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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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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
57 views

Go down the hall meaning? (For giving directions)

When I asked for the directions to the HR's cubicle, I got this reply: Go down the hall then take the first left, You will find the HR's cubicle there. (I don't remember exactly what he said.) I ...
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5answers
791 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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1answer
5k views

Shorter phrase or word to say `the day before yesterday`

Is there any phrase or word to say 'the day before yesterday' but shorter? It seems very explicit say 'the day before yesterday' and in other languages there are sentences and words with this meaning....
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1answer
52 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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6answers
26k views

Why is “many a man” singular while “many men” plural?

Recently I came to know that there is a construction "Many a man" which is equivalent to "many men". But I also noticed that the former construction is considered as singular, e.g. Many a man has ...
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0answers
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32 views

can't understand in what situation to use want vs wants

I have a sentence "Creative mind that want to develop in every possible way" I reacted to the word "want" and thought it should be "wants" but I don't really know why, or if it's even correct to ...
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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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1answer
233 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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3answers
40 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
267 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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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
23 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
64 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
20 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
298 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
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
22 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
27 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
25 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
223 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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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
76 views

What's the meaning of “It came right as”?

It came right as president Trump and the Japanese Prime minister were sitting down for dinner at the president's private resor Mar-aLago in Palm Beach, Florida. In this sentence, What's the meaning ...
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1answer
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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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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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2answers
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“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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1answer
26 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
187 views

Using an infinitive in subordinate clause

The Infinitive phrase may be subject: For you to learn English is good subjective complement: My desire is for my family to be happy object: I consider it better for children to learn ...
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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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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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41 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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2answers
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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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2answers
21k views

'put on hold' or 'kept on hold'

I was trying to write a formal email to my manager stating that the change controls are put on hold. For 'put on hold', i meant that the change controls are on 'hold' status and are no more processed. ...
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1answer
24 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
200 views

What is “making up one's life”?

Having evaded wretchedness, the gay young man making up his shining life in the city is one of civilization’s wonders, and Édouard Louis is a new, inspiring real-life example of such transfiguration.
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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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0answers
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How to identify phrases in this sentence [duplicate]

How do I start to identify the phrases (noun, verb, preposition, etc...) in this sentence? It’s red and it has a broken seat but we found another seat to put on it.
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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
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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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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2answers
96 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
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
41 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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3answers
257 views

Avoid clichés when enumerating points or topics

I found the following sentences in many English Writing books for exams like TOEFL: First and foremost, ... Second, ... Third, ... Last but not least, ... However, my grammar ...