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Questions tagged [usage]

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

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1answer
42 views

still for situation of continues

I would like to inquire about the correct usage of "still". I understood and I am not sure if I am correct, that we use still when an action or situation continues to the present. That means a ...
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1answer
38 views

Meaning of 'beware' in this song from the latest WoW trailer

The song has the following lines: "Beware, beware the Daughter of the Sea." "Beware," I heard him cry. And, in the ending: To his nation, with his last breath, cried, "Beware the Daughter ...
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2answers
65 views

Article usage - is it “in a landfill”, or just “in landfill”

The sentence: “It costs more to recycle plastic than to bury it in landfill.” sounds wrong to me because it is missing an article before “Landfill” (it should be noted, however, that I am not a ...
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2answers
1k views

What does 'in first for' mean?

What does 'in first for' mean in the following sentence?: (It's a news article title.) In first for UK, government clears Cuadrilla to frack shale gas site (Source: Reuters) Now I presume that it ...
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2answers
148 views

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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6answers
2k views

Usage of “just” in the phrase “just want”

What is the meaning of just in the prayer sentence: Lord, we just want to ask for your grace Does the word in some way minimize the request? Put another way, what is the effect of using just in ...
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2answers
58 views

Stack up against? What does this mean?

"Ted, it's really stacking up against you here, mate." Does this mean that things are going unfavorable for Ted?? Situation: Ted is an suspect of a murder case and every evidence indicates he is a ...
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1answer
83 views

“I understood no words he said” vs “I understood no word he said”

My main question is: Can the singular forms and plural forms be used interchangeably after the word "no"? For example, are these sentences interchangeable? 1) "I understood no words he said." ...
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1answer
514 views

“This is a good day” vs “It is a good day” vs “Today is a good day” vs “It is a good day today”

Are these sentences below interchangeable? This is a good day. It is a good day. Today is a good day. It is a good day today. As far as I can remember all of them can be used. If we ...
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2answers
56 views

Can “as I see fit” be replaced with “as I find fitting”?

Can as I see fit be replaced with as I find fitting I'm trying to write a poem and that's the only word that rhymes with bidding.
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1answer
18 views

Can gain be used to say an improvement in decreasing something? Or it's just for improving in increasing something

I know I can say A higher fiscal gain can be achieved by spending more wisely. (self-made sentence) I am wondering can I use gain when the improvement is reduction in something, for example A ...
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1answer
42 views

“What kind of person are you not?” vs “What kind of person aren't you?”

When I want ask somebody what kind of person he (or she) isn't, which one between these is correct? Or are they interchangeable? I guess they are interchangeable. A: "What kind of person are you ...
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1answer
31 views

What is “competing advice”

Frome this Manual: These guidelines sometimes give competing advice; common sense is advised. I don't know what is competing advice. I also cannot figure out why common sense is advised and why ...
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1answer
56 views

'I find it surprising seeing so many people here.'?

This is an example sentence from Cambridge Dictionary. I find it surprising to see so many people here. What I want to know is whether to see can be replaced with seeing. I find it surprising ...
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2answers
262 views

Is “I don't like girls smoking” a correct sentence?

I have two questions: 1. To express the same meaning as "I don't like girls who smoke." can I say "I don't like girls smoking."? It sounds kind of odd to me but I think it is not wrong. 2. ...
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1answer
206 views

which preposition should go with attractive

Normally, people say "I'm attracted to her", "She is attractive to me" to convey that "she is an attractive person". Not that the two words are all that closely related, but attractive seems to be ...
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1answer
119 views

Can we say “How much guitar do you play a day?”?

In my experience, people can say sentences like: "How much guitar do you play a day?" instead of: "How much do you play guitar a day?" Do you think they are interchangeable? I think so.
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2answers
81 views

Can I say “Can I use your phone a little”?

As far as I know, the phrases "a little", "a little bit" and "a bit" can be used for meaning "for a short time". So, for meaning "Can I use your phone for a short time?", can I say these sentences? ...
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2answers
2k views

How old were you?

Let's say I knew how old somebody is at the moment, but I forgot it. In that case, I think I can ask, "How old were you?", am I right?
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1answer
440 views

Can we say sentences like “They are so/too good of people”

As far as I know we can say "He is so good a person" for meaning "He is a very good person" or "He is a person who is so good" while we can't say "He is a so good person". Also we can say "He is too ...
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1answer
26 views

Difference between using a gerund and using a noun form

How is using a gerund different from using a noun form? Are they interchangeable? For example, how are the below two sentences different? You should verify that there is no problem in the code's ...
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1answer
52 views

Using the word “sad” after a noun

On Collins dictionary, one of the meanings of "sad" is: "If you describe someone as sad, you do not have any respect for them and think their behavior or ideas are ridiculous.", and it says that it is ...
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0answers
63 views

I play a lot of video games

I think all these sentences below are interchangeable when I want to mean like very often, but the forth one can cause ambiguity, am I right? It can have two meanings: I play video games very often ...
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2answers
48 views

Doesn't “must” cause ambiguity since it has two meanings

First, let me give you two examples: She has a difficult job. She must work hard. She has a very difficult life. She must be patient. Since "must" can also be used for meaning "most likely" ...
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1answer
39 views

All we people are the same

As far as I know, the structure in the sentences like All you people are the same is not wrong (I just asked a question about it on this site). What about All we people are the same Is the ...
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1answer
41 views

