly on a jet pack" nor "fly with a jet pack" sounds idiomatic, are they? And are there better alternatives, because I can't really think of other ways of saying it. For example: I fly on ...
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3answers
71 views

Is there an idiom for a situation in which you get all the closed windows of your mind open?

I am stuck to express my feelings. I watched a video about business ideas and the speaker presented it so beautifully that I got so energized and it opened up so many new ideas to me. I am looking for ...
2
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3answers
57 views

An idiom/ idioms for a person who spends too much time on the cellphone?

Do we have any idioms for a person who spends too much time on the cellphone? As we call a person who watches television a lot, a couch potato, or a person who spends large amounts of leisure or ...
1
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1answer
21 views

purposeful VS motivated

Let's suppose someone has a goal and they work on achieving that goal. Would it be idiomatic to say: He is purposeful. He is motivated. Do these two phrases mean the same? If they don't, ...
3
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1answer
13 views

Is “to reach more” idiomatic?

Let's suppose someone's goal is to get a better job, better salary and so on. Would it be idiomatic for them to say: I want to reach more than I have now.
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1answer
42 views

What are some idiomatic way of saying “changing your face into someone else's face”?

One way I can think of saying this is saying "sculpt your face into a Harvey" or more generally "sculpt your face into a X" where X is a name of a specific person, like a celebrity, but I am not sure ...
2
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4answers
285 views

awkward or wrong?

This sentence sounds pretty awkward to me but I can't come up with an explanation. Could someone explain it? I wish to assure you that I should make every effort to be worthy of the confidence ...
3
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1answer
41 views

Is it “leave them to me” or “leave them with me”?

Leave your children with me, I know how to babysit. Leave your children to me, I know how to babysit. Which one of these sentences are grammatical? I am thinking that they are both pretty much ...
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2answers
92 views

Given the answer “It's my first time here”, what questions could I ask to receive that answer?

Confused by this question, I find it difficult to ask a question about a number of occasions (about a single occasion, in particular) when there is a specific answer expected. It's my first time in ...
2
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2answers
36 views

Is “follow their actions” semantically correct?

It doesn't sound idiomatic, but semantically it doesn't sound incorrect. The verb follow can have the following meaning: To take as a model or precedent; imitate: followed my example and ...
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1answer
21 views

How do we say “in all angles” idiomatically?

There's a sphere in all degrees of which there are smaller spheres, and thus forming a bigger sphere. "In all degrees of which" sounds non-idiomatic. I think it's correct and it's easy to ...
2
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1answer
31 views

Is “ask to join” and “ask if you can join” synonymous?

The student asked if he can join the basketball team. The student asked to join the basketball team. I am wondering if they mean pretty much the same thing. I think it means the same thing, but ...
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1answer
32 views

How to read PPP$? [closed]

How to read PPP$ aloud? Is it "purchasing power parity in US Dollar," or "purchasing power parity in terms of US Dollar," or ... ?