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Questions tagged [phrase-meaning]

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

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1 answer
95 views

Should the phrase 'beat that time' be replaced by 'surpassed the record'?

In an article on sporting achievements, the author has compared the performance of two sprinters, Jesse Owens and Usain Bolt [Ref : Burlington English (UK) lesson] :- In 1936, Owens set an ...
2 votes
2 answers
23k views

"considered to be" and "considered as"

This passage is from TOEFL: Those who are considered to be gorgeous can make millions of dollars due to their looks, while musical geniuses with modest looks may remain in obscurity. I wonder ...
3 votes
1 answer
329 views

What is the meaning of "I am digging this groove"

In the movie "Irish Wish", there is a line "I am digging this groove" Good morning, everyone. [all] Good morning. [Heather] I’m digging this groove. Uh, darling? Oh. Allow me. ...
-1 votes
1 answer
596 views

Is 'Kay a shortened form of Okay?

This is from an interview by Vogue 73 questions with Cindy (see 03:01-03:06) The reporter asks questions to a celebrity. Right before one of the questions, he says: 'Kay Cindy, what is something that ...
0 votes
1 answer
93 views

what is the meaning of "buzzing with posibilities"?

I want to know the meaning of "buzzing with posibilities" for example in a sentence like this: The Richmond Coliseum was buzzing with pre-game possibilities Friday.
0 votes
1 answer
21 views

Emotionally and professionally unavailable

Is there a phrase to describe a person who is emotionally unavailable to commit?
0 votes
2 answers
38 views

What does "barren bowl" mean?

Here is quote in book The Rights of Nature "In the Netherlands, it is now illegal to keep a goldfish alone in a barren bowl. Countries such as Costa Rica have pledged to phase out zoos, circuses, ...
7 votes
1 answer
1k views

What is the meaning of the 'ride out the clock'?

What is the meaning of the 'ride out the clock'? Sol: Some things there’s no good way to do. How do I tell the woman I’ve loved for forty years that I can’t be with her if I want to be happy? ...
-1 votes
0 answers
35 views

What's the difference between "display emotion" and "show emotion"

I found some sample sentences The closest he came to displaying emotion was when one of his comrades was killed. Only his wife showed emotion, colour slowly bleeding up her face as she held back ...
1 vote
1 answer
60 views

"Last year, they didn't take to the stage until 11.30"

(From A Terrible Kindness by Jo Browning Wroe, Part II Cambridge Choir, chapter 25) Martin Mussey and him = William are Cambridge choristers The highlight of the first bleak day back in Cambridge ...
1 vote
1 answer
43 views

What would "what is your grade?" mean in Australian English?

Yesterday, I was at this Westfield shopping Centre in New South Wales. Some random man came up to me and talked to me about the usual "children donations" thing. He wanted to ask what I do, ...
1 vote
1 answer
231 views

'it didn't happen until afterward" happened later or didn't happen continuously?

'it didn't happen until afterward" After reading this sentence, it's not certain to interpret it as intended because "not until A" means something happened after A. The above sentence ...
2 votes
1 answer
1k 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 ...
13 votes
8 answers
7k views

What does 'do steak and chips' mean?

The sentence I took from my English course exercise: 'What are we going to eat?' 'Well, I can do steak and chips.' I don't think that do steak and chips literally means the speaker will make those ...
0 votes
1 answer
49 views

What is the meaning of "It was just getting to the good bit."?

What is the meaning of "It was just getting to the good bit."? Does the "the good bit" mean a large amount so that the phrase means "it is starting to rain a lot"? Is ...
4 votes
3 answers
1k views

What does “Be it my loss” mean?

I found this cryptic line in Frost's poem called Now close the windows My English teacher says that it originally comes from the phrase "Let it be my loss" but I wonder if there is any other ...
1 vote
1 answer
139 views

The meaning of " to bite off a sigh."

Example sentence: She bit off a sigh. There was no use with arguing with him. Does bit off mean that the person stifled the sigh or that she let it out? The word "bite" makes me think of the ...
2 votes
2 answers
2k views

'Local folks' and 'local inhabitants': What are the differences between those terms?

