Questions tagged [phrase-usage]

This tag is for questions about how to use a particular phrase. If your question is a request for a phrase to use, you should use the "phrase-request" tag.

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0answers
18 views

How to write "from among these [items], we discuss..." correctly?

I'm struggling with the correct way to express myself here. Suppose I have a list of items in one sentence. In the next sentence, I want to express that I select some of these to talk about in detail. ...
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1answer
35 views

Is “someone meets something” common?

Three expressions: Someone meets someone Someone meets something Something meets someone I can see that the first expression is commonly used by native speakers. I wonder if the second and the third ...
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1answer
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"Taking a jolt from" meaning in this context?

I am studying a video about global warming, the professor starts with this expression: "So fossil fuel combustion is​ ​basically taking a jolt from that battery of the biosphere." Which, I ...
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1answer
21 views

When can "to be" verb used in continuous tenses to mean "to behave in a particular way"?

Normally, we don't use continuous tenses with "to be" verb. For example, we say "she is beautiful", not "she is being beautiful". However, the dictionary says To be 6 [...
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1answer
27 views

Can we say "an illness /a condition/ a job... is fussy" when it needs to be precise and in great detail like a fussy eater?

Some illness or conditions or jobs need their patients/ people to take care of themselves in great detail and if they do just a tiny mistake, they will suffer. For example, can we say? -"Gut ...
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1answer
19 views

Is it correct to say "You can not put this dress on from top down. Put it on from bottom up"?

There are some special dresses that we can not put the dress on by putting it over our heads, but rather put our legs in the dress first and then pull it all the way up to the chest. Is it correct to ...
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2answers
33 views
+50

Is it right that I told him the truth?

To mean "Was I right to tell him the truth?" Can we say, "Was/Is it right that I told him truth?" Context: I want to ask if what I did is morally right. I know that we can say ...
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1answer
30 views

Is "good job" a suitable phrase for communicating with your boss?

I just finished a task with my boss‘s support. And in the summary email, I said "I believe we've done a good job already.", with the final file. I also said "Please let me know if you ...
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1answer
38 views

Can someone says 'I have to wash my hair' figuratively to end a conversation?

I took this phrase from Conversational American English. I.e. the sentence I have to wash my hair. I'm familiar with that phrase from a cartoon Spongebob Squarepants (I don't remember the episode) ...
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1answer
24 views

By seconds vs in seconds

What is the difference in meaning of these two phrases: by seconds and in seconds I read the first sentence in a book. The plant was growing in seconds. As a language learner I am curious to ...
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1answer
17 views

provides free job training programs

I'm wondering if it is advisable to remove the "programs" in the following. If so, why? This institute provides free job training programs for adults.
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The idea of living in

Is such construction of the sentence natural? I know that an expression "The idea of sth was ..." sounds good (it is used in Cambridge dictionary). The idea of living in that country was ...
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7answers
6k 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 ...
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1answer
20 views

what are the nouns that can be used to describe something that is out of reach at this moment but a good idea overall

hey I got situation in work, when we got tight schedule and planning and another piece of work is coming through, and it's useful but its out of priority in the moment for my team. And not for ...
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1answer
33 views

Are "The husband walked away from his wife" and "The husband walked out on his wife" roughly the same?

According to oxford dictionary walk away from somebody: to leave a relationship, etc. instead of staying and trying to deal with it walk out (on somebody): ​(informal, disapproving) to suddenly leave ...
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1answer
13 views

"Based on what evidence do you say that?"

Do you think it is okay to use "based on" at the beginning of a sentence? For example saying sentences like: Based on what empirical evidence do you say that? Based on what order did you ...
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1answer
36 views

Is the use of "what" phrase correct in my sentences?

I don't know whether the use of "what" in the sentences below is correct or not. Please help :) Many people are concerned about what the suitable age is for children to drop out from school....
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4answers
828 views

by accident vs. by chance

Are "by accident" and "by chance" interchangeable in the following? Sam knew the name of the lake by accident. Sam knew the name of the lake by chance.
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1answer
30 views

What does (someone is just F-ing with somebody else) mean?

