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Questions tagged [phrase-choice]

Is it Either? Is it Or? Is it Neither? Use the Phrase-Choice tag to help you complete the perfect sentence, say what you really mean, and learn new words and phrases.

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13 views

“Better idea: not verb + -ing” vs “better idea: not to verb.”

What construction is more correct, or at least more common? Example sentence with context: Why hadn't they bought real fishing rods? That would've made everything more interesting. Or even a ...
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1answer
33 views

“To repair something” vs “To get something repaired”

How is the phrase “Get the car repaired” different from “Repair the car”? Is there a difference? If so, how do I use this? For example:
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1answer
87 views

“To kill someone” vs “To have someone killed”

In a movie, I’ve heard “Are you going to have me killed?” How’s this different from “Are you going to kill me?” Is there a certain rule for that? If you’re wondering where I heard this, it was ...
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1answer
20 views

“Choice tonight” vs “choice for tonight.”

Do they mean different things? Or they are the same? Example sentence: Tom's choice (for) tonight is chicken salad. My theory is that "for" indicates that there's an object and without "for" the ...
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3answers
408 views

“worthy of mention(ing)” or “worthy of a mention(ing)”?

That kind of happening would have definitely been worthy of mention. or That kind of happening would have definitely been worthy of a mention. or That kind of happening would have definitely ...
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1answer
21 views

“not a smallest response” or “not the smallest response”?

You've asked a question on .stack and don't get an answer for 5 straight days. So you say, "Is my question that hard? 5 days and not the smallest response!" Or should it be "...and not a smallest ...
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2answers
20 views

“You did? vs ”you did so?"

In which situations should I use the former and the latter? Or maybe the two mean the same (and maybe the "so" is redundant)? Example sentence: Since you have low self-esteem he knew you'd be with ...
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1answer
29 views

Should [verb] vs should be [verb + -ing]

Do they mean the same? Or have slightly different meanings?' Example sentence: Sorry, I'm rambling. We should focus/be focusing on the topic: your life. Does this sentence change if the pick one ...
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1answer
15 views

“To save for something” vs “to save up for something”

Both sentences have the same number of hits on Google: save for my studies save up for my studies So I'm curious, then what's the difference? Or there's no difference at all? Example sentence: ...
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1answer
31 views

“these clues four” VS “these four clues” [closed]

Choose, unless you wish to stay here forevermore To help you in your choice, we give you these clues four First, however slyly the poison tries to hide You will always find some on nettle wine'...
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1answer
22 views

“Speeding time up” vs “speeding up time.”

There are other examples, like "bringing up the topic" vs "bringing the topic up." What's the difference? Example sentence: She wished she could speed up time/speed time up. speed up time speed ...
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1answer
42 views

For all times or for all ages?

In Russian where is a fixed phrase "для всех времен" it can be translated as "for all time", "for all times" but actually it describes that something has a timeless value. It seems to me, that this ...
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3answers
1k views

Is it OK to say: in a response to?

Suppose I am writing an email and I need a customer to send some information. I want to tell him to reply my email and send the data. Please send us the required information in a response to this ...
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2answers
32 views

“Inherent in” vs “inherent to.”

I thought the phrase was "inherent in," but then I found out that inherent to is also used. Do they mean the same thing? Or they have slightly different meanings? Example sentence: They shared ...
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2answers
24 views

“I would have done X if Y would Z” or “I would have done X if Y would have Z”?

What's the correct construction? Example sentence: "I ate the goldfish," I would have confessed if those words wouldn't sound crazy. "I ate the goldfish," I would have confessed if those ...
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2answers
21 views

“Whole evenings doing X vs ”whole evenings of doing X."

Are the two the same? Or they have different meanings? Example: It used to be worse; whole evenings crying and yelling. It used to be worse; whole evenings of crying and yelling. I used to ...
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2answers
23 views

-based with a two-word term

There is a technology called Spring Boot. I am describing a process built on this framework. I want to say an approach based on Spring Boot but rephrase it by using an adjective with the suffix -...
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2answers
26 views

out of commission

I would like to ask the difference between the "out of commission" and "out of order" in terms of meaning and usage. Are they different in terms of formality? An elevator, an ATM machine or a ...
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2answers
29 views

“grip the bar closely” or “grip the bar with your hand close to each other”?

Tell me please what is the most natuaral way to say that I want someone to grab a barbell with hands close to each. Here are exaples: Grip the bar closely to activate your triceps before doing a ...
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2answers
35 views

“Cut back/down my shifts” or “cut back/down on my shifts”?

I'm confused because I see the two versions on Google Books: "cut back/down my shifts" "cut back/down on my shifts" What's the correct alternative? Or they are both correct?
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1answer
32 views

“no tests have been done” or “no test has been done”?

Should I say "no tests have been done" or "no test has been done" in case when only one test could possibly be done? For example, in the case of a director who entered an empty classroom where a ...
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2answers
46 views

How to describe a person's effort to keep a conversation up and smooth?

How to describe a person's effort to keep a conversation up and smooth? Would adjective "communicable" fit the bill? For example: People in Feriah are not as well-communicable as the ones from Dumba....
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1answer
15 views

Can I put “it's” before “no wonder” when I make a kind of conclusion?

Can I put "it's" before "no wonder" when I make a kind of conclusion (having presented some facts about why my conclusion shouldn't be surprising)? Or it will sound awkward?: James studied karate ...
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1answer
12 views

Is “as she insisted her name was” okay?

Everybody knew that her real name was Merry, but she kept telling everyone that her name was Mariot. Now, 176 years later, I am writing memoirs and mention her in them: "Merry (or Mariot, as she ...
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3answers
3k views

Stubbed my toe… which preposition?

