Questions tagged [idioms]

Use the idiom tag for questions which a dictionary cannot answer about set phrases with unusual meanings that can't be properly understood just from the separate words in them.

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53 views

Meaning of “broken shell of a man”

Rachel: So, got any advice? Y'know, as someone who's recently been- dumped? Ross: Well, you may wanna steer clear of the word 'dumped'. Chances are he's gonna be this, this broken shell of a man
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2answers
46 views

Can these be used interchangeably?

I would like to know if the following expressions can be used interchangeably. just in case/out of caution/for caution’s sake/for the sake of caution/ err on the side of caution. a. I took an ...
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1answer
44 views

Your child's shorts are sagging. Do you say “Your shorts are coming out. Fix them!” or “Your shorts are coming off. Fix them!”?

We say "You put the shorts on" & "You take the shorts off"? I am not sure if we can replace "put" & "take" with other verbs such as "slide", "come", etc. For example, Your child's shorts are ...
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20 views

Metaphorical reference to someone bad to doing good and being praised more than a good person

I'd like to point out the following phenomenon that frequently occurs in the daily life. Take a mischief, culprit, someone unreliable and well-known to be a lousy piece of manure. Basically a bad ...
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1answer
901 views

“Be accustomed to” Vs “Get used to”

I need to discover the semantic nuance between the phrasal verb "be accustomed to" and the idiom "get used to"! E.g. please let me know how do the following examples differ in meaning: We've ...
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3answers
11k views

Idiom like “catch on fast”

I'm looking for idiom like "catch on fast". How else can you say a quick learner and a short learning curve?
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1answer
19 views

“See (someone) back” is idiom?

Well, I guess you might think that, but when I saw it back then it was anything but boring! Am I right that "saw (someone) back" is idiom? Why is but used before boring? Maybe, it should be ...
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1answer
83 views

What does “on the clock” mean/imply here and why?

I have checked the dictionary, "on the clock" means : 1) Working or getting paid 2) Of a taxi (and by extension, its driver), currently engaged to carry a passenger and having an active meter. 3) ...
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1answer
21 views

“Rip-off central” or?

I wonder what I should call a (market / bazar / shopping center, etc) where things are sold much more expensive than they worth and usually salespeople rip off whoever wants to purchase something ...
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3answers
4k views

“stretch something to its limit” meaning

I have encountered this sentence: Science can explain how gravity works between two objects, but why should it be based on the exact equations we find rather than others? In fact, why should ...
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3answers
50 views

ask for help in finding an idiom or expression

have you ever faced with this situation? You suggest people to do something but they reject it! after a while the other people suggest the same thing and they accept! can you tell me any expression or ...
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1answer
39 views

Is “in her pride she sat” grammatical and idiomatic?

Is "in her pride she sat" grammatical and idiomatic? In her pride, she sat quietly and observed the loudmouths around her. She stood there quietly in her pride. She isolated herself from ...
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1answer
30 views

“Deep down inside” Vs “In one's stomach”

I am going to imply that I have a feeling which doesn't let me believe something can be absolutely true (I have some doubts in my mind whether it is true or still I should not believe it completely.) ...
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2answers
1k views

Phrases about changing schools

I want to talk about changing schools someday and I want to ask which phrase is the commonest. change schools transfer to another school go to another school move to another school If anything ...
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1answer
32 views

How to learn to speak idiomatically?

As a non-native speaker, I struggle a lot to come up with quick responses that sound idiomatic. It sucks because it also means it's harder to express some thoughts in fast-paced situations like ...
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1answer
40 views

“Get an eye for somebody” VS “Eyeing someone”

1) Lucas is totally into you. Whenever a guy buys something so expensive it means he .......... 2) We are just friends Nancy. Why are you looking at me that way?! 1) Me and you both know the ...
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33 views

Is saying “she was but 15 years old” grammatically correct and idiomatic?

She was but 15 years of age. Is this grammatically correct? For more context: Lavitsia sighed. As diligent as she was, she was but 15 years of age and attending to his maladies had become more ...
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2answers
82 views

Meaning of “C’mon that segue tho.”

I am translating a Youtube video to Spanish; I am fairly comfortable with standard English but I have found an expression that I am not sure how to understand. Of course, I do not want the translation ...
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3answers
6k views

pouring down snow sounds wrong

Is it correct to say "it is pouring down snow". Usually one says pouring down rain,conjuring an image of rain being poured out of buckets. However, this doesn't seem right to use the idiom when ...
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0answers
24 views

Does the following sound natural: “Please hold the bottle upright! Don't tip it upside down as you might spill water in the stroller”?

A child's sitting in a stroller holding a bottle of water without a cap. Is it natural to say to the child: "Please hold the bottle upright! Don't tip it upside down as you might spill water in ...
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7answers
68k views

Different idiom to “there are two sides to every coin”

There was a similar question posted a couple of months ago, but the details of what that person was looking for are a bit different from mine. I am looking for another saying that describes you being ...
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1answer
37 views

Does being ''carried away'' mean to do something unintentional?

Does it mean that you've lost control of yourself that you'II do things you didn't mean to do?
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3answers
17k views

What's the meaning of “punch to the gut”?

Could you please what the meaning of "punch to the gut" is? The text is here: Two hours later Dad had blocked off half the kitchen with plywood sheets. The owl convalesced there for several ...
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17 views

What's the alternative to “laugh track” for particular phrases?