My English exercise book has this multiple-choice question: Will local ___ get employment in the new business? a. folks b. civil c. civilian d. inhabitants To me, b & c sound weird in this ...
0 votes
1 answer
19 views

What does "hope was all" represent in "Hope was all we could offer from our vantage point in Ketchum Hall"?

What does "hope was all" represent? Hope was all we could offer from our vantage point in Ketchum Hall, the impulse to rush out and catch him being checked by the realization of futility.
0 votes
2 answers
26 views

be at ease and rest assured when the subject is not "you"

Browsing some dictionaries, I found that most examples using "rest assured" begin with "you" as the subject and it seems to guarantee that what follows it is true, for example, ...
0 votes
1 answer
11 views

As matters stand - meaning

What does the phrase 'as matters stand' mean in the following sentences? As the matter stands, the team needs to practice for two more weeks before the tournament. "The answer is the president (...
2 votes
3 answers
42 views

as having over / for having over – are both correct? Do the sentences mean the same?

The AI detector flagged the article as having over 50% AI-generated content. The AI detector flagged the article for having over 50% AI-generated content. Are both these sentences grammatically ...
0 votes
2 answers
54 views

What does "so much as" here mean?

https://www.patheos.com/library/christianity/ritual-worship-devotion-symbolism/rites-and-ceremonies says The most important Christian rituals are called sacraments, sacred rites that convey God's ...
2 votes
1 answer
44 views

What is "real men"?

Here is the quote from "A more beautiful question" by Warren Berger The genesis of many great start-ups is the simple question "Wouldn’t it be cool if?" W. helps you understand ...
-2 votes
0 answers
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Please let me know which sentence I should use between ‘You are my everyday.’ and ‘You are my every day.’?

I have been translating song lyrics from Korean to English. However, I am unsure of use which sentence.
4 votes
3 answers
841 views

What is the meaning of "they've got life beat."?

It is from the movie "Something's gotta give". The script is http://www.script-o-rama.com/movie_scripts/s/somethings-gotta-give-script-transcript.html The following is the full sentence. I'...
11 votes
6 answers
4k views

Why add the word "solid" to the verb "freeze"? E.g., "The clothes froze solid on the washing line." Does the meaning change if we remove "solid"?

I'm interested in how the adjective "solid" affects the verb "freeze"? For this purpose, I found some examples. oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com: (1a) The clothes froze solid on the ...
0 votes
2 answers
241 views

Bear yourself open– meaning

Does the phrase "bear yourself open" mean to be more open? In today's world, people are so closed off to each other, maybe if we bore ourselves open, we'd be happier as a collective.
1 vote
1 answer
31 views

The meaning of "I don’t want to look, but let’s see"

A quote from a book Phillips awoke from anesthesia the next morning in a hospital. He recalls, “I did the proverbial ‘I don’t want to look, but let’s see’ ” and checked under his blanket to find “an ...
0 votes
1 answer
47 views

meaning of the phrase "must not be"

I am trying to determine the correct meaning of a phrase: They can (but must not) be green. The person who wrote the phrase insists that it means they can be green, but could be some other color. To ...
1 vote
2 answers
859 views

meaning of "catch up with someone"

What does "caught up with" mean in the following? KSL Sports caught up with two fans as they brought things to the statue to pay tribute to the passing of Kobe Bryant The Merriam-Webster ...
0 votes
1 answer
268 views

What is the difference between "the one thing" and "only thing"?

Do "the one thing" and "only thing" mean the same? Consider the following: Basketball is the one thing that X is can do and Y cannot. Basketball is the only thing that X is can do ...
2 votes
1 answer
2k views

Is "on the higher side" a meaningful phrase?

I was documenting a software feature for an internal audience and I wrote: "...when the character count is on the higher side." Here, I wanted to mean a case where the number of characters ...
2 votes
1 answer
60 views

Difference between "play in defense", "play on defense" and "play defense"

two sentences from oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com: (1) (BrE): She plays in defence. (2) (AmE): She plays on defense. As far as I understood, (1) = (2). the explanation of "to play defense" ...
0 votes
1 answer
20 views

Can "length of stay" refers to "the length of time somebody visits somewhere"?

