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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
21 views

“RULE sth OUT ON/OVER people's complaint”

Let's say a government of a country implemented an UNBENDING rule on its citizens that they should pay higher taxes than other countries. You hypothetically say: "if the government rule the high ...
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2answers
12 views

Is it OK to use “now ” with the present continuous

The phrase I'm reading the book. means that someone is reading the book at the moment of speaking that phrase, "now" is assumed in the phrase. So is it OK to say I'm reading the book now.
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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 ...
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1answer
21 views

ON my father's/mothers's side

Let's say your father's side has a family history of diabetes. Do you still use the preposition "ON", and is this a correct construction: Question: What motivates you to exercise daily? Answer: ...
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1answer
37 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 ...
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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
30 views

Why are there two 'for's in “she only has eyes for for a research professor”? [on hold]

‘The owner, Keenan Wynn, has got it bad for his waitress Kotty (Terry Moore), but she only has eyes for for a research professor (Frank Lovejoy).’ I've seen the sentence from Oxford dictionary. I'm ...
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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 ...
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1answer
43 views

Left vs. left from

I was under the impression that “left” and “left from” have very different meanings – for example, we can say: “The car left the garage an hour ago” Or “A pile of rubble is all that’s left from ...
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1answer
38 views

Let's start where we stopped

Is this phrase idiomatic? "Let's start where we stopped" If it isn't then what is the right phrase?
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1answer
19 views

That's what has him disappointed

Is the sentence "That's what has him disappointed" equal to "That's what has disappointed him"? Is it the present perfect in the "That's what has him disappointed"?
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1answer
34 views

Best way to say the car was washed (exam question) [closed]

Only one is correct. Explain per item your choice and others alternatives are not correct. Please consider grammar concepts. Which of the alternatives is grammatically correct? A) Joshua had had ...
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1answer
28 views

How to use “flashback” and “fast-forward” in a sentence related to events

Here is my question: when you want to describe an event which happened in the past, and when you finish talking about the past then you bring the reader to the current event using "fast-forward". How ...
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1answer
31 views

There is a lot of code vs There are a lot of code

Which is correct? There is a lot of code (our program consists of) There are a lot of code (our program consists of)
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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 ...
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1answer
36 views

Why it's called “hunky dory”? [closed]

I saw a phrase If everything is hunky dory, you'll hear a ... Miss Google says it means something is fine, but I want to know the story behind it?
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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 ...
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1answer
31 views

what is “increased by a factor of order 3”?

The context is "Every 3 year the total area is increased by a factor of order 3 by adding more stations". I understand that "increase by a factor 10" means increase to 10 times of the original thing, ...
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1answer
37 views

“stand” vs. “stand for”

I heard in the movie Scarface: You can't stand for another man to be touching me. Do people say stand for someone to do something? Also I am not clear on the difference between stand and stand ...
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0answers
22 views

“Copyrights issues” or “copyright issues”? What about “rights issues”? Shouldn't the attributive noun be in the singular?

I have always thought it should be copyright issues instead of copyrights issues, and Google search results also support that copyright issues is much more common. I thought it was simple, as ...
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1answer
25 views

What is the correct way to ask the following thing?

I want to ask about someone's status whether he / she is married or single or divorced. I need to write it in a document. What's the way to ask about that as well as to write it in a document as a ...
2
votes
1answer
24 views

How to understand “survive contact with” in this context?

As the closest bead of light moved nearer to Harry's wand tip, the wood beneath his fingers grew so hot he feared it would burst into flame. The closer that bead moved, the harder Harry's wand ...
2
votes
1answer
49 views

The phrase “regular of bowel”?

I unintentionally noticed that, in a TV sitcom series, the phrase "regular of bowel" was used. According to the translation subtitles, it means something like having a kind heart or willing to help. ...
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2answers
24 views

On using “by no means”

I want to use "by no means" in a sentence. I am not sure whether I should use it before or after the word "can". Here are examples: Is it: Our method can by no means be considered as an attack Or ...
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2answers
19 views

Is the phrase “not before, neither now” correct/common?

I thought that phrase was quite common, so I was shocked to find very few Google results. Maybe the phrase is written wrongly? Or it should be phrased in another way? Here's an example sentence with ...
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1answer
27 views

Meaning of “compositional effects”

The belief that the art of the novel can be discussed and evaluated only after its narrative techniques or ‘‘devices’’ have been identified and enumerated launches novel theory into an Adamic ecstasy ...
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1answer
167 views

What's the meaning of “try me”?

I read a comic and a character uses this word when the day is over and the other character said he experienced something unusual. So what's the meaning of try me? What is the something to try? Why me?
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4answers
47 views

only too good to be true?

