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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.

6
votes
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"?
6
votes
2answers
1k views

Perfect infinitive

I thought we can use perfect infinitive construction to talk about plans which didn't happen. For instance: I was to have started work last week, but I changed my mind. But what about that ...
9
votes
4answers
21k views

“My sister and I” versus “I and my sister”

I've been told to put "I" at the last part of the subject, as in "My sister and I walk to school." Is saying "I and my sister walk to school." wrong?
3
votes
1answer
1k views

Meaning of the phrase “little too”?

Does the phrase 'little too' mean same as 'very', or is it mild form of very ? For instance, I am little too comfortable talking to you. Does it mean same as 'I am very comfortable talking to you' ?
6
votes
3answers
9k views

“By oneself” versus “on one's own”

Is there any difference between these three pairs? If there is, is it the same difference? I did it by myself. I did it on my own.   He lives by himself. He lives on his own. &...
17
votes
3answers
65k views

“I am hurting” in the meaning of “I am hurt”? Why?

Once in a while I hear someone use the phrase I am hurting. It appears to mean I am hurt, not I am hurting you. For example, consider the text on this drawing: When and why is it correct to say I'm ...
-1
votes
3answers
2k views

I bought something two days ago - quick question

I have this question that my brain cannot understand because for me it seems to be very illogical. Please, try to explain this to me. It is both english problem but also my native language problem. ...
43
votes
6answers
32k views

'Ask away' - what does 'away' mean?

“Sir,” said Harry, reminding himself irresistibly of Voldemort, “I wanted to ask you something.” “Ask away, then, my dear boy, ask away. . . .” In this sentence, I don't know what does 'away' ...
19
votes
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?
1
vote
2answers
744 views

What is the meaning of “stop to do”?

My teacher said that "stop to do" had two meanings: quit doing present work to do next work (which is following after the word "do") and pause for a while then continue. I have searched a lot about ...
5
votes
2answers
82k views

What does it mean? “being into someone”

I was reading a book and there was a sentence in it : Are you into me? It was like a romantic dialog but i don't know the exact meaning. So i have 2 questions: 1. What does it mean? 2. I ...
1
vote
1answer
1k views

'Call up' - what does 'up' mean?

call up : to make a phone call to a person or a place Call up and make a reservation for eight o'clock. Can you call up for me and tell them I'm sick? In these sentences, I don't know what does '...
2
votes
3answers
3k views

Understanding a passage in relation with 'Clauses' and 'Phrases'

Below is the screenshot of a passage from 'Oxford Guide to English Grammar by John Eastwood'. The passage says A clause has a subject and a verb. Subject and Verb are the elements of a sentence or a ...
0
votes
2answers
72 views

“the page elements” or “the page's elements”

Many times I see constructions like the node's text , the node text the node's tag, the node tag the page elements, the page's elements the page footer (to mean the footer of page), ...
-2
votes
1answer
83 views

Grammar: Phrase and Actions

Our clothes sell so well in this country that we have no need to export. Two questions. Our clothes sell so well in this country... Is this part of the sentence a noun phrase although it ...
13
votes
6answers
29k 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 ...
9
votes
3answers
41k views

Why “Would you mind if I asked you something?” is correct?

Instead of "Would you mind if I ask you something?" Why past tense, I don't get it?
8
votes
3answers
68k views

Analyzing “So am I”

"I'm hungry." "So am I." Please reveal the reason behind saying "So am I". It seems it has an interrogative structure. Is it wrong to say "So I am" ?
8
votes
5answers
4k views

What do you call it when someone searches through your stuff?

This is one of the things that I don't really know the proper name for, because I've never heard anyone say it, but I know how to explain it. Let's say a toddler is searching through your backpack, ...
10
votes
4answers
2k views

How to understand “bomb the expletive out of something”? Is that an idiomatic expression?

I came across this sentence with a strange use of the word "expletive", Trump has variously expressed enthusiasm for outsourcing the fight against the Islamic State to Vladimir Putin and for ...
6
votes
1answer
5k views

If a sentence starts with an adverbial phrase, should I place a comma after it?

Someone was proofreading a letter I wrote and stating that I use too many commas. Many of the examples are cases where a sentence starts with an adverbial phrase: Furthermore, I have developed ...
5
votes
4answers
2k views

“In such a people” — meaning?

