Questions tagged [phrases]

A phrase is a group of words that make a unit of syntax with a single grammatical function.

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"The trailer of the film was misdirection ran wild." Is this sentence natural?

"The trailer of the film was misdirection ran wild." I have heard the phrase "run wild" mostly in imperative sentences i.e. "Let your imagination run wild". I am not sure ...
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Can we say "I am on my way to being an expert at it"?

Can we use the phrase "I am on my way" in this context? I am on my way to being an expert at it
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What does the phrase "two-wheeled rubber duckie" mean here"

What does the phrase "two-wheeled rubber duckie" mean in the following sentence from the description of the game Joe Danger Infinity: On a two-wheeled rubber duckie, you might be dressed as ...
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Is "There is lots of..." wrong?

I'm aware of these phrases that people usually use: A lot of... Lots of... A load of... Loads of... And I would think those phrases are interchangeably used without changing the meaning or something,...
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to be better vs to get (feel) better

Julia has been ill, but now she's beginning _______ better. The answer is "to feel" or "to get". Could you explain if I can use "to be"? Source: English Grammar in Use ...
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Why there 'can't help improve' is used, not 'can't help improving'?

I'm doing my grammar practice in which a question confuses with me. I'm afraid your suggestion can't help ( ) the service of their shop. A. improve B. improving C. in improving D. for improving ...
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How to express the process of making communication more elegant?

I'm looking for a phrase that would express the act of reducing some convoluted idea into one that can be well understood to a layman or perhaps crafting a piece of media to make it express the ...
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Murder, she emailed [closed]

You might know the phrase template from the crime comedy series "Murder, She Wrote" with Angela Lansbury, but before that there was the "Miss Marple" film "Murder, She Said&...
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2 answers
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Is it correct to say "How many more sets do you have?" at the gym?

Is it correct to say "How many more sets do you have?" at the gym? I think what I heard from native speakers was something like: "How many more sets you got to do?"
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What does "joint predictability capacity" mean?

By reading the abstract of (Apergis 2013), I saw that By using panel methodological approaches and daily data spanning the period 1985–2012, the empirical analysis documents the joint predictability ...
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1 answer
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What does 'be overhead by' mean? [closed]

https://www.lexico.com/definition/barren ‘In Act Two the barren Lady Kix, lamenting her childless and unfruitful state, is overhead by Touchwood Senior.’ I couldn't find any 'overhead' meaning that ...
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2 answers
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What does 'with oil' mean here?

In an essay, the writer talks about a public relations team and writes, "they're the people who try to make sure everyone sees the corporation as the good guys. Even when they kill puppies. With ...
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What does 'set melted sugar' mean?

Oxford dictionaries (at least the lexico.com version of them) have several definitions containing 'set melted sugar' in them: https://www.lexico.com/definition/brittle A brittle sweet made from nuts ...
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What's the meaning of 'in an essential way'?

I thought it meant something like 'necessarily', but there are plenty of other contexts where it has a different meaning, e.g. 'basically'. What does it mean?
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2 answers
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What is the meaning of phrase "were on top of your paperwork"?

I was anxious to hear about Theodore Nott and -- thought I'd check whether you'd kept your promise and were on top of your paperwork. What is the meaning of phrase "were on top of your paperwork&...
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What does "Jewish nose" imply?

In the following link of the youtube video at 1:10, the bride says: "He is an Irishman with a Jewish nose." What does "Jewish nose" imply to make people laugh out loud in the video?...
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7 answers
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"I only have a friend” vs "I only have one friend”

What's the difference between these sentences? I only have a friend. I only have one friend. Or are they actually the same?
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1 vote
2 answers
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Is the word "genuinely" redundant in this sentence (I have to genuienly agree with you)?

I replied to someone's text by saying, "I have to genuinely agree with you." However, the person told me that the word "genuinely" in this sentence is redundant. It dilutes the ...
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Identifying the function and type of the phrases

There are some sentences which i can't figure out the function of the phrase. Can you help me? 1- [To look at], the helmet resembles nothing so much as a novelty head massage gadget with several ...
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2 answers
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How to rephrase "What kind of me will make you miss"?

I'm trying to phrase the following sentence in question form: "what kind, in what form of myself would make you miss me". This is what I figured out: What kind of me will make you miss? ...
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Is using the phrase 'That being said' acceptable in an academic paper for science?

I'm currently writing an academic paper on radioactivity, and I included the following sentence in one of my paragraphs: That being said, it is also our (the community’s) responsibility to uphold the ...
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"Don't break character" meaning

I wanted to know the meaning of this phrase in the music of “be still” from “killers”: “ Don't break character
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2 answers
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Idiom for "I thought about it a lot"

I am wondering what are the alternatives for "I thought a lot about it" in English using an idiom or fixed expression? I thought a lot about it, but I couldn't find any answer to it. I ...
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How to talk about a class or meeting?

Is it correct to say: Will you run the meeting/class tomorrow? When we want to ask if the meeting or class will be exacuted by tomorrow. Is it the way American native speakers say it? Also I want to ...
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What category does the statement "sounds like a plan" fall in?