I know that length of stay is "the duration of a single episode of hospitalization", but does it also mean the length of time somebody visits somewhere? If it does, do I have to add ...
-1 votes
1 answer
60 views

is there a difference between "circle up" and "circle around"?

Does "Circle up" suggest forming a circle with everyone facing inward, while "circle around" implies forming a circle with everyone facing outward. I got it from a chatbot. Is that ...
0 votes
1 answer
68 views

sentence complete, but how?

' I haven't been skiing - it's never really appealed. ' I suppose the sentence above is complete since it is from a well-known dictionary, however I cannot understand the second part of it, after the ...
1 vote
1 answer
30 views

What does "Knew that soon you'd want to leave the nest" mean?

I am watching Disney movie, Tangled. I would like to know the meaning of the phrase "Knew that soon you’d want to leave the nest" in Tangled. I understand "that soon" means "...
3 votes
1 answer
405 views

"A pebble of disappointment plummets the length of him" [closed]

(From A Terrible Kindness by Jo Browning Wroe, Part II Cambridge Choir, chapter 14) 'Where are we going?' 'Song room,' says Martin 'Not the chapel?' 'Choristers go there for evening practice and then ...
2 votes
2 answers
487 views

What does "a receipt for the money" mean?

collinsdictionary.com: (1) I wrote her a receipt for the money. The preposition "for" confuses me. What does "for" mean here? What does "a receipt for the money" mean?
0 votes
1 answer
159 views

Something of that kind/ that kind of something

Can I use these versions interchangeably? 1- I didn't say anything of that kind. 2- I didn't say that kind of anything. 3- It is a game of some kind. 4- It is some kind of a game. ...
1 vote
1 answer
64 views

What does the phrase "take this approach to" mean in English?

According to many books and articles, New England's leaders established the basic themes and preoccupations of an unfolding, dominant Puritan tradition in American intellectual life. To take this ...
1 vote
1 answer
4k views

"For" VS "in" usage

Which preposition is right and which is wrong? We haven't been harnessing a lot of resources for the medical field. We haven't been harnessing a lot of resources in the medical field.
0 votes
1 answer
58 views

"It seems to me somebody will be coming after you"

Could you help me understand the following dialog? (The maid and the attendant is talking about a crazy patient who eats flies) Maid: (Ironically) Wouldn't hurt a fly, would he? Attendant: Hurt a fly? ...
2 votes
1 answer
57 views

What does "his arms thrown abroad" mean?

While I was reading A Study In Scarlet, I came across a paraphrase, and I don't understand that description. Here it is: "His hands were clenched and his arms thrown abroad, while his lower limbs ...
0 votes
1 answer
27 views

Are all these sentences grammatically correct and mean the same thing?

I was a little late to call him. I was a little late in calling him. I was a little late for calling him. Are all three sentences grammatically correct? Do they mean the same thing? The last one, to ...
1 vote
1 answer
298 views

Next to something in size (phrase meaning) in the sentence

The two cities which are next to Kuala lampur in size are Tretes and Seleta. Please explain 'next to something in size' meaning to me.
0 votes
1 answer
36 views

". . . drawn tight into the folds of their community."

(From A Terrible Kindness by Jo Browning Wroe, Part I, Aberfan, chapter 11) The pavement fill with black-clad figures oozing from doorways. Keep your head down and your heart hard. That's your ...
0 votes
2 answers
69 views

Noun+adj phrase

What is the meaning and grammatical structure of bold part? Is there any easier paraphrase? The vast majority of F5 mirror neurons shows a marked similarity between the action effective when ...
1 vote
1 answer
4k views

It be not until ~ that ~

It was not until after we had been on the highway for several hours that Peter asked me if I wanted stop at a restaurant for a bite to eat. In my opinion, It ~ that ~ is a sentence that emphasize ...

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