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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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1answer
16 views

“Score on points”

A sentence from this NYT article sounds a bit stilted. Why is the preposition on used here rather than simply "scored points"? My understanding: A person/thing scores (intransitive, active) on a ...
5
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2answers
1k views

What does “ebb away” here mean?

Looked up the dictionary. It says flow back. Does it mean "come back" here? It is an agony that people here are beginning to get used to as time drags on and optimism and hope ebb away. (source)
2
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1answer
30 views

What does “come up through the system” mean?

This is a scene from the movie Southpaw: Judge: The child has no other family, is that right? Attorney: Uh, no, Your Honor. Uh, both my client and his wife came up through the system. ...
2
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2answers
35 views

Immediate family vs Extended family

I am little bit confuse with the definition of extended family and immediate family. I have been living with my husband for three years in a apartment. Now in respect to this statement which one is my ...
3
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2answers
61 views

what do you mean by “draw chalk lines around the topic”?

In a presentation's speaker note, I found a phrase; "Before we discuss the points (presented on the previous slide), let's draw some chalk lines around the topic and talk about challenges we see ...
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1answer
30 views

Word choice for “Educationally Enriched”

Is there any word which replace the phrase "Educationally enriched"? I was trying to write an essay where I defined a state where every people are educated. To define that I was taking help of phrase ...
0
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1answer
11 views

Usage of the word 'TOGGLE'

The word 'toggle' itslef means switching between two states. But is it proper to use explicitly like 'toggle ON' or 'toggle OFF' ? How the usage for that word should happen?
0
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3answers
24 views

What does the phrase “right into the corner” mean here?

Here is a sentence from a football game app: If you bend the ball right into the corner you’ll get triple the points. I am not sure about the meaning of the phrase right into the corner. Does it ...
0
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3answers
30 views

We have vs We do have

What is the difference between We have and We do have? Has it same meaning or different meanings?
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0answers
8 views

What do ‘Slide Away’ and ‘Slide In’ mean?

These are famous lines from a song called Slide Away by Oasis ‘Slide away and give it all you've got’ ‘Slide in baby together we’ll fly’ and I have no clue what they mean. I'm always confused when ...
0
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0answers
16 views

Structure of “as in”

When I ask question by using examples, they often use "as in your example X" If they confirm my examples . Is it some kind of reduced phrase? or "as in" means "for example" ? For instance: Me: Can I ...
0
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1answer
21 views

“As is + noun or adjective”

I think I understand the meaning of this structure with noun "as is + noun" but I don't really understand when it used with adjective "as is + adjective". 1- But she’s also finding that the acting ...
0
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1answer
20 views

What does it mean: “The dance and the simple video are everything”?

Here is the full phrase "But honestly the dance and the simple video are everything", and i took it from comments (on youtube) to this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=au8QGTiPhEw Could someone ...
1
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1answer
22 views

What's the meaning of “to ask the indulgence of someone”?

In the book 'the little prince' by Antoine de Saint Exupéry, I found the expression 'I ask the indulgence of the children'. What's the meaning of that? I'm not sure if it means 'I ask the children ...
0
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1answer
10 views

meaning of “to go by six-forty-five”

But she doesn’t really believe these silent Saturday-morning appearances have anything to do with early-onset Alzheimer’s; on any given weekday morning Harvey Stevens is ready and raring to go by ...
0
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1answer
5 views

What does it mean to say “ i think it's safe to say ( that ) … ”?

What NAm/BrE Native speakers exactly mean when they say " i think it's safe to say ( that ) ... " ? I mean if it's used in only one possible correct way and therefore doesn't need any further or ...
0
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1answer
18 views

is being offered

My question is a part of an offical form that I’m trying to fill out. It goes: I further certify that the principal alien is being offered the following position: DOS Notification Date: What does ...
1
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2answers
368 views

What does Tete-a-Tete mean?

I am wondering if Tete-a-Tete has a similar meaning as mutual relation between two entities such as the following: Suicide rate and depression are Tete-a-Tete.
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1answer
45 views

What does keeping one's arms covered up mean?

I was reading Eurotrash by Irvine Welsh. Richard in the novel says "You know what I mean. You keep your arms covered up." and I don't know what it means.
2
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2answers
600 views

What is the meaning of levy a fine

I came across the following definition: To levy a fine - to commence and carry on a suit for assuring the title to land or tenements. But I've always thought it means something like is that you ...
0
votes
1answer
23 views

What does “got carried off the field” imply or mean in this sentence?

I couldn't get the implication or metaphor of the phrase in the following sentence; is it a slang? The context is : Bruce Banner, the Hulk, got under the mind control of Wanda, and he went rogue, ...
2
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1answer
26 views

Here in the context below I use past and future tense together in one sentence. Is it wrong?

Do watch this movie. It won't leave you disappointed and the closure of this film truly lived up to the expectation.
1
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1answer
27 views

What does “In past terms” mean?

I am learning this MIT course. The professor said: In past terms we compared a human genome to a rat genome, and discovered they were pretty similar. What does "In past terms" mean? I listened ...
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1answer
19 views

Can I say “class notes” instead of “lecture notes”?

Can I say class notes instead of lecture notes? Do these phrases have the same meaning?
0
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1answer
13 views

What does the phrase “soar off ramps” mean here?

Here is a sentence from a game app's description: In the game, you soar off ramps to beat competitors to the finish line. I am not sure about the meaning of the phrase soar off ramps here. How ...
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votes
1answer
17 views

What does the phrase “ride every wall” mean here?

