Questions tagged [sentence-usage]

The usage of a particular sentence, how and where it is supposed to be used properly, so as to convey the intended message properly and obtain the most favorable outcome.

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30
votes
6answers
14k views

“I often buy fruits when I go to the supermarket” – illogical?

I am an English assistant and I often hear my non-native students say: I often buy fruits when I go to the supermarket. I think it is wrong logically because "go" means "to move or travel from ...
29
votes
7answers
11k views

How do I respond to my Professor's email, wherein he has mistaken my gender?

I am a Chinese student. I was emailing a professor for graduate study opportunity. He replied with the title: Dear Mr. Li Actually, I am a female. Would it be a little strange if I told him in my ...
12
votes
1answer
2k views

What does “keeping someone in shoe leather” mean?

In the following sentence: Unless your work is pro-bono, you should make sure that your customers keep you in shoe leather. What does "keeping someone in shoe leather" mean?
11
votes
2answers
1k views

How do native speakers say condolences to someone else (especially in AmE)?

In my mother language, when someone dies, friends and family usually try to say their condolences to everyone who is suffering from that loss. What we say is as follows: I say condolences to you. ...
11
votes
2answers
515k views

“It was pleasure to meet you” vs “It was pleasure meeting you”

I met somebody for the first time two days ago and the next day he sent a message on Facebook in which he said, "Thank you" and I replied "You're welcome! It was pleasure to meet you." Although it is ...
9
votes
4answers
8k views

When to use “bon appetit”?

I know that meaning of bon appetit is enjoy your meal, but I want to know when shall I use it? Like if I am eating and someone else joins me, can I say that? What if I am leaving the table?
8
votes
4answers
8k views

Can we use “Been” without have/has/had?

I've never seen "been" been used without have/has/had. But in some songs it appears that they sometime use "been" without have. When I searched on internet the lyrics of some songs, it was actually ...
7
votes
2answers
9k views

what does “20,000 foot view” mean?

I have just started reading a book on Unix and came across a sentence which says: Fig. shows the 20,000 foot view of the organization of the GNU/Linux Operating System. What is meant by the 20,000 ...
6
votes
5answers
23k views

“What more” vs “what else” do you need?

I am providing you with food, shelter, clothes. What more do you need or what else do you need? Which one's correct?
5
votes
1answer
1k views

To (have / take) a swim

1. I'm going for a swim. 2. I'm going to have a swim. 3. I'm going to take a swim. Are the last two sentences correct? I know the first one is, but what about the last two? I know that you can use '...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

Does “an example to other team members” refer to members of the same team or of different teams?

What's the exact meaning of the sentence 'This is an example to other team members'? This is an example to the members of other team or This is an example to other members of the same team? Can ...
5
votes
4answers
1k views

Does the sentence “ Sorry, I have no time.” give a bad impression?

When I want to stop chatting on computer, I said " Sorry, I have no time." Does this way of saying give a bad impression? Are there any better way of saying?
5
votes
3answers
1k views

Can we say “little salty”?

"The soup is a little salty" - means the soup is saltier than the average. I heard this before so I guess it is correct. What is the part of speech of "a little"? Can we say "the soup is little salty"...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

“What” in questions about professions

1) Is the pronoun "what" correct in questions about professions? I was taught that "What is he?" means "What is his job?", but personally I have never heard this question asked by those who speak ...
4
votes
2answers
206 views

What are the ways to say that I was in a place without the possibility to connect with my phone?

What the ways to say that I was in a place without possibility to connect with my phone? For example in such situation: Wife: Why did you not answer my call when I called you?" Husband: "I ...
4
votes
3answers
2k views

When you cannot stop your laughter

Imagine in a group of people who you feel shy to be too friendly with, something makes you laugh too much in the manner that you cannot control your laughter and it makes you feel shy, however you ...
4
votes
2answers
662 views

Should it be “you've been in” or “you've been to”?

Which is the correct sentence? Why? It's the first time he has been in space. It's the first time he has been to space.
4
votes
2answers
10k views

What should be the answer on “I am sorry”?

What should be the answer for someone who ask "Sorry"? For example, If someone insulted or hurt me, and then asks "Sorry" or says "I am sorry, please". If I want to tell him that I accept it (or ...
4
votes
6answers
2k views

“No more than” — comparing two clauses

I came across this sentence today: Even she, who believed herself to be a revolutionary, could no more have broken her marital bangles than she could have driven a stake through her husband's heart....
4
votes
1answer
958 views

Should I use “on”, “when” or “where” with “day”?

From Improbability Principle by David Hand: The really unusual day would be one where nothing unusual happens. An event happens on a day (e.g. On this day section of Wikipedia), so following this ...
4
votes
1answer
242 views

Proper words to utter when shaking hands with others?

I want to know what might be proper ways to express our regards to others when shaking hands with others in occasions such as church? I found that when shaking hands with others, often I do not get ...
3
votes
2answers
157 views

John is making his daughter?

John is making his daughter ready for the school I guess you understand what I mean by the above sentence, though it's weird and may have grammatical errors. If you don't understand the above, here ...
3
votes
3answers
37k views

Is it rude to say “I will let you know”?

In a meeting I've asked someone a question and in response she said: I'll let you know when I find out From her tone, I know that she didn't mean to be rude or anything, so I just want to know ...
3
votes
4answers
230 views

To a group of people: “I want all of your phone numbers.” Is this sentence correct?

If I'm talking to a group of people and I want the phone number of each person, how would I phrase that? Is "I want all of your phone numbers" correct?
3
votes
1answer
64 views

Not very sure about the keynote of this Microsoft Super Bowl Commercial

From 0:36 to the end of this Super Bowl Commercial "Microsoft Super Bowl Commercial 2015: Braylon O'Neill" (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wLXRt-qRBfU#t=50) it says: "It's this process of ...
3
votes
1answer
129 views

When to properly use Present Progressive statements?

