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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1 answer
16 views

Can we say "The fire alarm is going off" to express the state of making sound?

We say “the fan is on” to express its current state. and “the fan suddenly went on” to express an action. Normally we use the simple past tense for an action because it happened. if I say “the fan is ...
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3 votes
2 answers
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Is the fake ice cream on top of an ice cream truck called an "ice cream figure"?

My daughter looked at the above picture and she said "a truck with a fake ice cream on its head". What is it called? Is it called "an ice cream figure"? I am not sure because it ...
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1 answer
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What does the phrase ''found useful'' mean?

In this following context, what does the phrase ''found useful '' mean? Is it ''practical''? Does the phrase ''found useful'' modify the word ''terms''? Should I take this sentence as: ''...are merely ...
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1 answer
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"An year ago" vs "an year back"

I was like you an year ago I was like you an year back Are both these sentences correct and natural?
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1 answer
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"so" + adjective + "that" + someone + "be"-verb + adjective

I want to convey the meaning that English is widespread to the extent that people should not disregard learning it (as a suggestion) or it is not reasonable to disregard leaning it. 1.a) Usage of ...
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1 vote
2 answers
31 views

What does the phrase ''as such'' mean?

In this following context, what does the phrase ''as such'' mean? Does it mean ''therefore''or ''in itself''? Or does it refer something which is an antecedent? Please, explain this to me... Context ...
3 votes
4 answers
888 views

God doesn't give with both hands

Does "God doesn't give with both hands" mean that one can't have everything in life?
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1 answer
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What are the different ways to say "I'm joking"?

I can't recollect if I've ever heard a native speaker say, "I'm joking". The ones I can remember are: I'm messing with ya I'm just messing/goofing around What are the other popular ways ...
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2 answers
18 views

What does the phrase ''but rather'' mean?

In this following context, what does the phrase ''but rather'' mean? Is it ''whowever'' or ''in fact''? Should I take as: Hence the body is not a persisting something, but the body is rather a ...
3 votes
1 answer
417 views

What does "break on someone " mean in this context?

I mentioned apartment issues earlier and there were many. Things were either not functional when we got the keys or would easily break on us I'm assuming things would malfunction when they're trying ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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Does "solve the confusion" look good in written English?

I looked up ngrams, and saw the usage of "solve the confusions" is really low. But on the web there are plenty examples.
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1 answer
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what does the phrase ''in the noblest sense of the word'' mean?

In this following context, what does the phrase ''in the noblest sense of the word'' mean? Is it mere emphasis phrase? or should I take ''literally'' as its synonym? It is the inward condition of a ...
-1 votes
1 answer
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"If sb can not do sth, ..." vs. "If sb fail(s) to do sth, ..." vs. ""If sb cannot do sth, ...""

If government can not control the soaring prices, many companies will go bankrupt. If government cannot control the soaring prices, many companies will go bankrupt. If government fails to control ...
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1 answer
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Can "take to" be used to mean "to hit"?

If you think whatever car you have now is bad, take a sledge hammer to the rims, to the windows, okay, maybe not that bad, but abuse it for 20 years and that's the brand new version of our car. Is ...
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-1 votes
1 answer
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Is this a right way to say you jumped on someone to pin them to the ground in combat?

"I threw/flung myself at him and locked him"
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1 answer
3k views

The meaning of "seven’s sixteen and a half"

“That’s what Mother Gunga thinks, is it,” he said, reading. “Keep cool, young ’un. We’ve got all our work cut out for us. Let’s see. Muir wired half an hour ago: ‘Floods on the Ramgunga. Look out.’ ...
1 vote
1 answer
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Is it common to say "My salary is good" or "My pay is good"?

It seems that "pay" is more common in everyday English and salary is way too formal. I feel like "salary" is used more in accounting or formal documents. I don't know why not many ...
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1 vote
3 answers
49 views

Which is the correct phrase: "I'm having rest" or "I'm taking rest"?

