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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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Can we use "like there's no tomorrow" with positive senses?

The dictionary says: do something like there’s no tomorrow: do something very quickly and carelessly, without worrying about the future Rita’s spending money like there’s no tomorrow. The dictionary ...
Tom's user avatar
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Do we use "like crazy" for positive or neutral activities and "like hell" for negative ones?

The Dictionary just say " run/hurt/fight etc like hell (informal not polite): to run, fight etc very quickly or very much " like crazy/mad: ​(informal) very fast, hard, much, etc. We ...
Tom's user avatar
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Do British people say "I haven’t seen him in five years"?

When talking about the perfect tense, Cambridge Grammar says After a negative we can use for and in with the same meaning. In is particularly common in American English: I haven’t seen him in five ...
Tom's user avatar
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4 votes
2 answers
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Is there any difference between “essential to something” and “essential for something”?

Water is essential for living things. Getting enough sleep is essential to mental health. These examples are from Cambridge dictionary. According to both Oxford and Cambridge dictionaries, “essential ...
Phoebe's user avatar
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2 votes
3 answers
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Do you say "You got the floor muddy" the same way we say "get something wet / dirty"?

I am not a native English speaker so I rely mostly on dictionaries. Normally, dictionaries have examples using structures of "get something/ somebody wet" or "get something/ somebody ...
Tom's user avatar
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-2 votes
1 answer
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Is this phrase construction correct grammatically?

Consider the phrase my friend(a native English speaker from UK) used in a text That sounds awful yes it would understandable bother you. Is this sentence construction correct? I think it is a typo.
Max's user avatar
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1 vote
3 answers
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Can "in percentage terms" change the ranking of subjects in a list?

Thailand spent 15% GDP on education--60 billion dollars India spent 13% GDP on education--100 billion dollars Georgia spent 14% GDP on education--80 billion dollars. (Made-up statistics) Are the ...
An IELTS Learner's user avatar
-2 votes
2 answers
58 views

Is it correct to say "arrange the cup side by side in a row"? [closed]

According to my study, to arrange cups in a row means the face of each facing forward like this But this way of arrangement takes up too much space, so people arrange them like this But to describe ...
Tom's user avatar
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2 answers
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Are "lay the newspaper on the floor" and "spread the newspaper on the floor" interchangeable?

Normally "lay" means "to put somebody/something in a particular position" (meaning 1) but it also means "to spread something on something" (meaning 2). So, "lay the ...
Tom's user avatar
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Is it natural to say "no more conditions" when one gives you a condition when you ask him to do something?

My daughter often gives a reason for not learning math, for example, "I'm tired" or "I have to play" etc. Then, I often say "no more excuses". But sometimes she gives me ...
Tom's user avatar
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1 vote
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"learn science" or "learn about science"?

I saw both "learn science" and "learn about science" be used in many sample sentences. Are there any nuances between them, or they are both commonly used and interchangeable?
Phoebe's user avatar
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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 ...
James Mathai's user avatar
3 votes
4 answers
321 views

is it correct to say "push the table by its far edge"?

My daughter put her hands in the middle of the edge of the table and pushed a table, which was hard to move the table. So, I told her to put her hands on one end of the edges and push the table, then ...
Tom's user avatar
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4 votes
2 answers
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are "I will check your homework later" and "I will check on your homework later" similar?

I often ask my children to do homework and after that, what would I say "I will check your homework later" and "I will check on your homework later"? Someone on Quora told me &...
Tom's user avatar
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1 answer
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Is "watch screens" used to cover "watch TV/ phone/ tablet/ laptop..."?

I don't want my children to watch too much TV/ or anything on tablets/phones/ laptops/ smart watches... I don't want to give an exhausting list like that when talking to my children. For examples &...
Tom's user avatar
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0 votes
3 answers
94 views

Can I say "go by mass transit"?

To my mind, mass transit and public transport are synonymous. However, there are a lot more hits for go by public transport than for go by mass transit. For example: Many people have seen the ...
An IELTS Learner's user avatar
14 votes
9 answers
3k views

Do you have an expression saying "when you are very hungry, bread is also delicious for you" or similar one?

