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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.

2
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1answer
28 views

What does “have a shifty at” mean?

‘Well, Molly, I'm pretty sure this is a boggart,’ said Sirius, peering through the keyhole, ‘but perhaps we ought to let Mad-Eye have a shifty at it before we let it out — knowing my mother, it could ...
0
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1answer
15 views

It's permissible VS It's permitted

Do the phrases It's permissible It's permitted mean exactly the same? It is permissible to edit the source code It is permitted to edit the source code Do the two phrases above ...
1
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1answer
38 views

What does “go down on the price” mean?

See this conversation: B: This t.v is $2500. A: You can't be serious. B: That's how much this t.v costs. A: That's too expensive for me. B: This television is of very high ...
1
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1answer
57 views

Act On Somebody

When I was reading a text, I encountered a sentence which contains the verb phrase "act on". The Internet and smartphone applications are used for distributing hate messages and acting on the users ...
0
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1answer
53 views

“…so beautiful that make(s) your teeth hurt”: is there a heavy sarcasm or extreme envy in the expression (in a context)?

Here goes a passage from a short story read out loud online (0:24): The fountains thick with black swans imported from Siberia, and if it is a fine day and a weekend, there will be wedding parties, ...
0
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1answer
37 views

Meaning of “He could always use a bit of extra money” in the context below

Phoebus started walking toward the bridge where he planned to meet Esmeralda. Soon he noticed a dark figure creeping behind him in the shadows. “Who’s there?” he called. Claude Frollo, his ...
1
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1answer
20 views

itself vs very [difference]

Below are two variants of a conversation about e.g. some rule: Initial statement: His understanding of the rule is wrong. Reply 1: Not just his understanding, but the rule itself is wrong. ...
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1answer
61 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.
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1answer
29 views

meaning of “the scale still hunched and human” and 3 other phrases

I am reading the book "Aloft" By ChangeRae Lee, and I have the questions of the following 3 phrases. be exactly in your own skin the scale still hunched and human putting on a serious buzz in a rope ...
0
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1answer
15 views

What's the meaning of keep up-to-date in context?

The point is that debt payments — interest and repayments of the original loan — are easier to keep up-to-date for borrowers with a rising income. Source: BBC My problem is with the phrase "keep ...
2
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1answer
22 views

What does the speaker imply in “piecrust collar” and “smell of horse”?

I could not understand the implication in this sentence, especially the "piecrust collars and smell of horse". I am totally lost! Could anyone help please? The context is : Will (a quadriplegic in ...
1
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1answer
49 views

Is “I grant you” more condescending than “I give you”?

I wonder if, for American native English speakers, it is more condescending to use "I grant you" than "I give you"? (I raised my question this way just to make it specific; I do not have a ...
0
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1answer
57 views

Go down the hall meaning? (For giving directions)

When I asked for the directions to the HR's cubicle, I got this reply: Go down the hall then take the first left, You will find the HR's cubicle there. (I don't remember exactly what he said.) I ...
1
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1answer
24 views

What is the meaning of “co-opted” in this sentence?

I am reading Anthology for Music in the Twentieth and Twenty-First Centuries, and on page 173 I get stuck in understanding this sentence: In some cases national and political connotations were an ...
1
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1answer
17 views

How to understand “you've had it bad” in this context?

‘Personally, I'd have welcomed a dementor attack. A deadly struggle for my soul would have broken the monotony nicely. You think you've had it bad, at least you've been able to get out and about, ...
0
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1answer
32 views

Meaning of “ Welcome to it” in this context

But then he smiled and stood up. “Wait! I forgot about our custom! We never hang a man until the women have been given a chance to marry him. This way, ladies! A husband for free! Who wants ...
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2answers
20 views

Where are you flying vs flying to

Can someone help me understand the correct grammar please? Where are you flying or where are you flying to?
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0answers
24 views

The symbol is a weak symbol that has not been specifically tagged as a weak object symbol

What does the sentence The symbol is a weak symbol that has not been specifically tagged as a weak object symbol. mean? What is the purpose of "specifically" here? This is from nm's ...
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2answers
35 views

Meaning of “Out for revenge”

Claude Frollo had always stayed away from women. But now he seemed to hate them— especially gypsy women. He had asked the bishop to forbid gypsies from dancing in the square. He was outraged ...
2
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1answer
61 views

Until - ambiguity

Hello I have big ambiguity in using this word: UNTIL. Does it include the thing after word UNTIL or it means that thing is not included? Here are two examples: A. The TV Show was good until 3rd ...
0
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1answer
25 views

Meaning of phrase “the day it is due”

You should probably start writing your essay on "To Kill a Mockingbird" sometime before the bus ride to school the day it is due. I can't understand the last part of sentence "the day it is due" ...
0
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1answer
19 views

Meaning of the sentence in bold

Claude threw himself into caring for little Jehan. He was more than a brother to the baby—he was the child’s mother and father! He had been taking care of Jehan for about a year when he heard ...
0
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1answer
23 views

“Love for rent” does this phrase have two meanings?

"Love for rent" could mean two things: That love is available for rent. The love for renting things. Am I right with my interpretation? Which interpretation is more likely to be chosen?
2
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1answer
26 views

What does “by some margin” mean?

I found this. China is North Korea’s biggest trading partner by some margin. That means the trading amount is nearly 0?
0
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1answer
60 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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2answers
4k views

What does “this… thrusting upon” mean?

