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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3 views

Use of “better stil”

"That act of kindness is a cherished memory in our hearts better still it is growing as many times it has encouraged us to offer others something beyond their expectation." Is the phrase &...
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In and of itself

In the accepted answer to this question : What's the difference between "in itself", "by itself" and "in and of itself"? it is stated that in itself means "not ...
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20 views

“Focus returned” vs. “focus came back.”

Example sentence: It was only when she stepped through the door that her focus returned/came back. Is it more natural to say "focus returned" or "focus came back"? Or maybe both ...
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1answer
25 views

The first bus in the morning vs The first morning bus

Could you explain, please, "The first bus in the morning" and "The first morning bus" are the same or have a slight difference? I have asked it because in these sentences about &...
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1answer
17 views

Sentence structure concerning phrases/subjects

Can 'Shildon Football clubs top striker' be viewed both as an introductory phrase or the main subject of the sentence depending on comma placement? Shildon Football club's top striker, Daniel Moore ...
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1answer
21 views

Noted vs Noted with thanks

Noted with thanks Noted Thanks and noted. Noted and thanks. I've seen the above variants in work emails. By default, noted on its own has no emotional association? If one doesn't use with thanks ...
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1answer
19 views

with urgency or urgently?

I believe my question refers to collocations and also to which is the most common way of saying that I will send a message alerting people that they have to solve a situation urgently. I've done some ...
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0answers
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Saying “for someone/something to” instead of “in order for someone/something to”

I have heard native English speakers say, "for someone/something to" instead of "in order for someone/something to". It sounds kind of informal to me and I feel like it might even ...
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9answers
3k views

When talking about computing, are “not enabled” and “disabled” same?

When talking about computing, are "not enabled" and "disabled" same? I understand that the phrases "not enabled" and "disabled" are synonymous and can be used ...
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0answers
31 views

“In the light of” vs “in light of” - 2021 BRITISH ENGLISH USAGE

I know that the former is the British English expression while the second is its American English equivalent, however, has this usage changed in the United Kingdom in the recent years? I have ...
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“strike a resemblance”, “have striking resemblance”

I understand striking resemblance is often use with bears, is it correct to use have striking resemblance and strike a resemblance? The two of you strike a resemblance The two of you have striking ...
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1answer
35 views

“Three” most popular

Most - greatest in amount, quantity, or degree. Three most popular brands ... ... Three most popular classes ... ... We often search for N most popular but is it standard English to add counts ...
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0answers
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next turning on the right / next turning right / next turning to the right

What's the difference? I have found this explanation. Is it possible to use the third sentence, when you are driving the car and have stopped your car somewhere? Please, explain these three sentences. ...
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1answer
46 views

“left out” or “missed out”

I shared a document and realised that's not the correct version. A paragraph is missing from the document. Should I say I have missed out a paragraph from the original content. I have left out a ...
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I am scared to make him angry

Do you think these three examples mean the same thing? He is always so highly strung. I am scared to make him angry. He is always so highly strung. I am scared that I will make him angry. He is ...
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1answer
19 views

When it comes to (the question) who are invited to birthday parties

I was asked the question who are usually invited to birthday parties in my country. I said: "To be honest I don't even remember the last time I went to a birthday party. But when it comes to (the ...
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1answer
17 views

What are the differences in usage between these two verbs: “torment” and “bedevil”

What are the differences in usage between the verbs bedevil and torment? For Example: Hilda has been tormented by girls Hilda has been bedeviled by girls. Please advise whether the use of the verb '...
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0answers
32 views

It might be a way to let your sorrow go away

Could you tell me, please, these sentences sounds good or awkward? If they are awkward, please write your version. I'm afraid I don't have enough knowledge to make a conclusion about them. Maybe, a ...
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3answers
38 views

Can I say “I am holding a party” when the party is happening?

It is not the tense that I an worried about. It is the meaning of the verb “hold”. “Hold” means “organize”. I think “to hold a party” means “to lay out chairs, table and put other decoration etc” So, “...
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1answer
22 views

Is “on the higher side” a meaningful phrase?

I was documenting a software feature for an internal audience and I wrote: "...when the character count is on the higher side." Here, I wanted to mean a case where the number of characters ...
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1answer
58 views

Is “farther of which the ball has fallen” correct?

Here is the situation: A boy is throwing a ball onto a field that is divided into several lines. Each line is 10 meters wide and has its own color. The boy is throwing his basketball across those ...
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1answer
38 views

Is it correct to say “I buy aspirin in/at the drugstore”?

In some countries, a drugstore is like a small house with a window or big door and you just stand on the street or pavement in front of the window/door to buy. Only staff is allowed to go into that ...
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0answers
31 views

Can “point-down” be used as an adverb even we don't see it in dictionaries?

I heard a native speaker say "put the knife point-down into the basket" when teaching people to put knives into a basket of a dish washer the right way. And he said "point-down" is ...
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1answer
36 views

“Two grades senior/junior to me”

Let's say I'm in the fourth grade and my brother is in the sixth. Is it legitimate to say, He is two grades senior to me? I googled the phrase two grades senior to me and there were only 10 results, ...
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14answers
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Does “You little liar” mean “You tell small and not so serious lies” or just “You tell lies in general”?

When do we say "You little liar" and "You big liar"? Do the words "little" and "big" mean what they mean? "You little liar" mean "You tell small ...
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2answers
34 views

Is “off the top of my head” used appropriately here?