Many dictionaries define "only too" as "very." If so, what does "only too" mean in the following? "That was only too good to be true" Does it mean "that was very good to be true"? Or "that could ...
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1answer
26 views

“that…that” VS “such…that”

... (Ray's mother)Her dress hung badly on her body as if she had recently lost a lot of weight. "Ray," she(Ray's mother) said in that whispery conspirator's voice that he had come to dread. "Ray, ...
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1answer
25 views

“Get to know” usage

Can I use this phrase for complete strangers? For example, my friend and I are sitting at the table in a coffee shop. There is a girl sitting at another table. I want to come to her, introduce myself ...
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2answers
50 views

Do people say “I gotta make a plane”?

In the movie The Devil's Advocate, a character says this when telling another person she has to go catch a plane. Mary Ann: Look, I gotta make a plane. Do people commonly say make a plane when ...
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2answers
2k views

Do we “open bottles” or we “open caps”?

How should we refer to this action that involves the bottle, the cap and the person? Is she "opening the bottle" or "opening the cap"?
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1answer
38 views

“Nice and easy does the trick” VS “Nicely and easily does the trick”

“Nice and easy does the trick, Potter,” he growled. I feel "Nicely and easily does the trick" is correct, because "nicely and easily" modifies the verb 'does'. I'm wondering why the author wrote "...
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1answer
13 views

bring (something) to the fore. put the object to the back

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/16/world/europe/france-national-front-yellow-vests.html Mr. Briois’s critics say his motivation is obvious: The hundreds of thousands of protesters are France’s ...
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1answer
20 views

The meaning of “as much as” in this sentence

As much as the weaponry it produced as one of the “arsenals of the United Nations,” the TVA itself was potent propaganda, an authoritative, living symbol of how a liberal world could be constructed ...
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1answer
27 views

“He broke out in a grin”

Her face broke out in a grin as she nodded, her ponytail swinging. (source) Lee broke out in a grin and went on. (source) Wondering what the jocularity was about, Matsuzaka finally noticed ...
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2answers
38 views

Is it okay to finish an informal letter with “that's it for now”?

That's it for now, give my love to your father. Write back soon. Yours, X Someone has said that it is a mistake and one should write 'That's all for now...' Is it okay to finish an ...
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3answers
3k views

Why the hood is also called bonnet?

...but where do you go to learn what is under the hood Trying to understand the operating system is unfortunately not as easy as just opening the bonnet So it seems like hood is equivalent to ...
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1answer
102 views

What does “Place swimming in soup” mean?

“Oh the usual,” said Nearly Headless Nick(about Peeves), shrugging. “Wreaked havoc and mayhem. Pots and pans everywhere. Place swimming in soup. Terrified the house-elves out of their wits -” I'm ...
0
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1answer
28 views

“the shadow of a doubt” or “a shadow of a doubt” or “shadow of doubt”

It seems all these three versions are in use: "the shadow of a doubt", "a shadow of a doubt", and "shadow of doubt", as suggested by Google Dictionary and Google search results. Google Dictionary (...
2
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1answer
78 views

Which is correct “start time” or “starting time”

I'd like to know which of the following is correct: "start time" or "starting time". An example is: He runs during period [t,t+c] every afternoon, where t is the start (or starting) time.
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2answers
30 views

This guy MAKES vlogging HIS LIVING? (Expression)

Let's say you have seen tons of Youtube videos made by a particular guy. As we all know, there is money earned out of it, then you reacted to his way of earning money and you say: Oh my, this guy ...
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1answer
31 views

What does “there's must be” mean?

I've seen it written this way a couple of times, e.g. in oxford entry for dame: 'There's must be a wealthy society dame (preferably played by Margaret Dumont) who is entirely smitten with Groucho, ...
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1answer
17 views

Invite over something

I'm planning to ask someone out for a chat over a coffee or something light. Is following lines correct and common english(US)? Can I invite you for a chat over coffee/tea? Can I invite you for a ...
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1answer
33 views

What is the grammar of ~they end up being broken’

that a person must handle the unbroken (drinking) glasses on display with care because otherwise they may end up being broken. In the above sentence, I don’t know why it has used they may end up ...
0
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1answer
41 views

Can an idea “make common sense”?

Can I use the phrase common sense like that? The United Kingdom can reverse #Brexit...if it wants to. The statement of the Court of Justice of the EU makes common sense.
2
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3answers
689 views

What does “tell with” mean in this context?

"Did sir just call me Dobby?" squeaked the elf curiously from between its fingers. Its voice was higher even than Dobby's had been, a teeny, quivering squeak of a voice, and Harry suspected -- though ...
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1answer
24 views

be at my/his/her+ superlative adjective

Hello everyone: I know that the phrase be at my/his/her+ superlative adjective is normally used in a context like this: I am always at my most peaceful when I am with her. But I was wondering if I ...
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1answer
28 views

The qestions about “not”

In recent days,I found myself not knowing the word"not" at all,and this really makes many misunderstanding for me. Therefore, there are two questions about "not". Emma:You must be happy that you ...
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2answers
27 views

Is “driving in turn” a real/natural phrase?

Two people are going on a long trip (let's say 8 hours). The first guy drives the first 4 hours, and the other one drives the remaining 4 hours. Is it then OK to say they are driving in turn? Also, ...