Questions tagged [usage]

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

188 questions with no upvoted or accepted answers
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61 views

Run it under water, hold it under water, run water over it

The following sentences are about rinsing something under running water, be it a whisk (or any utensil for that matter) or a scald, wound/cut. Just run it under water. Just hold it under water. ...
2
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1answer
216 views

Why wouldn't/don't I share this? Which should it be?

So I was about to write something on my Facebook wall then I find my old post then I thought about to share it so what would be right. Instead of writing new post I thought: Why wouldn't/don't I ...
2
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1answer
53 views

People He Thought Were/To Be

I have a question about this: 1a. The people he thought were missing showed up. 1b. The people he thought to be missing showed up. 2a. The people he guessed were missing showed up. 2b. The ...
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1answer
154 views

"occupying tourists" vs. "keeping tourists occupied"

There are many sights in KL to keep tourists occupied. There are many sights in KL to occupy tourists. Which sentence is natural? Thanks a lot.
2
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1answer
8k views

Good Wishing for someone's success

Here are some sentences: Can I use 'May' for wishing someone? For example: May you get success in your goal. OR, Is it compulsory to use the word 'wish' for wishing someone ? For example: I ...
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0answers
32 views

Limitation or limitations?

I am confused about the following sentence: Despite limitations from a lack of funding, the study for the first time paints a picture of children prone to suicidal thought. Isn't 'a lack of funding' ...
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0answers
23 views

Is it incorrect to use "I'm" to replace "I am." when that is the whole sentence?

Is it incorrect to use I'm. to replace I am. when that is the whole sentence? Are you going to the beach? I'm. I haven't ever seen or heard I'm used this way. Is it technically incorrect?
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1answer
36 views

Meaning and usage of "/"

The use of "/" is to highlight the differences or group similarly related? Do we use "/" as a substitute of "and" or "or" or both? Designer/Coder Micheal won ...
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2answers
72 views

What's the difference between 'have become p.p.' and 'have been p.p.'?

I think the two are interchangeable, but I am not sure. Given that the Internet has become integrated in everyday lives and the communication of social support is an important part of interpersonal ...
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0answers
28 views

Can you use "abase oneself" positively?

Longman dictionary defines "abase yourself" as: to behave in a way that shows you accept that someone has complete power over you I gave an extensive lookup on the internet on the phrase. It ...
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1answer
22 views

"Grade(s) 1 to 6 are basic education for kids." - with "s" or without "s"?

Is "car 1, car 2, and car 3" equal to "cars 1 to 3"? Is "step 1 step 2, step 3, step 4, and step 5" equal to "steps 1 to 5" Is "Grade 1, Grade 2, Grade 3, ...
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0answers
26 views

my reason to call him dishonest Is it wrong?

Are the following sentences correct? My reason to call him dishonest... The reason for me to call him dishonest... I have a reason to call him dishonest... I have reasons to call him dishonest... I ...
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0answers
53 views

When we have a clear context, can we omit words, phrases, clauses, or even sentences?

My question: When we have a clear context, can we omit words, phrases, clauses, or even sentences? Because I think they are sometimes too long or kind of wordy. Is there a rule of thumb or something ...
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2answers
69 views

Do I 'Log Into', 'Login To', or 'Log In To'?

I've been speaking English for a long time but I've only been logging in for a couple of decades and every time I write it I am confused about the proper usage. Do I log into the system? or Do I login ...
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1answer
18 views

"Municipality of <municipality-name>" or "<municipality-name> Municipality"

I was discussing with some people about which form is more correct regarding a Municipality, or other territory divisions. For example, regarding to a map of the municipality, is it more correct to ...
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1answer
1k views

“to check IN on someone” OR “to check on someone“?

If I mean : “to make sure someone is doing okay, be it in their work, health, or otherwise”, Have “to check IN on someone” AND “to check on someone“ the same meaning ? Also, recently, someone wrote me ...
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1answer
85 views

In the sentence "...redirecting your focus on to what is working..." Why ON TO and not only TO?

At first when I saw that sentence I thought the preposition ON was related to the verb focus, but at a second and third analyzes I sort of notice that focus is not being used as a verb in this ...
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1answer
19 views

Either in need of a or requires

I think is in need of a wash is more appropriate choice to fill in the following blank The brown shirt_________. Because meaning of in need of is Macmilan But the right choice in my book is ...
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1answer
25 views

For/to all intents and purposes

What is the error in the following sentence? Although there was still a faint heart beat, the patient was for all intents and purposes dead. On many of the websites I found that instead of for, to ...
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0answers
23 views

Does this sentence sound natural, 'We read to the children from books in the library'?

If it does, how about paraphrasing the sentence into 'We read books in the library to the children.'?
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0answers
239 views

Intuition vs insight vs instinct vs gut feeling vs sixth sense?

