Questions tagged [word-choice]

This tag is for questions which a dictionary cannot answer about the several possibilities available for a particular meaning, and which one of them would be the most appropriate.

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1answer
33 views

What word expresses both actions “to spring & catch a prey”?

catch [transitive] catch somebody/something to capture a person or an animal that tries or would try to escape The murderer was never caught. Our cat is hopeless at catching mice. How ...
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1answer
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Opposite of Behind schedule

What is the opposite of 'Behind the schedule?. How to say if we are ahead of the schedule or exactly on the schedule? Can I say we are ahead of schedule or on the schedule?
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Is 'you might look but won't see' correct?

When your eyes are open but your mind closed, you might look but won't see.
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25 views

Do you say “the pillow is stained with some substance” when you don't know if it is sweat, water, milk or tea, etc stained it

stain 1 /steɪn/ ●○○ verb 1 [intransitive, transitive] to accidentally make a mark on something, especially one that cannot be removed, or to be marked in this way Be careful you don’t ...
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0answers
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Is it idiomatic to say “to push your poo” when you mean “to try hard to push the waste out of your bowel when you are constipated”?

​constipated adjective: unable to get rid of waste material from the bowels easily You should eat more fibre and fruit if you are constipated. Suppose that your child is constipated and is ...
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All of these may be related to

Talking about beliefs of a writer I want to say: "his contradictory ideas are probably formed before his view change" Through: "all of these may be related to the time before his change" Does it ...
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1answer
18 views

'be fit for', 'fit', or 'be fitting for' what is the correct usage and why?

After checking the old post, I found this Difference between 'it fits something' and 'it is fit for something' -- "The key fits the lock" vs. "The key is fit for the ...
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1answer
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“Affected neighboring topics” sounds wrong

I found in our documentation the phrase affected neighboring topic. It looks unfamiliar to me. Is affected related topics a better way to introduce a list of issues, which are influenced by this topic?...
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2answers
22 views

Which preposition should I use when saying “Idea of” or “Idea on”

Which preposition should I use when asking someone about their idea on/of something in a formal manner? Saying "idea on" sounds too informal, but "idea of" doesn't sound correct. For example, which ...
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2answers
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Do you say to a kid “Don't smear the ink of the marker all over your hand. It sticks hard on your hand. Now I have to scrub / wipe it off your hand”?

smear ​[transitive] to spread an oily or soft substance over a surface in a rough or careless way SYNONYM daub smear something on/over something The children had smeared mud on the walls. ...
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How to express the state of a chair that has 1 leg or 2 legs a bit shorter than the others: uneven?

Sometimes, you sit on a chair has 1 leg or 2 legs a bit shorter than the others. You can push your body back and forward to rock the chair side to side, which makes it hard for you to sit because you ...
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Do we say “This paper cup is deformed or crumpled” in everyday English?

crumple [transitive, intransitive]: crumple (something) (up) (into something) to press or crush something into folds; to become pressed, etc. into folds She crumpled the letter up into a ball ...
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is it idiomatic to say “turn the chair to face the outside” in this situation?

face [transitive, intransitive] to be opposite somebody/something; to have your face or front pointing towards somebody/something or in a particular direction face somebody/something She ...
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Is “gradually” used correctly?

The shooting goes on for a while, then gradually stops. Howie peeks his head up/out from behind the couch and sees bodies all over the place. Questions. Is "gradually" used correctly? Is "up" and "...
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2answers
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Occupied or preoccupied?

Lenny is strolling around the park, bored, when he notices a squirrel jumping around in a tree. He sits down on a bench to watch it. Then something else happens somewhere else. Back in the park, ...
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1answer
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is it okay to say “push somebody/something over” when your action is “pulling”?

push somebody/something over ​to make somebody/something fall to the ground by pushing them Sam pushed me over in the playground. pull somebody/something over ​(of the police) to ...
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1answer
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In a casual conversation to a child, is it okay to say “a skirt” when you are actually referring to “a shift or pinafore or jumper”?

According to Oxford Dictionary This is a shift The black one in this picture is a jumper or pinafore And a skirt normally doesn't have the top as the blue one in this picture And say you are a ...
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is it okay to say “don't step your slippers on the mat”?

step 2 ●●● S3 W3 verb (stepped, stepping) [intransitive always + adverb/preposition] 1 to raise one foot and put it down in front of or behind the other one in order to walk or move ...
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1answer
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Can the word 'destiny' be used in English in reference to the past?

Can the word 'destiny' be used in English in reference to the past? A teacher (not a native English speaker) gave my son the following written task: Think about Taiwan's destiny from Dutch period ...
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1answer
33 views

Is “Let her go. Right now!” a request?

"Let her go. Right now!" The man just laughed at his request. Is request the most appropriate word to use here?
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1answer
24 views

Is “pulled down” ok instead of “took down”?

There was hanging a collection of ancient weapons on the wall. I pulled down a spear and looked at it. Is "pulled down" ok instead of "took down"? Is it optional whether to put "down" before or ...
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1answer
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Is it ok to say “to tie your finger with a rubber band”, “to wrap a rubber band around your finger”?

tie [transitive] to attach or hold two or more things together using string, rope, etc.; to fasten somebody/something with string, rope, etc. tie something + adv./prep. She tied the ...
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2answers
23 views

Is “might” good here?

Is "might" good here? Could the sentence be phrased better? I might be in a wheelchair, but I'm not going to let it stop me from chasing my dream.
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4answers
62 views

Wording for three different behaviors for a count-down timer hitting the maximum range

Imagine you have a timer that is set to a certain number of hours and minutes to elapse before going off. Now, if there's a button above the hour window and minute window and you click it, the value ...
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1answer
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Economy of smallness?

