Questions tagged [usage]

For questions about how certain words, phrases or grammatical aspects are typically used.

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meaning of 'was to be the date'

It was provisionally agreed that August 12 was to be the date. What's the meaning of 'was to be the date' here? Does this mean 'the date should (has to) be August 12' or simply 'August 12 is ...
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Should I use "referent" or "referrer" or "referee"

I work on an app, where every user have a unique code, and another person can use that unique code for discounts. Is the person applying the code (of another person) referent? Or is the owner of code ...
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3 answers
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Is is a must to use the past perfect tense in this sentence?

How about using the past tense published instead? She had published her first poem by the time she was eight.
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1 answer
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Is "?:" still not a valid punctuation or has it come into use? What is the best replacement for this when the question is too long?

Is "?:" still not a valid punctuation, or has it come into use? https://english.stackexchange.com/a/90994/443467 is when the question is short. What is the best replacement for this when the ...
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9 votes
5 answers
3k views

Who's that book by? vs. Whom's that book by?

Who's that book by? vs. Whom's that book by? Which one is more spoken by native English speakers? Which one is more written by native English writers? In terms of grammar, in the past, only 'whom' ...
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Does 'as hell' sound like the speaker is raged?

In an online game, before a new round of game began, I said 'I am noob as hell', and the player, a total stranger, next to me said 'chill out, bro'. In the Free Dictionary, 'as hell' is not labeled as ...
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What is correct, "a club day" or "the club day"?

Do you know if Monday is a/the club day? Should I use a or the? Club days are days when we do our club activities. As Monday is usually not a/the club day but the next one will be the early May bank ...
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2 answers
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Please show me some examples of "couldn't"

Couldn't you explain this just one more time? Source David couldn’t have the money. It is not possible that David has the money. Source How can the first one be a request? Please show me some ...
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What is the antecedent of 'which'?

In my opinion, the antecedent of which(line8) is not ethnic identity or geographical location but culture-based differences. But why is it used as defining clause, not non-defining one? The former ...
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Should 'being' be omitted in the sentence?

When being functions as gerund, it should be included. On the other hand, when it is a kind of reduced relative clause, it can be omitted, right? How about this example? In my opinion, it shouldn't be ...
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Me, myself or I [closed]

What is the best word here? Is 'I' correct? Have a read through and if you have any queries then please let Stephen or I know.
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Using a singular to convey a plural

If I want to provide a diagram of the performance measurements of different programming languages, which option is correct? Is it correct to use a singular form when there are multiple languages taken ...
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2 answers
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Can I use "Could" for advice? [duplicate]

You can use my pen You could use my pen What's the difference? Can we use could for advice?
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-1 votes
1 answer
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Is it possible to use "as to' instead of "in terms of" in a sentence? [closed]

For example, is it possible to use following sentences in place of each other? If it is not, why? 1- How do they do as to practice? 2- How do they do in terms of practice? Assume that it is a ...
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2 answers
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Is the use of "how" and "why" in this context interchangeable?

There's a book that I was reading where a person has just found out about ionizing radiation. He says the following sentence: Thanks. Now I know how my friends died. The answer to that question is &...
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How can I use "should have done" at some point in the past? [closed]

For example, "I think I should have done my homework by yesterday." I feel like this sentence will become: "I thought yesterday that I should have done my homework by the day before ...
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"Puppies are fighting over there" - correct? [closed]

Version 1 (A and B are walking and they see puppies on the street.) A: Puppies are fighting over there. B: I think their moms will come very soon. Version 2 (A and B are walking and they see puppies ...
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1 answer
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for the year ended/ending

Which is correct, ended or ending? The Consumer Price Index rose 8.5% for the year ended/ending in March, not adjusted for seasonal swings.
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Meaning of "... how it is that..."?

The original sentence: We set out to explore how it is that we can all live in the same universe yet see reality so differently. The compared sentence: We set out to explore how we can all live in ...
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1 vote
2 answers
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it tastes/it's tasting wonderful(ly) [closed]

Let's say my girlfriend has made me/us dinner and I want to compliment her for her cooking (while we're eating). Would all these be equally correct and idiomatic? It tastes wonderful, honey. It tastes ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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Is 'performing safe' an idiomatic expression?

stay safe is grammatically correct and play it safe is an idiomatic expression. But how about performing safe? Can I use performing safely instead of performing safe in the context? Given the risks ...
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"Thing + of + its price" is a correct expression?

Example 1 [My car of 2000 dollars] runs very fast. Example 2 Where did you get [your car of 1000 dollars]? Example 3 [The car of 1000 dollars] over there looks nice. Example 4 I want [this car of 1000 ...
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-2 votes
1 answer
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Why did the author use 'concerned about' although 'concerned with' fits the context better? [closed]

concerned with means interested in or relating to while concerned about is synonymous with worried about. Why did the author use concerned about although concerned with(interested in) fits the context ...
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-1 votes
1 answer
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Presiding impulse

I found the unfamiliar usage of "preside" in this article. In previous centuries, tradition-driven name conformity was the presiding impulse According to this dictionary, preside means as ...
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-1 votes
2 answers
102 views

Is this an exception to parallel structure?

rather than is used as either an adverb or a conjunction, but rather than bear in the passage confuses me. If it is used as a conjunction, its form should be rather than bears(parallel structure), but ...
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Neil Armstrong is/was the first astronaut that set foot on the moon. - which one? [duplicate]

Example 1 Neil Armstrong is the first astronaut that set foot on the moon. Example 2 Neil Armstrong was the first astronaut that set foot on the moon. Example 3 Neil Armstrong is the first ...
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“Simple past” vs “past progressive”

Original conversation: “And you met her there?” “Yes, I spent a lot of time in that library, so I was always seeing her.” Is it wrong to say “Yes, I was spending a lot of time in that library, so I ...
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1 answer
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Do we omit "the" and use "that/those" when referring specific events?

