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Questions tagged [idioms-in-context]

This tag is for questions which a dictionary cannot answer about the usage of idioms, in a specific context.

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What is the meaning of "to coin a phrase"?

What is the meaning of "to coin a phrase"? I saw the meaning in some dictionaries and their examples, but yet I have trouble with it! Cambridge: something you say before using an expression ...
Mohamad Mohseni Ahuii's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
65 views

What does this "Wouldn't you know?" mean in this context? If's from the "Fatal Attraction" movie

What does this "Wouldn't you know?" mean in this context? If's from the "Fatal Attraction" movie. The script is here MAN: Wait, let me just... Let me just look at you. You're so ...
user1026669's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
66 views

"Social men" who have entered the real world and experienced lots of social challenges and complexities?

In Chinese, we can distinguish students, or even teachers, in the ivory tower from those who have entered the real world, infused with challenges, unspoken rules or norms, and complexities, using the ...
Lerner Zhang's user avatar
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0 votes
1 answer
107 views

In for a penny, in for a pound

I don't get to understand the following expression "in for a penny, in for a pound" that appears in the book "The spectacles, Simone Lee Green". This is the fragment of text: She ...
محمد's user avatar
  • 117
1 vote
1 answer
34 views

"Premise on" [which] vs. "Premise with" [which]

I'm talking to a friend. And I want to make my lack of self-confidence very clear, so I utter the following: “I don't know what the hell I'm doing” – that's the premise on which I start my every day. ...
stateMachine's user avatar
5 votes
3 answers
639 views

to paint someone (other than oneself) "into a corner"

Do these 3 sentences properly use the idiom "paint someone into a corner"? Or can it only be used as "paint oneself into a corner" (i.e., it wouldn't be possible to paint someone ...
flen's user avatar
  • 589
1 vote
2 answers
191 views

Politicians talk too much

There's this sentence : "some people think Chicago's nickname is from politicians who talk too much I need to know what is the meaning of politicians talk too much And why politicians?
Afaq Nafar's user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
79 views

Why we say “thank you very much” after good news

I have heard many times in movies when they share good news, like a woman got promoted, she says when telling her friends about the promotion: I'm now the head of the department, thank you very much. ...
luna nahhas's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
30 views

Which does "go down" mean, digest or swallow?

Sugar really helps the medicine go down! In this sentence does "go down" mean to digest or to swallow?
Afaq Nafar's user avatar
-1 votes
1 answer
57 views

You're to stake your pile on Speedy

(From The Wrecker by Robert Louis Stevenson and Lloyd Osbourne, Chapter XVI, published 1892) Passage 253 “That is all very proper, Mr. Dodd; there is no wish to coerce you, believe me,” said Fowler; “...
philphil's user avatar
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-2 votes
1 answer
98 views

pinch out vs. peter out [closed]

I would like to know what phrasing is the correct geological technical term for a lode or ore vein that grows narrower and narrower till it narrows down to nothing - is it pinch out or peter out? (...
philphil's user avatar
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1 answer
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I must now take hold myself [closed]

(From The Wrecker by Robert Louis Stevenson and Lloyd Osbourne, Chapter XVI, published 1892) Passage 252 There was yet one more postscript, yet one more outburst of self-pity and pathetic adjuration; ...
philphil's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
63 views

Meaning of "raise copy out of me"

(From The Wrecker by Robert Louis Stevenson and Lloyd Osbourne, Chapter XI, published 1892) His tone was no more gracious than his language; but when Mamie had turned upon him the soft fire of her ...
philphil's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
169 views

What does "lose blunt" mean?

I am absolutely confused about meaning of "blunt" here. Could not find any card game by this name, no idioms, nothing :( Thank you for you kind help. Setting: London's gaming hell, 1833. ...
Kristina Lukosevice's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
46 views

Usage of "to take a chance(on something)"

The definition of to take a chance(on something) according OALD:- "to decide to do something, knowing that it might be the wrong choice" Example given- We took a chance on the weather and ...
Sam's user avatar
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1 answer
34 views

Which do you use to refer to the piled up stuff of a hoarder when you see them all at once: "that all" VS "it all" VS "those all" VS "all those"

A shopping addict is shown all of her stuff -vast amount of items- which is exhibited in a huge place. Upon seeing all of them piled up together, she herself is surprised and says: Is that honestly ...
Yunus's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
33 views

Which one is more idiomatic: "to be able to see out of both eyes." OR "to be able to see with/in both eyes."?

In a show, some people with eyesight problems are treated. Blind people see for the first time (see:4:14-4:20) One of the patients who can only see in one eye is talking to the presenter. The ...
Yunus's user avatar
  • 7,617
-1 votes
1 answer
28 views

Combinig past and present tenses together

I've made a discovery that a phrase to be out of the question is an idiom, meaning to be an event that cannot possibly happen. In a book (Charlotte Bronte - "Jane Eyre") I approached the ...
Stone Paul's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
92 views

the meaning of "more or less" [closed]

The meaning of ‘permission’ is strengthened to something like ‘strong recommendation’ in more or less joking or offensive remarks such as: You can forget about your holiday. | If he doesn’t like it he ...
gonju yi's user avatar
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1 vote
2 answers
111 views

"get the answer right" what's the part of speech of 'right' here?

