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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4
votes
2answers
10k views

What does the term, “Too soon.” mean?

I hear people say "Too soon." and everyone starts laughing. (I just fake laugh) What does it mean?
4
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2answers
14k views

Is it “on chat” or “in chat” or “over chat”

Normally, I always use on chat when referring to something another user said/commented about in the past. But recently, two or three other users have sometimes corrected me saying that it should ...
4
votes
2answers
108 views

Impressive swelling capacity of grain when being cooked

How to describe a grain-food i.e. rice having impressive capacity to swell when being cooked. Especially when it has more capacity when compared with others (varities) of its' kind on same measure ...
4
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1answer
7k views

“Yours faithfully” or “faithfully yours”? Which one is the correct one?

Yours faithfully faithfully yours I wanna know which one is the correct one?
4
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1answer
80 views

How do I decide between the prepositions “in” and “on”?

I'm wondering about and still confused over when to use on and in, for example like the sentence below: "I like to sunbathe in the sun." In my study I figured out that when using in you the thing ...
4
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1answer
138 views

Can you say “economic agnostic”?

Can you say "economic agnostic" like in the following sentence? Strategy cannot be economic agnostic.
4
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3answers
17k views

When should I use “for instance”?

The OALD just says that for instance is an idiomatic way of saying for example; it doesn't provide any information about in which context it should be used, or any other information. Looking for ...
4
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1answer
816 views

Useful transitional phrases for scientific writing

I am writing a scientific paper at the moment and need a hint for some formulations... I already got some sentences/phrases for my paragraphs: At first our approach was... Due to the performance ...
4
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0answers
354 views

Does “my eyes get open” make any sense? [closed]

I want to sleep until my eyes open without this annoying alarm. Is this sentence correct? If not, what should I write?
4
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2answers
3k views

Usage of “in spite of”

Is his required while using in spite? Is it In spite of his being young, he got the job. or In spite of being young, he got the job.
3
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3answers
1k views

does this mean what I think it means - 4th last time

I'm moving out of my current place in a few days. When I'm doing something a little annoying to my roommate, I joke, "sorry, this is (will be) like the 4th last time I do this", to mean that I'm only ...
3
votes
4answers
950 views

What is the antonym of “short of”?

We often use "short of" as in We are short of cash meaning we do not have enough cash. I wonder what is the antonym of "short of", which means "having too much of". Actually, I expect it to have ...
3
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2answers
334 views

I'd like to know the difference of these two phrases. “have no choice but to” and “cannot be helped”

I'm not sure whether I can use these phrases interchangeably or not. One example is: Gas prices are getting higher and higher, but I have to fill up my car anyway, because I have to drive to work. ...
3
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2answers
250 views

“In charge of” vs “Responsible for”

I would appreciate it if you could let me know what phrase can ne used in the following blanks: 1- Everybody is ................. their own actions. So you cannot blame others for what you did in ...
3
votes
1answer
2k views

What does it mean “like a slug”?

The Dursleys often spoke about Harry like this, as though he wasn't there - or rather, as though he was something very nasty that couldn't understand them, like a slug. (Harry Potter and the ...
3
votes
1answer
511 views

Is “My [nationality] friend” natural and appropriate English?

I sometimes come across Japanese speakers using the phrase "My [nationality] friend". For example, something like "I met my German friend in Kyoto and we went to Kiyomizudera yesterday." (The name ...
3
votes
3answers
763 views

What do we say when a person doesn't support someone in need?

When a friend doesn't stand by his friend in need, what expression do we use for it? I'm particularly looking for a phrasal verb. The sentence should be in positive form, as I've already written the ...
3
votes
3answers
98 views

“for someone to do something” as a noun phrase

Can we use the structure: for + sb/sth + to + verb + ... As a noun phrase? For example, in the following sentence: The best approach to address this issue is [noun (phrase)] Can we complete the ...
3
votes
1answer
2k views

“fancy someone” and other expressions

Explain me some expressions, about relationships, please: fancy someone; go out together; ask someone out; fix someone up. It's all about first contact, but can I substitute one for the other, ...
3
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3answers
9k views

sound made while feeling cold

My grandmother makes noise like "sssshhhh" in very cold weather. which word can I describe this activity/sound? Thanks,
3
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2answers
600 views

What’s the antecedent for this which?

A breeze ruffled the neat hedges of Privet Drive, which lay silent and tidy under the inky sky, (1) the very last place you would expect astonishing things to happen. (Harry Potter and the ...
3
votes
1answer
2k 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' ?
3
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1answer
9k views

“Before last year” vs “the year before last”

I finished school the year before last. I finished school before last year. Is there any difference between these phrases?
3
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1answer
33 views

It is so lovely a day

I know "such a lovely day" is definitely correct, but what do you think of "it's so lovely a day"? Is it okay as well? This part of an exercise I did in FCE use of English, 'it's so lovely day' is ...
3
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1answer
1k views

Involved in or involved with

there are two sentences: The HR department will also be involved with training and professional development of the company's staff. A company's HR department may also be involved in making ...
3
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3answers
44 views

Demoted by two(ranking)

Let's say my hometown used to be the number 1 in terms of cleanliness, but now we are third in ranking. Then I say: "We're not number 1 anymore, we got demoted by 2 and now in number 3 in ranking." ...
3
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2answers
1k views

Is “What is on on TV” correct?

