Questions tagged [phrases]

A phrase is a group of words that make a unit of syntax with a single grammatical function.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
3
votes
1answer
904 views

What is meant by “being at the centre of all the action”?

In the context of travelling a city, what does this sentence mean: Being at the centre of all the action It goes something like "If you stay in a hotel near the Eiffel Tower, you will be at the ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

Is “At the foundation of … is …” correct?

In my english test, I wrote this : At the foundation of our society is law, and taking a look at it might be a good start to get an idea of how much our modern world tends to a perfect equality ...
3
votes
2answers
1k views

What sentence should I use when I want to know if what I explained was understood or not?

I explained something in English, for example about the history of my hometown, without any preparation. I'm not sure if they understood what I said or not. In order to make sure, which sentence ...
3
votes
1answer
39 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 ...
3
votes
4answers
94 views

How to parse this sentence “I heard him drop his keys.”

"I heard him drop his keys" I = subject heard = verb "him drop his keys." = direct object. But how can I understand 'drop his keys'? "I heard him singing in the shower." Here, "singing in the ...
3
votes
1answer
42 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
63 views

Which subject does the participle phrase refer to in the sentence?

Small wonder, when he would fuel himself with seven pints of lager and his “magic” Coke, swigged from a litre bottle topped up with vodka, to “get his nerves in shape”. I have a question about this ...
3
votes
1answer
98 views

Meaning of a phrase from a sitcom

A group of friends went to the theater. The play was awful. Then, one of them says: Did anybody else feel like they just wanted to peel the skin off their body, to have something else to do? I ...
3
votes
1answer
6k views

What does “take the line (that)” mean?

While reading god is not Great by Christopher Hitchens, I've come across the following sentence: This echoes the line taken by the Shinto —another quasi-religion enjoying state support— that Japanese ...
3
votes
1answer
109 views

How to discern different phrases, signs to observe?

“Snapping shut his mobile, Dalgliesh reflected that murder, a unique crime for which no reparation is ever possible, imposes it own compulsions as well as it's conventions. He doubted whether ...
3
votes
2answers
79 views

To which word does “all” belong? (in my case)

In the following sentence, to which word (rescuers or hope) does 'all' belong? "Rescuers had abandoned all hope of finding any more survivors." If it belongs to the rescuers, why doesn't it appear ...
3
votes
2answers
121 views

Phrase meaning “constantly judged” or “criticized”

A word or phrase which means constantly being judged or viewed mockingly or with a sense of stereotype/criticism. Eg The company I founded was viewed with a sense of ..... Added Requested Context ...
3
votes
0answers
1k views

What does “not so say” mean? [closed]

I don't even know if I've asked the question correctly because I can't even parse the sentence properly. I know the sentence is long and a little bit difficult so it would be enough for me if you ...
2
votes
3answers
585 views

What does the phrase “head down the rat's hole” mean here?

Here is a heading of a game app's description: "Head down the rat's hole" The game lets you live the life of a rat that lives in a beautiful village. The player interacts with the rat's friends and ...
2
votes
3answers
257 views

Is “for causing autism in X” grammatical?

I am not sure, but "for causing autism in X" seems ungrammatical when X is a person, when x is a particular group of people it doesn't sound off, but when it's a particular person, it sounds ...
2
votes
4answers
235 views

give the facility a pat on the wall

From NPR Omar Hurricane is a researcher using the laser. He's at Lawrence Livermore Lab and he goes to work not through those big front doors but through an underground service tunnel. That ...
2
votes
3answers
19k views

Difference between “Wheel” and “ Tires”

I assume that this is one of the US English and UK English differences. Which is the most common phrase: 1) I need new "wheels" for my car. or 2) I need new "tires" for my car.
2
votes
5answers
285 views

What does “It is not the illegality that she is accused of, but the illegality she refused to oblige” mean?

What does this phrase mean? It is not the illegality that she is accused of, but the illegality she refused to oblige It's from a recent article in The Times of India.
2
votes
2answers
385 views

Phrase:I can't remember what (_something_) WAS THAT/IS THAT

Let's say you are watching a video clip, then while watching, there is a portion that suddenly reminds you of a book. You know that book but you can't recall its name. And you say: "I can't ...
2
votes
3answers
4k 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
2k views

What should follow “cause” (the verb)?