Eventually, nearly everyone in the class gets the answer right, and the concepts stick with them because they had to find their own way to the answer. "gets the answer right" what's the ...
gomadeng's user avatar
  • 4,656
2 votes
2 answers
826 views

(How) can I say 'state of the [non-art]'?

I read the noun 'state of the art' or the adjective 'state-of-the-art' every now and then, but once in a blue moon I saw 'state of the [non-art]'. I cannot remember what the [non-art]'s are, then I am ...
Lerner Zhang's user avatar
  • 3,591
0 votes
2 answers
47 views

Is there a phrase like "there is always a tea shop set up earlier"? [closed]

The compelling ending of this article reads that: Mankind can always pride itself for the giant leap with a small step. But remember, there is always a tea shop set up earlier. I wonder if the ...
Lerner Zhang's user avatar
  • 3,591
3 votes
2 answers
120 views

Any subtle differences in "you don't let great guys get away" vs "go away"?

I am watching the Netflix drama "Good Witch". In there, a woman said "You don't let great guys get away" to another woman. I was wondering why not the use of "go away" ...
user1026669's user avatar
-1 votes
1 answer
348 views

meaning of "I've been you" [closed]

What does (I've been you) mean? I was watching a movie in which a girl said : Do you still fancy me? The boy answered : Yes She said: You are lying. I've been you Source Closer (2004) - full ...
Maede's user avatar
  • 1
1 vote
1 answer
100 views

I'd sooner starve than eat that disgusting food. (sooner or rather)

I'd sooner starve than eat that disgusting food. I'd rather starve than eat that disgusting food. Why 'sooner' becomes 'rather'? Literally speaking, it's weird.
gomadeng's user avatar
  • 4,656
0 votes
0 answers
268 views

"I like your shoes". Is this sentence ambiguous when it is said to someone working in a shoe company?

When you are in a shopping center and are inside a shop and start talking the woman who always help you and say to this person: "I like your shoes." I think the "the liking" here ...
Yunus's user avatar
  • 7,617
0 votes
1 answer
36 views

Would this sentence mean the same if we removed one of the negatives: "How can't you not like this tune?"

"How can't you not like this tune?" I understand the sentence means "it is almost impossible not to like this tune. Everybody likes it." And the structure of the sentence with two ...
Yunus's user avatar
  • 7,617
0 votes
1 answer
102 views

Why does British drama say "Where CAN she have gone now." instead of "Where COULD she have gone now?"

This is from a British drama Late Starter (see:35:44-35:46) In the film, a man's wife has left without saying where she has gone. So he is looking for her everywhere and visiting her friends' houses ...
Yunus's user avatar
  • 7,617
2 votes
2 answers
211 views

"We have been down this street already." OR ""We have been to this street already."

This is from a British film Anybod's nightmare see:46:33-46:35 Two people in a car are looking for a place by looking at a map while driving. They can't agree on whether they are on the right street, ...
Yunus's user avatar
  • 7,617
0 votes
1 answer
52 views

I would say it is bluntly incorrect but it is from a British TV series: "Come in and have your photograph took."

This is from Berkeley Square (see:43:46-43:49) "At least come in and have your photograph took." Why is it not "have your photo taken"? Is it a special usage or does it have a ...
Yunus's user avatar
  • 7,617
0 votes
1 answer
40 views

Can you say "I am middle-paid" or "I am normal-paid" to mean you are paid an amount somewhere between the highest and lowest level?

If someone ask you if you are paid well in your job, and you want to say you are not well-paid, but you are not badly-paid either. So, how do you say you are paid in the middle of the highest and ...
Yunus's user avatar
  • 7,617
1 vote
1 answer
31 views

Which one is right:".....go 55 meters down INTO the ground." OR "....go 55 meters down UNDER the ground."

This is from the BBC, about sewage system of London, in which experts show the reporters around the new sewage system sewage system 0:44-0:46 We are about to go 55 meters down into the ground. The ...
Yunus's user avatar
  • 7,617
0 votes
1 answer
275 views

Do these sentences mean the same: "I have friends round." AND "I have friends over."

I have friends round. I have friends over. I hear both are used by native speakers, and these two sentences seem to mean the same to me. However, some web sites say the sentence " I have friends ...
Yunus's user avatar
  • 7,617
1 vote
1 answer
54 views

"...glue these shapes to the side of the box that doesn't have the drawers on." Why is there ".....on" at the end?

This is from a native British speakerMr. maker see 0:50-0:55 "...and carefully cut them out then glue these shapes to the side of the box that doesn't have the drawers on." I don't ...
Yunus's user avatar
  • 7,617
0 votes
1 answer
61 views

Why is it "Have you got the 25?" but not "Have you got a 25?"

