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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1answer
15 views

beside herself with worry for

Mona was driving toward the hospital, beside herself with worry for her husband. Mona was driving toward the hospital, out of herself with worry for her husband. Is the phrase "beside oneself ...
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0answers
28 views

What is the handle of a gift bag called in everyday conversations?

What is the handle of a gift bag called in everyday conversations? For example, "The strap/strip/string of the gift bag"
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0answers
23 views

Which do you appreciate the most

Do "Which do you appreciate the most" and "Which do you appreciate most" share the same meaning and both are correct? Which do you appreciate the most, politicians or scientists?
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17 views

can “take” be used in the continuous tenses?

Kid A and B are fighting over the toy. Both hands of A and B are on the toys. Is it correct for the kid A to say "Mom, he is taking my toy" But that situation is rare, normally, it will ...
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5answers
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Do we say “The dog mistook/misunderstood his image in the mirror for another dog”?

A dog looks into a mirror and sees his own image. He thinks that is another dog, so he barks at that dog. Do we say "The dog mistook/misunderstood his image in the mirror for another dog"? ...
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3answers
880 views

Do we have a phrase to express “to form arms in a shape of a cup”?

We have the structure "cup your hands" meaning "to make a shape like a cup with your hands". It seems like we don't have the structure "cup your arms" to mean "to ...
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1answer
27 views

Why with the “as..as” construction and the future tense in one part we use the present in the other?

I met such an offer: I'll get back to you as soon as I have the information you need. I wonder why/by what rule in part 2 of the sentence: "as I have the information you need" we don't use ...
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1answer
19 views

When can we use “light”as a countable noun?

I don't know why some native speakers say that "I shone light on his face" is wrong. They said I had to say "I shone a light on his face" or "I shone the light on his face&...
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1answer
30 views

Is it proper to say: “take a path”, or should I replace “take” with another word? [closed]

Is it proper to say: "take a path" or should I replace "take" with another word? Wondering if that is the proper way of saying it.
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0answers
31 views

“took a stool for myself”

Tom grabbed an armchair, dragged it to the middle of the room, and motioned for her to sit. Then took a stool for himself and sat down across from her. Is "took a stool for himself" correct?...
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0answers
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Can a company have a “sector”? “The company's meat sector produces over 400 tonnes/day”

I have a Russian sentence: Общая производительность мясной отрасли компании превышает 400 тонн в сутки. Which, put literally, translates into In total, the company's meat sector produces more than ...
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1answer
34 views

not only does he learn English, he learn French too

Is "he learn French too" grammatical? Should it be "he learns French too"? And not only does he learn English, he learn French too. Source: English sentence making practice by me....
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1answer
44 views

Is it correct to say “circle your temples with your fingers/knuckles”?

When people have a headache, they put their fingers or knuckles on 2 spots on their temples each. Then, they move the 2 spots around with their fingers / knuckles around without lifting the fingers / ...
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0answers
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ready to fighting vs. ready to fight

Which is more natural in English? Online search returned mixed results: Both are used (such as "Doctor ready to fighting Virus"). But "ready to fight" is far more popular. Are you ...
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1answer
58 views

Would you give me examples in which “not altogether” means “not at all” other than “I’m not altogether happy”?

When reading a passage, I found that I didn’t understand the word “altogether” well, so looked it up in the OALD and the Genius English-Japanese Dictionary. One example in the OALD was “I’m not ...
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3answers
38 views

Is it correct to say “They watch stories on YouTube”?

My children watch some videos about stories such as "Little Red Riding Hood" or "Cinderella" on YouTube. Is it correct to say "They watch stories on YouTube"?
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2answers
33 views

As was he/As if he was

He's mingling around flirting with girls as was he James Bond. He's mingling around flirting with girls as if he was James Bond. Which one is correct? (if any of them)
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Can the structure “let + Noun + adverb / preposition” be used with any preposition or adverb?

Say, the structure "go + adv./prep" can be used with almost any preposition or adverb. For example, I went into the house / up the hill / on the bank of a river / through a tunnel / over the ...
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1answer
30 views

“…huddle up…”

A few of the hostages have huddled up... Hostage: We need to get out of here. What do we do? Have I used "huddle up" naturally in the sentence? Will any native speaker know what "...
3
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1answer
27 views

What is the difference between “have an issue” ,“facing an issue”, “have got an issue”?

If I'm contacting customer support of a software company to report an issue with the software prodct that I purchased from them what is the correct usage? I have an issue I'm facing an issue I've got ...
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1answer
19 views

How do I understand “be headed out”?

Here's the explanation of head out, and with 2 examples, Attention, everyone: we're heading out at 10 AM. Mom is headed out for Sacramento tomorrow afternoon. I can't understand the 2nd, "be ...
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3answers
28 views

a lingering fragrance

Is the phrase "a lingering fragrance" okay in English? Should it be "lingering fragrances"? A Chinese student wrote this sentence: If you present a bunch of roses as a gift to a ...
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1answer
46 views

Is it correct to say “the hem of your T-shirt is folded up. Let it down”?

Look at the hem of my T-shirt above. Is it natural to say "the hem of your T-shirt is folded up (not nice). Let/put it down" in everyday English?
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1answer
30 views

Asking for a Bus

I am having trouble with these Phrases... Is there a bus to the city? Is there a bus to town? "Is there a bus into town?" I'm not sure if they are correct because I would usually say... &...
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0answers
26 views

Is person name a correct phrase?

is it formal and correct to say (person name) or (license number) or it is wrong and should I say person's name and license's name?
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3answers
52 views

The shadows ahead

"High above this quagmire of violence rise the sunny plateaus of Eden, casting their shadows before." The wording is meant deliberately ambiguous. It opens a paragraph about a group of ...
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0answers
13 views

'make any kind of go of sth' is this a fossil expression?