What's the alternative to "laugh track" for particular phrases? For example: He repeatedly played "I choose you Pikachu" track on his laptop, which annoyed me. It doesn't sound right, but I am ...
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1answer
19 views

Idiom for from difficult situation to worse situation

Is there an idiom that we can refer to say " going through from tough times to tougher(worst) times" My own creation: From boiling oil to fire. Something like this.
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1answer
18 views

“Moral person” Vs “Someone who lives a moral life”

I was wondering how these two are different from the meaning viewpoint? He / she is a moral person. He / she lives a moral life. Do they exactly mean the same? If not, how they differ? P.S. I have ...
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1answer
26 views

special meaning of ramp

I read an article recently online that is about the effect of coronavirus pandemic. One of men said in an interview that "As restaurants come back online, we're anxious to see what that ramp is," "You ...
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1answer
15 views

A better way to say “at the infringement of which”?

Require users to get a proper permit at the infringement of which they will be put into prison. I am pretty sure it's not grammatical, or is it? Anyway, is there a better way to say this? I can't ...
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0answers
39 views

can do worse than . .

Does it make sense literally to say the following? You can do worse than ask John for advice. What does "can" mean here? I know it's used to make a suggestion, but I want to know if the meaning ...
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4answers
810 views

What's the meaning of “a remainder (viruses) that cannot ever be re-integrated into the subordinate moment of a higher level of life”?

... a remainder that cannot ever be re-integrated into the subordinate moment of a higher level of life. I know the meanings of the words individually but I can not understand the meaning of the ...
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0answers
27 views

Do justice to the film's name

Example: The director added a scene with a dinosaur to do justice to the film's name (Jurassic Park Armageddon). It was the only scene with a dinosaur funnily enough. I am not sure if I am ...
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8k views

“all the way (through)” and “to the end”

I haven't watched the movie all the way through. I haven't watched the movie all the way. I haven't watched the movie all the way to the end. I haven't watched the movie to the end. Do ...
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What is the meaning of “wound up” in this context

Max: Hmm. Ben’s been gone a while. Well, I guess he can’t get into too much trouble out here. Gwen: Unless he wound up bear food. (Max frowns at her) Hey, I can dream, can’t I?
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2k views

Idiom for needing to focus on something

Is there an idiom or a phrase people use at work one needs to fully focus on a specific task? Thought I've heard it at work before, but can't think of it right this second..
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How to express “to pressing random different keys or buttons on a mobile phone”?

Your 2-year-old child is holding your mobile phone and he is pressing randomly different keys or buttons on your phone. chaotically adverb /keɪˈɒtɪkli/ /keɪˈɑːtɪkli/ ​in a completely confused ...
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1answer
15 views

“Stay / sleep for the night” VS “Stay / sleep overnight”

What is the difference between: a. stay / sleep overnight b. stay / sleep for the night c. stay / sleep for one night Just in order to clarify what I need, I made up two examples. Please let ...
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1answer
25 views

Using the adverb “again” after the idiom “repeating oneself”

I was wondering whether it would sound superfluous if I add the adverb "again" to the end of the sentence: Steve Rogers: Well, what are we gonna do now? Tony Stark: You know what, give me a ...
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1answer
28 views

“inside out” vs “ins and outs”

Are there any differences in the meaning of or when we use the idioms 'inside out' and 'ins and outs'? The definitions in Cambridge English Dictionary are: ins and outs : the details or facts ...
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1answer
453 views

Is it ok to say “play well ok boy!” when you want your child to play with his toys comfortably and quietly without bothering you?

well: 1 SATISFACTORILY in a successful or satisfactory way Did you sleep well? James reads quite well for his age. All the team played very well today. Simon doesn’t work well ...
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4answers
4k views

“My aunt is coming to tea tomorrow.” (idiom “to come to tea”?)

My mother has decided to make a cake today since my aunt is coming to tea tomorrow. Source: my English grammar book. Google gives little results involving the given expression "to come to tea". Is ...
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1answer
34 views

“Hold still” Vs "Don't move

Within an episodic instructive comedy named "Extra", when one of the characters saw a hazardous insect is moving on the other character's shirt, she got panicked and said: Hold still, Hector. I ...
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1answer
23 views

Someone who has been awarded full authority

I wonder what do you normally call someone who has been granted the full authority to do all legal affairs and decision makings on behalf of "someone else" or "an organization" in AE? I have two ...
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2answers
41 views

Is it colloquial to say “You like to wear Elsa, don't you?”?

Your child likes to wear shorts or Tshirts that have pictures of Elsa on them (see the picture). Is it colloquial to say "You like to wear Elsa, don't you?" or "You are in Elsa now" the same way ...
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3answers
392 views

Through and through

This word means the complete degree of penetration and you seem to double the "through" to make it sound stronger. I wonder, in Russian you say "along and across" to mean that you know something "...
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3answers
2k views

use of idiom “to see eye to eye”

I wonder whether I could use "see eye to eye" when I agree with someone spontaneously like this, " I see eye to eye with you" or when I disagree with someone " I don't see eye to eye with you"
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2answers
35 views

What does “I am who I am” mean?

You may or may not know about Family Guy. But in this youtube video of Family guy animated series, around 3:30, Stewie [son] was accidentally beaten by his father, Peter. Then he yell his father like ...
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3answers
5k views

This is (a) team work

This is team work. This is a team work. Which is correct? You work or collaborate together with someone is the intended meaning.
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1answer
27 views

What does “kind enough to die” phrase mean?

What does "kind enough to die" phrase mean? Rocket told this to Thor in avengers endgame, not to save her mother(when they came to the past), and to prioritize their task to save the half of the ...
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1answer
28 views

What do “Glad our discussions are resonating with you” mean?

I was texting with a friend after talking with her about some topics and then she answered with: Glad our discussions are resonating with you. What does it mean? First I thought it means that I ...
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1answer
21 views

“give a shot” vs “have a go”

Are there any differences in the meaning of or when we use the idioms 'give a shot' and 'have a go'? The definitions in Merriam-Webster Dictionary are: give (something) a shot : to try to do (...

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