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Questions tagged [usage]

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

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Why do we use capital letter in this sentence?

I am not too sure why we use capital letter with the word ‘Site’ here is the context The Kellers’ caravan is on Site 24. I did some google research but I did not find anything!
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0answers
20 views

“being” usage as relative clause

I'm dwelled on usage(s) of being in the following sentence. Even with the model of memory being just physical memory, several options are possible. Can it be written alternatively as the ...
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2answers
35 views

“took a bath” or “have taken a bath”

Which sentence is correct (if not both) and what is the difference between them? I just took a bath. [moments ago] I've just taken a bath.
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2answers
30 views

type of usage with finite clauses

I heard this song played on the radio. I heard this song (finite clause) So 'I heard this song' feels like it requires more information alone, but you could say it in speech or: I heard this song....
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1answer
38 views

Absence of inversion when adverbs of place and direction go in front position

Adverbs of place and direction usually go in end position. However, they can be put in front position to emphasize location (and in this case, inversion is frequently used): “Next to the bookshelf ...
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1answer
22 views

South Australian Country

I have noticed in South Australia that country folk will ask the question "where are you to" Can someone elaborate on this. I know that basically it means "where are you".
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1answer
24 views

To reign is worth ambition

be worth something can be used as-- The Taj Mahal is worth a visit. The idea is worth our attention. In this kind of sentences either an article or a determiner is used after worth . But in ...
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6answers
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Is “plugging out” electronic devices an American expression?

Are these valid in American English as opposed to "unplug". Plug out the charger from the wall. I plugged out my TV. I found my radio plugged out. I started hanging out with some guys ...
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1answer
23 views

How to describe the achievement of your subordinate

what is the apt word that is to be used to describe the enthusiasm to learn and involve in work. Completed the assigned work well within the time and also proactive in learning the subject. Does ...
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Sentence start using ''of''

is the below usage of ''of'' correct? Of all the components which lead a person to happiness, money plays the most pivotal role.
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1answer
72 views

“Were you able to go to their office and have an on-site interview?” or “Were you able to go to their office and had an on-site interview?”

In this context, should I use "have" or "had"? I am not really sure. Please help. Thank you.
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2answers
81 views
+50

Meaning of as early as

As early as can be used to mean at a time that is sooner than people expect. We may announce the winners as early as tomorrow. The DRDO announced it as early as in 2011. But if I say The ...
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3answers
24 views

What does 'human and financial alike' modify?

What does 'human and financial alike' modify in this passage? human and financial are adjective, so I can infer that an omitted noun is costs, but I am not sure. The old maxim “I’ll sleep when I’...
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2answers
34 views

Can 'which' be used as just a conjunction, not a relative pronoun?

Please, look at the bolded which it is in the following passage. I don't think it is a relative pronoun, but I can't find which used as a conjunction in a number of dictionaries. How is which used in ...
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1answer
14 views

Question of “may” and “might”

This discussion clarifies the difference between "may" and "might". Now my question to the more knowledgeable native English speakers: Is any of them preferred over the other in every-day speech? ...
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1answer
31 views

Is 'the tedious' the same as 'tedious things'?

I mean, does it mean 'tedious tasks' in the context? According to the consulting firm McKinsey, knowledge workers spend up to 60 percent of their time looking for information, responding to ...
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1answer
9 views

“The page address” or “the address of the page”?

Which would be more correct: “The page address” or “the address of the page” in the sentence: “Check the page address, or use the form below to search the site:” in the meaning of the URL?
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1answer
41 views

Is it correct to use the phrase “it´s about finding the city´s DNA”?

The phrase: It's about finding the city's DNA is used in a CNN promo for its program "Quest´s Worlds of Wonder". I can see what they want to express, but does it make sense in terms of language ...
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4answers
2k views

Started in 1987 vs. Starting in 1987

I think both started and starting make sense. Which is preferred? Is there any subtle difference in meaning? Started in 1987, the festival exhibits more than 550 varieties of mangoes and provides a ...
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2answers
135 views

'I photographed her sing'?

I have seen many times the structure 'photograph + object + -ing,' but I rarely saw 'photograph + object + infinitive.' Do native English speakers say or write that way?
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1answer
13 views

Can I say “what was the war a reaction to?”

If I mean to ask the main causes of something, so I want to know what something reacted to, can I say “what was the war a reaction to?”? It sounds pretty weird to me... I’d rather say “what did the ...
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2answers
30 views

What does 'make it into' mean?

I looked the expression up in a number of dictionary to no avail. What does 'it' refer to? Any game that involves more than one person involves socializing, whether it’s cooperating during a ...
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1answer
15 views

Can the phrase “air pocket” be used figuratively?

I read a sentence in "The Hindu" which was: With its most ordered plane's fate undecided, Boeing may well be heading towards an air pocket. Merriam Webster dictionaries define "air pocket" as a ...
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2answers
20 views

Meaning of “lazy common sense” in this sentence?

I read a sentence in "The Hindu" which was: Lazy common sense holds that the minority must understand the historical injustice done to Hindus by their ancestors and atone for it. How would you ...
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2answers
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What is the meaning of “war capacity of an aircraft”?

