Questions tagged [vocabulary]

This tag is for questions about a body of words. It should not be used to inquire about the definition of a specific word.

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Are lakes and rivers included in “terrestrial habitats” or should I use another word

I would like to talk about everything that does not live in a sea or in an ocean. The first adjective that came to my mind was "terrestrial". However, I was told that "terrestrial" can be understood ...
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1answer
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What does “dear” mean in this sentence?

"Oh, Mom, can I go on the train and see him [Harry Potter], Mom, eh please...." "You've already seen him, Ginny, and the poor boy isn't something you goggle at in a zoo. Is he really, Fred? How do ...
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Use of “In the following”

Is it correct to say: "In the following, we outline how this can be done". My main question is that: Is "In the following" at a right place?
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Can I “fix” clothes?

Can I use fix for talking about clothes? For example : My mother fixed the hole in my jeans. Or is there a better verb I should use?
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5answers
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What to call a certain shape of lips

What to call lips which are fleshy (full) and stick out a little bit? I am not sure if 'stick out' is appropriate or not. I mean, the lips making someone with them look sulky (but actually he or she ...
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2answers
284 views

Short phrase to indicate two tables are placed next to each other?

Found this post making a joke on the use of JOIN in a Japanese restaurant. This instruction intends to tell customers not to rearrange tables, by placing them next to each other, thus making a "bigger ...
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2answers
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What to use, price quote or quotation?

I am searching for the right word to use in the process of a salesman telling a price to the client beforehand, and to which the client can respond with yes or no. Google and Bing translators told me ...
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1answer
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catch fire; catch on fire

1. Seventy percent of the man's body had been burned after the truck caught fire. 2. The house just caught on fire. (All are from COCA) I’ve thought that ‘on’ gives the nuance of continuity. ...
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Informal word for cartilage?

I know what cartilage is, but I was looking for the every day synonym to the word in the context of meat and eating, not in the context of human anatomy. I found out that gristle maybe the informal ...
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2answers
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What is the difference between “to get”, “ to take” and “to pick”? [closed]

When I should use "to get", "to take" and "to pick"? Who answer can put a few examples? Thanks.
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4answers
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Difference between quiet and quietness

What is the difference between quiet and quietness if we take both as nouns? For example in sentence: the quiet of a wooded trail. ... why there couldn't be quietness? The dictionary says: quiet -...
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1answer
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'Home Town' or 'Hometown'?

Macmillan has only the entry Home Town. Oxford also has only the entry Home Town (although all examples suggested have hometown written). VERSUS Cambridge has only the entry Hometown. Microsoft ...
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Can I place suffixes and prefixes whenever it seems correct?

When I speak English, it is often necessary to use the adverb or noun form of a certain word. However, even when it seems more suitable in a given situation or context, I don't use a prefix or suffix ...
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Searching for a word by pronunciation

One of the common problems that a language learner often faces is searching for a word knowing only the pronunciation. Usually it is possible to guess the correct spelling, but sometimes not. How ...
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761 views

What do you call this part of the human foot? [closed]

The blue color mentioned part, what do you call it in English? (not the red part)
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468 views

Alexander Haig’s cluttered langugae

I'm reading On writing Well by William Zinsser. In Chapter Three: Clutter, he takes Alexander Haig for example and says: Before Haig nobody had thought of saying “at this juncture of maturization”...
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SIT or SET yourself at the table

Would you please take a glance at the links? Would anyone possibly show me what is the difference between them? sit yourself at the table set yourself at the table That is, I am wondering what is ...
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1answer
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distinguishing between grasp and understand

Extracted from the second thesaurus explanation in the Oxford Dictionary: Understand or grasp? You can use understand or grasp for the action of realizing the meaning or importance of something ...
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471 views

What makes language easily understandable for learners?

What types of construction, syntactic elements and vocabulary make language easy or difficult for learners of English to understand? Are there significant differences between the difficulties ...
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0answers
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Card game vocabulary [closed]

I am building an online version of the game of Set, and I want to get my vocabulary straight. So far, the words I have are "card", "deck", "(card) feature", "set", "player" and "dealer". I am missing ...
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demand is weak vs demand is modest

Recent studies suggest that ride-sharing services could do a much better job providing useful information to drivers. For example, one current app provides heat maps... but only when surge pricing is ...
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3answers
697 views

Confusion about the U.S after secondary level educational system's words

When I am practicing listening, particularly when it comes to university stuff, I'm getting a bit confused how to use the words appropriately. Items are below. Undergraduate "Mostly" meaning to ...
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733 views

What is the name of the box which keeps software CD?

I don't know its exact name or how do you call this box in English: The CDs inside the box are essential and required to be installed before the paid hardware can fully function. I don't own this box....
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to stuff cake in every orifice

This example is from the Cambridge Dictionary's article for 'orifice'. I was stuffing cake into every available orifice. My American friend told me that it sounds inappropriate, because orifice ...
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What does “sure” mean?

How is sure different from yes? How is it different from other responses? When should I use it?
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What does “extended meaning” mean?

