Questions tagged [usage]

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

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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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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. ...
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Is the other car there?

We have two cars. My brother had taken one and wasn't back yet. My dad wanted to go out. So he asked (because my mom wasn't home too): Is the other car there? Does this sound fine? P.S. And does "...
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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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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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"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.
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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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1 answer
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Adverbial phrase across multiple sentences

Consider the following toy example: Chess is a board game. More precisely, there are 2 players. There is an 8 by 8 grid. There are 6 kinds of pieces. There are... It seems to me that the scope of ...
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using the preposition "OF" multiple times when listing things in parallel

Writing is very much a processing of recording ideas for yourself in notes and then of preparing to share those ideas with others in some written form. This sentence is cited from a guide book by ...
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What are the differences between "blithe" and "beatific", if any?

The Free Dictionary defines the words in question as follows: blithe (blaɪð, blaɪθ) Definition: lighthearted in disposition; cheerful. heedless: a blithe disregard for someone's feelings. beatific (...
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Spun it on me (AmE)

A group of friends is talking, and one of them says she is leaving the town for good. The rest show how sad they are and, after their affectionate words, the girl saying good-bye replies: Well, you ...
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Object replacing the preparatory it

I have encountered B) many times while I have never seen or heard sentences like D). Are there specific adjectives having to do with this structure like B)? A) It is difficult to solve this math ...
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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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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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2 answers
103 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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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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Why 'another' instead of 'the other'?

If there are two genes that are different by only a single base pair, and a single point mutation happens, why could one be converted into another, not the other? Does the author mean a new, different ...
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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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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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1 answer
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"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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1 answer
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“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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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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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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255 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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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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81 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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223 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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1 vote
1 answer
19 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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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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1 vote
1 answer
261 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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2 answers
60 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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0 answers
33 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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1 vote
1 answer
232 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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1 answer
1k 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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1 answer
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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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1 vote
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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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1 vote
1 answer
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What is the difference?

What is the difference between I baked the cake myself and I myself baked the cake
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1 vote
2 answers
1k 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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1 vote
1 answer
86 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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1 vote
1 answer
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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1 vote
3 answers
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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1 answer
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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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2 answers
137 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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When there is an embedded clause, is the relative pronoun after it always restrictive?

When there is an embedded clause, is the relative pronoun after it always restrictive? Or, can it be used as a descriptive relative pronoun? For example, is which in the passage used as a descriptive ...
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1 answer
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Trying to make sense of the word "tacit". Please correct my analysis

Definition of tacit​ Source: Merriam Webster Dictionary Expressed or carried on without words or speech Example: the blush was a tacit answer— Bram Stoker Implied or indicated (as by an act or by ...
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1 answer
40 views

Using perfect modals for future

I have seen that to talk about some past events by using modals,we mostly use perfect modals(such as could have ,should have, would have, might have ,may have)and to talk about future and present ...
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1 answer
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What does the stock phrase "unto itself" mean?

I've looked through several online dictionaries to discover the meaning of the parent phrase "unto itself". But alas, all my efforts at discovering the original definition of the preceding ...
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1 answer
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Is there a difference between "fertile ground" "breeding ground" and "hotbed"?

Source: LEXICO.com DEFINITIONS: fertile ground: a situation or place that produces good results or a lot of ideas: breeding ground: a place or situation where a lot of a particular activity, ...
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3 answers
45 views

Is there a difference between "entrenched" and "ensconced"?

Source: Lexicon Dictionary Definitions: entrenched: firmly or solidly established; placed in a position of strength ensconced: establish or settle (someone) in a comfortable, safe, or secret place: ...
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1 answer
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Is there a difference between "incorrigible" and "inveterate"?

Source: Collins Dictionary Definitions: incorrigible: not corrigible; that cannot be corrected, improved, or reformed, esp. because firmly established, as a habit, or because set in bad habits, as a ...
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