This so sudden thrusting-on of fame paralyzed every fiber of her being, so much so that she could not keep herself in countenance for very long in public. Is this an idiom?
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1answer
92 views

What does “dark hints” mean in Harry Potter?

As Aunt Marge started to make herself at home, Harry caught himself thinking almost longingly of life at number four without her. Uncle Vernon and Aunt Petunia usually encouraged Harry to stay out of ...
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2answers
27 views

How to understand “got a good bit of use out of them”

‘Fred and George have invented Extendable Ears, see,’ said Ron. ‘They're really useful.’ ‘Extendable—?’ ‘Ears, yeah. Only we've had to stop using them lately because Mum found out and went ...
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1answer
27 views

Meaning of screaming bundle

Indeed, it was not a newborn baby. It was a twitching mass of humanity in a canvas bag. The head peeping out was very disfigured! There was a forest of red hair, one eye, a mouth, and a few ...
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2answers
39 views

I want to know the meaning of “Anyone who chose to could take them away”

Some 16 years before Esmeralda married Gringoire, a child had been left at Notre Dame Cathedral. To the left of the great church’s front door was a wooden bed sealed in the pavement. It was ...
1
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1answer
26 views

Best X and Y vs. Best X and Best Y

Came across a place with the name Best Bagel and Coffee. This naturally brought up a debate on the following, does "Best X and Y" mean: We have the best X AND best Y We have the best X, and also we ...
0
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2answers
30 views

meaning of “all got in on the fun”

At last the play began again, but the audience had lost interest. One man shouted, “People of Paris! This play is not amusing. Nothing happens! I thought we were going to select the Pope of ...
2
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1answer
37 views

What does “white and pink” mean?

What does “white and pink” mean here? Is it like “black and white” as in “I have a cat. Its color is black and white” or are they actually two colors?
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3answers
37 views

“First page” or “Page one” for SEO ranking?

SEO is Search Engine Optimization. I want to ask a simple question from this domain. My website is "First Page" on Google. Or My website is "Page One" on Google. Which one of these is right?
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1answer
33 views

What does “stand up to” mean in this sentence?

I don't quite understand the meaning of "stand up to" in this passage: Still others, Horn says, insist the saying is a melding of "spirit and image," as in "he's the very spirit and image of his ...
6
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1answer
590 views

How to parse “As for the philosophical content explicitly picks over in the film’s dialogue”?

I can't parse the first clause of this sentence. As for the philosophical content explicitly picks over in the film’s dialogue, it’s something for the viewer to digest, but it all seems a little ...
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2answers
29 views

What does the two “have had it”s mean respectively in this context?

‘You heard me—OUT!’ Uncle Vernon bellowed, and even Aunt Petunia and Dudley jumped. ‘OUT! OUT! I should've done this years ago! Owls treating the place like a rest home, puddings exploding, half the ...
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2answers
1k 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 , ...
2
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2answers
30 views

A boy didn't read every book

In my opinion, "A boy didn't read every book"is ambiguous, it can express"a boy didn't read any book" or "Not every book were read by the boy".Am I right?
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3answers
2k 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
23 views

What's the difference between “keeping hope” and “keeping good hope”?

What's the difference between "keeping hope" and "keeping good hope"? I heard both, but unlike in case of the difference between "faith" and "good faith", the latter of which doesn't even imply faith, ...
0
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1answer
18 views

Is the phrase “to do a surgery on” feasible?

I would like to ask if saying (figuratively) something like "We can do a surgery on this object so that ...". My question is about the phrase "to do a surgery on"; does that make sense to American ...
2
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1answer
24 views

Meaning of “… those who call the time to them or other things connected therewith?” [closed]

We will not [says Socrates] then allow our charges, whom we expect to prove good men, being men, to play the parts of women and imitate a woman young or old wrangling with her husband, defying heaven, ...
4
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1answer
572 views

Meaning of “for while knowledge”

We will not [says Socrates] then allow our charges, whom we expect to prove good men, being men, to play the parts of women and imitate a woman young or old wrangling with her husband, defying ...
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2answers
33 views

Meaning of the sentence in bold is unclear to me

We will not [says Socrates] then allow our charges, whom we expect to prove good men, being men, to play the parts of women and imitate a woman young or old wrangling with her husband, defying ...
0
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2answers
4k 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 ...
2
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1answer
88 views

“Get out of that one” meaning in this context?

The Dursleys goggled at him for a few seconds, then Aunt Petunia said, ‘You're a nasty little liar. What are all those—’ she, too, lowered her voice so that Harry had to lip-read the next word, ‘—owls ...
3
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1answer
208 views

Meaning of “classic condemnation” [closed]

One trouble with pretending to be someone or something else is that there is no stopping it. For Plato, the act of pretending rapidly runs down through a sexist chain of being from men to women ...
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1answer
127 views

To + (verb) as infinitive/gerund

I have a question on preposition ‘to’. When we use verb after ‘to’ we use either infinitives or verb in ing format but my question is: will the word ‘to’ be a preposition in both the case? also, ...
1
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1answer
25 views

“ten minutes out”

There is a scene in the movie Drinking Buddies where Gene and Luke are talking in a bar. Gene: I've been ten minutes out since I got here. I had one of these, and then I said, "I'm gonna have one ...