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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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1answer
25 views

What is the meaning of the phrase “staring at starvation”?

I read a sentence which was: A lack of dignified employment, non payment of adequate wages on time and insufficient food mean that the family of four is in a dicey situation and staring at ...
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1answer
35 views

He has wasted his time when he was at university. (tense choice)

Could you please tell me whether the sentence He has wasted his time when he was at university. is grammatical? What seems a little bit confusing is that the the present tense (has wasted) refers ...
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0answers
9 views

Is the sentence “What programs help young people in studying?” correct? [closed]

I am not really sure if "in studying" here is OK. Thank you very much!
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2answers
50 views

Meaning of turn up

I read in an article this sentence: Anyone who's ever pushed themselves to get to the next level or accomplish something knows that when you really challenge yourself, you can turn up amazing ...
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2answers
33 views

The usage of “All clear”

Based on Merriam-Webster: "all clear" means a signal that a danger has passed I would like to use it for another purpose in the sentence: I have rejected him the moment he came all clear about his ...
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1answer
23 views

Is the phrase “My circle of the people I know” correct?

I know a similar phrase which is "my circle of friends". Thus, would this one apply as that phrase? The sentence: Who could that be? Although my circle of the people I know, is not that big.
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5answers
827 views

Form a circle line? (Verb)

Let's say a primary school teacher is going to tell a story. But before she starts, she is asking her students to: form a circle line surrounding her (like this one in the picture) What is a ...
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0answers
22 views

It's possible that I used to be like that

Situation: you just watched a video of a baby crying incessantly, which you thought that you might be like the baby when you were at that age (now you are an adult). You express this as: "It's ...
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3answers
41 views

Does saying “have good holidays” sound weird?

When you wish someone to have a good weekend, you say, "Have a good weekend!". But what about wishing someone to have good holidays? Does "have good holidays" sound weird? I'm just asking because I ...
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1answer
37 views

“stand” vs. “stand for”

I heard in the movie Scarface: You can't stand for another man to be touching me. Do people say stand for someone to do something? Also I am not clear on the difference between stand and stand ...
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1answer
20 views

Nullified the deportation rule ON/TO/FOR her

Let's say your aunt got deported by the U.S government. Few weeks later, she came back, as the gov't has nullified the deportation rules because your aunt gave birth in the U.S.A (more like mandatory ...
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2answers
15 views

What does “in more than two years” mean exactly in this sentence?

In the following sentence The ceasefire's one of the agreements that was reached this past week in Sweden where the two sides fighting Yemen's war have been meeting. They've been having their first ...
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1answer
25 views

“no exception to this rule”

I want to express a rule in general and then notice that this rule involves me as well. Is the following sentence, grammatically and literally correct? In my city, people generally follow their ...
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1answer
21 views

The meaning of a line: you'd Chuck the whole sorry lot of them

It's the word from Insp. Japp in ABC Murder,when Hercule Poirot talked about the letters from abc. Now, if you were busy, you'd see these for what they are--nasty, cruel people, and some mad bloke ...
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1answer
15 views

“so… that…” emphasizing construction

What's the right way of using this "so... that..." emphasizing construction? At times her guesses are so accurate, it makes me suspect that she has some special ability to read my mind. At ...
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2answers
24 views

“possesses some amount of Japanese”

Can I use the verb "possess" in describing a person's level of proficiency in some language? Just like his brother Henry, he possesses some amount of Japanese that enables him to handle simple ...
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1answer
28 views

The meaning of “the inconsistencies are generally consistent”

I was watching a TV program and I couldn’t quite get the meaning of a phrase. The doughnuts don’t look that great I know there are inconsistencies but the inconsistencies are generally ...
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2answers
26 views

“Slick in the eye”?

Is there such phrase in English as "slick in the eye" to have the meaning as "directly to the eye"? For example: "A glass bead hit him right in the eye." or "A glass bead hit him slick in the ...
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1answer
19 views

Nothing could get any better than firsthand experience (correct phrase)

Let's say nothing could beat firsthand experience. And you say: Nothing could get any better than firsthand experience. Or Nothing can be better than firsthand experience. Which is correct to ...
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1answer
33 views

Not as what I thought it would be OR not as I thought it would be

Let's say Youtube videos always have a "clickbait" modus, that is, they have catchy title, BUT when click them, they are fake. it goes like this: Youtube videos always have a catchy title, but ...
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2answers
44 views

“Good Night” / “Good Nights”

Is there an expression like "Good Nights" in spoken/written English that differs from "Good Night"? People who speak Spanish language use "Buenas Noches" which literally means "Good Nights". The same ...
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4answers
7k views

The meaning of “I’m very cheap”?

Woman: I didn't know you were coming back. Man: I wasn't, but I had made an appointment at the hair salon before I left, and they don't do refunds for cancellations. I'm very cheap. What does "I’...
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1answer
29 views

What does 'divide against' mean?

AFAIU, there's a phrase by Abraham Lincoln (and maybe Bible before that, I'm not sure, but it doesn't matter) 'a house divided against itself cannot stand'. I guess I somewhat understand the meaning ...
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1answer
22 views

Does “walk in” here just mean “enter someplace”?

The full text is from the lines of a comedy TV drama: Because fathers never really know who their daughters are. They don't want to know, do they? It would be terrifying to know who they are ...
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1answer
21 views

What's the meaning of “somebody gave up something to somebody”?

