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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29 views

Is it idiomatic to say “because I love the family”?

When talking about chores at home I said this to my wife I hate doing the dishes, though I do them every day, because I love the family. I'm pretty sure the part before "because" is ...
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1answer
30 views

Is it redundant to say “I do that everyday as my mom asks me do that”?

A friend and I talked about chores at home, I said I hate doing the dishes though I do that everyday as my mom asks me do that. I'm pretty sure the part before "though" is idiomatic as ...
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2answers
28 views

Is it clear and natural to connect two sentences using the conjunction “while”? [closed]

According to Cambridge Dictionary, "while" as a "conjunction" means compared with the fact that; but as in this example Tom is very extroverted and confident while Katy's shy ...
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1answer
17 views

To follow a prepositional phrase with an imperative one

Except for Louisa, who’s away in Berlin this weekend, we’ll all be at the party. The first sentence is from Cambridge dictionary and hence I know it is correct. Fruits: Except for apples, eat them ...
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“make it to their first World Series” vs. “make it to World Series for their first time”

Consider the two following sentences. When did the Rangers make it to their first World Series? When did the Rangers make it to World Series for their first time? Which one should I use? Do they ...
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17 views

“both of them” vs. “they”

In the post "did a bit of googling" vs. "googled a few times", I gave two sentences first and then I asked I guess both of them pretty much mean the same thing and the former ...
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1answer
13 views

My fifteen year anniversary/My 15th anniversary at the company

Three months ago it was my fifteen year anniversary at the company so I received this gift basket. It was a very nice gift basket, but i'd just expected a pay rise or at least some kind of bonus ...
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16 views

Is it idiomatic to say “take off - of”? [duplicate]

Is it idiomatic to say "take off - of"? For example: Don't take your headband off of your head.
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1answer
61 views

Is “handphone” idiomatic?

My native language is Malay and I use the word "handphone" the whole time. Even when speaking in Malay, the Malay equivalent "telefon bimbit" sounds stiff. This word is found in ...
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1answer
23 views

If you as much as (go/come) near the building we're going to

Quick question. Is it necessary to include "go" or "come" here for this to work or is it natural without? If you as much as (go/come) near the building we're going to kill the ...
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25 views

Can I use “not like that” here? [closed]

Could you please tell me if I can use "not like that" here to say that she is not as how Kristin is? It might have worked with the slut Kristin. But my sister is not like that. She's not. ...
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1answer
23 views

Simple past or present perfect?

Simple past or present perfect? Would one of them be more natural to use here or are they practically interchangeable? Example: A young man has hit a woman with his car. He immediately calls his mom. ...
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15 views

“having to look at”

"Look how he's always flirting with every woman he meets. I'm so tired of having to look at his white teeth and slicked-back hair." First of all, is "having to look at" the most ...
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28 views

You know how many they/there are?

Two people are talking about some hostage-takers. One of them asks the other: "You know how many they are?" Is it possible to say "they" here? Or should it be: "You know how ...
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28 views

“make money ON YouTube” vs. “make money WITH YouTube”

One of my friends asked me for advice to make money online, I responded like this I make money on YouTube, I upload videos and get the ad share from Google. Should I have said it this way? I make ...
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1answer
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“with which platform” vs. “on which platform”

One of my friend invited me to watch a TV show together. A: "I'm going to watch endless Friends marathons this weekend. Would you join me?" I: "on which platform?" A: "...
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1answer
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Is it natural to say “Most Americans loving baseball is a stereotype”

Consider the conversation. A: "Most Americans love baseball." B: "It's a stereotype." I suppose they are natural. Is it still natural if I combine them into one sentence like ...
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Couple of questions regarding using “of” vs “in”

1-( shrinkage in supplies/ lack of supplies ) Why not using the same preposition since both phrases mean the same thing ?? 2-the country is at the cutting edge of/in this major. Which preposition to ...
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26 views

They can just try

A: If you don't shut up now, they're gonna kill you. B: They can just try. Is B's response natural here to express resistance?
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“Was” or “Were” (Subjunctive mood)

In a story I'm writing a bad guy says this: I would probably kill myself if I was/were disabled like you. Elsewhere in the story I write this: He smiles as if it was/were a compliment. Questions: Is ...
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Is it natural to “MLB 2020 season is going to begin on July 23”?

Note: This post is focused on the pattern event will happen vs. event is going to happen, rather than someone will do something vs. someone is going to do something This one is adapted from mlb.com ...
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“Have” taking “ing” form

They rose to the fame in the first act, and now they are having a spectacular fall at the will of the scribe As far as I know, "have" can't take "ing" form like we can't say "...
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1answer
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Is it natural to use “last for a long time” to describe a meeting?

I was having a phone call with one of my friends. Friend: How about we hang out together this Saturday? I: Sunday is better, because I have a meeting in Saturday morning which will probably last for ...
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Is it natural to say “feel embarrassed”?

Guy 1: So how are you? It's been a long time. Guy 2: I'm okay. Yeah, I just feel a little embarrassed about everything that happened last time. I hope you can forgive me. Is the use of "feel"...
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2answers
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Right/Shortly after

It was right/shortly after the divorce so I wasn't myself at the time, but that's not an excuse to behave like that. If we're talking a few weeks after the divorce, would you use "right" or ...
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Is it natural to say “raise modern baby”?