I wrote the following sentence, but I am not sure it is correct. All the moderators asking for blacklisting a tag would not probably cause the tag being blacklisted. Is it correct to use "the tag ...
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
3answers
59 views

I know there is difference between “grow” and “grow up”, but it is hard for me to tell when it comes to an example

It is said in some dictionaries that "grow" means to increase in amount, size, number, or strength, while "grow up" means one changes from being a child into being an adult or to stop behaving in a ...
2
votes
1answer
787 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
2answers
174 views

“Off the top of one's head” or “by heart”

I wonder which expression can be used in my following example? Our teacher was a really smart person. At the second session, he know everyone's name ................ off the top of his head from ...
2
votes
2answers
39 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
23k 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
3answers
920 views

Meaning of semi-first-name basis?

So, I heard a colleague of mine use the expression "I thought I should introduce myself on a semi-first-name basis". Even though I use English a lot, I've never heard it before. My question is what ...
2
votes
2answers
96 views

What is the noun phrase whose head is “China”?

What is the noun phrase whose head is China in the sentence "It looks a lot like the China May and I used to see in movies brought to Shanghai from Hollywood."
2
votes
1answer
783 views

Can someone tell me what “douchebaggy ”means?

What does 'Captain douche baggy' mean? For example "The captain douchebaggy is coming''
2
votes
2answers
3k views

“logistically very difficult” phrase

Does the phrase "logistically very difficult" sound correct in the following fragment? Given that it would be logistically very difficult to conduct the experiment
2
votes
2answers
1k views

meaning of “up from just over”?

Source eMarketer estimates 16 million Americans will book travel via mobile this year, up from just over 12 million in 2011. Source 1,170 Likes! Up from just over 600 at the beginning of March, ...
2
votes
1answer
4k views

“Dripping with sweat” versus “dripping sweat”

Is there any difference between these sentences? The hand that held the gun was dripping with sweat. The hand that held the gun was dripping sweat.
2
votes
3answers
4k views

Difference between “daily” and “every day”

When can I say "I use this daily" or "I use this every day"? What about hourly? Is it correct to say "I will send this hourly"? It seems incorrect, to me.
2
votes
1answer
255 views

Is “blue road” an understood expression used to refer to particular roads?

I was watching a TV program about the USA when the speaker said proseguiamo nella scoperta delle strade blu ("let's continue in the discovery of blue roads"). I didn't follow the program since the ...
2
votes
1answer
257 views

“This is that, as a native English speaker”?

Sometimes I stumble upon sentences like "As a native English speaker the most natural way to say..." (https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/201348) or "It [the expression] sounds more natural, as a ...
2
votes
2answers
3k views

Next up vs up next

When you watch TV programs such as British Got Talent, the TV hosts sometimes say: ''Next up is the talented singer from...'' (performers number or sequencing method kind of thing) Whereas, when ...
2
votes
2answers
2k views

What is the meaning of “to being made light of”?

Here is the sentence: He was not accustomed to being made light of. What does "to being made light of" mean?
2
votes
2answers
634 views

What does “dues-paying” mean here?

Yet another question about Christopher Hitchens' god is not Great. Indeed, within Castro’s periphery there evolved a bizarre mutation known oxymoronically as “liberation theology,” where priests ...
2
votes
2answers
596 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
1answer
9k views

What is difference between “projected date ” and “expected date”?

For example, when is the "projected" or "expected" finish date of this project? Is there any difference? If not, which one is more common?
2
votes
1answer
29 views

What does the phrase “slide into first” mean here?

I heard a phrase "slide into first" in an arcade racing game's description. This was used as the introductory sentence that was followed by speed boosting and drifting tips. I know the lexical ...
2
votes
3answers
163 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
154 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
56 views

noun phrases functioning as adverbials

Could you tell me which one is correct and the meaning of each sentence: Yesterday, I went to the place you had recommended. I went to the place you had recommended yesterday. I went to the ...
2
votes
1answer
49 views

Phrase type:To qualify as A for B?

While I was reading Wikipedia article(Felony murder rule),I came across a phrase 'to qualify as an underlying offense for a felony murder'.I tried to get the essence of the phrase from the context of ...
2
votes
2answers
460 views

Using the phrase “By no stretch of the imagination”

I would appreciate it if someone could let me know which one of the following choices would sound natural in my self-made sentence below: By no stretch of the imagination...........................
2
votes
2answers
586 views

How to understand “lies in the way”?

I read it from a textbook: Yes, I suppose the effectiveness of convert advertisements lies in the way our society is wired. I just found lies in the way here is quite confusing. Then I searched ...
2
votes
2answers
9k views

Congrats for buying a new thing

Let's say a girl bought a pair of new beautiful shoes. What usually would say friend or anyone who sees/informed about this new purchase? I mean something similar with "Congratulations for buying a ...
2
votes
1answer
2k views

What's the meaning of “you look like a prune”

In the TV drama 'Boston Legal', Denny Crane says "you look like a prune" to his workmate. What's the meaning of it?