Which one is correct: "I'm having rest" or "I'm taking rest"?
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1 answer
33 views

had a baby / had a boy / had a son

I have the following sentence in my book: Ann had a baby yesterday. He was born ... Is it possible to say: Ann had a son yesterday. He was born ... Ann had a boy yesterday. He was born ... I heard ...
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1 answer
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"Carroty head", what could it possibly mean?

What do you think "carroty head" means in this sentence? Is this supposed to refer to hair color, head shape, maybe? It's from the opening page of Remarque's All Quiet On The Western Front: ...
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2 answers
20 views

Can we generalize the structure of "be + of (+ adjective) + noun (+ to)" to every noun?

Based on these: what-is-the-meaning-of-of-in-be-of-interest what-can-i-be-of-help what-is-the-meaning-of-of-interest-to-anyone-in-the-following-sentences what-is-the-difference-between-interest-and-of-...
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1 answer
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Does "lines of work" have to contain the meaning of earning money?

I wrote the example. An American freelancer I hired to check my essay added the bold sentence for me. According to the dictionary, "lines of work" means the work that a person does regularly ...
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2 answers
27 views

wealthy Switzerland

I hired an American freelancer to correct my essay. I used the word "wealthy" to show the kind of thing the doctor wants to do. He is willing to leave his wealthy country. But the freelance ...
3 votes
6 answers
2k views

Is there a phrase or expression that means "riding a horse with another person"? [duplicate]

Is there a phrase or expression that means "riding a horse with another person"? I can't think of a shorter more concise way to say it. The best I could manage is "riding a horse as a ...
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-2 votes
1 answer
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How can I replace "everything" with an idiom? [closed]

I forgot an idiom that means "everything". "Lock, stock, and barrel", "the whole gamut", it's not that. Could you remind me of it? I think it contains "and".
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1 answer
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What is the meaning of these two words in this context?

The text is from the novel "Salem's Lot": It was the tenth of January, just about the time most folks are learning to live comfortably with all the New Year’s resolutions they broke, and ...
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2 answers
15 views

Meaning of "under x-substance-limiting condition."

I am not sure if the following sentence means that if the more biotin the more amino acid, or vice versa, the more biotin the less amino acid: This amino acid accumulation in the medium occurs only ...
0 votes
2 answers
21 views

Take more tasks without finishing what you already have

My company has a to-do list. Everyone can work on one item. My colleague already has 5 items which he took months ago and yet hasn't finished, but he still wants to take on more items. I told him ...
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2 answers
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Is it correct to say "unglue the box to make it flat"?

To make a box, you might fold the box like the above pictures and then glue the flaps together to form the shame of a box But if the paper is hard enough, we don't even glue the flaps, but just tuck ...
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3 votes
2 answers
273 views

Is the phrase “In the morning on Friday” correct?

Like the title said, is the phrase “In the morning on Friday” correct? And if it is correct to say “In the XXX on XXX”, then when EXACTLY should we use “in” and “on” for sections of a day? If no, why? ...
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2 answers
28 views

Is this expression idiomatic when you avoid eye contact with teacher because don't want him to ask to you answer a question: "Please, don't be me."

I have seen this on a advertisement. A teacher asks: "Who wants to do the problem 3?" And one of the students who is afraid that teacher would choose him to do the question try to hide his ...
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1 answer
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Is it correct to say "Children don't go to school on public holidays" or "Children don't go to school in public holidays"?

Holiday has many meanings It might mean "a period of time when you are not at work or school" With that meaning, we say "on holiday" or "on a holiday" but "during ...
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0 votes
1 answer
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"go to the city centre by subway" vs "travel to the city centre by subway"

I go to the city centre by subway. I travel to the city centre by subway. Is it idiomatic to say "travel to somewhere" if there's no long distance between your home and destination point? ...
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9 votes
4 answers
5k views

Is it confusing to say "I paid him 20 dollars to buy the T-shirt"?

