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Questions tagged [register]

'Register' is the degree of formality called for in a particular written or spoken context. Very broadly, we distinguish 'formal', 'informal' and 'vulgar' usage in both writing and speech, but finer distinctions may be needed.

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It's a book of my mother's

If we say: It's a book of my mother's How could this sentence be identified? Wrong, archaic, formal or something else?
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Which of “Will you just go?” or “Can you just go?” works better?

One of my stu­dents barged into my class­room one day and was get­ting on my nerves be­cause I needed to clean up the mess he had him­self made ear­lier, so I wanted to ask him to leave me alone and ...
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“walking recovery in patients who suffered a stroke” or “the recovery of the ability to walk in patients who suffered a stroke”? [closed]

Tell me please which phrasing sounds more natural in the following context: The necessary information can be found in the article with the title WALKING RECOVERY IN PATIENTS WHO SUFFERED A STROKE. ...
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55 views

Tasty, lovely, delicious, yummy, …?

I know different English words for good tasting foods or drinks: tasty, lovely, delicious, yummy... But unfortunately the dictionary entries do not enable me to decide which one to use in which ...
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645 views

Difference between 'humid' and 'muggy' [closed]

Could you let me know the difference between these two adjectives? In my book they seem to be slightly different(by it's not clearly explained) while on the internet most people say that they've the ...
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What's the meaning of “joint” here? [closed]

You have the Diners Club, you sign for it. You go first class in those joints, I know that, yeah." What's the meaning of "joint" here? I checked the O.D. didn't find anything useful...
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Phrasing and word usage

"I'm the best from all the crowd See me deeper and scream loud, Catch good vibes and inspiration Feel the power and my relation" This short lyric is a matter of argument between me and the ...
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Difference in meaning between “use”, “employ” and “utilize” [duplicate]

I am confused with the words "use", "employ" and "utilize". What is the difference in their meanings, and where they are supposed to be used? There is another topic with the same question, but it is ...
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“inclusive of” and “including”

Are "inclusive of" and "including" interchangeable in the following? a. We all liked the show, inclusive of / including Sarah. b. Five passengers were injured in the accident, inclusive of / ...
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“worthy of mention(ing)” or “worthy of a mention(ing)”?

That kind of happening would have definitely been worthy of mention. or That kind of happening would have definitely been worthy of a mention. or That kind of happening would have definitely ...
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What does “no more Dutch” mean? “No more words”?

"Red Dead: Redemption" No more Dutch, and no more you. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0zvPMrrps6o 12:15 / 11:40:13
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What does “let's shoot the shit” mean?

English lyrics by Halestorm rock band: Here's to us: Get another bottle out Lets shoot the shit //What does it mean? Sit back down For just one more drink, oh yeah In some sites it's translated ...
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“made him” or “made for him”

Ann made (for) him a cup of tea. He drank the tea Ann had made (for) him. Are both sentences correct, with or without "for? If yes, is there any difference in register?
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Use of the conjunction “that” to express an intentional consequence

First an example; just to make clear what I'm referring to. He wrote a note on the calendar, that he might remember to call his friend on his birthday. Meaning: He wrote a note on the calendar, ...
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Is your coffee bottomless?

Which of the following is more natural for a customer to use at a coffee shop? a. Do you offer free refills on coffee? b. Is your coffee bottomless?
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1answer
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WILL or continuous forms for habits - which is more common?

Which of the following is more common in everyday speech: She is always mumbling to herself when she's reading. She WILL always mumble to herself when she reads. Is that the emphatic WILL (...
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What's the difference between “veggie” and “vegetable”?

What's the difference between "veggie" and "vegetable"? Can I use them interchangeably? or is there any difference in terms of meaning and usage?
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1answer
42 views

Nuance of infinitive phrase `to stand watch` in the sentence

In the movie "The Hobbit", Erlond tells Gandalf: You are not the only guardian to stand watch over Middle-earth. I'm not sure if there's any nuance with the use of the form to stand watch. If I ...
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What's the meaning of “Not unattractive but getting on”?

Not unattractive but getting on. to get on means: get along to have a good relationship.1 Does it mean: she is attractive but she doesn't set along to have a good relationship? The fuller text ...
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omitting “that” is “so … that …”

Is it considered informal to omit "that" in "so ... that ..."? What would style guides say about the following? John is so intelligent (that) he can learn any language in two months. If this ...
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Can't we say “don't/doesn't got” while we can say “I got”, “He got”, “They got” etc.? (American English)

I am used to hearing the positive version of "got" when it is used for meaning "have". For example, I mean we can say "I got a car.", "He got three children.", "I got no money." etc. But I am not ...
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2answers
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Can the adverb “exclusively” in the sentence be replaced with an adjective without changing the meaning of the sentence?

I came across this sentence in an online article. Some medical literature has found that exclusively breastfeeding during the first four to six months of life may decrease your baby’s risk of ...
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3answers
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A word denoting something taking place for the last time in an indefinitely large series

I've been looking for the word denoting something taking place for the latest time in an indefinitely large series, for example, the solar eclipse occurring for the______ th(?) time from the beginning ...
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Godspeed as a way of saying goodbye

There are a couple of movies I heard actors using Godspeed as a way to say goodbye. At least I interpreted it this way. I though never heard anyone use this expression in the UK, Ireland, Australia, U....
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“How much are you into us for already?”

