Questions tagged [phrase-request]

This tag is for questions seeking a phrase that fits a meaning. If you are looking for a word, or don't care, see the "word-request" tag too.

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A natural way of inquiring the length of time elapsed since a certain act in the past

"How long have you opened it?", as far as I understand, means pretty much the same as "How long have you been opening it?", that is, "How much time have you already spent ...
brilliant's user avatar
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3 answers
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what word or phrase describes one who doesn't know about plants/flowers?

I can't name a plant, e.g. i don't know the.difference between snowdrop and orchid. What word or phrase can describe me? Does phrase like "flower-blind" exist?
Tim's user avatar
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10 votes
3 answers
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What are mild versions of unrequited love?

Unrequited love refers to unidirectional romantic love. Is thete a similar phrase or word for milder cases such as friendship or career connection?
Tim's user avatar
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2 votes
1 answer
104 views

What words for describing or referring to a person showing off wits?

What words (adj., noun) describe or refer to a person who likes to show off their wits/cleverness/smartness by speaking (puns, jokes, sarcasm, satire, etc) or facial/body.language (e.g. smug)?
Tim's user avatar
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2 votes
2 answers
428 views

What is a misreading error called?

Merriam Webster defines typo as an error (as of spelling) in typed or typeset material. What is a misreading error called? Seeo? For example, I misread chuck as chunk.
Tim's user avatar
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4 votes
4 answers
2k views

Do you say "give a sociable compliment" when you mean you give a compliment as a way to socialize with people but it's not a true praise?

This often happens in every culture but I think it happens more in Western countries. That is when you socialize with your friends, you often gush about their things. For example, you saw your friend ...
Tom's user avatar
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1 answer
54 views

Do we say "durable" for people as in "he is durable"?

We say "My shoes are durable. I have been wearing them for a long time but they are still good". Can we say "He is durable. He can run for hours without being tired"? I did some ...
Tom's user avatar
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4 votes
8 answers
2k views

How do you express that your children to sit down to study by themselves without your urge?

This is one of the problems that all parents face. That is your children don't sit down to study by themselves because they think they must do it. But most children only sit down to study when their ...
Tom's user avatar
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0 votes
2 answers
70 views

How to say that you agree to let someone have an advantage in everyday English?

Say, A and B is going to have a fight. A is using his bare fists and B is using a stick. Is it natural for A to say "I let you use the stick at an advantage" or "I accept your using the ...
Tom's user avatar
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1 answer
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Is it natural to say "she had her fake eye attached"?

An old person had a bad eye and the surgeon took it out and put a fake eye in. Do we have a common term to express that action? For example, "she had her fake eye attached / installed / joined ......
Tom's user avatar
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2 votes
1 answer
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Do we say "we fit out the flat" (A flat of a new-built tall building has no tiles, carpet, bathrooms, kitchens...)?

A tall building has been built and its apartments has no tiles, carpet, bathrooms, kitchens. What do we call these apartments in English? If I translate from my mother tongue (Vietnamese) to English, ...
Tom's user avatar
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1 answer
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be excited + infinitive

I understand that "I'm excited to see her" means that I am looking forward to seeing her.The sentence seems for me to have a similar structure with such senteces:1. I'm surprised to see her....
Nigutumok's user avatar
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1 answer
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Is it natural to say "he tripped in the gap" in this situation?

There are a lot of gaps in floors like this on construction sites: And there is a good chance that a worker might trip ...? I don't know what preposition I should fill in the dotted line. We often ...
Tom's user avatar
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10 votes
4 answers
3k views

Seeking an English Equivalent for the Concept of "Evil Eye"

I'm trying to understand how to express a concept from my culture in English. In my language, we have a term, which roughly translates to casting the evil eye. This term is often used in situations ...
Iman Mohammadi's user avatar
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2 answers
50 views

Do we say "he pressed his lips inward" in this situation?

According to a dictionary, purse your lips to form your lips into a small tight round shape, for example to show that you do not approve of something. Some people also say "pout your lips" ...
Tom's user avatar
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-1 votes
1 answer
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The consumption of all the four meat types is

Let's say there're four types of meat and the consumption of each type is forecast to fall. If I write, "The consumption of all the four meat types is forecast to fall," it might be ...
Ken Adams's user avatar
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6 answers
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What is the British version of "jaywalk"?