The dictionary says pay somebody to do something Ray paid some kids to wash the car. However, they didn't explain how to use this structure pay somebody to do something correctly. Is it confusing to ...
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1 vote
1 answer
27 views

What does the phrase ''many among the listeners'' mean?

In the following context, Should I take the bold sentence as "There are many (listeners) who are not Buddhists among the listeners"? I think the relative pronoun "who" modifies the ...
1 vote
1 answer
25 views

Are "speaking of" and "regarding" equivalent?

The interviewer asks "What do you like about your job?" Is it correct to answer: "Speaking of the things I like the most about my job. First,… Second …" Or "Regarding the ...
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-1 votes
2 answers
32 views

Difference between "down for smth" or "up for smth" [closed]

There are many threads (I've listed a few below, under "Related") discussing the difference -- or lack thereof -- between the slangs "being down for something" or "up for smth&...
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0 votes
1 answer
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Is ‘In pace with’ correct?

There is the phrase ‘to keep pace with’ in English, but I couldn’t find ‘in pace with’ in main sources online. Is it correct? Example: Technological developments in this country are not in pace with ...
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15 votes
3 answers
5k views

What is "ice orange" and what does it have to do with horses?

What is "ice orange"? I'm pretty sure it's a typo, but can't so far figure out what it really meant: Going up the road toward home the road was smooth and slippery for a while and the ice ...
0 votes
1 answer
25 views

Which is correct: A cellphone is made of a variety of materials or A cellphone is made from a variety of materials

Which is correct: A cellphone is made of a variety of materials. A cellphone is made from a variety of materials. Wine is made from grapes. / The chair is made of wood. If it is in the situation of ...
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2 answers
32 views

What does the word ''authority'' mean?

In the following passage, I know here the word "authority" should not be the meaning: "political or administrative power and control", it's not suitable in this context. May be, I ...
0 votes
1 answer
25 views

usage: make a rule of

The Cambridge Dictionary Online defines "prescribe" as follows: to tell someone what they must have or do, or to make a rule of something But I'm wondering whether the boldfaced part is ...
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2 answers
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What is the difference between "you can't / may not / mustn't / are not supposed to use this computer"?

I don't see many questions explaining the difference between "can't", "may not", "mustn't" and "to be not supposed to" in modal verbs of permission on ...
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0 votes
1 answer
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Is it correct to say "Saturday is weekend"?

According to some dictionaries, "Saturday" is both countable and uncountable, and "Weekend" is just countable. we can say "Saturday is my only day off." or "Today is ...
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0 votes
1 answer
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The Stones (if we speak only about a part of the family)

I suppose we can use "The + surname in plural" even if we speak only about two persons from that family, not about all the family members, right? For example: The Stones are going shopping ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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Usage of the phrase 'To be a long time in doing something'

Usage of the phrase 'To be a long time in doing something'. I'm reading Orwell's Animal Farm. Chapter 9 begins with this sentence: Boxer's split hoof was a long time in healing. Does this mean that ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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What does "near the seat of" mean in this context?

Two centuries later (1438) a Birgittine convent was founded in Nådendal (Naantali), near the seat of the bishopric in Åbo, flourishing for a brief period before the Lutheran Reformation swept across ...
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1 answer
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What does the phrase '' in the form in which '' mean? [duplicate]

The definition ''in the form in which / in the form that'' was given by some native speakers about the phrase ''such as'' in following sentence. Because as if the definition is technically defined in ...
-1 votes
1 answer
20 views

What is the difference between "a few of" and "a few" [closed]

May I ask what is the usage difference between "a few of" vs "a few"?
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3 answers
42 views

How to express the idea that a wound has young skin when it is healing?

I have a scrape on my knee. At first, the scrape is covered in dried blood and I don't want to break it off because it might bleed. After a week, the dried blood breaks off by itself and I can see ...
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