"It would be well for us to admire what is worthy of admiration in such a people, rather than to carp about their errors." what is meant by in such a people? Is it (in such a people) a phrase or a ...
4
votes
1answer
808 views

Why is it called “under the sea” when it should be “in the sea?” [duplicate]

Why is the phrase "under the sea" constructed the way it is? Shouldn't it be "in the sea?" Does "sea" refer to the surface of the ocean in this case? Or is it just one of those quirks in English?
2
votes
3answers
612 views

How to Grammatically Discern “after all”, Phrase?

“People were excited by violence. What, after all, was the sexual act but a voluntarily endured assault, a momentary death?” ― P.D. James, Innocent Blood How may you discern this phrase? It seemed ...
0
votes
1answer
74 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 ...
8
votes
4answers
9k views

Is “in one go” British English or just English?

I'm playing a game on a forum that involves guessing who posted. An American English speaker said that because the poster wrote "in one go" (meaning "in one sitting"), they were probably British or ...
8
votes
3answers
1k views

“Watch the step” without stairs

When travelling on trains in the USA, I have noticed a sign saying "watch the step" close to the exit. I thought it was referring to stairs, but nowhere close to the exit I have seen stairs. I also ...
6
votes
3answers
12k views

“Would you mind if I [do something]?” versus “Would you mind me [doing something]?”

Is there any difference between the following sentences? Would you mind if I smoke a cigarette outside? Would you mind me smoking a cigarette outside? Would you mind if I prepare a tea cup ...
6
votes
3answers
8k views

“God only knows” vs. “Only God knows”

One can say only God knows in reference to some mystery only an omniscient being would know, or for those who prefer their oaths minced, heaven knows or goodness knows or lord knows. The inverted ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

What's the meaning of “out” in “build out”?

From NPR Critics suggest these big ISPs aren't building out their networks enough to keep pace with the huge growth in demand. I haven't found the definition of "build out" in the dictionary, so I ...
2
votes
2answers
589 views

Singular possessive, plural possessive or neither

For example suppose we record the actions (clicks) a user performs during the use of software. What "the order of actions" is called and what is the meaning of the following choices? action order (...
2
votes
2answers
7k views

Somewhere, or sometime, down the road?

If you're talking about doing something in the future, do you say "somewhere down the road", or "sometime down the road"?
2
votes
1answer
21k views

What is the term for the child of my aunt or uncle?

How do you call your aunt's or uncle's daughter and son respectively in English? Are they just called 'cousin'? or do you call them 'sister' or 'brother'? (Not about how I call them to their face ...
2
votes
1answer
751 views

What does “drop of an opinion” mean?

What does "drop of an opinion" mean in this context: They were almost as much into talking as they were into protesting. They were ready to take part in an all-night bull-session on the space ...
2
votes
3answers
37k views

Missing someone's call

I have a question about missing someone's call throughout the day. Since you have missed multiple calls, is it OK to say "I'm sorry I have missed your calls. I'm giving you a call back." Or should ...
2
votes
2answers
435 views

“work from” or “work in”

Does the following phrases have the same meaning? work from a studio vs work in a studio work from home vs work at home I mean, when can I use the phrase "work from"? What's the difference between "...
1
vote
1answer
2k views

Construction of “it's too hard a task”

Why do we say "it's too hard a task" and not "it's a too hard task"? Is there a rule for that?
1
vote
2answers
1k views

Difference between 'prepositional phrase' and 'adjective phrase'?

Can you please help me understand the difference between 'prepositional phrase' and 'adjective phrase'? He drives the car at high speed. (Prepositional phrase) The boy in the shop is my friend. (...
0
votes
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 ...
0
votes
2answers
11k views

Exact meaning of “to kindly invite”

It is common to thank somebody for "a kind invitation". However, when somebody writes I kindly invite you to event xyz, does that not suggest that the person who invites the other is doing the ...
0
votes
1answer
38 views

Relating multiple names and values

I don't know why I have problem with saying a label:value consturction in English: What should I write: In R2, the attributes tagName and className are used to identify the main article of the web ...
0
votes
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 ...
0
votes
1answer
55 views

Making clear I am doing just the first tasks

In a message I sent, I wrote: I am preparing my room to be painted, which means I am moving furniture out of the room, and cleaning the walls from the mold. There isn't nothing much I need to do. ...
0
votes
1answer
27 views

Is 'to avoid company' a correct expression?

I am trying to convey the next message: Being an introvert doesn't mean [avoiding company/to avoid company]. Is it correct to use 'to avoid company' in the meaning of 'to be alone, to keep ...