American people say jaywalk: to cross a street carelessly or at an illegal or dangerous place The police officer warned us not to jaywalk It seems British people don't say "jaywalk". Do we ...
Tom's user avatar
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5 votes
3 answers
298 views

"that is" in the sense of "to be specific"

Looking at the information in more detail, for every 100 million PMT, 76 incidents took place on a bus in 2002, resulting in 66 injuries correspondingly. The same number of incidents can also be seen ...
Ken Adams's user avatar
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2 votes
4 answers
398 views

Collocations used when talking about doing a job as in a paid position of regular employment

If I moved to a foreign country to work there, what were some collocations I should use? "I'm going to England to take/work/undertake/carry out/perform/do a job." I'm not sure which verbs ...
Ken Adams's user avatar
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2 answers
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How to ask where someone just came from?

I have one question almost meaning like this "where are you coming from?" but not ask country or state or province, it is not long way long time. It is short way and just happening. It is ...
user2251274's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
37 views

I don't have "much more" or "much else" to say [closed]

I am a project manager working in English. I pretty much always close my meetings saying: Okay everyone, I don't have much else to say; if anybody has a comment or a question feel free to speak now, ...
jeanpineau's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
59 views

How to ask for the position on a book that someone has finished reading

What are some of the most frequent questions to ask friend for the position (either general like chapter number or specific like page number) in a book that they have finished reading yesterday? I ...
Tran Khanh's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
52 views

Is the use of the construction 'May I have you...' to begin a request unnatural?

Is the use of the construction 'May I have you...' to begin a request unnatural? I have been using this construction for quite some time, what with 'May you...' not being an appropriate beginning to a ...
murshad's user avatar
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1 answer
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". . . who probably confounded the word with a familiar oath" - What *is* the "familiar oath"?

(From The Wrecker by Robert Louis Stevenson and Lloyd Osbourne, Chapter XVII, published 1892) Passage 263 ...That Trent, he come first, with his 'and in a bloody rag. I was near 'em as I am to you; ...
philphil's user avatar
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1 answer
132 views

What do nasty kids call their mother/father?

I'm wondering what kids use to call their parents when they are quarrelling with them. I assume the common rude way to call women is bitch. But is it something kids use even when they are very nasty? ...
sundowner's user avatar
  • 320
5 votes
5 answers
1k views

The word that describes the feeling when you're disgusted by a certain taste

Imagine that you're having a really sweet and high-fat piece of cake. At first, you can have it just fine, but after a while you get sick of its overwhelming taste. How do I describe that I am now ...
hhhh's user avatar
  • 179
0 votes
1 answer
60 views

Is it correct to say "get to sleep" in this situation?

Now it is 10 pm and you put your daughter on the bed and tuck her in and you want her to fall asleep quickly. Now your daughter sit up and talk and play with toys on the bed. I see this in Oxford ...
Tom's user avatar
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0 votes
0 answers
37 views

Can we say "he picked his ear" to mean "to remove earwax from his ear canal" the same way we say "pick his nose/teeth"?

We often say "he picked his teeth" meaning he removed food in his teeth, and "he picked his nose" meaning he removed boogers in his nose. Is it common to say "he picked his ...
Tom's user avatar
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0 votes
3 answers
58 views

What is the common verb used to say you jerk a little bit because someone suddenly calls you while you are focusing on something?

Sometimes, I was watching TV or studying when my daughter suddenly called me or suddenly tap me on my back from behind. That action made me jerk a bit or give me a little shock. Is it correct to say &...
Tom's user avatar
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1 vote
2 answers
90 views

How express you tie 2 strings in such a way that it has a loop?

Look at the picture above, when you tie 2 strings together, you create a complete knot like the last third picture. This kind of knot is very hard for you to untie them. When I tie 2 strings together,...
Tom's user avatar
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8 votes
6 answers
1k views

Word/phrase for straight-lined

I don't even know how to describe my question, but it's like going in straight line vs not going in straight line, like: what's the proper word/phrase to express the idea that I've __________ the ...
xpt's user avatar
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0 votes
6 answers
337 views

Is it correct to say "The washing machine signaled off"?

When my washing machine finishes washing, it makes "beep-beep-beep" sound to let me know that it has finished. I found this example in the Oxford Dictionary The microwave beeps to let you ...
Tom's user avatar
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2 votes
2 answers
242 views

What is the piece of wood that is often long and square in cross-section and used to make table legs or chair legs called?

Look at the above picture, you'll see 2 pieces of wood that are long and square in cross-section. They are used to make chair legs. What are they called? I don't think they are called "plank"...
Tom's user avatar
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1 vote
3 answers
51 views

How to express informal strong dislike

As you can say in a positive informal way that you have a "soft spot" for something, or you "have a thing for"... what would you use to say informally you have a dislike or you do ...
Sofia Cattani's user avatar
12 votes
6 answers
5k views

What is a noun expressing a very young person who has advanced skills even higher than adults?