I read a sentence in "The Hindu" which was: The photocopying of sensitive documents on the war capacity of the Rafale combat aircraft and their leakage is a conspiracy. What is the meaning of "...
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1answer
19 views

Meaning of “on the block” in this context

I read a sentence in "The Hindu" which was: Like all playgrounds, even YouTube has its popular kids on the block. According to most of the dictionaries, "on the block" means "up for auction". Does ...
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0answers
23 views

What is the subject of participle clause in the following sentence?

What is the subject of 'referring to ~' in the passage? Mr. Moon or his spokesman? I think it is the latter but I don't think I know the rule. South Korea Proposes Joint Economics Projects to ...
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4answers
142 views

Infinitive vs Gerund

The business hoped to devote most of its fund to ______ for new television ads since it wanted more coverage. Should the answer be "pay" or "paying"? Why and, what difference would it make (if any)?
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2answers
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It beats the alternative

In the book "How an economy grows and why it crashes" by Peter D. Schiff, page 4, paragraph 2 has the sentence Wake, fish, eat, sleep. Not much of a life, but hey, it beats the alternative. For '...
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2answers
238 views

Why adding the article “the” when it is not needed?

There are many sentences, most are titles, that have the before nouns when they seem okay without it. I assume it is added to over-define them but not very sure. Here is a title that uses "the" ...
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1answer
32 views

Are “respect, honour, esteem” synonymous to “lose face”?

According to Oxford Dictionaries, "lose face" means: Be humiliated or come to be less highly respected And esteem, honour, and respect were given as synonyms. They seem contradictory to me if not ...
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1answer
19 views

What's ITT(In This Thread)?

I 've seen some people upload their posts in a forum with ITT within the title or something. But I don't get it why that's necessary. If people reply comments at that thread, isn't that automatically ...
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10answers
13k views

Ways to say 'get smaller', 'decrease in size' in one word

What are the proper ways to say that something gets smaller (decreases in size) in one word? I am not asking about cases when what we discribe represents a measure of something (price, volume, ...
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1answer
19 views

correct form of word 'exist

Correct one? 1) Nepotism, a practice that has existed as long as mankind permeates our society, from business to politics. 2) Nepotism, a practice that has been existing as long as mankind permeates ...
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1answer
36 views

How to use 'my own self' in this sentence?

Would you say "My own self is doing his homework" or "My own self is doing my homework"? Or is it wrong to use "my own self" in this way? Technically, I think it should be possible even if not widely ...
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2answers
24 views

Set store by improved or improving?

I read a sentence in "The Hindu" which was: The Narendra Modi government has set much at store by India's improved ranking in terms of the EDB index. Shouldn't there be "improving" instead of "...
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1answer
37 views

Help + in + v-ing or Help + on + v-ing?

Help + in + v-ing or Help + on + v-ing? Example: I used to help my friends in coding C++ or I used to help my friends on coding C++
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3answers
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You eliminated me(game) ,out

We were playing. So a girl got eliminated.(out). What's a more natural to say that? Why did you out me? I mean doesn't "eliminate" sounds a bit formal. I know "out me" sounds unnatural. What would ...
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1answer
102 views

two consecutive adverbs ending in -ly

Please consider the following sentence: "He walked home seriously angrily." This sentence sounds a bit funny to my ears, even as a non-native speaker of English, an impression that is shared by ...
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1answer
23 views

What is the meaning of “take your mind off” [closed]

What is the meaning of take your mind off
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0answers
47 views

Cambridge English Certification

I'm not sure if this is the right place to post a question like the following (and if not, I'd be happy to be redirected to a better one, maybe still on StackExchange), but since I have no other ideas,...
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1answer
30 views

many more complex problems vs. much more complex problems

I think much in much more complex problems is grammatically correct because it modifies more complex though it convey a different meaning from many more complex problems. Do you think my assumption to ...
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1answer
47 views

Why “change my schedule around”, instead of “change my schedule”?

I heard some people say I changed my schedule around, instead of just saying "I changed my schedule." when they, for example, are making college class schedule. Can I use this expression without ...
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1answer
33 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 ...
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4answers
113 views

Can “Madame” be used instead of “Madam”?

In President Trump's letter to Speaker Pelosi, he addressed Pelosi as "Madame Speaker". The Honorable Nancy Pelosi Speaker of the House of Representatives Washington, D.C. 20515 Dear ...
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1answer
45 views

Is “10% finished” or “finished 10%”?

I have worked on a task for 3 days and finished about 10% of the tast. How to report to my boss about this status? The task was finished 10% The task has finished 10% The task was 10% ...
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1answer
924 views

The difference between sick and ill [duplicate]

I feel ill or sick. Both mean the same. But when they modify a noun, do they mean the same? For example, Sentence A: He is a sick person. Sentence B: He is an ill person. Do they mean the same? I ...
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1answer
95 views

How can i use both of them correctly (“there + a place” in a sentence)

I know that " There Refers to a Place ". However, i'm a little bit confused. I know it's wrong but I'm trying to use both words "there" and "a specific place" in a sentence and the examples below make ...
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2answers
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Is “get hairs cut” proper English?

A friend always writes in her emails that she and her husband are going to get their “hairs cut at a salon”, not hair cuts or haircuts. She grew up in the 1930s in L.A. so perhaps this was normal for ...
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64 views

Would using “one of either” be correct?

I was writing a comment the other day when I wrote a sentence similar to the one below: You can choose one of either (Pizza, Mac and Cheese, or Spaghetti). Obviously the choices are made-up, but ...