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
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1answer
604 views

Are any of these expressions inherently condescending

I know it depends on the context but I want to get a general idea of whether the following expressions are inherently/likely condescending, in most cases, when used before or after answering a ...
0
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4answers
7k views

What is another way to say "have a wedding ceremony"? [closed]

If I want to inform a friend I'm getting married, could I use this sentence in the letter? What I'm trying to express is an alternative way to say I'm getting married. I'm writing to tell you I'm ...
4
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1answer
593 views

Is “works out of” correct English?

I have seen people using following in corporate emails He/they work(s) out of (city name) He/they is/are based out of (city name) He/they operate(s) out of (city name) If someone is residing in (...
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3answers
21k views

How is “any more than” used to compare two different situations?

In the following quote by Billy Sunday Going to church doesn’t make you a Christian any more than going to a garage makes you an automobile. Can anyone please explain/elaborate the usage and ...
2
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1answer
162 views

Is this construction correct?

Let's say I am talking to my friend, he asks me Do you have any idea where X (another friend) is? I reply He has gone to get some Y.(assuming I don't know where he is going to buy it from.) ...
9
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1answer
89k views

Is 'slip out of my mind' correct in this context?

Let's say my friend asks me to buy something form the grocery store but I forget about it. Friend: Did you get that thing? Me: Oh, so sorry, it completely slipped out of my mind. Is the expression ...
15
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2answers
164k views

Differences between 'till now', 'as of now','yet', 'up till now'

I have seen phrases like the following: Till now Yet Up till now As of now Is there any difference between their usage and meaning, or do they have the same meaning?
3
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2answers
191 views

Is it demeaning to say "There is life in the old dog"?

I have an old member in my team. Usually we do not expect any interesting idea to come from him. But one day, he made a very useful and interesting remark. This prompted one of my friends to quip, "...
4
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2answers
2k views

Does the adjective "mute" apply to "Light"?

I learned the meaning of mute is "characterized by an absence of sound; quiet" from Oxford Dictionaries Online. From the above meaning I understand mute is an adjective or attribute which is ...
3
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2answers
766 views

Is saying 'which team's game is it/today' correct?

Let's say my friend is watching a game of soccer or something else and I want to know what the teams are. Can I say Which team's game is it/are you watching? Is this construction correct? It ...
6
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3answers
23k views

"Make it a point to" or "make a point of"?

Is there any difference between using these expressions? She made a point of taking a vacation in Italy. She made it a point to take a vacation in Italy.
5
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3answers
27k views

What does "never mind" really mean?

What does "never mind" really mean? I am trying to find out the answer for it. I have been hearing that for years, but I don't use it myself because I do NOT know the true meaning.
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1answer
10k views

What is the meaning of "in" and "on" when they are used together?

I have never seen the prepositions in and on used together in any sentence. I cannot imagine what in out would mean in a sentence. However, I recently have seen this kind of usage, and I had ...
6
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1answer
4k views

It won't open vs it is opening?

I often see this phrase in movies and shows I am trying to watch TV and it won't work. The jar won't open; it is stuck. The alarm won't go off (even though I am setting it up correctly). My ...
3
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1answer
172 views

Did the author forget to use 'if' or I'm missing some literary style [closed]

I completed reading a short novel "A Little Princess" written by Frances Hodgson Burnett. The servant, "Ram Dass" says the following while planning to change the protagonist's(Sara Crewe) room from ...
4
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1answer
2k views

"The way it's going to work" versus "how this is going to work"

Let's say I am working on some project which has very many steps or stages, and I am supposed to explain their order to my colleagues: The way it's going to work is A will do X first then C will do Y ...
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2answers
1k views

as good ~ as I ever knew

“Now, yer mum an' dad were as good a witch an' wizard as I ever knew.” (Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone) What’s the meaning of the highlighted part?
4
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3answers
2k views

the meaning of the phrase "milk run" used in tourism

"Every tourist destination has its milk run. In order to survive, tour operators will have to offer holidays where visitors get away from their fellow travelers. This needs imagination and commitment, ...
5
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4answers
10k views

Meaning of "First day of week" in different countries

"First day of week", as shown by calendars in general use, is different depending on country. Example: (Monday) versus (Sunday). What is its meaning/use in countries where English is an official ...
-3
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1answer
275 views

Usage of and differences between mathematical terms [closed]

In Mathematics, there are a lot of references to the following words/phrases. Axioms Theorems Corollaries Claims Lemmas Definitions I often use them interchangeably (which is ...
5
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1answer
372 views

Any difference between "at bay" and "under control"?

In the purpose of writing a vivid article, we are always in the hope that we can change our words at different places even the meanings we express are very similar. For achieving that goal, we need to ...
5
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3answers
153k views

Is this the correct way to wish a friend luck?

This is a very simple question, but I just wanted to determine if the following statement is correct or not when we want to wish a friend luck who is going to do a presentation on a conference. ...
5
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3answers
3k views

Meaningful use of 'hard to believe'

We often say or write, "It is hard to believe." Similarly, would it be correct if we say "He is hard to believe" to mean that whatever he is saying is hard to believe? I am getting confused here?
5
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2answers
845 views

usage of although

I am trying to learn how to use although. Is the sentence below correct? Although, low vegetation being portrayed as buildings is restricted by the elevation constraint, some vegetation patches ...
3
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1answer
748 views

Mistaking 'unknown quality'

From an article in the New York Times: Whatever the reason, Mr. Quayle remains an unknown quality to almost half of the electorate, despite [...] And from a New York Times blog post: The ...
5
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4answers
31k views

"within this year" vs "by the end of this year"

If I'd express the thought that the plan will be published at anytime before the end of this year, which of the following two sentences that I should use? 1) The plan will be published within this ...
7
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3answers
2k views

"On one hand" not followed by "On the other hand"

Reading the following articles on The New York Times, I observe that the journalists use the phrase "On one hand" through their pieces. The Freedom of an Armed Society by Firmin ...
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4answers
32k views

Is 'are you outside' different from 'are you out'?