Do all of these mean almost a same feeling? If yes, can we also add"suspicion" to this list,as also having same meaning as those in title If not, please kindly explain in simple words with examples, ...
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0answers
35 views

Past perfect continuous for continuing events in the past

My Cambridge Dictionary's grammar section contains the following explanation about the past perfect continuous tense: Continuing events in the past We use the past perfect continuous to talk about ...
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0answers
63 views

X minutes left before

Do these sound fine instead of "It's five minutes to/before ten": There are five minutes left before ten. We/I have ten minutes before ten. And if someone asks: How many minutes are left ...
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0answers
142 views

My shoes got swapped with someone

I had taken off my shoes(we're supposed to take them off before we enter the music room). When I came back and put them back on, I realized they weren't mine. (There had been a lot of shoes there, now ...
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1answer
17 views

In the running vs in training

First, I want to confirm the grammatical correctness of the following two sentences: I'm in the running for the position. I'm in training for the position. In other words, if using the ...
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0answers
32 views

Mistakes which are made by native English speakers

Which difficulties do native English speakers face when they learn their mother tongue at school or just in life(especially I'm curious to know about high school when people are already supposed to ...
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2answers
34 views

What is omitted between 'the task' and 'and'?

What is omitted between the more tasks and and? 'the to-do lists had'? The results in the Journal of Experimental Psychology confirm that not all pre-sleep writing is created equal. Those who’d ...
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1answer
230 views

"In the end" or "At the end"

Which of these phrases is correct: "We are in the end." "We are at the end." I know that most of the time when using "at the end" there should be a noun. Like, "...at the end of something". But ...
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1answer
508 views

It is with A as with B

I saw the following passage and am wondering whether "it is with A as with B" is current English. What is it used for? And what does "it" refer to? It is with learning as with wealth. A few cannot ...
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1answer
40 views

Extend something to somebody

We usually say extend something to somebody but in the following sentence The law created a group called ‘Socially and Educationally Backward Class’ and included Marathas as the sole group under the ...
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0answers
30 views

Understanding the definition of "preposition"

In my grammar book definition of preposition is given as follows: A preposition is a word placed before a noun or a pronoun to show in what relation the person or thing denoted by it stands in ...
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1answer
191 views

Is it proper to use "dedicate oneself" together with a quantifier?

I see TheFreeDictionary gives one of the meanings of "dedicate" to be give entirely to a specific person, activity, or cause , in which "entirely" implies totality without any ...
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1answer
703 views

was looking or looked in this sentence

When I woke up this morning, she was sleeping on my bed and she looked very happy! The sentence is about a female cat who was ill. Why isn't was looking (at this precise moment she was looking)? ...
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1answer
4k 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
77 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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1answer
2k views

A good place to start would be (with)

I have a question about some sentence in this Economist article: Reserve prison for the worst offenders. Divert the less scary ones to drug treatment, community service and other penalties that ...
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0answers
66 views

Harnessed .. to the task of

I have a question about the verb "harness". According to definitions of many dictionaries, including definition 2 for the verb "harness" in this dictionary, "harness" should be used according to ...
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1answer
42 views

What is the difference?

What is the difference between I baked the cake myself and I myself baked the cake
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2answers
957 views

"having to decide" or "deciding"?

I have a question about the differences in meaning, if any, between writing the following sentence as: "In other words, I have personal experience with some of the anxieties many tennis players go ...
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1answer
83 views

Am I the receiver or sender?

My friend recently recieved an email about a warning of an attachment might contain virus because of being an executable file. The email is like this; xxx@gmail.com is sent an email contains "...
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1answer
2k views

A Meeting In/On His Schedule

Suppose we are talking about someone's schedule of things to do There is a management meeting in his schedule. There is a management meeting on his schedule. Should it be "in" or "on" ...
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3answers
1k views

passives vs adjectives

Past participles can modify nouns in much the same way as adjectives. For example I am told = I am a told man. You are invited = You are a invited man. He is questioned = He is a questioned man. ...
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1answer
148 views

Correct use of Word Phrase

It was like using a watch that runs slow. (It=Egyptian calendar) What was the Egyptian calendar similar to? using a watch that runs slow a watch that runs slow Which one is correct?
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2answers
105 views

why does the author write 'This makes sense and is a logical argument ~'?

I have a couple of questions. Firstly, why does the author write This makes sense and is a logical argument ~ ? Does it mean that in the perspective of eastern folks, it is sensible to think that way ...
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1answer
18 views

Why did the author use a comma in the sentence?

Why did the author use a comma between upright and the way? Isn't it redundant? One reason that so many of us are fascinated by penguins is that they resemble us. They walk upright, the way we do, ...
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0answers
30 views

Can A.K.A. be used in formal writing?

I have seen using the abbreviation A.K.A. (also known as) in several online forums and in some social media posts. Can we use this word in formal writing (such as articles, formal letters, etc.)?
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0answers
15 views

Is it possible that the simple present tense and the past perfect tense are used in the same sentence?

Why does the author write the past perfect had discarded instead of the simple past discarded? Is it possible that the simple present tense and the past perfect tense are used in the same sentence? ...
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1answer
32 views

Why was 'which' used instead of 'what' in the passage?

I know the following definitions of what and which. what : asking for information specifying something which : asking for information specifying one or more people or things from a definite set But ...
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0answers
47 views

“For as long as possible” vs “as long as possible”

How do you distinguish in their usage the two expressions: “for as long as possible” and “as long as possible”? In the latter expression, the long is, probably, almost always an adverb. However, when ...
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1answer
13 views

Prefix "in-" meaning / usage - any rules?

I'm surprised prefix in- can add opposite meaning: (not) inactive, indefensible vs (extra) invaluable, inflammable. Are there any rules to intelligently guess its meaning for newly learn word? The ...