I am confused about a line from the movie Kingpin: Ernie: All right, let's go. Thank you for the education, gentlemen. We've just received a PhD in stupidity. (to Roy) Doctor, shall we? Roy: ...
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Use of the word bestow

If we see the language in its natural pace and flow which of the following sound better? May God bestow sincerity upon me! or May God make me become sincere! or May I become sincere!
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Difference between -decker, -tier, shelf and level (see picture)

How would you describe the number of shelves of the growing trays in the image below? Four-leveled, four-tier, four-shelf or four-decker? Are all these ways correct and interchangeable?
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“spot defective goods” or “check products for defects”

Which of the following is more natural? Your job is to check products for defects. Your job is to spot defective goods. I'd appreciate your help.
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2answers
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What is the difference between “likelihood” and “probability”?

What is the difference between "likelihood" and "probability"? Iv'e check the dictionaries for that questions and it seems that there's no a difference. Cambridge dictionary even call them clearly ...
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3answers
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What is the difference between someone and somebody? [closed]

Should I say: [•] I'm thinking about someone. Or [•] I'am thinking about somebody.
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meaning of the phrase “amped up on” in context

It is from Crash Course A&P. It is at 1 minute and 23 second. Here is the context: But even when they are functioming well, some of your immune cells are careening around your body like ...
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1answer
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The usage of “see”

Are the following sentences grammatical? The summer of 2000 saw me in a research project at a museum in Africa. The summer of 2000 saw me doing a research project at a museum in Africa. The ...
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2answers
790 views

“People persons” versus “people people”

A People person is someone who is outgoing and has good communication skills. He was always energetic and positive and he was a people person. What is the plural of "people person"? I am ...
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Why was “wise advisor” better than “savvy person”?

See Question 10 in the image. He was to be loyal to his lord, courageous in his defense, and a (10) savvy person. Basically, he was to be a man of honor, who would stay true to his Christian faith ...
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37 views

Making question

I'd like to know the difference between Why don't you do it? Why do you not do it?" Could you please let me know the differences?
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How to say “a bit of code”

I am describing how this part of my code works: def store_output(self, file_name, identifier): dsc_in = ogr.Open(file_name) if dsc_in is None: raise Exception("Reading data failed.") ...
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1answer
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“establish a startup” in conversation

I'd like to know whether "establish a startup" sounds pompous in a conversation as follows: John: Why did you decline that job offer? Peter: I decided to follow my dream and establish a startup. Now ...
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“cranial” vs “cerebral”

Is there a substantial difference between the adjectives "cranial" and "cerebral"? Are these ones interchangeable in a not-so-medical context?
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1answer
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Use the verb “to mothball” in official texts

I saw a Wikipedia article (and not only this one) using the verb "to mothball" to denote rather obsolete, abandoned, put-on-hold methods or phenomena, e.g.: So by 2003, the original ECMAScript 4 ...
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Bowed down at / before / in front of the altar

Which is the correct preposition to use here from the options given in title ? He bowed down ______ altar. I have mentioned three options here though I had 4 options in the question. I managed ...
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“Fixing” an error

Open source programmers commonly use the term "to fix" (as in "fixing an error") to mean to correct (eliminate) an error. Is this use of the term "to fix" common outside open source programming (both ...
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Is “crimp an aluminium cap on” a naturally-sounding phrase?

My translation from Russian: Fill the vial with nitrogen, then immediately close it with a stopper and crimp an aluminium cap on. The Russian original uses the word "завальцевать", which is ...
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'Sick leave' and 'ill versus sick'

We want to use the terms ill and illness in our software instead of sick (see also Is there any difference between being ill and sick?), but I'm having difficulty finding a proper replacement for the ...
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1answer
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is this something we can write or just say

Is the sentence below run on or is it something we say to each other Isn't "Have a great morning/night" a run-on sentence? or can I say "you have a great morning/night"? Or is that just a sentence we ...
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Can you “carry a child” in your womb?

Can I use "carry a child" to replace "carry a pregnancy"? Are there any single-word verbs I can use in this sense? Surrogacy is an arrangement or agreement whereby a woman agrees to carry a ...
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2answers
3k views

how do you say: i was doing many things at the same time

I work with people that speaks in English (my native language is Spanish). Yesterday i gave the wrong information to a coworker, so I wanted to apologize and explain that my mind was doing several ...
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1answer
660 views

Someone who has passed lots of difficulties in their lives

Please suppose someone who has had lots of difficulties in his life and has passed many problems so far. Someone who had been without money, food and even a home to live in for a long time and as the ...
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2answers
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Third Conditionals: “If I knew…” instead of “had known…” in casual register

I know that in the following sentences "If I had known" has to be used in the place of "If I knew" to form the grammatically right sentences. What I really want be sure of is that as a native if all ...
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When someone owes money everyone

There is a sentence which says "He owes money left and right." which says has has borrowed money from almost everyone. I would appreciate it if someone could let me know if the following sentence ...
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37 views

When you've done an ambulatory surgery

I was wondering if someone could let me know which one of the following self-made sentences sounds more natural in the way that it could be more understood not only by well-educated people of English ...