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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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2answers
34 views

Is “mopping a sidewalk” okay in English?

Would it be okay to say "mopping a sidewalk" when a sidewalk is being cleaned with water and mops or is there a better and a more common way of describing this action?
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1answer
33 views

What's the most common way of describing the action of putting asphalt on the road?

What's the most common way of describing the action of putting asphalt on the road? 1) The workers are laying asphalt on the road. 2) The workers are covering the road with asphalt. 3) The workers ...
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1answer
12 views

“newly-springing-up technologies”, is this phrase formed in the right manner?

I am writing a sentence like this: Music at the turn of the twentieth century was trying to abandon the traditional rules and restrictions and to embrace the newly-springing-up technologies, but ...
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1answer
21 views

How to ask about the remaining distance to my friend's house?

My friend and I have been walking for about 2 kilometers, and now I want to ask her about the remaining distance to the house. What is the usual way to go about this? I have these in mind: How far ...
0
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2answers
32 views

The friendship of auntie bear

There is a phrase in our language that its literal translation to English will be "The friendship of auntie bear". In order to explain when we use this phrase, I will tell you the story behind this ...
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3answers
2k views

An idiom for encouraging sucking up

How can I encourage a person to suck up even to the meanest of people, when doing so would benefit the person sucking up? In Arabic, an expression draws this image: If a dog has something you need, ...
0
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2answers
24 views

What are idiomatic terms for “out-of-class knowledge”?

I am trying to say that I used knowledge beyond what has been taught in the classroom, things I have learned from extra readings or research on my own. I can think of a couple possible terms but they ...
0
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3answers
49 views

Is there a way to say “28 days” using the word “month”?

On October 20, he will have been dead for 28 days. Can this be rewritten as: On October 20, he will have been dead for 2 days shy/short of a month.
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2answers
24 views

Idiom for when you are addressing the wrong issue because the real source of trouble is intimidating

Kalila and Demna is a collection of fables, and it has a significant influence on Eastern culture, just as Aesop's fables probably does on Western culture. In Kalila, there's a story about a difficult,...
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2answers
28 views

What's the proper adjective to use with the phrase “bill details”? And what's the proper tense?

I'm not sure what to use: The bill details or the break down of the bill will (Appear - be ready - come out - or something else) within the next week. Also, How can I say that I don't have them ...
0
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1answer
17 views

This task requires “all conditions to be met” or “that all conditions are met”?

This text is a "hint" that is shown for a task in a task management app. I want to indicate to a user that this specific task is only created when all conditions from a list are satisfied. Please ...
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4answers
1k views

A word for “all the great attributes or achievements of you and/or your family”

When Arabs talk about how great a person is, relative to others, they talk about the person's family (birth or descent, or nasab) and the person's or his family's achievements or attributes (hasab). ...
2
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2answers
38 views

What is a word or phrase to describe when score is the most important part of testing and it does not reflect the real ability of the students?

This is an issue in some fields, especially education. Because teachers are usually evaluated by the grades their students get in examinations and the number of excellent students in their class, ...
1
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1answer
19 views

What do you call the table/counter surrounding a sushi conveyor belt?

I'm referring to these kind of structures (the part where customers put their plates and eat). At first, I thought about "group tables," but now that I think of it, they could also be called bars? Or ...
0
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1answer
23 views

What would you call a speech introducing an honoring ceremony for highest-ranking graduating students?

Suppose I am a college president and I'm preparing a speech to deliver in honor of the graduates who came top of their graduating class. After the speech, there's going to be a celebration and the ...
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2answers
38 views

Word for “an amount of money you pay to be exempted from a service”

Here, military service is obligatory up to the age of 30. Once an individual reaches 30, he can't enlist and must instead pay an exemption fee (Sometimes, the individual, if found to have no valid ...
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0answers
18 views

Are my usage of “already”, “at once”, and “immediately” correct?

To demand something or want someone to do something immediately, I have a few expressions: Tell me already: I don’t want to you to tease me any longer. Tell me at once: I’ve become really annoyed by ...
0
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1answer
20 views

What dirtied your clothes?

If I wanted to ask about the thing or things that made my son's clothes dirty, what would I say? I know dirty works as a verb, but when I said: What dirtied your clothes? It didn't strike me as a ...
0
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1answer
28 views

Is there an equivalence to “steal a glance/look at” for the word “love”?

Obviously, I know “steal a love” doesn’t work, and “love secretly” doesn’t have the same dramatic feeling. I’d like to make my point clear: “steal a glance/look at” is a dramatic way of saying “look ...
0
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0answers
40 views

What verb can I add before information retrieval?

I thought "do information retrieval" and "perform information retrieval" may be OK but seems informal. Could anyone recommend a verb which can lead information retrieval in a formal way, for instance ...
1
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1answer
30 views

Is there a word or phrase to describe children becoming better versions of their parents?

Is there a word in any language that describes the thought of a child becoming better than their parents in what they do. For example a child who is eventually going to take over the family business ...
0
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2answers
63 views

“got me feeling” or “gives me” , which one seems grammatically correct?

when a picture gives you 2016 vibes, how do you say it in a sentence? Is it accurate to say “This picture got me feeling 2016 vibes” , or any other way to say this sentence?
2
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1answer
45 views

Which is correct “I work nights” or “I work at night”

I have learned that the correct form is "I work at night". Recently, I saw a movie and one of the characters mentioned "I work nights", Is there any difference between them? Or which one is correct?
0
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1answer
26 views

Correct way to say that my house was robbed

My house has been robbed recently and from my new job I am getting a Laptop (MacBook). But I am afraid to take such a valuable piece of equipment after the break in. Taking these things into account I ...
0
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2answers
53 views

What noun or a phrase would fit well to refer to a person's “placement” in the family?