All you politicians are the same

Are these five sentences correct and interchangeable? 1) "You politicians are all the same." 2) "All of you politicians are the same." 3) "All you politicians are the same." 4) "You ...
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4answers
128 views

I watched them playing with my basketball

The sentence I want to talk about is: "I watched them playing with my basketball" Don't these kind of sentences have two meanings? Doesn't this sentence mean either "I watched them while they ...
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1answer
53 views

There is nothing with that you are fat

Are these two sentences interchangeable? There is nothing wrong with that you are fat. There is nothing wrong with the fact that you are fat.
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3answers
53 views

The meaning of “unholy intrigue”

In my English language class, we had to write short, scary stories. I wrote a story about a man who brings his wife back from the dead, and one of the lines in the story was: From that day, it was ...
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1answer
94 views

It has more to do with that I am lazy than that I am tired

Are all these sentences below correct and interchangeable? 1) It has more to do with that I am lazy than that I am tired. 2) It has more to do with the fact that I am lazy than that I am tired....
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0answers
70 views

What's the meaning of “decent account”?

The context is as follows: Person A has drawn an inappropriate drawing. Person B chastises person A: I told you not to draw this kind of things, we are a decent account. What does a decent account ...
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2answers
51 views

Is it fine to say “several things are united as one thing”?

I intend to say something like The grand unified theory in particle physics claims over a certain high energy, the electromagnetic force, the strong nuclear force and the weak nuclear force are ...
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1answer
69 views

I don't care if she says no

When we want to say we don't care about something which may happen in the future. Should we use the simple present tense? Let's say I am going to ask a girl out for the first time (I never asked her ...
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2answers
2k views

Can “short of” be used with a specific amount (cash)?

In another question regarding a difference between short on and short of, the answer says the following: ... But this is not always the case. A person can be short on/of money, but lacking a ...
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1answer
69 views

Can I say “I am sorry?” when I can't hear something?

As far as I know, we can say these when we can't hear something somebody said properly: "Excuse me?", "Sorry?" and "Pardon?". What about "I am sorry?"? Can I also say "I am sorry?" instead of "Sorry?"?...
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3answers
167 views

Can I be “a few players short”?

I was discussing a topic on English usage and found conflicting opinions on the following: Our team is a few players short. or We are a few players short. One opinion was that this is not ...
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0answers
47 views

I'm not sure how to transform a question form!

I want to transform the two sentences below into question form Team A was beaten by Team B . Team A defeated Team B . I think... Who was beaten Team A? Who did Team A defeat ? Is it ...
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2answers
70 views

Should I use past tense for something just happened?

For example, I break a pot. Should I say I broke or I break to tell someone immediately? Another example is the word remember. Should I say I remember it or I remembered when someone mentions ...
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2answers
414 views

Can we said “last morning”?

Normally we'll use last night when we're talking about yesterday's night, but how about yesterday's morning? Why can't we use last morning so as afternoon? Just like last weekend, last Friday, last ...
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1answer
65 views

Backshifting the verbs in questions

As far as I know, when we can't remember the name of a person or when we didn't hear it properly, or even if we never learned the name of a person before, we can say "What was your name" to that ...
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1answer
43 views

Working {full throttle} on her paper?

I just joined StackExchange and here's my first grammar question: Is my use of full throttle in the following sentence correct? She has a paper due tomorrow and is working "full throttle" on it.
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0answers
47 views

Reported versions of the sentences like “If I wanted to go, I would go”

I am having trouble in terms of the reported versions of the sentences which include the word "if". Can you please tell me what the reported versions of these "direct speech" kind of sentences below ...
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1answer
690 views

Should I use “does works” or “does work”?

Recently I started to create a new email for work purposes. I work independently as a computer technician, I wanted the email to reflect my personal name and that I do not one but several jobs on PC. ...
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0answers
48 views

“Sides” or “Aspects” of video games

Are these sentences interchangeable? What do you think are the best/good/bad/worst sides of playing video games? What do you think are the best/good/bad/worst aspects of playing video games?
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1answer
301 views

“How are your first impressions?” vs “What are your first impressions?”

Can either of these sentences be used? "How are your first impressions of this city?" "What are your first impressions of this city?" Also, can I say either of these sentences? "My first ...
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0answers
68 views

Not most people like him

Question 1: Not most people like him. Not most of them are good looking. As far as I know, before the words like "many", "a lot", "some" and "every", we can use the word "not" for not ...
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2answers
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What is the difference between **could + have p.p.** and **could + infinitive**?

We could not imagine how the Inca could have built such a large city on top of a high mountain. I don't think could build can replace could have built in the sentence above, but I am not sure why ...
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1answer
22 views

Can one person/thing be something that is a plural noun?

Here goes a passage from Tim Pratt's Impossible Dreams short story: She understood character arcs, the use of color, the underappreciated skills of silent film actors, the bizarre audacity of ...
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1answer
357 views

'has become widely used'?

The term globalization has become widely used in recent years. In the sentence above, is used used as an adjective? Can has become widely used be replaced with has been widely used without changing ...
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1answer
44 views

“…one of the best movies of my childhood” or “…one of the best movies from my childhood”?

Are these sentences interchangeable? It is one of the best movies of my childhood. It is one of the best movies from my childhood. Context: Let's say someone mentioned the name of a movie and ...