Let's say I am supposed to meet my friend and I want to make sure that he is at home when I arrive, so I call him and ask Are you out right now? or Are you outside right now? The first ...
4
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1answer
4k views

Let's go as a question?

Let's say my roommates and I are planning to go to place X, and they are waiting for me to get dressed. After getting dressed, I might say something like this: Dude I am ready, let's go. What I ...
4
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2answers
937 views

Using "worse" after the verb "grow"

As the problems of poverty grow worse, a class of rabble (Pobel) is thus created. —Terry Pinkard I was stumbled across the above piece and when I read the Terry Pinkard's bolded sentence, I ...
3
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2answers
14k views

What is the difference between 'it is' and 'there is' in this context?

Lets say I get in a bus and notice that the bus conductor today is a lady rather than a guy, What should I say There is a lady conductor today. or It is a lady conductor today. I rely on my ...
2
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1answer
2k views

" ... a place where they can go ... " vs. " ... a place where to go ... "

Language changes, as everything does. Doubly important, then, that these members have their club. “This is a full-time job for me, but I don’t mind,” Mr. Allen said. “I see these people get ...
6
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3answers
19k views

'Come to'/'Come in': what is the difference?

Consider these expressions: Come to my room. Come in my room. When I came in the lobby/corridor in the evening, there were tons of people gathered around for X. When I came to the ...
5
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3answers
26k views

Asking for a person: "Could I speak 'to'/'with' Kristina?"

If one is asking for a person, what should s/he say—1 or 2? Could I speak to Kristina? Could I speak with Kristina?
6
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2answers
6k views

What is the difference between "them" and "them all"?

The OALD gives two examples using them all. I cut them all a piece of birthday cake. I cut a piece of birthday cake for them all. Is there any difference between using them, and them all in ...
3
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1answer
18k views

"Kristina 'has passed'/'passed' her exam! She 'has got'/'got' 90%"

Kristina has passed her exam! Kristina passed her exam! Does English use the present perfect (1) or the past tense (2) to announce news? Apart the way to express the vote—90%, 90, I don't know—which ...
5
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3answers
272 views

"[Do you know that] Kristina has found a job 'at last'/'finally'/'eventually'/'in the end'[?]"

Kristina has found a job at last. Kristina has found a job finally. Kristina has found a job eventually. Kristina has found a job in the end. Apart the word order, on which I have doubts - ...
4
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3answers
827 views

Kristina 'stopped'/'finished' drinking [a cup of] tea and then went to sleep

(1) Kristina stopped drinking tea ... (2) Kristina finished drinking tea ... (3) Kristina stopped drinking a cup of tea ... (4) Kristina finished drinking a cup of tea ... Are the ...
7
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4answers
16k views

"need + verb-ing" vs "need + [to be] + verb-ed"

1 That sofa needs cleaning again. 2 That sofa needs to be cleaned again. Which of the above senteces sounds more natural? And, is "to be" always needed in structures like 2, as, for example,...
3
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4answers
3k views

'Short' is/means [quite] the opposite/contrary of 'tall'

1 'Short' is [quite] the opposite of 'tall'. 2 'Short' is [quite] the contrary of 'tall'. 3 'Short' means [quite] the opposite of 'tall'. 4 'Short' means [quite] the contrary of 'tall'. Which of the ...
6
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2answers
1k views

Does "Don't stick your foot/shoe in the wall" fit this context?

Let's say there is a guy who is standing next to a wall with his leg half bent backwards and pressed against the wall. I want to tell him to stop doing it as I am worried about the appearance of the ...
6
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3answers
2k views

What is the meaning of ‘through’ in ‘playing through the pain’?

I often read on sports websites that X player played through the pain and helped his win the game. What exactly does through mean here? The dictionary meaning of through closest to the context seems ...
2
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1answer
3k views

What are the meaning of "There you got", "Here you are", "There you are" and "There you go"? [closed]

I would like to know where and when we use these phrases. There you got Here you are There you are There you go Can anybody explain?
15
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9answers
3k views

Is there a word for immediate future just like "just" for immediate past?

Let's say, Someone asks me Are you having dinner right now? But right now I have an important call to make, so I say Not right now but I will have it in 4-5 minutes. Even though I say 4-5 ...
21
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5answers
108k views

What does "How come" mean?

Is How come a phrase? What does it mean? Is it formal or informal? British or American? Can I use it in anywhere?
4
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2answers
654 views

What is the opposite of 'go down the road'?

Let's say I am in my car, and I have to give directions for a place located two-three miles behind the car. How should I describe it? From what I know, if the something is located at some distance ...
9
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2answers
128k views

Is it ok to say "good morning" at anytime?

A friend of mine told me that you can say "good morning" to a person at any time, if you are seeing him/her for the first time on that day. Is this true?
7
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1answer
12k views

How is “supposed to” different from “expected to”?

Macmillan dictionary defines to be supposed to do something as to be expected or intended to happen in a particular way or to have a particular result Consider this expression You are not ...
4
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3answers
31k views

Can I say "What are you doing today?" when I want to say "Hi!" to a person?

Can I say "What are you doing today?" when I want to say "Hi!" to a person?
5
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2answers
339 views

How is come around different from just coming?

For these two expressions Some of my friends will come at 6 in the evening. Some of my friends will come around at 6 in the evening. I would like to know if these two expression differ in meaning? ...