I am from Poland and my private teacher said that the phrase "What is on TV?" is grammatically incorrect and she told me about phrase "What is on on TV?" which is according to her grammatically ...
3
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1answer
601 views

the meaning of “take on”

I have refer to the dictionary. It has the meaning of "take the responsibility of .." The background is: the scientist has invented an kind of technique. He can translating the painting into virtual ...
3
votes
1answer
424 views

What is “the sound of” mean in English?

I listened a dialog from IELTS that was RECEPTIONIST: Yes, we operate several tours up the coast. Where in particular did you wan to go? CUSTOMER: Well, I like the sound of the holiday that ...
3
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1answer
2k views

If + adjective or adjective phrase

I notice lots of sentences use if directly followed by an adjective or an adjective phrase, for example: If necessary, please import more of these types of goods. If a little taller, he could ...
3
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1answer
2k views

Try that T-shirt on or Try on that T-shirt

Can I try that T-shirt on? Can I try on that T-shirt? I look at the dictionary it says 'try sth on' could be used like Try on the shoes, or try it on for size So it seem both ...
3
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1answer
250 views

Can a website be considered as a “place”?

I'm working on a text for a website and don't know, if it would be a mistake to use this phrase: Website.com is the place where the World Meets! I googled it to see if anyone used similar phrases ...
3
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2answers
5k views

What is the meaning of “spoken of” in the last of a sentence?

I am reading a book, in which there is the following sentence. Some 150 of them are in the native Army, and beyond being quoted as somewhat dull, are very highly spoken of. What does spoken of ...
3
votes
1answer
105 views

Is “square foot of area” correct?

In German it is quite common to say „Bitte gib mir einen Tag Zeit.“ Literally this is “* Please give me one day of time.”, but this is not correct in English! While “Please give me ...
3
votes
2answers
607 views

Restructuring the phrase to remove repetition

Would my knowledge about the event make such events from occuring ever in future? Consider the phrase above. the event is in reference to a general event which occurs weekly/fortnightly. Can I use ...
3
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1answer
3k views

Saying “You neither” as a response

I want to know if it's correct to say "you neither" in the context below This is an informal conversation between "A" and "B" A: You didn't wake up early. B: You neither (meaning B is saying ...
3
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2answers
3k views

You say that - meaning

I've come across this conversation exchange in the transcript of a textbook: (the speakers are discussing that a friend of theirs has been dismissed because he was sending personal emails from the ...
3
votes
4answers
12k views

Is there any difference between 'based on' and 'on the basis of'?

Are 'on the basis' and 'based on' exchangeable? For example, can I speak this sentence His article was written on the basis of earlier accounts of reference frames. as the same as another His ...
3
votes
1answer
933 views

Putting “foot in mouth” or “foot in it”?

I know the expression putting foot in ones mouth and I'm not asking about its meaning. However, as I was verifying that I got the idiom perfectly correct, I stumbled upon the following example ...
3
votes
3answers
396 views

to be to and if-clause

The following sentence is given What would you do if I were to lose my job?? I would like to undestand the meaning of were to. Does it mean "upcoming event", that's I'll lost my job later in the ...
3
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1answer
402 views

Meaning of “I'd say tomorrow.”

Consider: Got 3000 words to write this morning before racing north to Edinburgh for the BBC Q&A for new writers at the Filmhouse this afternoon. Speakers include the BBC's Creative Director ...
3
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1answer
16k views

from where & from which, during which & during which time [closed]

Could you explain the differences between: 1. from where & from which; 2. during which & during which time. Thanks!
3
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1answer
1k views

Usage of “finish with” and “finish”

Have you finished with this? No, I'm still drinking it. Macmilian Dictionary says that finish with means "you have stopped using it". In this sentence, I think "Have you finished this?" works. ...
3
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1answer
1k views

What's the meaning of “Good thing he has you”?

Is "good thing he has you" authentic? Can I rephrase this sentence as the following: It's good thing that he has you.
3
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2answers
55 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 ...
3
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2answers
2k views

“weather permitting” or “permitting weather”?

Here is full sentence: On December 23, 1944, one week into the Battle of the Bulge, the cloudy permitting weather began to give way to clear sunny skies over the Ardennes Forest. The USAAF and ...
3
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3answers
591 views

Why is used “it” in “Who is it”

Is referring to people as "it" considered rude? I asked this question. I looked this comment: The use of Singular they is very common I guess. Then, Why is used "it" in "Who is it"? ”Who ...
3
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2answers
127 views

What type of construction is: “We’re certainly no one’s Emerald City”

This isn’t New York City, or the Windy City, or Sin City, and we’re certainly no one’s Emerald City' What does "no one's city" stand for? The question is not to understand what Emerald city is but ...
3
votes
1answer
127 views

Adverbial Phrase, Parenthetical Phrase, or Something Different?

“It was a dark and stormy night; the rain fell in torrents, except at occasional intervals, when it was checked by a violent gust of wind which swept up the streets (for it is in London that our scene ...
3
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2answers
3k views

In agreement with, In accordance with

I have a question about "in agreement with" and "in accordance with". Dictionaries think they are approximately the same. But for these sentence pairs: 1a. He acted in agreement with the rules. ...