In Vietnam we often say "when you are very hungry, rice is also delicious to you". When you are full, food doesn't taste good to you. But when you are hungry, even the most boring food ...
Tom's user avatar
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0 votes
2 answers
49 views

What to say when I'm so excited about a book and read it at crazy speed: "read the book voraciously"?

Searching for the expression online, I've found many examples of the phrase read voraciously, but very few of read the book/novel voraciously. So, is read the book voraciously natural? If not, what ...
An IELTS Learner's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
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What are the different ways to refer back to "traveling by car and by bus" in my essay?

In my essay, I've mentioned traveling by car and by bus earlier. What are the different ways to refer back to it? Here are some of my ideas: these modes of transportation these forms of ...
An IELTS Learner's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
33 views

Are "leave the phone for me" and "leave the phone to me" the same?

I guess "leave the phone for me" and "leave the phone to me" are different. Look at examples from the dictionary Did she leave a package for me? We left a good tip for our ...
Tom's user avatar
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-1 votes
3 answers
62 views

Does "he hit his head on the wall on purpose" sound natural?

If "hit" means to knock a part of your body against something by accident, we can say "He hit his head on/against the low ceiling.". We can also use "bang" instead "...
Tom's user avatar
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0 votes
1 answer
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What does "exclusive of other beings" mean?

from Commentaries on the Law of England by William Blackstone “The Earth, and all things herein, are the general property of mankind, exclusive of other beings, from the immediate gift of the creator&...
leminh81's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
25 views

are "day by day" and "by the day" the same?

The dictionary says "His health is growing worse day by day. = His health is growing worse by the day. [=his health is growing worse every day]" However, Chat GPT says "day by day" ...
Tom's user avatar
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0 votes
2 answers
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is this sentence too long "stand up the footstool so that it is on its side"?

If the footstool is on its side like this, we can not sit on it. So we say "lay the footstool flat" or "lay the footstool down flat" What about do it the other way round? Say a ...
Tom's user avatar
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-4 votes
3 answers
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Do you say "you're very reasonative" the same way we say "you're very talkative"?

A talkative person is one who talks a lot. So, I deduce a reasonative person is one who often gives a lot of reasons for his/her behaviors. There is no "reasonative" entry in dictionary, but ...
Tom's user avatar
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2 answers
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Do you say "stand at the beginning of the queue" the same way we say "stand at the end of the queue"?

In the dictionary, "end" is used for both time and space. For example, -They get married at the end of the movie. (time) -The bank is right at the end of the street. (space) Also in the ...
Tom's user avatar
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-1 votes
1 answer
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Is that part of an Android tablet charger called a connector in a conversation that a mom may say?

I know some computer and programming stuff and I guess that many people in this forum also have computer or programming knowledge. It seems people who know computer might also be interested in ...
Tom's user avatar
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3 votes
1 answer
305 views

Do we say "skip doing something" such as "skip cooking breakfast"?

Most dictionaries just say "skip + Noun", for example, "skip school/class/the meeting/ breakfast...". I don't understand why they don't have the structure "skip doing ...
Tom's user avatar
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3 votes
2 answers
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Does "We will be provided with the laptops" sound unusal to native speakers?

Consider the phrase my friend used while talking to a colleague I was told we will be provided with the laptop. I'd rather say, I was told we will be given the laptop. Does the phrase "...
Max's user avatar
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0 votes
3 answers
42 views

Can I say "I'm so inclined to.." to mean that "I want to do something so badly"?

I wonder why it's difficult for me to find an example of "so inclined to" in the affirmative form. On the other hand, I've come across many in the negative form, for example: I'm not so ...
An IELTS Learner's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
46 views

He does not need that vs He is not needing that

Consider the two expressions, He does not need that.(lecture about empathy) He is not needing that. The context for the two expressions is about empathy as in he/you should be more empathetic. Is ...
Max's user avatar
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-1 votes
1 answer
52 views

How to use "devoid of" correctly [closed]

Regarding 65+ group, there was devoid of people accessing to the Internet in 2003. Is "devoid of" used correctly in this example? I wrote this sentence in my academic writing so is it ...
Han's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
29 views

Is "think on your feet" used with positive or negative meanings?