Is it natural to use this idiomatic expression in the following context? I want to say that I am not sure but probably it was about six years ago. So a few years ago, err, six years ago off the top ...
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35 views

Meaning of the below phrase [closed]

After completing a job, my client said, "Wow! what a great job" and left a review telling "He is at the customer's expense". What's the meaning of "He is at the customer's ...
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1answer
41 views

How are “(for) long” and “(for) a long time” different?

This is the explanation from Oxford Dictionary (for) long / (for) a long time Both (for) long and (for) a long time are used as expressions of time. In positive sentences (for) a long time is used: ...
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2answers
20 views

is better off/served without you

This company is better off/served without you. I hope you get fired. Would "is better off without you" and "is better served without you" both be perfectly natural in this context?...
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1answer
39 views

The Jones’s family / The Jones / The Joneses

How is it natural to unite all members of Jones's family under one phrase? Are these versions synonyms? The Jones’s family The Jones The Joneses
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9answers
3k views

Is “100% correct pronunciation” an understandable, correct, and proper English expression?

If I put "100% correct pronunciation" in the following sentence, is it understandable and correct? "100%" is what I would like to emphasize. If it is not right, how should it be ...
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2answers
22 views

Is it correct to say “The claws or sides of the hairclip” in everyday conversations?

In the dictionary claw(noun): part of a tool or machine, like a claw, used for holding, pulling or lifting things I am not sure the 2 ides/parts of a hairclip are called "claws". Is it ...
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1answer
34 views

Do we use “poke” or “thrust” with knives and swords?

When writing about a battle between a prince with a sword and a dragon, do we use "poke" or "thrust"? For example, "the prince poked the dragon in the wing with his sword"...
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1answer
37 views

Is it correct to say “They burst into laughs”?

According to my research, the common expression is "they burst into laughter". However, I came across a video, and at 4:44, they say “then they burst into laughs”. The people in the video ...
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1answer
24 views

“I look forward to” VS “I'm looking forward to”

So I'm trying to figure out the correct usage of this sentence. Which sentence is grammatically correct or is most familiar for English native speakers? I'm looking forward to hear from you I look ...
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0answers
36 views

Can “dressed-up” be used in the this context?

I’d like to know whether dressed up is okay to use in the following sentence: I know it’s very pretty but to me the image feels like a dressed up bad omen. What I’m trying to convey is that the ...
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0answers
25 views

Can we say inevitably important?

In the following sentence I would like to mention that "childhood is very important and its role is inevitable". Is it clear to reduce this clause to inevitably important? The general view ...
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0answers
29 views

does “it will be great if you do this for me” sound arrogant or impolite?

I learned that the future real conditional "it will be great if you do this for me" (1) means you think it is very likely to happen. And the present or future unreal conditional "it ...
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0answers
25 views

Do we say “some tiny bits of yogurt or ice cream” “drops”?

Some food such as ice cream, yogurt, smoothies etc is in form "a semi-liquid". It is not water but not frozen. It is in the middle. When eating yogurt, sometimes some tiny bits of yogurt, ...
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1answer
43 views

“Bear with me” for how long?

I know you say to someone Bear with me if it is for a few minutes: bear with me​/​us - used as a polite way of asking someone to be patient while you do or finish something If you just bear with me ...
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2answers
45 views

“giving a speech” compared to “delivering a talk”

Is "giving a speech" meant to be about a setting with a bigger audience than "delivering a talk"? I just googled both phrases and it looks like "giving a speech" is more ...
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2answers
35 views

What is the word that describes a person who never believes you even when the truths are proven facts [closed]

My girlfriend still accuses me of things even after the facts had been proven that I’m not guilty.
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1answer
39 views

Using “that of” to avoid repetition

Overpopulation is a real concern all across the globe, but the situation in poor countries is not comparable to the situation in rich countries. I have written the above sentence but to avoid ...
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0answers
27 views

Is it correct to say “he has his gun/knife etc tucked in his waistband/belt”?

Suppose he doesn't use a holster or bag to put his gun/knife in. His gun/knife etc is held between the belt/ the waistband of his pants and his belly/side/back. Is it natural to say "he has his ...
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2answers
39 views

Do we use “twice, three times, twofold, threefold” with “decrease, fall, decline, etc”?

Say, 2010: the price of that car: 1000 dollars 2011: the price of that car: 2000 dollars Look at these some expressions the price of that car increased twofold from 1000 dollars in 2010 to 2000 ...
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1answer
28 views

“… advanced through the passes …,” meaning in the following context [closed]

What's the meaning of "advanced through the passes" in the following sentence? On landing at Bombay, I learned that my corps had advanced through the passes, and was already deep in the ...
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0answers
23 views

Can “when” be used this way: It was the first time when…?

In the following sentence, can "when" be used? ("x" means nothing in that spot.) It was the first time that/when/x Peter had seen a black horse.
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1answer
48 views

Is it correct to say “Cut the onion in two then place down the cut-side of the onion on the cutting board”?

I have an onion. I cut it in two. As shown in the picture, you can see the flesh of the onion when you look at "the cut-side of the onion". I want to keep the "the cut-side of the onion&...
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1answer
38 views

Preposition question: Sneak peek “from” or “at”?

I've often seen the phrase “sneak peek” on author websites when an author is offering a "sneak peek" of their story for newsletter subscribers. I just said "of", but that only ...
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1answer
42 views

Can we say “do a class”?

Do you think, "do a class" is a plausible phrase? For example, let's say a teacher is going to give a class at 2:30, can he/she say, "I will do a class at 2:30"? Or if he/she is ...

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