I'm sorry if it's inappropriate, that phrase I heard while I was watching American Horror Stories, but I don't think it has something to do with having s3x. In order to avoid something vulgar around ...
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4answers
6k views

Is it rude to say "Speak of the devil- Here is Grandma now!"?

I saw the movie "Love Hard" yesterday. In the film, the little brother hates his big brother. The little brother is at home and suddenly he hears his big brother's voice when the big brother ...
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3answers
82 views

Does "Tom choked Mary" or "Tom strangled Mary" imply Mary died after that act or we don't know?

In the dictionary ​strangle somebody: to kill somebody by pressing their throat and neck hard, especially with your fingers ​[transitive] choke somebody: to make somebody stop breathing by pressing ...
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1answer
19 views

Is it correct to say "I waved the car back off"?

I was in a car and waved my hand to signal the car behind me to move back just a bit so that I could reverse. The dictionary suggests us to use this structure wave + somebody/something + adverb / ...
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1answer
40 views

Is it correct to say "Keep Your Eyes on the Road" when the person is riding a bike on a ground not on a road?

I heard a lot of people say "Eyes on the Road" in action films, but I couldn't see any dictionary mentioning it. It seems to mean that you must pay attention when you are driving to avoid ...
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1answer
41 views

Is it correct to say "the tiny ball is just around the corner of the drawer"?

Look at the diagram above. A drawer was taken out and is on the floor. The little boy is looking for the tiny ball. The ball happens at the back of the drawer. The boy is standing on the right side of ...
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1answer
30 views

Is it correct to say "I have no guts to go out with you" because you are so sad now and don't want to think about or do anything else?

A woman found out that her husband cheated on her. She was so sad that she didn't want to do any fun activities like she used to do before. Her friend asked her to go travelling, but she refused. My ...
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1answer
20 views

Do we have some wordplay with "tiny" that is the same way we say "easy peasy"?

In this Youtube clip, at 1:58, the witch says something like "It's tiny pity...wind see ..." or something like that. I couldn't get it. What did she say? Do we have some wordplay with "...
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1answer
31 views

What is the difference between "Look at my eyes", "Look into my eyes" and "Look me in the eye"?

In the movie "Red Notice", the inspector confronted a FBI agent (played by Dwayne Johnson) about stealing the egg. Then Dwayne Johnson says "I didn't do. Someone behind this...I was ...
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0answers
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Is it correct to say "This Lego toy is interesting. You can mix and match different Lego blocks to create different stories"?

My children love this kind of Lego toy because it is very flexible. For example, a prince/ princess is not a whole piece as they made arms, legs, dresses, hair (the parts) separately. And, you can &...
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6answers
919 views

Is it natural to say "She is complicated. She is long on temper but short on patience"?

Suppose there is a woman who is not simple and often wants many different things in life, which makes her life more complicated because she has to manage so many things she possesses. Is it correct to ...
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0answers
16 views

What is the adjective that says a big brother lets his little brother win against him and often give more food to his brother than to himself?

A big brother lets his little brother win against him and often give more food to his brother than to himself. The brother is willing to give up his stuff and give it to his little brother. He won't ...
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0answers
34 views

a real wow with / a real wow for / a real wow among

The first sentence is from Cambridge dictionary. As I understand the first one - "He" has good relationships with all the girls from his class. Right? Is it because of his behavior with the ...
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22 views

Take that! (What is 'that' here?)

Take that! One of dictionaries says : You say 'take that!' when you hit a person or say something while attacking him? Q: What's 'that' here?
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What does it mean to be a brother to the old wild goose? [migrated]

I heard the song cry of the wild goose by Tennessee Ernie Ford recently. One of the lyrics is, I am a brother to the old wild goose. I was wondering what that means exactly? Does it equate a man's ...
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0answers
30 views

What is the difference between "You had better stay at home" and "You're better off staying at home"?