I have an assignment and one question confuses me a lot. the question is: The words below have a literal as well as an extended meaning. Write the literal meaning of the words. Use the following ...
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587 views

Can we use “to jettison” as a synonym for “to throw”

I was discussing the verb to jettison with a native speaker, and my interlocutor gave an example: I was jettisoned from the bar. [for bad behavior] Was this usage sloppy or it is legitimate? My ...
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Why are they catcalling for their lovely new member?

"Brocklehurst, Mandy" went to Ravenclaw too, but "Brown, Lavender" became the first new Gryffindor, and the table on the far left exploded with cheers; Harry could see Ron's twin brothers ...
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What would be synonyms for “be into something”?

I find myself repeatedly using these two expressions; "I'm into Psychology" or "I'm interested in Psychology" but cannot think of other ways to deliver the same meaning. What other expressions ...
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1answer
700 views

How many “reps” of each exercise do you do?

What does "reps" mean in this sentence? "How many reps of each exercise do you do?"
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3answers
664 views

Expression for “abundant source of”

What figurative expression could I use to describe "an abundant source of"? The context is the following: the Amazon is a true Free University of Sciences and Philosophy, and authentic ___________ ...
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6answers
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Can I express the same meaning with confined vocabulary?

For an English learner like me, learning new words and making them absorbed deeply in my mind is not an easy task. I always find it difficult while deciding which word is suitable to use. ...
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3answers
277 views

What does guard mean in this situation?

He [Harry] stopped a passing guard, but didn't dare mention platform nine and three-quarters. The guard had never heard of Hogwarts and when Harry couldn't even tell him what part of the country ...
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6answers
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What is the person who takes minutes in a meeting called?

What do we call a person who takes the minutes in a meeting? Is it a minute taker, reporter?
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167 views

Is it called “sale copy” or “business plagiarism” in English language?

Shop A and Shop B are operated by people of different nationality. Shop A sells Japanese and Thai products, and when some of these products become more popular, shop B will follow and sell the same ...
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293 views

words for people whose academic backgrounds are far more than required

Hot summer is coming and I need some money for new skirts. So, I applied for a part-time babysitting job to earn the money last month. They scheduled me for an interview for yesterday evening. ...
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Wanting to avoid vulgarity; alternatives for “a d--k move”

I have heard the slang phrase dick move in contexts like this: "Please don't do that prank to him. That'd be a dick move from you." "Look at those drawings of Bob! Do you know who made them? ...
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1answer
153 views

What do “lay down” and “as the eleventh commandment” mean?

The most sensible and intelligent of all nations in Europe lays down the rule, "Never Interrupt!" as the eleventh commandment. Noise is the most impertinent of all forms of interruption. It is not ...
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1answer
123 views

Can one who lived be the subject of 'leave'?

“I’ve come to bring Harry to his aunt and uncle. They’re the only family he has left now.” -- Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling. OALD says leave somebody is to have family ...
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1answer
851 views

Hard fate when women are compell’d to woo!

Hard fate when women are compell’d to woo! (The Silkworm, by Robert Galbraith) What is the sex of the person who woos in the example? By OALD, the doer of wooing is a male. Then, ‘Hard fate when ...
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2answers
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What does crooked timber mean?

From an article in "The Hindu": But Netzer’s piece is nicely based on the premise that we are crooked timber. We are, to varying degrees, foolish, weak and often just plain inexplicable — and ...
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1answer
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an hour ago vs in an hour ago

“I left it on a subway train an hour ago.” (its audio) This is the sentence that I took a dictation. But there seems to be a mismatch between the script and its audio. I hear in an hour ago instead ...
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1answer
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What is “tad askew”?

Seinfeld, "The Raincoats." (Jerry and Elaine sitting in the booth) ELAINE: N-I know they're your parents Jerry an' they're very nice people. But don't you think it's odd, that a thirty-...
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2answers
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Should I call it a pedestrian overpass or pedestrian footbridge?

It's a bridge that allows people to cross a road. How can I call it? Can it be a pedestrian overpass or pedestrian footbridge?
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1answer
22k views

What is the difference between “regarding” and “about”?

How are the words "regarding" and "about" different? What are the differences in usage, meaning, and grammatical differences? Is "regarding" more formal than "about"? I read some iPhone game ...
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1answer
477 views

Is this, 'just any', a mate?

The recipe uses a large amount of pepper, and not just any pepper, but a special blend imported from India. (Merriam-Webster’s) You have to be a member to go there. They won't let just any person ...
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2answers
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Can I use “concerned” like this? — “It detects [something] and extends [something] of the concerned jobs”

According to: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/concerned Concerned has the following meanings: adjective interested or affected: concerned citizens. troubled or anxious: a ...
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Would you help me with adjectives, alive and live?

Although she forgot to water it for a week, the plant was still alive/live. Which one is right? My professor has just told me that you must use ALIVE. But I don't know why yet.
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grow a tooth, fall a tooth, and loose a tooth

I've got a tooth grown. I've got a tooth loosened. I've got a tooth fallen. Are the sentences above correct? If no, how should I say them instead? I'll be grateful to them, if anybody answers my ...
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657 views

meaning of “above boord handsum”

I'm reading an article that talks about Yankee English and it quotes the following paragraph written by Thomas Chandler Haliburton: "...you are a careless kind of a man that way, and let your ...

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