What noun or a phrase would fit well to refer to a person's "placement" in the family, among his or her siblings?: She is the fourth and the last child in her family. Her siblings are all ...
0
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2answers
30 views

“The nurse put a needle into the patient's blood vein”

Is it okay to say "The nurse put a needle into the patient's blood vein" or is there a better way of describing this usual action performed by nurses in hospital?
4
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3answers
249 views

How to refer to the date and the day of the week of the past?

Jack comes to work every day and sees Olivia working at the office. Jack usually asks Olivia, "What's the date today?" and "What day is it today?" because she is good at keeping track of days while ...
0
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2answers
50 views

What do you call the digital displays that show the stations inside subway trains?

I'm talking about this: The text in the photo says "digital voice announcement." But I wonder if there's another way of referring to this piece of technology. Something like digital announcement or ...
0
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1answer
65 views

“Who are you pregnant by?” or “By whom are you pregnant?”

“Who are you pregnant by?” or “By whom are you pregnant?” What is the best way of asking about the father of the child?
1
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2answers
39 views

A platform of wild animals to be shown to the public

I was writing an essay, and when I finished it and read it, I thought that this sentence: Zoos have always been the platform of wild animals to be shown to the public. Is not idiomatic at all. But ...
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3answers
3k views

Stubbed my toe… which preposition?

How to say table was the thing I kicked into using stub? Is it one of these? A. I stubbed my toe by the table? B. I stubbed my toe onto the table?
3
votes
2answers
297 views

A word/phrase for “voice change”

Suppose you are going to give a lecture or simply you are going to explain something to a group of people. On the other hand, you have got a cold and your voice has changed, so you want to apologize ...
2
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1answer
87 views

Is it correct to say “write bigger”?

if a student in class can't see clearly what is written on the board, should he ask the teacher "Could you write bigger please?" If not, what would be the proper question? Thanks.
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3answers
54 views

Synonym for “nobody's perfect”

I want a synonym for "nobody's perfect" in a more idiomatic way. Maybe some rare old phrase to mean that every side has good and bad. I'm talking about a meaning that will convey that in every ...
0
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3answers
16 views

A subject is taught by a specific teacher

I want to say that Phonetics which is taught by Ms. Rose is my favourite subject ( I mean that I am not interested in this subject if it is taught by anyone else). Can I say that Phonetics by Ms. ...
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3answers
32 views

Describing the contents of a column containing chronological numbers in the table

A teacher has a table of students in his class: # Name 1 Jenny 2 Henry 3 George 4 William 5 Billy Some new students are still being added to his class, so he appends some new names to his ...
0
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2answers
30 views

Asking to come up with a verse containing one line that would rhyme with a certain word

I have a word "box" and I want my friend to come up with a verse containing one line that would rhyme to "box", for example: "You are okay!" Said Little Fox, "So I will pay For your small box."...
2
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1answer
42 views

A person who is always in front of the computer

I have a friend who is always in front of the computer and spends a great amount of time surfing the internet or doing anything related to the computer. How can you describe this person in a word?
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8answers
4k views

A word or a phrase for “riding a bicycle on only one wheel”

What do we call it when someone rides a bicycle or a motorcycle and suddenly stands on only one wheel (usually on the back wheel) for a short period?
1
vote
1answer
43 views

An expression meaning doing long and hard mental work resulting in extreme mental fatigue

There's an idiom "work one's fingers to the bone" literally linked to manual labor, and I am looking for the like colloquial, idiomatic or slang expression referring to hard mental work. The one that ...
0
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1answer
41 views

what do we call the second caller?

You are on a call, when suddenly another comes in. You want to tell the first caller that another caller is trying to reach you. What do we call the second caller? I know this service is called "...
1
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1answer
34 views

When something good is being presented as bad

When a person presents in his speech something that generally is good as being the absolute opposite, what do we call it? I mean grammatically and in terms of terminology only. How do feel? Never ...
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1answer
40 views

What do we call “a person who wears animal costumes”?

What do we call a person who wears animal costumes and stands outside of a restaurant for advertising purposes? They may also represent a team or an organization.
0
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1answer
37 views

Describing the contents of your wish

What’s the best way of presenting the “contents” of my wish if they consist of one desired happening and two more happenings that should precede it? The desired happening: the “wishee” (the person ...
0
votes
1answer
61 views

Describing an act of “deep” bowing in English

Is there any way in English (noun or a verb or a phrase) to describe an act of "deep" bowing, when the "bower" brings his head down below his lumbar region but doesn't kneel down? I am especially ...
1
vote
1answer
49 views

With this occasion [closed]

I'm attempting a direct translation from my native language to English, because I can't think of the English form at the moment. I'm trying to say "because of this day, I would like to do something..."...
0
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1answer
24 views

Word or phrase for when a car goes over a pothole

When on the road a car goes over a pothole (bump on the road), what do you call it in English?
1
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2answers
54 views

How to talk about changing one currency to another?

Imagine I want to buy a piece of clothing. The price is €20. I want to tell my American friend about how much it costs in dollars. So my question is: How do native people say this? I may use several ...
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3answers
244 views

What do we call it when someone injures himself?

What do we call it when someone injures himself on purpose because of a mental problem? For example, they cut their own flesh or something.
0
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1answer
16 views

A common way of asking about whether there is still enough time to do something before a certain moment arrives

Imagine a situation when a group of friends is standing on a train station platform and waiting for a train to come. They all know that the train will arrive in about one or two minutes and will stop ...