… as if the percentage of artists who made any kind of go of the lousy business was one to four.— F. Scott Fitzgerald, letter, Spring 1939 What is 'make any kind of go sth' meaning?
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1answer
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Today we have invited Mr.X and Mr.Y to our meeting

Does the sentence below sound natural to you native English speakers? Is there any space there to improve it? Today we have invited Oxford University Professor Richard Dawkins, neuroscientist Sam ...
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1answer
5 views

“run through one's mind”

Something that “run through sb's head/mind” means in Cambridge dictionary as follows: "If something is running through your head/mind, you cannot stop thinking about it or singing it silently: I'...
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1answer
50 views

Can a prepositional phrase starting with “of ” after the noun “use” mean who use something?

I read a passage about difference between the behavior of people who feel stronger or more powerful than others and that of those who feel less strong or less powerful than others. In this passage, an ...
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1answer
24 views

Is it correct to say “let's have a jumping/spinning race” to see who jumps the highest or spins the fastest?

We say "let's have a running race" to see who runs the fastest. Now, we want to see who jumps the highest or spins the fastest. Is it correct to say "let's have a jumping/spinning race&...
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1answer
35 views

Do we say “the fire monster is lit / on fire / burning” to express its current state?

I lit the candle and now the candle is lit. "Lit" implies that it is useful because it produces light. I set fire to the curtain and now the curtain is on fire. "On fire" implies ...
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0answers
29 views

Usage of 'yes and no'

A: Jennifer, Lauren and Mike don't have a car B: Yes and no, Jennifer and Lauren don't have a car, but Mike has a car. Is 'Yes and no' used correctly?
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1answer
39 views

Is “go down a storm” similar to “go down well”?

Something goes down a storm with somebody. Something goes down well with somebody. Are they the same in the meaning? Or do they differ? such as one is formal and the other is informal? BBC English we ...
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1answer
15 views

usage: but now to V

I'd like to know whether and how "but now to V" is correctly used in the following. In your example, the context would have to be that the other person has been interrupting you by ...
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2answers
58 views

Is it correct to say “Her belly button sticks in/out” in everyday English?

In some cultures, if you have a belly button that looks like a hole, your belly button is thought to be beautiful, but if it protrudes, it is not beautiful. Is it correct to say "Her belly button ...
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2answers
110 views

Is it correct to say “hang the balloon on the door handle by its string” when that balloon can fly up?

There are 2 types of balloons. One can not fly and the other can. For the one that can not fly, I think we can say "hang the balloon on the door handle by its string" However, "hang&...
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0answers
13 views

Fighting for the people. She/her

The phrase "She/her" appears to be peculiar to me. Does Kamala use it as an emphasis that she is the first woman to be elected as Vice President of USA? Kamala Harris' self introduction in ...
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1answer
26 views

Can “Don't be sad” start a sentence followed by a comma?

Example sentence: Don't be sad, everything will turn out fine. I've seen "Don't worry" used like this, so I think it's not ungrammatical. But part of me, sees "Don't be sad" as a ...
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1answer
15 views

commit to differentiate

Shouldn't the phrase "commit to" be followed by a present participle or a noun? I wonder whether the word "differentiate" is wrong in its form. These studies provide further ...
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1answer
85 views

Does the phrase “Did you grow up on a farm” disapprove of a person who does not act like a civilized man?

A native English speaker lived in Wellesley, MA. in the USA said to a child. "Don't eat with your face in the bowl. Did you grow up on a farm?" Is "Did you grow up on a farm?" ...
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2answers
22 views

I thought it was hard at school vs I thought school was hard

Could you say please there is any difference? Are both sentences common? I thought it was hard at school. I thought school was hard.
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2answers
23 views

School was fun. vs There was fun at school

Could you say please there is any difference? Are both sentences common? School was fun. There was fun at school. Are "fun" and "funny" interchangeable here?
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1answer
13 views

taking fringe ideas mainstream

Does "taking fringe ideas mainstream" mean "making fringe ideas mainstream" - that is, the ideas that were less important, or the fringe ideas, were made very important, equal to ...
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1answer
31 views

Is it correct to say “She held the scooter backwards”?

Look at this picture A child is holding a scooter like the picture above. Is it correct to say "She held the scooter backwards" or "She pushed the scooter backwards"?
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3answers
34 views

Is “the following” always necessary when using a colon?

My hobby includes the following: watching TV; listening music; and driving. I would like to know whether the following in the sentence above I created can be omitted as follow: My hobby includes: ...
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1answer
31 views

How to use 'most important' to compare

I was going through list of words that we can use to compare two things or ideas. One of the words is most important. I couldn’t find examples for this. Can someone give some examples of comparison ...
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0answers
14 views

it was hard at school vs school was hard

Could you please explain English usage of these sentences or they are interchangeable? If I mean only about my studying (not kind of school), can I use both sentences or the second one is said only ...
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3answers
56 views

“Start to look” vs. “start looking.”

What is the difference between the two? Do they mean the same thing? Example sentence: If you keep standing there, people will start to look/start looking at you.
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1answer
24 views

Can I use “over to John” when I want to say “now it is John's turn to speak”?

During our conference calls, I keep using the phrase "..and now I give/yield the floor to.." but that sounds to me a bit "formal". I know I could also say "...so now I hand ...

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