It's a line from "The Marvelous Ms. Maisel" a comedy-drama in the 1950s. The phrase I confused is a line from a comedy stand-up, here are the full story: I do not charge for sex. I mean, that's ...
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2answers
56 views

What's the meaning of these phrases?

Basically is a compliment for a speech, here are the phrases: That was a tight one minute, Brian. You're ready for Jack Paar. I know who Jack Paar is but what's "you are ready for"? I also don't ...
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1answer
42 views

Can an idea “make common sense”?

Can I use the phrase common sense like that? The United Kingdom can reverse #Brexit...if it wants to. The statement of the Court of Justice of the EU makes common sense.
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5answers
4k views

“[A] voice that bored a thousand ships into sinking themselves”

Still a line from "The Marvelous Ms. Maisel" The character said: And Stan... who has a voice that bored a thousand ships into sinking themselves. I was totally lost about this phrase.
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1answer
27 views

“as great as has”

Which sentence is more correct and why? Einstein is as great a scientest as HAS ever lived. Or, Einstein is as great a scientist as ever lived.
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1answer
66 views

Clauses and Phrases: When does a new independent clause begin?

In the sentence below, is "on" an adverb and is "another" a quantifier? I thought they were but I am unsure. Please help as soon as possible. I am willing to learn how to identify these tough parts of ...
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1answer
35 views

The difference between the gerund and the participls

"They prefer buying organic food " in this phrase " buying " us a verb or a noun ...?
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1answer
24 views

HELD UP meaning in a specific context

I came across a short conversation which is writen below: A: I like your luggage. B: It looks nice but it hasn't held up well. What did the person B mean? and what the meaning of held up well is ...
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1answer
22 views

Describe a back/middle office job

I'd like to know any better ways to casually describe a back/middle office job responsibility when briefly introducing myself. The situation is when you just state your position in short to someone (...
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1answer
25 views

how to express century and what is the meaning of them

We have both 1900s and 1900's to express 20th century. What is the difference between these two expression? For example, in the early 1900's marine biologists realized that if new measures were ...
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2answers
120 views

Difference between 'way back then' and 'way back when'

Can anyone here please tell me the difference between 'way back then' and 'way back when' ? Thanks, Vivek
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1answer
26 views

can we say “All in a day's disappointment”?

What does the phrase "all in a day's disappointment" mean? Look, Lacy has forgot to put her toys in the box after playing again! All in a day's disappointment, I guess. Would it be wrong to modify ...
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1answer
454 views

Usage of “How I wish I could…”

How and when is the phrase "How I wish I could..." used? I came across this phrase at at least two instances: How I wish he could question the Indian powers! How I wish I could. But I have a real ...
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1answer
20 views

In fact, Indeed

Jair Bolsonaro is the new president of Brazil. Indeed, this last election provoked a division of opinions among voters. In this phrase is normal use "in fact" or "indeed"? These words are synonymous?
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1answer
42 views

Rephrasing of “a person with this habit/with a habit of”

Is it grammatically and lexically correct to call a person with a particular habit "a habit holder" or "a habit carrier" for short?
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1answer
35 views

It doesn't work AS WHAT THEY SAY IT IS (phrase/expression)

Let's say you have downloaded an 'adblocker' app on your phone. Then, when you are testing it, it's not working, you are now grumpy due to that because you feel that you have been fooled by the app's ...
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1answer
24 views

Meaning of “no more right”

Man has no more right to say an uncivil thing than to act one According to me the meaning of this phrase is: Man has equal right to say an uncivil thing and to act an uncivil thing. Am I right?
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3answers
105 views

Is “that makes sense” a neutral reply?

I wonder if it is neutral (in a sense close to that no positive or negative things implied) when an American utters "that makes sense" after hearing an explanation. I would like to know if it is used ...
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2answers
94 views

On the right usage of “had they been …”

I need to know if my usage of the term had they been. This is a phrase: Had they been aware of the danger, they would perform regular checks I want to say if they have been aware of the danger, ...
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2answers
31 views

Apologizing informally

Is it appropriate to say 'Sorry for making this hard for you'? Some context: We tried to set up a time to meet but we have conflicting schedules so we decided to meet later at night.
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1answer
69 views

Writing a sentence starting with “To do so” in a semi-formal essay

Can I start my essay with "To do so"? Does it sound too informal? These are the sentences: the teacher could give a lecture ... To do so, they should train ...
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1answer
43 views

What does “free somebody for something” mean?

I get confused when I read this sentence: "An increasingly efficient agricultural industry freed British workers for factory employment." Does the phrase "free...for..." exist? Does it mean "workers ...
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0answers
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Why use “like” In the question "What is a typical home like there?

I found this Question in a student book and I can't understand why not "What is a typical home there?"
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1answer
56 views

What are these structures called and how do they differ?

A long serving member of the Army, he recieved many decorations including The George Cross, the most fitting conclusion to his distinguished career. People often pass away because they've simply '...
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1answer
27 views

You already have stopped smoking by now(phrase)

Let's say you have a friend who can't stop smoking cigarette, and you don't believe him saying that he is concern about his health. And you say: "If you were really concern about your health, ...
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1answer
33 views

What is the grammatical points in these sentences?

I'd like to know the grammatical points of the phrases "when children have a job" and "due to their age" in these sentences and how I can find more details about building sentences ( a common ...