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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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Usage/understanding of “holding it all”?

In the Off Camera Show (timestamp), Brit Marling says today many people take many photos a day as a way to say I'm here, I'm alive and I'm holding it all. Is this a way to express someone has ...
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1answer
20 views

Noun phrases after the en dash

Some polls showed the party could win just seven percent of the vote - their lowest share in history. Some polls showed the party could win just seven percent of the vote - the party's lowest ...
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1answer
46 views

Can we omit age from “at the age of 10” and say “at 10”? Is that informal?

I am wondering what's the difference between I started to walk at three and the following variants: I started to walk at the age three. I started to walk at age of three. I started to ...
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1answer
139 views

The usage of “run a mile” in a sentence

The phrase "run a mile" means: To try to avoid a situation or a person because you are embarrassed or frightened. Based on this definition, I wonder if you could let me know whether the following ...
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2answers
48 views

“Looking for answers in…” - does “in” mean “related to”?

I found a similar phrase in a title where they used "in": Looking for Answers in Life? Although I have read the article to figure out what in does really mean, in the end, I came up with two ...
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2answers
113k views

Difference between warm wishes and wishes?

When should I use Thanks! for your warm wishes or Thanks! for your wishes? As I understand it, thanks! for your warm wishes means that your wishes are taken heartily. Also, I can use thanks! for your ...
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1answer
10 views

Does it sound natural?

Some were made to cry. Others, to make others cry Does it sound natural? If not, how would you write it? I feel like there is something wrong with it, it's a literal traslation from my mother tongue (...
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1answer
50 views

“If you are to survive, you must believe"

I have read this phrase in a Book(American Gods): “If you are to survive, you must believe" And it sounds very strange to me. I actually didn't get the actual meaning of the phrase. This sentence: "...
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3answers
30 views

We have vs We do have

What is the difference between We have and We do have? Has it same meaning or different meanings?
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1answer
14 views

Beating one's head against the wall / a brick wall

Dictionaries say that the idiom "beating one's head against the wall" means: To attempt continuously and fruitlessly to accomplish some task or achieve some goal that is or seems ultimately ...
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1answer
73 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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0answers
14 views

“A determinative factor”, “A determinant” and “A decisive factor”

To me, and based on dictionary definitions a "determinative factor", a "determinant" and a "decisive factor", imply a truely "crucial factor" which can lead you to make a decision about something. ...
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1answer
24 views

Why is “more than meets the eye” grammatical in some cases?

I find this idiom very interesting, idiomatic and intuitive but not that grammatical to me. Why should we use meets, the third-person singular simple present sense? Can I change it to any other senses?...
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0answers
23 views

From (somebody's / something') side VS On behalf of (someone / something)

Please consider the following sentence: I went on a long-term mission from the company side. I need to mention that the company's authorities have sent me to this mission and they have asked ...
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5answers
11 views

What is the phrase for the management's ideology in which staffs are told to perform other's responsibilities?

It happens in lot of organization. Its a management habit in some organization who think of cutting corners , that they are saving money. These management people tend to overlap responsibilities. ...
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2answers
373 views

What does Tete-a-Tete mean?

I am wondering if Tete-a-Tete has a similar meaning as mutual relation between two entities such as the following: Suicide rate and depression are Tete-a-Tete.
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1answer
54 views

Should [good at something] be understood as active or passive?

I just wrote a psychology quiz and there was a "good at" question that I did not answer correctly. I would like to ask the thread's help on this one. The question was: Is the following a behavior ...
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1answer
271 views

Are both of these phrases grammatically correct?

Are both of these phrases grammatically correct? Preparation of medicinal plant extract. or Preparation medicinal plant extract. Can both be used as headings?
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5answers
135k views

“So am I” or “So do I”?

What would be the correct way to reply to a statement such as: "I belong to this group" Would it be "So do I" or "So am I"?
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1answer
211 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
17 views

the meaning of “but” in the sentence quoted

These are not like the typical U.S. trade associations, which provide important services, but often services that increase the success of efficiency of individual members at the margins. Here, ...
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1answer
20 views

What does the phrase “group into” mean here?

Here is a sentence from a schedule planner app: In the app, you can easily group to-dos into projects and drag tasks within and between them. I am not sure if the word "group into" is used in ...
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1answer
18 views

Last year I took the bus to work. Since then I've taken the train

Just read this in a textbook (not written by natives I believe). Is that correct, unambiguous? I would expect "Since then I have been taking the train".
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1answer
9k views

“I was away last week” versus “I was out of town last week”

Someone asked me whether I was at home or not last week. When I say as a response, "I was away last week", or "I was out of town last week". is there any difference in the meanings? I just want to ...
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1answer
46 views

The show must have come back/come back on

So here, my mom turns to another channel,because the show I was watching went on a break. So I wanted her to turn back to my show again. So what should be used: The show must have come back. Or ...
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2answers
16 views

Is “World Top Education” correct?