Suppose today is Wednesday. I saw 3 concerts consecutively in 3 days in the past with the detail is as follows: I saw the first concert on Sunday, the second was on Monday, and the last concert I saw ...
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2 answers
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Is the sentence correct? (about an e-book library system) [closed]

I'm talking about an e-book library system. Is the following sentence correct? Or how to make it better? Thank you for your help! With(By?) the system, the school can set up what e-books are ...
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-2 votes
1 answer
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Do you use 'a voice who' in this case? [closed]

According to lots of dictionaries, voice only refers to a singer, when it relates to a person. Does it also refer to a person who expresses an opinion like the one in the following sentence? "...
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2 votes
1 answer
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many greater victories vs. many greater victories

Both A and B have the same meaning, but C is different from A and B, isn’t it? Because many modifies victories in C while even and much modify greater in A and B respectively. Am I right about this? ...
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What does it imply when someone addresses someone else with the phrase “you of all people”?

Consider a situation in which two individuals are talking — person A and person B. In the conversation, A addresses B with the phrase: “you of all people”. What does the phrase “you of all people” ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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"cavil": Out of fashion?

Found the word in a book from 1944. I don't recall hearing it before, even though I speak English as a second language since 50 years. (I may forget a meaning, but not a word.) Meaning was obvious ...
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2 answers
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move on something

I believe the following sentence is grammatical and means that the person will move ahead with the planning (i.e., keep working to fulfill the plan) next week: I'm busy this week, but I'd like to ...
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1 vote
2 answers
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Why are these words in a parallel structure?

crack(noun) and halfway(adjective or adverb) are different in terms of part of speech. Then why are they in a parallel structure? Consider the story of two men quarreling in a library. One wants the ...
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Subjunctive usage and if only with

Is Were he in the last sentence the same as If it were, which I learned is a subjective form? But the following may have felt is not a subjunctive, which makes the sentence obscure to me. Is the ...
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2 votes
1 answer
88 views

"Come," in start of a sentence

I'm reading Alice in Wonderland and came across this sentence: “Come, it’s pleased so far,” thought Alice, and she went on... (thinking about Cheshire Cat) I'm quite confused by the "Come,&...
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'Be voted' without 'as'?

It was voted Britain's favorite book ever back in 2003. I heard this usage of 'voted' while I was watching a YouTube clip. I thought 'voted' needs to be followed by 'as', but I couldn't find proper ...
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What is the object of 'the relaying of?

I think it's just a letter, which means the relaying of a letter and the communication that a certain employment exists are in a parallel structure, but it's a little bit ambiguous. Other late ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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for if and when?

According to Oxford Dictionary, if and when means at a future time. But why did the author use for in front of if and when, which I think is redundant? Remember that patience is always of the essence....
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11 votes
3 answers
4k views

Why "years to life" instead of "years of life"?

This is the headline. Teenager Sentenced to 14 Years to Life in Tessa Majors Murder Why is the preposition to used in this case? I wonder if years of life would convey the same meaning.
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1 vote
3 answers
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Use of to-infinitive

I would like to travel places, to see the world and to try exquisite cuisines. Or I would like to travel places, see the world and try exquisite cuisines. Is it necessary to use "to" for ...
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0 votes
1 answer
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Did the author regard this as a single concept?

In the following passage, why did the author use contributes, not contribute? Is the subject of the sentence the corresponding lack of social and relaxation time? Or, did the author regard this extra ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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Plural "They" or "It"

I have read an article about Plural They and now I have a question struggling in my mind. Consider the following sentences: Each child played with their parent. Every client got a care package ...
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1 vote
1 answer
29 views

The rule of proximity?

The singular verb is used because of one is nearer than a few. Can I use examples instead of example in the sentence? Everyone automatically categorizes and generalizes all the time. Unconsciously. ...
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0 votes
1 answer
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being sold vs. selling?

sell is used both as intransitive and transitive verb. Sometimes the line between the two usages seems vague to me since I haven't found the exact grammar(or usage) rules. My rule of thumb says (B) is ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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What does "those of" mean in the sentence below?

Study of the sounds found at the beginning and end of English words has shown that two groups of sounds with quite different patterns of distribution can be identified, and these two groups are those ...
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fudge meaning in "What the fudge is going on?!"

I came across a sentence in the book Project Hail Mary: What the fudge is going on?! I think Irrelevant word fudge was used instead of fuck to decrease the rudeness of the sentence (when we are in ...
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2 votes
1 answer
29 views

Is it correct to say "you expect above yourself"?

Is it correct to use the idiom "above yourself" in this sentence to mean "having too high an opinion of yourself"? Here's the sentence: "You expect above yourself". What ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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take something for granted as something vs. take something for granted

Is it poor style to say the following? A lot of things we take for granted as trash, such as newspapers, magazines, old computers and cellphones, can actually be recycled in one way or another. Aren'...
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