I checked 2 chatbots and one says "think on your feet" is used in positive sentences and the other says it is used in negative ones. The dictionary just says "think on your feet: to ...
Tom's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
46 views

A question about the use of a phrase about the "successful"

“Be successful to do” or“ be successful in doing something”, which is more standard?
twenty's user avatar
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5 votes
6 answers
3k views

Is this a school badge?

Is this called a school badge? According to Oxford Dictionary badge: (British English) (North American English patch) a piece of material that you sew onto clothes as part of a uniform the school ...
Tom's user avatar
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2 votes
5 answers
102 views

Is it natural to say "you don't want me to lose face, do you?" in this situation?

My daughter didn't want to wash her hair. If she went to school with dirty hair, her teachers would notice that and judge (quietly in their head) my wife and me to be lazy parents. To convince my ...
Tom's user avatar
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8 votes
5 answers
1k views

Why did the authors use the phrase "the quantity of people" in these examples?

I always thought we don't say "the quantity of people", but to my surprise, there are cases when people do use it. Look at these examples: The quantity of people losing their jobs is still ...
An IELTS Learner's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
61 views

I am capable of accessing trains easily because I live close to a train station. - does this indicate an ability still?

Do "capable" and "able to" always refer to physical or intelligence abilities? To me, they can also indicate opportunities, permission and other conditions that make whatever you ...
vincentlin's user avatar
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0 votes
1 answer
36 views

care of or care for

Which one of the below is correct? The involvement of fathers in the care for their newborn baby is beneficial. or The involvement of fathers in the care of their newborn baby is beneficial. Most ...
tina's user avatar
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3 votes
3 answers
57 views

Is it correct to say "the hem came unsewn"?

(source) The thread of my hem of my Tshirt got broken and a short part of the hem is unsewn. Is it correct to say:? the hem came undone the hem came unsewn the hem is falling apart.
Tom's user avatar
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0 votes
4 answers
59 views

What does "a cat is crawling" mean? [closed]

"Crawl" has 2 meanings: 1-to move along on your hands and knees with your body close to the ground The baby crawled across the floor. 2- if an insect crawls, it moves using its legs There’s ...
Tom's user avatar
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0 votes
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Is "go back" correct in this sales copy?

In the opening sale, we set the price to $60. After the opening sale, the price will be $70. But $60 is actually the very first price. There is no other price to go back to. So I don't know if "...
newbie forever's user avatar
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0 answers
15 views

"which is about to run away with this thing"

But this could go another way. The Colts could do what they always do against the Patriots, and what they have almost always done this season against everyone: Struggle to score. Start slowly. Finish ...
desmo's user avatar
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-1 votes
1 answer
44 views

Do you say "he makes money selling saliva" to mean he makes money out of his talking skills?

Sometimes, "to sell saliva" (literally translated) to mean to make money by just using his/her talking skills, normally with a negative meaning. It often used to refer to middlemen. Say you ...
Tom's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
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"I will move" vs "I will be moving"?

Consider the two phrases, I will move to Seattle in the summer. I will be moving to Seattle in the summer. Are the two phrase identical? Is there any situation one is preferable over another?
Max's user avatar
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2 votes
4 answers
44 views

Is there an alternative to "the quality of something being..."?

I've just talked to my friend in English. Him: What's more important: the people you work with or the work that you are doing? Me: I think the quality of the work being interesting is more important. ...
Phoebe's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
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English equivalent to a Hindi proverb?

We have a phrase in our language whose rough translation is Only a jeweler can distinguish a diamond. Basically it is a complement to both parties, mentor and protege. For e.g. I was a nobody in ...
Max's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
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Using "You're welcomed" to express that I am willing to help?

When someone asks favor from me and thanks me, can I say "you're welcomed". I know that it is not commonly used (the idiom should be "you're welcome" instead), but I want to ...
user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
42 views

Is it better to replace 'could be' with 'they could' ---'They stood chatting together as easily and naturally as could be.'?

They stood chatting together as easily and naturally as could be. In my view, as in 'as happy etc as can/could be', 'be' is used because of the preceeding 'happy'. But is 'be' used here because of '...
Mr. Wang's user avatar
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Should I say "The teacher is calling for order/calling the students to order"?

As far as I know, a chairman might call people to order, or call for order in a meeting. But is this phrase applied in the classroom context? The teacher is calling for order/is calling the students ...
An IELTS Learner's user avatar

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