Is World Top Education grammatically correct for a section label that wants to summarize that a country's education/universities are among the bests of the world?
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0answers
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What is the meaning of “worked themselves out” in this sentence?

I read a sentence in a chapter in my book which was: A whole complex of emotions and issues, traditions and loyalties worked themselves out in the revolt of 1857. I am not able to figure what out ...
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1answer
50 views

How to say sarcastically “Wait for a long time (perhaps forever)”

Which one of the following phrases can be used in the context below in natural English: A) Let me go! I won't come along with you. I don't like the company of such people. B) But believe me; ...
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1answer
365 views

Clauses with “like” and “than”

He runs just like his brother. He runs just like his brother does. He runs just like his brother runs. Which sentence is grammatically correct. Also, what about these three?: He runs ...
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2answers
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Does “the overall sake” mean “for the sake of the majority of people”?

I was certain that the "phrase" (the) overall sake exist until I have typed it on Google search box to find no result containing it as a whole. So, I want to know if it exists in English and if it ...
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3answers
40 views

Usage of the phrase “give-and-take”

In accordance with the Oxford's explanations: give-and-take - willingness in a relationship to accept what sb else wants and give up some of what you want: - If the dispute is to be resolved ...
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1answer
28 views

Whether a length of time should come with “for”

I came across two sentences with a similar structure. The instance is shown below. For how many weeks is the lecture series given? How many weeks of the lecture series can non-engineering ...
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2answers
71 views

Thanks yenaled!

Is "yenaled" a word in English? If yes, kindly, give me its example from any certified dictionary. My context is: One of my friends was teaching the students on Facebook about this word. As I ...
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2answers
38 views

To burn the midnight oil

Please consider the following scenario: a) I'm really jealous of him; he's a really successful engineer. b) Instead, I'm really proud to have such a colleague! You see! He's been a truly ...
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1answer
49 views

Is “One's life of them” a valid phrase?

I want to use a phrase that takes the form of possession. It may be a matter of an apostrophe with s or a usage of a possessive pronoun, I suppose. What I want the phrase to mean and indicate is that ...
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1answer
22 views

correct usage with phrases

Why doesn't just a sense work as the subject in the following sentence? Why does it need in a sense? A sense we were witnessing someone pushing boundaries and defying conventions. You could have: ...
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1answer
19 views

“Reply about” or “Reply to”

"I'll reply about this later.", is this correct grammatically and right usage of the proposition "about"? or should I have used "to"?
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5answers
76k 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?
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1answer
54 views

The meaning of “corruption of the best is the worst of all”

I have searched the web and found out that the proverbial sentence the corruption of the best is the worst of all has some Latin roots: Corruptio optimi pessima. Which apparantly is ...
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2answers
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What do you call the market for a certain job?

I am not sure, but the only phrase that comes to mind is "X market" as in "janitor market", but I think it may sound odd in certain situation. Here's an example that might help understand what I mean:...
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1answer
32 views

A very slow, weak and loose person

How would you normally in informal (not vulgar) English criticise a slowpoke how normally is very loose, weak and drags his feets when it comes to performing a task and you find it really difficult to ...
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1answer
3k 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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5answers
2k views

Is “Not even an inch” considered a correct phrase?

I found the idiom "not move/budge/change an inch" used when talking about something that won't change as someone's stubborn opinion. Example from Cambridge Dictionary: She's definite that she ...
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5answers
4k views

What is the meaning of “taking in each other's washing”

Of course your existence matters to other people—your parents and others who care about you—but taken as a whole, their lives have no point either, so it ultimately doesn't matter that you matter ...
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4answers
356 views

Which types of prepositional phrase is “toward its employees” in Philosophy guiding the organization's policies towards its employees is not bad?

The philosophy that guides the organization's policies towards its employees is not bad. The philosophy guiding the organization's policies towards its employees is not bad. The organization's ...
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1answer
59 views

Is the sentence a noun phrase/clause

Is the part in bracket He is not sure (where to start a new business) A noun clause or noun phrase
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1answer
24 views

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
17 views

which types of prepositional phrase is it in “ He is a man at heart?”

He is a man at heart. I love a man at/by with heart. Are they two correct? Which types of prepositional phrases are they? I mean whether they acted as adjectival or adverbial prepositional phrases?...
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1answer
295 views

What type of phrase is “Beyond a doubt” here?

Beyond a doubt this man is honest. "Beyond a doubt" seems to be a phrase here and I believe it's a noun phrase, but I'm told it's not. Its a adverb phrase how? What is it?
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1answer
38 views

Thank you email at office [closed]

Could you give me better phrases than this? The situation is that you took 1week leave for vacation and want to say thanks to coworkers. " title: Thank you Thank you so much for your assistance ...