Here is a sentence from a drift race game's description: If you can control your car’s tune, that’s when you can think about throwing it in hard and start riding every wall you see. I am not ...
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1answer
80 views

more than a hint of beauty

Her expression is demure, but there’s more than a hint of beauty. What is it intended to convey? Is she beautiful, or not so beautiful? Any help would be appreciated.
0
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1answer
21 views

“coming out of the head”

A character in the movie The Kingdom says: They celebrated her graduation at the IHOP until some townie called Janet something. I don't know, something not very nice. So the townie didn't see Fran ...
0
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1answer
13 views

What does the phrase “surge of a boost” mean here?

Here is a sentence from a drift race game's description: If you want to feel the surge of a boost as you enter a corner, think of investing in a turbo. I am not sure about the meaning of the ...
1
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1answer
28 views

What does “suggests after the event…” mean?

Just as the development of a society sometimes suggests after the event a pattern not in the minds of its creators, the transition from the old convict system to the new did not always follow the ...
0
votes
1answer
251 views

throughout / during / over / in the course of

Some dictionaries say "the course of" can be used with "over," "in," "during," and "throughout." I'm wondering if there's any difference among these options. For example, if event A happened ...
2
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3answers
24 views

Where is the subject?

"Donald Trump’s desire to nominate Mr Cain had sparked a backlash, even among Republicans worried that the president was seeking to undermine the independence of the central bank by appointing his ...
1
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1answer
26 views

“the corner of his next speech” meaning in this context?

... "You're - you're not a hoax, then?" It had been his last, desperate hope. "No," said Fudge gently. "No, I'm afraid I'm not. Look." And he had turned the Prime Minister's teacup ...
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5answers
2k views

What does the expression “right on the tip of my tongue” mean?

After googling, I'm not really sure what exactly it means. I have two conclusions: It means that I don't remember an easy word or a name right now although I already know it and I was able to ...
0
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1answer
19 views

Meaning of “with a guilty air”

Next morning I woke at my usual hour, feeling like a bottle of champagne. I put out my feet and invented a long conversation in which Mrs. Right talked of the trouble she had with her own father till ...
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1answer
50 views

“I can SORT OF understand something”. How SORT OF is used here?

What Native Am.Eng Speakers exactly mean when they say "I can sort of understand it." I mean, how sort of here correctly used in this context? I mean, if it has only one possible correct ...
1
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1answer
37 views

Meaning/usage of “it's not that bad”

What do people mean when they say: "I don't think it was that bad." Does this phrase have only one possible correct meaning or use? Does it require further context to be provided in order to ...
1
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1answer
18 views

sense of purpose in life vs purpose in life

What is the difference between "sense of purpose in life" vs "purpose in life". A person with few responsibilities might lose his sense of purpose in life. I was told that omitting "sense of" is ...
0
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1answer
14 views

Is “stick your mouth to a hole” idiomatic?

I am not sure how idiomatic it is. When someone says "stick your mouth to a hole" does he mean literally as in put your mouth in contact with the hole or close to it? I thought it was an exaggeration, ...
0
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1answer
19 views

A worker who takes orders in McDonalds

what do you call a worker who asks me about what i want to eat? I mean it's not a waiter and it's not a hostess i guess. And what do they say when there is no any line and they are ready to serve ...
2
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1answer
26 views

what is the difference between “that shirt looks good on you” & “you look good in that shirt”?

I often hear people say "you look good in that shirt" But recently, I have heard a native speaker say "that shirt looks good on you". So: what is the difference between "that shirt looks good on ...
0
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2answers
2k views

Two interpretations of “ if not more” in this sentence

I’m Japanese and learning English. I have a question about the meaning of “if not more” in the below sentence. Many people who follow this diet end up eating just as many calories, if not more , ...
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4answers
4k views

Does “fill me in” have sexual connotation?

If someone asks you to fill them in, meaning to brief or inform them about something, could it in any way be construed as an invitation for sex, as when a girl playfully says so in response to, "I had ...
1
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1answer
16 views

What is the meaning of high/low threshold for something, e.g. pain, stress tolerance etc.?

For example: The fearlessness hypothesis proposes that people with Anti-Social Personality Disorder have a "higher threshold for fear" than most individuals. Reference: https://en.m.wikiversity.org/...
0
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1answer
21 views

I would / Would I / If I would [on hold]

What's the difference between the 3 sentences below, are they all correct to use ? Is the meaning the same for each one ? I would have seen it with my own eyes I still wouldn't believe it. ...
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3answers
3k views

“Have you ever worked in a …” vs. “Have you ever been working in a …”

Which one of these sentences is right, the perfect simple or the perfect continuous? A: Have you ever worked in a factory? B: No, never! or A: Have you ever been working in a factory? B: No,...
0
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1answer
17 views

Help to understand “if nothing else”

HALO: The Fall of Reach If nothing else, Cortana liked a challenge. Does it mean Maybe, challenge was Cartana's only hobby. ?
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1answer
26 views

Prove to be or be proved to be?

I have a hard time telling those phrases apart. "Something/someone proves to be" and "something/someone be proved to be" 1- After 10 years in jail he was proved to be innocent. 2- After 10 ...
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1answer
15 views

What does “at the head of” mean in this sentence?

I read a sentence in a chapter in my book which was: But now - now I march at the head of my retainers to Lucknow to try and drive you from the country. I don't know what "at the head of" means ...
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2answers
5k views

The meaning of “have left” in the context

What is the meaning of "have left" in this passage : "A baby robot designed to 'invoke an emotional connection' has been unveiled in Japan, where plummeting birth rates have left many couples without ...