This is from a english teaching video. English speaking 01 (see 7:06-7:08) A customer is paying at a shop and the price is 10.25, and the shop assistant is asking: "Have you got the 25?" I ...
Yunus's user avatar
  • 7,617
0 votes
1 answer
33 views

Any difference in meaning: "So, just how deep is the Black Sea." / "So, how deep is the Black Sea."

This is from the BBC. The secrets lurking beneath the Black Sea see:(00:18-00:20) "So, just how deep is the Black Sea." I know that this sentence still perfectly makes sense if the word &...
Yunus's user avatar
  • 7,617
0 votes
1 answer
64 views

"My pyjamas are all wet." Does the word "all" refer to the word "wet" or to the word "pyjamas"?

While someone is putting water into a bowl for their pet, the pet accidentally knocks over the bowl of water and the person says to his pet: Watch out! My pyjamas are all wet. The "all" in ...
Yunus's user avatar
  • 7,617
9 votes
3 answers
2k views

Is it ok to say "When we would go to a restaurant ......." instead of "When we went to a restaurant, ....."?

A native speaker doctor speaks about bone broth and its health benefits and the old days when this soup was always part of the dinners. He says: It was considered a delicacy, and I can remember when ...
Yunus's user avatar
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0 votes
2 answers
41 views

"It rings engaged" OR "It rings busy"

I have come across these sentences to mean that the person you are calling is talking to another one. However I am not sure are they both equally common or idiomatic? "It rings busy." "...
Yunus's user avatar
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0 votes
0 answers
80 views

"He will take me on a holiday". Is this idiomatic way of saying it?

Imagine that your friend is going to go on a holiday and he will take you with him. How can say this idiomatically: Would it be idiomatic if I say "He will take me on a holiday?" just like ...
Yunus's user avatar
  • 7,617
1 vote
1 answer
116 views

Whats the meaning of "she and Evan were about as fat as popsicle sticks " in this paragraph. Is it an idiom?

He'll pick up anything. The diet book, for instance that was just ridiculous. She and Evan were about as fat as popsicle sticks.
Fateme's user avatar
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0 votes
1 answer
17 views

What does "when it should take one" mean?

"We need to really speed up planning and consent for renewables and for network connections and for vehicle charging," says Emma Pinchbeck, the chief executive of trade association Energy UK....
kuwabara's user avatar
  • 1,488
0 votes
0 answers
44 views

Wash your hands before you go to sleep. (sleep is a noun or a verb?)

Wash your hands before you go to sleep. 'sleep' is a noun or a verb in the sentence above? (In other words, the 'to' is a preposition or an infinitive?)
gomadeng's user avatar
  • 4,656
0 votes
2 answers
62 views

Can we use "IT" to refer to "WATER" in a case of dripping in the bathroom: "It is dripping from the ceiling?"

When you move to a house, you see there is water on the floor of the bathroom. And you see that it is coming from the ceiling. So, you call the handyman and he asks "what is the problem in your ...
Yunus's user avatar
  • 7,617
0 votes
1 answer
113 views

What does "as nice as that is." mean in this sentence?

This is from a native speaker cancer patient who is telling about how she has been coing with life after she was diagnosed with brain tumors. She says: Things are still working out and I plan to get a ...
Yunus's user avatar
  • 7,617
0 votes
1 answer
44 views

What does "under every disadvantage" mean in this situation?

De Quincy described his first time taking opium: "Arrived at my lodgings, it may be supposed that I lost not a moment in taking the quantity prescribed. I was necessarily ignorant of the whole ...
Huy Nguyen's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
99 views

"To get stuck" OR "to become stuck": Which one is idiomatic in the case of "a bus on the snowy ground"? [closed]

This sentence is under one of the pictures on the BBC news about the snowfall in England. "Here, two buses become stuck in snow on Muswell Hill in north London." "To become stuck" ...
Yunus's user avatar
  • 7,617
0 votes
1 answer
347 views

Is it "to fill a prescription" or "to fill out a prescription"?

The following sentence is from an article about patients not filling their prescriptions Why patients do not adhere How to get patients to fill out their prescriptions On the road to combating non-...
Yunus's user avatar
  • 7,617
8 votes
3 answers
1k views

"As many as 100.000 nurses" vs "Around/about/almost/nearly 100.000 nurses"? Are they the same?

This is from a CNN article: As many as 100,000 members of the Royal College of Nursing will walk out across England, Wales and Northern Ireland on Thursday. When I read the sentence, "as many ...
Yunus's user avatar
  • 7,617
2 votes
3 answers
404 views

Is "You don't half sound confident" a positive or negative?

"not half" means both of the positive and negative meaning. You don't half sound confident. https://english.dict.naver.com/english-dictionary/#/entry/enen/29b6a7873ba848088a44b99357af240a ...
gomadeng's user avatar
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