He also missed the fact that there might be great economies of smallness in some industries, as Apple’s transformation of the computer industry in the 1980s and the dot.com transformation of retail ...
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1answer
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What the most natural way to refer to a dead human body?

(Sorry for the macabre subject) I was wondering which of the following is the most natural way to refer to a dead human body in this sentence: The detective kneeled down to inspect .... ...
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'Didn't“ vs. ”did not" when asking a question

Examples: Did he not check up on her? Didn't he check up on her? Do they mean the same? Or they have slightly different meanings? If they have the same meaning, which one is more common?
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“It was not” or “it wasn't”

I've been reading a novel which original language is chinese and in the translation a there's a part that I don't know if its the correct: [...] "This butterfly was extremely intelligent. Not only ...
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1answer
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Is “flies off” natural when talking about a cut off arm

She strikes him with the lightsaber and his arm flies off. Is "flies off" natural here?
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1answer
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How to narrate a story or a situation?

When I want to narrate or tell someone about a conversation that I or some people were involved in, it seems wrong to me to represent the participants with, for instance, Sam said...blah blah blah ...
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23 views

Do you say “don't slap in the pee to make it be smeared all over the floor and splash it into my face”?

slap 4 [intransitive always + adverb/preposition] to hit a surface with a lot of force, making a loud sharp sound slap against Small waves slapped against the side of the boat. Today, my ...
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1answer
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Is “Harshly” the opposite of “Gently”? Is it okay to say “Please don't type harshly on the keyboard” instead of “Please type gently on the Keyboard”?

gent‧ly /ˈdʒentli/ ●●○ W3 adverb 1 in a gentle way ‘You go back to bed now, ’ he said gently. She kissed me gently on the cheek. Gently cook the peppers for 10–15 minutes. Rain ...
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“Little”/“Less' instead of ”not a lot"

We are getting very little orders these days. We are getting very less orders these days. What sounds likely a replacement for "we're not getting a lot of orders these days."
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33 views

Are “condition” and “situation” interchangeable in the context?

1) He has been in a coma for three months. His condition/situation is still very complicated, but we're not ready to give up on him yet. 2) He has been in a coma for three months. His condition/...
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1answer
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Is “then” completely natural here to connect the sentences?

I didn't hear anything for a few months, so I assumed she wasn't interested. Then last week she called me to my surprise and asked if I would go out on another date with her. Is then completely ...
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1answer
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You wouldn't do this, would you?

From "Rick and Morty" S01E02: Jerry: You wouldn't by any chance have some sort of crazy science thing you would whip up that might help make this dog a little smarter, would you? While the ...
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2answers
33 views

What word would you use for “Artificial Intelligence and Humans”?

My first guess was "Creatures" (I'm not a native speaker), but I have a strange feeling about this word. I also checked "Entities" but for me, it has a mystical meaning that is hidden in the word. ...
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3answers
102 views

Better stylistic choice for “triggered”?

In a conversation on Quora I used the following expression. I don’t feel that you’re getting my point and I start to worry you got triggered, possibly recognizing own conduct, hence getting ...
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0answers
19 views

Do we say “His pants are holed in several places” & “his pants are split open at the back”?

split [intransitive, transitive] to tear, or to make something tear, along a straight line Her dress had split along the seam. split something Don't tell me you've split another pair of ...
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1answer
22 views

Wish + Simple Past or Would?

I've been struggling to know the difference, even though I've done research about it. Could you tell the difference between those 2? Examples: Why do we say: I wish it'd stop raining And not: ...
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1answer
38 views

What is the difference in meaning of “dim-witted” and “stupid” in this context

Instead of saying "You are more dim-witted than usual" could I say "You are more stupid than usual"?
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2answers
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What's the difference between “and” and “so that” when they mean “as a result”?

Look at the conversation below please: A)I want to travel to the Black Bear Island next weekend. B) Good idea! Make a plan first, ______ you will enjoy more beautiful scenery. which of the ...
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1answer
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what's the difference between mind and brain?

—Is Mr. Black a successful businessman? —Yes, he is a _mind__ and he set up his own company by himself. A. brain B. helpful man C. smart person I think both A and C can replace "mind". they can ...
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1answer
43 views

in a casual conversation, can “crayons & colored pencils” be the same?

crayon: a coloured pencil or stick of soft coloured chalk or wax, used for drawing In the dictionary, a crayon can be a coloured pencil or a stick of soft coloured chalk. But, when searching on the ...
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1answer
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Using non before compound word

I have the word peer-reviewed. I need to use non before it. Is it: non-peer-reviewed Or non-peer reviewed
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2answers
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difference between expression/look on her face?

She had a sad expression/look on her face. Are these completely interchangeable? Which is more common?
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1answer
23 views

“Before I know it” vs “before I knew it.”

Should I write "before I know it" or "before I knew it" when speaking in the present tense? Example sentence: "This boss is too tyrannical. Before I know it/before I knew it, I'll/I'd become his ...
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1answer
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“Already” in the middle or in the end of the sentence?

I've been thinking about it for a long time and I'm wondering where should I put already in the sentence? For example: Hey are your arms already trembling? Hey are your arms trebling already?...
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1answer
24 views

“The motel was located on, by, or along the road”?

The motel was located on/by/along a deserted road. Which one is correct? "By"?
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1answer
27 views

What should I use, “one” or “another”?

"we have ten foreign students in our school. One is from America, ______ is from Australia and all the other students are from England." What should I fill in the blank? "one" or "another"? Our ...

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