How to say table was the thing I kicked into using stub? Is it one of these? A. I stubbed my toe by the table? B. I stubbed my toe onto the table?
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1answer
21 views

“Comes at a very big price” or “comes at a very big effort”?

"Comes at a very big price" or "comes at a very big effort"? Which one is better for describing an action that is really hard for someone to perform? For example: He seems to have a problem ...
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2answers
1k views

“To make space” or “to make a space”?

Which is correct/sounds more natural? Example sentence: He tries to make (a) space by shoving my bag away. I found both options on Google.
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2answers
38 views

“Blurt to” vs “blurt at.”

What the correct option, or maybe both are correct? I'm confused because I got more or less the same number of Google Book results for each of them: he blurted at her. he blurted to her.
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1answer
32 views

Is “as a sign of their mutual consent” idiomatic?

Is "as a sign of their mutual consent" idiomatic? As a sign of their mutual consent, the two scientists exchanged their ink pens. or should it be re-phrased somehow? EDIT: My concern: 1) I am ...
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1answer
49 views

Who is this vs who is calling-telephone

What is the difference between "who is this?" and "who is calling?" when we answer to the telephone? Is the second one more polite than the first one? Lastly, is there any difference between AmE and ...
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1answer
27 views

Replacing “under the Sun” with “under the Moon”

Can "under the Sun" (meaning "in this world") be replaced with "under the Moon", especially when it's about love between to young lovers, or will it be completely obscure in English? For example, ...
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2answers
59 views

Different usage with “dinner”

Is there a difference if we use the noun "dinner", the phrase "to have dinner" or the verb "to dinner"?: Are you going for dinner with us? Are you going to have dinner with us? Are you going to ...
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1answer
70 views

What is the meaning of 'a little too + adjective'? [duplicate]

What is the meaning of the phrase "a little too + adjective" ? For example: This is a little too hard for me. Does it mean same as: This is slightly hard for me. ? How are the following ...
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1answer
21 views

Is it okay to say “the light is shining twice brightly”?

Is it okay to say "Now the light is shining twice brightly"? While Google Word gives multiple results for "twice brightly" (there is even a novel with such name, it surprisingly gives only one result ...
2
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1answer
37 views

“To lose grip on X” or “to lose grip of X?”

I'm confused because searching the phrase yields more or less the same results on Google Books: lose grip on the lose grip of the Which alternative is correction? Or maybe both are correct? ...
1
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1answer
42 views

The use of the phrase “that is all” in context

Tell me please if used the phrase correctly in the following context. Person 1: How is this bottle called in English? Person 2: Water bottle Person 1: and that is all? What I want to ...
3
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1answer
42 views

When to use “divides into”

I am trying to find out when the following phrase is correct and what is a better choice for the cases where it is not: ... (1) divides into ... (2) Examples Example 1: (1) is for example a country ...
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1answer
23 views

Is 'to avoid company' a correct expression?

I am trying to convey the next message: Being an introvert doesn't mean [avoiding company/to avoid company]. Is it correct to use 'to avoid company' in the meaning of 'to be alone, to keep ...
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1answer
23 views

“To solution, …” and also “To this problem, … ” are these even proper phrases?

Consider this phrase: "To solution, an equation is derived to describe the particle motion." And also this phrase: "To this problem, the new proposed method can reduce the weight of the payload ...
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2answers
20 views

Choices: It's or It's been? When to use which?

It's three years since I last went to the cinema. or It's been three years since I last went to the cinema. I chose It's been because I think this is an action which started in the past and ...
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6answers
973 views

How do natives say how they would like to pay?

How do natives answer the question "How would you like to pay?" When I want to pay with my bank card, sometimes they ask credit or debit? Sometimes they ask Visa or Mastercard? So I now usually say ...
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0answers
21 views

phrase choice “give life to” [duplicate]

These diverse aspects of occupation make life more meaningful and give life to human dignity Is it okay to use life twice? Does it sound repetitive even if each use has different meaning? Is there ...
3
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1answer
304 views

Meaning of the phrase “little too”?

Does the phrase 'little too' mean same as 'very', or is it mild form of very ? For instance, I am little too comfortable talking to you. Does it mean same as 'I am very comfortable talking to you' ?
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2answers
185 views

“The result that came up” vs “The result came up to”

Do they mean the same or different things? Example sentence: She summed all the numbers. The result that came up was 283. Or: She summed all the numbers. The result came up to 283. Would the ...
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vote
1answer
85 views

Find the error in the sentence

Find the letter that corresponds with a sentence error in the below: (A) I take great pleasure (B) to welcome you (C) to this institution. (D) No error. I think the error is in (B), and would ...
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2answers
50 views

How to express 'the happiness of doing is at…' authentically?

Similarly,how do express "The interest of doing sth is at..." like a native speaker. For example, The interest of learning a foreign language is ... or The happiness of studying mathematics ...
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2answers
163 views

“anything but” and “anything else but”

Is there any crucial difference between the following? Any scenario where one is correct but the other is not? a. We called the house anything but the Pyramid. b. We called the house anything ...
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4answers
5k views

“What is the weather today?” or “How is the weather today?”

If I want to ask about the weather today whether is cold or hot, worm or cloudy or foggy, rainy or snowy etc. What should I choose of these two (or may be there's another way)? "What's the weather ...
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4answers
137 views

Can “a bunch of” have a pejorative connotation?

They are turning us into a bunch of slaves. What I mean by the above sentence is that "they are turning us into slaves that are all the same and don't have individual value. Is that sense somehow ...
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1answer
47 views

“of high quality” or “of a high quality”

I would like to know which expression is the right one: they are of high quality OR they are of a high quality.