Since Covid pandemic, Tom said to his wife. -"You had better stay at home" or -"You're better off staying at home" What is the difference between "You had better stay at home&...
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1answer
50 views

Is it correct to say "The mermaid can not undo herself once she turns into a human" or "The mermaid can not reverse herself ..."?

A mermaid wants to turn into a human so that she can have a date with a man. So, she asks a sea witch to turn her fish tail into human legs. If that happens, she can not be in the previous state. Is ...
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1answer
29 views

Can you say "apply for the award of a qualification"?

In my country, we have an official list of academic words and phrases translated into English. One of these phrases is apply for the award of a qualification, which is supposed to mean 'send in an ...
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1answer
41 views

Is it correct to say "place the the yogurt box's lid face-down on the table"?

Look at the picture, What is the piece that people stick on top of the yogurt box to cover the top called, for example, "the yogurt box's lid"? And look at "the lid", the side that ...
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2answers
67 views

Is it correct to say "I am blowing my hair dry"?

There is a phrase blow-dry verb Definition of blow-dry transitive verb : to dry and usually style (hair) with a blow-dryer intransitive verb : to dry hair with a blow-dryer So, we can say "I ...
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1answer
41 views

Does "talking nonsense" also mean saying words that no-one can understand? [closed]

According to my study, it seems that "he is talking nonsense!" means he is saying a belief or an idea that is not true. For example, Bob says "men can give birth". Most people can ...
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1answer
33 views

Does "eat in" mean "to eat at home" or "to eat in a restaurant"?

I asked this question because once I said to my daughter "would you like to eat out?" and then she replied "I want to eat in". Noone taught her "eat in", she just deduced ...
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2answers
107 views

"The boy is at all difficult." - Using "at all" in positive sentences

I know that "at all" should be used in negative sentences or questions. Like, Has the condition changed at all? The condition hasn't changed at all. But recently I came across "at all&...
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1answer
46 views

When to use the phrase 'a enough time'?

The question is simple that when to use phrase 'a enough time' and what's the difference between.. 'I never had enough time for anything' 'I never had a enough time for anything https://www.huffpost....
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1answer
42 views

blind of an eye vs. blind of one eye

blind of an eye vs. blind of one eye any difference here? I think that 'one eye' has more strong sense than 'an eye' in respect of 'single eye'
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0answers
18 views

the structure of 'a fool of a person' and 'an angel of a woman'

an angel of a woman (a woman is like an angel) Q. a fool of a person (a person is like a fool?)
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wasteful of life (What is the context this phrase can be used?)

wasteful of life not working (hard) killing living critures Which one is closer to the phrase above ?
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27 views

Is it correct to say "My daughter is too shy. She is always around her mom and doesn't want to play with other children"?

This is the problem of my daughter. When she is out in a playground, she always follows her mom and does not to play with other kids. Maybe, she is too shy or something. She might have some separation ...
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0answers
59 views

Is it correct to say "she forgot to go for a pee and wetted her bed without being aware"?

A little 3-year-old child doesn't wear a diaper. She was really interested in playing with her toy in such a way that she forgot to ask her dad to take her to the bathroom for a pee. As a result, she ...
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1answer
25 views

Is "in the interim" synonym of "in the meantime"

The context is to wish someone a good recovery after knowing they have been unwell and delayed the project timeline. After assuring them not to worry about work for now, is it okay to say In the ...
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1answer
25 views

Why is (we haven't bought such thing) incorrect?

I encountered this problem when I was doing a course in Duolingo. It marked me wrong to write We haven't bought such thing.[1] The correct one according to Duolingo is: We haven't bought such a ...
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1answer
9 views

The usage of (be something but something)

I have difficulty understanding this sentence (to be precise, the last clause) in the screenshot below: I've tried to use google translate into my native language. If it's in English, I think it's ...

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