Questions tagged [phrase-meaning]

Use this tag for questions about the meaning and usage of a particular phrase, for which a dictionary cannot answer.

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What is difference between “don't remember” and “not that remember”

Recently, I came across this use of the phrase: not that I remember. I have not encountered such use before. I have always come across the classic use of the phrase: I don't remember. Is there any ...
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15 views

What does “make oneself heard above the chatter” mean?

Example sentences: Many people are glad to have someone who can make themselves heard above the chatter. How can you make yourself heard above the chatter? I know the meaning of every single ...
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2answers
20 views

The meaning of “to get under someone/something's guard”

I'm translating a book by Victoria Schwab and I'm not sure about the meaning of a sentence here. The scene describes a character fighting a monster, and here's the sentence that has confused me: "...
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13 views

Meaning of the phrase “To compound the puzzle” [closed]

I just came across a phrase To compound the puzzle and could not understand the meaning of it. What is the meaning, examples and contexts in which this can be used?
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1answer
27 views

What does “throw one's hat in the ring for” mean?

I read the following sentence: Wikipedia has a great list of ORMs that exist for just about any language. That list is missing JavaScript, which is my language of choice, so I will throw my hat in ...
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1answer
12 views

What's “a three-one decision”?

I heard the phrase on a American radio. What does "a three-one decision" truly mean? I figure there might be three people to make one decision. But i'm not quite sure.
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22 views

What does the phrase “You have a mice nest in your mouth” mean

I was chatting with a colleague and she just said that I have a mice nest in my mouth, what does it mean?
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1answer
40 views

The meaning of 'pipe of the key'

There came a shrill and a whistling sound, Above, beneath, beside, and around, Yet leaf ne’er moved on tree! So that some people thought old Beelzebub must Have been lock’d out of ...
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2answers
27 views

I'm late vs I'm going to be late

I'm late. vs I'm going to be late. What is the difference between their meanings?
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10 views

“The last I saw someone” phrase

Is it correct to say “she was in the lab the last I saw a her”? I just want to convey that she was in the lab the last time I saw her. But is the grammar correct? Also does it imply that we will not ...
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19 views

How to understand “Much the best way” in this context?

"The original?" enquired Xenophilius sharply, and when she nodded, he said, "Well then, why don't you read it aloud? Much the best way to make sure we all understand." Harry Potter and the ...
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24 views

In the wake of someone's passing

What does this phrase mean? In the wake of my great great grandmother's passing. Does passing mean death also? If so, then why didn't they just use death so non native English speakers can ...
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2answers
50 views

What does “leg breaking” mean?

Could you please help me understand what this phrase "leg breaking" means? Does it relate to violence? Kind of threatening to break the borrower's legs? Some of these changes were gradual. Moe had ...
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1answer
286 views

Slang question, what does mean by “horse”?

I've been just happened to have been listening Britney Spears's Oops! I did it again, and what does the mars lander says "Oh there horse" at 0:20? From the start The navigator : First, the Mars ...
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1answer
31 views

“hit my head in short”

I heard of the phrase "hit my head in short" on an American radio. I figure it probably means put/make/explain it in short. But I'm really not sure. I searched it on the web, and I haven't found it ...
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1answer
30 views

“His voice cracked with the strain”

His voice cracked with the strain, and they stood looking at each other in the whiteness and the emptiness, and Harry felt they were as insignificant as insects beneath that wide sky. Harry ...
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5answers
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Can I say “guess what” to acknowledge new information?

I can't remember where I got this from, but it feels deeply correct to me. However it caused a misunderstanding in a chat, and after googling the usage and not finding anything I'm suspecting I might ...
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1answer
37 views

Meaning of “I know it's over 'cause my feet have hit the cold floor”

We listened to the song "Made to love" by Toby Mac in my classroom. Unfortunately, we could not understand the phrase: I know it's over 'cause my feet have hit the cold floor Check my reflection, ...
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1answer
37 views

meaning of the phrase [duplicate]

Can this phrase be used this way?: to mock at someone who said some kind of nonsense or the way what he did or the way how he looks. Or is it possible? For example: I can't with/from your stupid ...
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1answer
38 views

What does “cued to your preferred 5 minutes” mean?

The phrase appeared in the context of an art portfolio requirement. Still Images. Images should be sized at 1024 x 768 @ 72 DPI. Limit the total number of still images to 20. Audio & ...
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1answer
36 views

The different nuance between “I think~”/“I don't think~”

Is the sentence 2. sounds more..rude-ish?? They convey the same point but the way how the speaker delivers it could change the nuance and I wonder if that is applied to these two sentances~! I don'...
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3answers
366 views

Birthplace vs living place

If someone asks me where my hometown is, what should I say? I live in a country which is not my birth country. I was born in different country. So which one should I consider as my hometown? The ...
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5answers
3k views

Someone said to me, “We basically literally did.” What were they trying to express to me?

Someone said to me, "We basically literally did." What were they trying to express to me? Also, can basically and literally be used in the same sentence? My points to my language partner: ...
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1answer
24 views

What's the meaning of “With…looking on ” in this sentence?

It was a good night for science at the 87th Academy Awards ceremony Sunday night. Julianne Moore won the Best Actress prize for her role in Still Alice, a movie that shines a light on Alzheimer’s ...
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1answer
23 views

“to gatecrash smth” meaning

Even though Maxwell gatecrashed society events and made (30) he was photographed with powerful figures such as Russia’s President Gorbachev, he never felt embraced by society. What is "gatecrashed ...
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1answer
32 views

Difference between “don't have + noun” and “don't have any + noun”

In negative sentences, what is the difference between the forms "don't have + noun" and "don't have any + noun"? Here are two couples of examples: (With countable nouns) I don’t have books I ...
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1answer
28 views

Is there a real difference between “to mull something over” and “to think something over”?