A friend and I were talking about the way raise a modern baby and I said The way raise a modern baby is much different to the way 30 years ago, we now have internet, social network, youtube, ...
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Looks up from behind

Example 1: Context: Michael hides behind a couch when a man and a woman enter the room. He can hear them fighting but can't see them. The man hits the woman to the floor and leaves the room. Then - ...
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2answers
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Is “dropped to the floor” a completely natural thing to write here?

The terrorist was hanging from a balcony two floors up, trying to pull himself up. The police officers shot at the terrorist, who dropped to the floor and died. (this is going on inside a shopping ...
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49 views

to share something eatable with someone

If I wish to eat some of the chocolate my friend is eating. Can I say: Give me a bite. Share me a bite. Let me take a bite. Can you share a bite? Important: Does it have any taboos meaning too?
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Can we say “turn around something” to mean “rotate/revolve around something”?

I know we can use the phrase "turn around something" to mean "cause something to face the opposite direction" like in "He turned around the phone to see the camera." What ...
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Is there any difference between “not much use” and “no use”?

Are these sentences equally acceptable? It is not much use trying to convince him of that. It is no use trying to convince him of that. There's not much use trying to convince him of that. There's no ...
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1answer
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“I hear it” vs. “I can hear it”

To improve my pronunciation, I was trying to imitate a native speaker friend and found some pronunciation is difficult for me to speak. I said this to him I can hear it, even it is spoken very fast ...
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2answers
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“…use/go to the bathroom”

Flight attendant: You have to stay in your seat. Passenger: Oh, I just have to use the bathroom./I just have to go to the bathroom. Flight attendant: You're going to have to wait till we have landed. ...
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1answer
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Is it natural to say “buy some bread as my breakfast and have it”?

I just talked with a friend about my routine, I said On the way to subway station, I buy some bread as my breakfast and have it on the subway because I'm so busy that I don't have time to eat, ...
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1answer
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What's more natural or idiomatic regard to the combination of feel+miss or longing?

What's more natural or idiomatic regard to the combination of feel+miss or longing? I feel I miss her a lot. I feel I'm missing her a lot now. I feel longing to her now.
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1answer
17 views

Is it natural to say “being happy for you”?

It's surely natural to say "I’m happy for you" and Ngram Viewer justifies it. How about "I’m being happy for you"? Is it natural to say that? If yes, in what situations?
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“I want you to science me.” - Is this a thing now? Since when is “science” a verb?

Here is some context: I am watching a Netflix show called Warrior Nun. It is about a girl "who wakes up in a morgue with a new lease on life and a divine artifact embedded in her back." (...
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1answer
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way to, way of, or way in

There's no other way in handling terrorism. There's no other way to handle terrorism. There's no other way of handling terrorism. I think all of them sounds good except the second one. The second one ...
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1answer
23 views

Is “height and width of knowledge” idiomatic?

"The height and width of knowledge determines the field of knowledge" I am not sure if we say height and width to refer to two aspects that classify knowledge or any other similar concepts ...
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Good to see that he's doing better/Good to see him doing better

He's been struggling with depression for years. But it's good to see (that) he's doing better./But it's good to see him doing better. What is natural here? In the first, would it be more natural to ...
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3answers
43 views

“I joined a dance class” vs “I signed up for a dance class”

Which one of these sentences is correct when I want to mean I registered for a class? Or can either of them be used interchangeably? I joined a dance class. I signed up for a dance class.
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42 views

an idiom about moving to somewhere

I want to ask someone why on earth he moved from A (a city with high standards of living) to B (a disastrous one), because it's unreasonable and I'm nosy, through a polite idiom. Is there anything for ...
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1answer
28 views

How should I ask for leave early?

Suppose, I have a parent-teacher conference today. So I did most of today's work yesterday to leave my office early today without affecting the project that my team is working on. In this context, is ...
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Idiomatic context check!

I have 2 cases with 2 options each.I want to know which option is idiomatic to go for ??? Case 1: 1-I am talking about whatever left on the list. 2-I am talking about whatever is left on the list. ...
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1answer
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Put the gear back in forward

I put the gear in reverse and backed out of the driveway, then I put the gear back in forward and drove off. Do you say "put the gear back in forward"? or is there a more natural way to say ...
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1answer
22 views

Can I take/have some water?

I sit in a coworker's office. I'm thirsty. I see there's a water dispenser. Can I ask: Can I take some water? - and would it be natural? (I'm not asking the coworker to get it for me, I'm asking if I ...
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Is it natural to say “reduce gatherings for COVID-19”?

Mass gatherings probably increase risks of COVID-19 transmission, so we should reduce gatherings as much as possible. To convey the idea, I make up the following sentence We should reduce gatherings ...
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What is the meaning of “sure if”?

I couldn't find the definition of "sure if" in any dictionary. What is the meaning of "sure if" in this sentence? "Genuinely modest, but always sure if his ambitions and ...
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1answer
8 views

a week vs in a week time

He draw masks on 2300 images a week. He draw masks on 2300 images in a week time. Is it grammatical and idiomatic to use both a week and in a week time?
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2answers
2k views

Too many “martial artists”. How to cut them down?

I am editing a tag in Martial Arts SE. This tag is called "etiquette". Here is what I have written for the "Usage guidance (excerpt)": Use this tag for questions about expected ...

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