Can present progressive statements be use at present or for the future? or both?
3
votes
1answer
48 views

When you trust not right person and give them something that you shouldn't give

Please imagine you trust someone who you don't know them well and e.g. ask them to deliver a considerable amount of money to your friend somewhere. Prior to sending it, you made a call your to friend ...
3
votes
3answers
5k views

“wouldn't” vs. “won't” & “couldn't” vs “can't”

If we were talking about the importance of energy and that even machines need it what should we say? What's the difference between these two sentences: Machines wouldn't work without energy & ...
3
votes
1answer
2k views

' being ' in participle clauses

According to the source " we can use an adverbial participle clause to express reason or cause as an alternative to a because/since/as clause. Using a participle clause in this way is more ...
3
votes
2answers
1k views

Is “that's an interesting idea” necessarily encouraging or approving?

Is “that's an interesting idea” necessarily an encouraging or approving expression in English? Can it be a negative or disapproving comment? (Maybe some examples would be nice.)
3
votes
1answer
124 views

Could anyone help me to explain this quote?

SOURCE (Walt Disney) I have read this quote: The difference in winning & losing is most often, not quitting. I am so curious for some issue below. I wonder why "not", as in "not quitting",...
3
votes
2answers
1k views

Correct usage of “and more generally”

What I am trying to say: "It is important to design efficient selection algorithms and more generally efficient resource allocation algorithms". Note that the resource allocation algorithm include the ...
2
votes
2answers
391 views

What's the difference between the exclamations “what” and “how”

What's the difference between: What a rude person you are! How rude you are! How rude of a person you are! How rude of you! Which one is correct? Please give me some elaboration so I can understand, ...
2
votes
3answers
22k views

“Have you done with the exam” vs “Did you finish the exam”?

What's more appropriate regarding to exams at university when asking friend about exam that he did? ׂ(For example, I am texting him a message and I would like to ask him if he already after the exam ...
2
votes
2answers
42k views

Is it correct to say “no need of thanks”?

Is it correct to say "no need of thanks" when someone says "thank you"? I think you're welcome, no problem, any time and nothing at all are quite often. And I think no need to say thanks is also ...
2
votes
2answers
826 views

Which expression is more correct, “He worries the baby about falling” or “the baby worries him about falling”?

I just read this in a book (In Cold Blood): It's true the children do keep me busy...Donnie has learned to open the door and climb on the chairs & other furniture & he worries me constantly ...
2
votes
2answers
393 views

What does this statement in a English book mean?

"......This book is sold subject to the conditions that it shall not, by way of trade or otherwise, be lent, re-sold, hired out or otherwise circulated without the publisher's prior consent in any ...
2
votes
1answer
14k views

“How is going” or “How is it going” or both?

Which one is correct? "How is going" or "How is it going". I googled it but it seemed both are in use. Am I right with this point?
2
votes
2answers
24k views

“Happen to know” meaning

"Do you happen to know is if she has a boyfriend?" What does the above sentence means . I heard those line in the movie 'the social network' and I would like to know when do we use this phrase "...
2
votes
2answers
3k views

Can I say “I sent her a message about”?

Can I say "I sent her a message about"? I'm asking it because I saw on Google there are only 7000 results. I have two questions about this issue: Should it not be very common sentence, or maybe ...
2
votes
1answer
992 views

She is gone! -dead or departed?

I know that "is gone" can be translated to both "dead" and really "departed" and in most cases I can understand that when I know the context. But sometimes even when I know the context I have ...
2
votes
1answer
135 views

Is 'would' used instead of 'was' to mean probability in past time?

I knew that class test would be held at 11:00 AM. I knew that there was class test at 11:00 AM. What are the differences between them? Do they mean same meaning?
2
votes
1answer
22 views

inquire of plant's wellbeing

For example: I wonder how my plant might be doing/might be bearing up, since I've neglected it for a week. Meaning, I wonder what state my plant might be in when I come back home (dried out, grown ...
2
votes
2answers
360 views

What is the difference between these two sentences?

He is regularly buying food in the market. He regularly buys food in the market. It seems they all refer to the same thing that 'he buys food in the market regularly'? what's the difference?
2
votes
1answer
22k views

Meaning of “Where are you located?” [closed]

What is the actual meaning of the sentence "Where are you located?". Is it referring to the place where the person living now (home) or his/her current location?(like asking where are you?). Is it ...
2
votes
2answers
306 views

Is it possible to “not mind” doing something, but still dislike it?

Usually when I hear people ask: "Do you mind doing [task]?", they are expecting one of two responses: "No, I don't mind." Which means I would like to do the task. "Yes, I do mind." Which means I ...
2
votes
2answers
1k views

“That would be correct”?

I have always thought when people use the phrase "That would be correct", it is always followed by some "if" statement; for example, Jane: "Is it correct to say that people are allowed to turn ...
2
votes
2answers
11k views

Keeping on + keep in touch

Consider that parents whose son is leaving home for the college say to their son: Please keep on keep in touch with us when you get to the college. Is this sentence idiomatic? How do we say ...
2
votes
1answer
167 views

Be he right or wrong?

Consider the following paragraph from the essay entitled "The usefulness of useless knowledge" by the founder of the Institute for Advanced Study, A. Flexner: The subject which I am discussing has ...
2
votes
1answer
550 views

'Convicted the Hung' - Right?

Can we say he was convicted the hung? Is it grammatically right or just an informal sentence? I've seen sentences like 'Sentenced to hang'. But i don't have any idea about this.