Is 'sounds like a plan' a phrase or an idiom?
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How to say "I am not the person you think I am"

How to say it when: Somebody thinks you are Jack but you are Bob. I know it's wrong if I say "you got me wrong". But what can I say to say you have found a wrong person? Also the same ...
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When someone is falling out of favor with someone else (Informal equivalent)

I am intrigued to know how would you normally imply the following notion in everyday speech? When you do something which makes people stop liking you or admiring you you might fall out of favor with ...
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When someone suddenly slows down or stops doing what they started passionately and vigorously

When a runner gets exhausted during a competition, they might slow down either: to save energy to keep back going after a short time (intentionally) or just due to the lack of adequate and required ...
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Does "Are thousands of times a charm?" sound correct?

I want to interpret the idiom "the third time's a charm" differently by questioning whether, if you did it a thousand times/thousands of times, it would then be a charm. So is putting it ...
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1 vote
2 answers
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A verb to imply something has made you feel not tired anymore

Work can wear you out, whether your job requires physical labor or not. Imagine you feel really tired due to a long time of hard work either (either mentally or physically), or when you are back home ...
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A smile of contentment

Would you be so kind as to let me know which phrasing below sounds more natural and constructionally more appealing in English? I never forget the moment when he came up to me .......... and said: &...
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“The issues <as> he sees them”

What’s the function of “as” in “the issues as he sees them”? (The picture says “as he sees them” is an adnominal clause.) All I can guess is that this noun phrase is the reduced form of “the issues as ...
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"Say it simple" or "say it simply"

I haven't confused myself about an adjective and an adverb in a long time, but this one really got me. I am trying to say: "Say it, using simple language, with one clear message." In short: &...
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The verb for overtaking in a specific way

I am wondering what is the verb, expression or idiom which is used when a car tries to overtake its adjacent car and since there is another car ahead, the driver has to deviate their car and pass ...
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2 answers
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How to state "as I had no other choice" adverbially?

I am looking for an adverb which can be substituted for the following phrase defined within double quotation: Example 1) She said: I was s far away from my apartment and had lost my wallet. I didn't ...
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Phrase meaning of: "A man who maintains."

Of course I can check a dictionary for the meaning of "maintain" but I don't think the phase "a man who maintains" makes sense as a whole. The full context: ... a man who knows ...
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What does "biting one's nails" mean?

It is puzzling. When I search online for "what is nail biting" all I get are pages explaining how to stop, not what it is. Is it simply the act of biting the nails, or does it necessarily ...
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2 answers
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Meaning of a confusing phrase

I don't know the meaning of the phrase "accurate to within" in a sentence like "It is accurate to within 0.07mm". I need some assistance.
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6 votes
4 answers
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The history of the "morning after" pill doesn't explain its name

The phrase "morning after" interested me while reading this page: Example 1.8 RU-486 is claimed to be an effective “morning after” contraceptive pill, but is it really effective? I got to ...
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What is the meaning of Capacity to shape the future [closed]

I want to know the interpretation of capacity to shape the future
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1 answer
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"Prolonged the maintenance frequency" is it correctly phrased?

Let's say the recommended maintenance schedule is once a month or 12 times per year. If the person decided to do xxx, they do not have to maintain it monthly. They can do it less frequently. How can I ...
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3 answers
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Is it correct to say "Neither in mine"?

Two teachers are having conversation after visiting two different classrooms for lecture. They are saying that no student was there in their class (lecture)(I.e., No student attended their class). The ...
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What does it imply when someone addresses someone else with the phrase “you of all people”?

Consider a situation in which two individuals are talking — person A and person B. In the conversation, A addresses B with the phrase: “you of all people”. What does the phrase “you of all people” ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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What is the definition of distant family?

I am not sure whether or not family collocates with distant, but my teacher gave me a list of words and phrases to write definitions for. I searched the internet for the definition of distant family ...
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5 answers
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Can "at least " be used in a positive sentence?

I found the sentence below on one of my dictionaries. The repairs will cost at least $100. It seems to me that this is used when the repair cost is expensive to the speaker. Can "at least "...
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Does " adjacent order of arrangement" make sence?

I want to use the phrase "adjacent order of arrangement", for example, as follows: The four sides of a die are numbered 2, 6, 5 and 1 in adjacent order of arrangement. I could not find ...
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What is the meaning of "which are without any traces in the ancient classical heritage"?

The eighteenth century has gifted English literature two entirely new forms which are without any traces in the ancient classical heritage. Why is the bolded statement (my bolding) included: what ...
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Fire away (please)

According to the dictionary definition: Fire away is used for giving sb permission to ask a question. Can I ask you a question? --- Fire away. I was wondering if a university professor asks me: ...
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1 vote
2 answers
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Beyond oneself with worry vs. Beside oneself with worry

I know that to be beside oneself with worry is idiomatic. But it looks like to be beyond oneself with worry, anger, etc. is also used - I see quite a few results on Google Books. However, I have been ...
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1 vote
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What does “She’s a ten and I am a 5” mean? [duplicate]

If you have seen the movie She’s Out of My League, in one scene they give everyone marks: “She’s a ten, and I’m a five. How can we be together?” What do these numbers mean?
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