Mozart composed from the age of five and performed before European royalty. Not many grownups can do that. What is a noun expressing a very young person who has advanced skills even higher than adults?...
Tom's user avatar
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2 votes
1 answer
81 views

Can we have adjectives before objective personal pronouns, for example, "I have some photos of baby him"?

THis is a part of the script in the social network film Erica Albright : Well, why don't you just concentrate on being the best you you can be. Mark Zuckerberg : Did you really just say that? Erica ...
Tom's user avatar
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0 votes
3 answers
77 views

Can we say "we are just about a third way to the city"?

halfway (adj/adv): in the middle between two points Say, the distance between your house and your friend's is about 20 miles. You are driving to your friend's house and your car is about 10 miles away ...
Tom's user avatar
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10 votes
4 answers
3k views

Can we use "gift" for non-material thing, e.g. "My dad took me to the amusement park as a gift"?

Dictionaries say "a gift: a thing that you give to somebody, especially on a special occasion or to say thank you" I am not sure if "a thing" here can be a non-material thing. For ...
Tom's user avatar
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2 votes
2 answers
824 views

(How) can I say 'state of the [non-art]'?

I read the noun 'state of the art' or the adjective 'state-of-the-art' every now and then, but once in a blue moon I saw 'state of the [non-art]'. I cannot remember what the [non-art]'s are, then I am ...
Lerner Zhang's user avatar
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4 votes
2 answers
2k views

What are the synonyms to the phrase "balls to bones" from Matrix movie?

That's a part of Oracle and Neo dialogue from Matrix: Oracle: So, what do you think? You think you're the one? Neo: I don't know. Oracle: You know what that means? It’s Latin. Means “Know thyself”. I’...
Uk rain troll's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
46 views

Is there a phrase like "there is always a tea shop set up earlier"? [closed]

The compelling ending of this article reads that: Mankind can always pride itself for the giant leap with a small step. But remember, there is always a tea shop set up earlier. I wonder if the ...
Lerner Zhang's user avatar
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2 votes
1 answer
1k views

Alternative idiom or phrasal verb for eating an elephant one bite at a time

Eat an elephant one bite at a time. I am looking for an alternative to this idiom that expresses the same idea. The idea expressed: If a big task is given, tackle it piece by piece
nicku's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
175 views

The idiomatic antonyms of "keep someone in the loop"?

In this thread I realized that 'loop someone in' does not fit in the scenario of inviting someone into a WhatsApp group for an intermittent discussion, and the idiomatic expression should be 'keep ...
Lerner Zhang's user avatar
  • 3,293
7 votes
1 answer
2k views

Can we use "since" in future tenses, for example, "I will be free since 6pm today. Now is 3pm"?

We normally use "since" to mean "from a time in the past until a later past time, or until now". Can we use "since" in future tenses, for example, "I will be free ...
Tom's user avatar
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0 votes
2 answers
35 views

Term for predecided meaning of an unrelated expression

I just heard a friend telling me about a concept of gryps. Translating it to English produced very little (let alone anything of relevance). Originally, a gryps, is a message passed to, from or within ...
Konrad Viltersten's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
489 views

What is the verb expressing the action of moving some farm animals in a field to let them eat grass or plants?

The verb "drive an animal" is to force an animal to move. For example, the shepherd is driving a cow. It does not mean to make the cow eat. What is the common verb expressing the action of ...
Tom's user avatar
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0 votes
1 answer
46 views

Is it correct to say "Can you put your school supplies into your backpack"?

I want my daughter to put her ruler, 2 pencils, 1 eraser and a book into her backpack. Do we have a general word to refer these things? I thought of "stuff" but it is too informal. Can I say ...
Tom's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
108 views

Is it called "the filter/strainer/cover/seive of my bathroom drain"?

This is the drain in my bathroom What is the piece of metal with many holes called? Is it called "the filter/strainer/cover/sieve of my bathroom drain" in casual everyday English?
Tom's user avatar
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0 votes
2 answers
30 views

a buyer and seller and straw buyer

When X buys something, they are a buyer. When X sells something, they are a seller. What would they be called if they buy something on someone else's behalf? A straw buyer??? Note that X does not ...
xeesid's user avatar
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2 votes
2 answers
218 views

What's the contrary of "cherry picking"?

Cherry picking in artificial intelligence research (and in some other contexts) is the act of choosing examples of good (accurate, grammatical, etc.) predictions. I wonder which word or phrase ...
Franck Dernoncourt's user avatar

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