I've done this exercise focusing on phrasal verbs. There was a sentence, something like this: I need to ...... it over before I make my decision. The particle "over" gave me only two choices - mull ...
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34 views

What that means by “I am willing to try the code as is”?

My colleague and I have been working on a software project. I recently proposed some changes to the code base and requested for his review. He then added some comments as below: Now that I see you ...
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1answer
23 views

What's the meaning of phrase 'or is it?'

What's the meaning of this phrase in this following sentence, 'This is a good book. Or is it?' As a learner of English, I've recently come across some phrases which can't be found in any of the good ...
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2answers
3k views

“the whole shabang” vs “the whole shebang”

In the vocabulary.com A shebang is a thing or a group, used in the phrase "the whole shebang." When your teacher says the test will cover the whole shebang, she means everything you've studied is ...
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0answers
24 views

meaning of “bear someone home”

In the book "Native Speaker", there is "This means that you can get drunk, for the sake of building ambience and camaraderie (and for your own taut nerves), but still keep in mind that you haven't ...
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1answer
34 views

losing when my mind's astray

I was reading the lyrics of a song called "Dominoes" by Syd Barett, and couldn't understand what he was trying to convey in this verse "Losing when my mind's astray" Lyrics
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1answer
25 views

What does “working majority” mean in a context?

Actually this is the continuation of this article, which I asked about prior. And now I am facing a very subtly confusing statement from Boris Johnson. He says, (from the 4th paragraph) "If we ...
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1answer
41 views

Which phrase is more correct?

I have two sentences that are ambiguous to me. The first sentence is: I have got a woman at home. The second sentence is: I got a woman at home. The meaning I'm aiming for is the present moment. I ...
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2answers
39 views

“Pull out a win”

Nevertheless, the Cubs felt giddy about pulling out the win. Anthony Rizzo described it as a season-defining moment. (source) This line sounds strange, even jarring, to me. To pull out of something ...
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On this definition of holding

A tenure; a farm or other estate held of another. The above is the third definition of holding in this dictionary. I couldn't make sense of the part in italics, especially on their use of held; is ...
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1answer
77 views

What is the difference between “This is” and “Here is”?

I mean, is there a difference in the meaning, or the contexts for these sentences? When using the one or the other one? My question is about every kind of words. Innert things, or beings, or any ...
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1answer
27 views

What does the phrase “edges the fabric” mean here?

Please help me figure out the meaning of the phrase "edges the fabric" in the following sentence: Depending on the look you want to go for, hold your felt sides together using a running stitch (where ...
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1answer
63 views

What does 'jack your beanstalk' mean?

I'm watching the TV drama 'sex education'. In S01E01, a guy says to his friend 'Everybody is either thinking about shagging, about to shag, or actually shagging, and you can't even jack your beanstalk'...
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1answer
16 views

Meaning of “if not” in “if not [some trait]”

If I say: You are well-established if not dominant in your field am I saying that you're not dominant or that you are?
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1answer
43 views

what does the phrase “get someone into something” mean?

I am reading a text. A line of it, is as follows: Your daughter has a cocaine habit. Get her into rehab. I have searched about the meaning of "get someone into something" and I found somethings. ...
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1answer
28 views

what is the meaning of 'that sounds too cynical of him'?

I am reading the Native Speaker by Chang-Rae Lee. It has ' He passed the bar immediately, though I know he never intended to practice the law or big corporate business. He wanted the credentials. But ...
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35 views

What means “in mitigation”?

Here is the sentence: In mitigation, I am on the move and posted this from an internet cafe. I didn't quite grasp the sentence.As I know In mitigation means make something appear less serious.But that ...
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19 views

What does “ two-way section fare” mean?

I read on https://www.lwb.gov.hk/eng/legco/21032018_6.htm (mirror) (page explaining bus fares in Hong Kong): On the other hand, two-way section fares are currently applicable to a number of ...
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1answer
43 views

Is it actually correct to say “They felt themselves quieter”?

I read many times that one shouldn't say: "I feel myself well/badly" etc, because it's incorrect and the native speakers think that you're saying about touching yourself or masturbating. But recently ...
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1answer
36 views

What does “animated madness” mean? [closed]

Could you please help me understand what the author is talking about? I have no idea what "animated madness" means. I don't understand it. Many of these sequences are short, funny and downright ...
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1answer
23 views

“ten times the wizard you are” meaning

"I - so what if I did?" said Harry. "So, Dirk Cresswell is ten times the wizard you are," said Mr Weasley quietly, as the lift sank ever lower. "And if he survives Azkaban, you'll have to answer ...
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1answer
37 views

Meaning of quote

What does mean the first sentence in bold and the second quote? “You alone are enough. You have nothing to prove to anybody.” (Maya Angelou) “Do the best you can until you know better. Then ...
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1answer
27 views

what does “cast the approval” mean?

I don't understand the meaning of the word "cast". Specifically, for example, in this phrase: "Cast the approval" I've never seen this phrase before.
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5answers
2k views

Grammar from Sherlock Holmes: Count Dracula and Ebenezer Scrooge come to mind

Here are two adjacent sentences from Sherlock Holmes Few fictional characters have taken on a life of their own outside the pages of their stories the way Sherlock Holmes has. Count Dracula and ...