Questions tagged [word-meaning]

For questions which a dictionary cannot answer about the meaning of a single word. It is best to include details about where you found the word, and any definitions that you have found that don't make sense, or don't fully answer your question.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
6 votes
3 answers
1k views

What are the differences between "lay" and "lie"?

I'm confused about lay and lie. Please look at these examples: "Don't lie in the sun for too long." "The dog was lying dead on the floor." "She lay back against the pillows." "I told her a ...
user avatar
13 votes
1 answer
74k views

Could you vs would you

Could you write your name? Would you write your name? When you are asked to do this, are there any situation in which you hear weird if either is used (but the other sounds pretty natural .)
user avatar
8 votes
3 answers
1k views

What is the difference between “say” and “tell”?

I really get confused when to use say and when to use tell. Which is appropriate in the following: What did he tell? / What did he say? What are you saying? / What are you telling?
user avatar
3 votes
3 answers
62k views

What is the difference between "What are you?" and "Who are you?"?

I am often asked "Who are you?" and "What are you?", but I don't know the difference between these two questions. Please explain it to me.
user avatar
  • 391
2 votes
3 answers
4k views

"All of the ...." or " All the ... "?

I am a bit confused about these two forms For example : John reads books all of the time/all the time All the students/All of the students have participated in march against smoking in the campus ...
user avatar
  • 535
94 votes
11 answers
344k views

What is the difference between “nope” and “no”?

What is the difference caused by using “nope” instead of ”no”? Is it used because “nope” sounds better and not straight like “no”? In some situations, it feels like nope is better to use than no even ...
user avatar
  • 1,051
6 votes
3 answers
45k views

Wondering what the expression " I am about to"

Many times I have heard it while natives are speaking, specially Americans. I can not recall the contexts, perhaps they are very fast speaking. I wonder if any body here could give some hints in some ...
user avatar
  • 5,119
17 votes
5 answers
10k views

"said" as an adjective

In our electron pump, when you turn the crank, one side gets a surplus of electrons, or a negative charge, and on the other side the atoms are missing said electrons, resulting in a positive charge. ...
user avatar
16 votes
4 answers
52k views

What is the difference between “within” and “inside”?

Here is the definition of the word within from Oxford Dictionary: inside (something) So does that mean the two words have no difference, and can be used exchangingly? Is there any connotation that ...
user avatar
10 votes
6 answers
27k views

What's the meaning of "wired"?

I often hear some people say that "I'm wired differently from other people" or "My brain is differently wired" but I don't understand what "wired" really means. Here are several definitions of the ...
user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
87 views

AS meaning in this sentences

"As a beginner, I am happy that I learned a new thing." You will recognize this as your DoReMi-s.(https://youtu.be/n2z02J4fJwg at 4:52) What is the meaning of the "AS" there and when do we use that? ...
user avatar
  • 321
6 votes
2 answers
17k views

Having, holding, giving, and throwing parties

What is the difference between "hold a party", "have a party", "give a party" and "throw a party"? Is there any difference in meaning? Can we use them interchangeably? Could you provide some ...
user avatar
3 votes
4 answers
12k views

The usage of the word pretty is "pretty" confusing

I am aware that there are plenty of threads on intensifiers(very, rather, pretty, quite, fairly, etc.), both on this site and on the web, because of their ambiguity in terms of meaning. What I have ...
user avatar
  • 10.6k
1 vote
4 answers
18k views

Question about "surely" and "certainly"

Today I saw a sentence: She surely can do it. What does that mean? How does it differ from: She certainly can do it. Surely she can do it. This slight difference in meaning of those sentences I am ...
user avatar
  • 1,219
1 vote
1 answer
2k views

"have you ever gone to" to ask past experience

is it correct to ask: Have you ever gone to Spain? if i want to know whether or not he had visited Spain in his life (experience)?
user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
43 views

"How do you like to be when...?"

I had an argument with my teacher; in an exercise which was ordering words to form a sentence, I perhaps created a strange one. The sentence I made is this: How do you like to be when a business ...
user avatar
-1 votes
3 answers
5k views

I bought something two days ago - quick question

I have this question that my brain cannot understand because for me it seems to be very illogical. Please, try to explain this to me. It is both english problem but also my native language problem. ...
user avatar
  • 299
52 votes
7 answers
13k views

Why are nice picture/gif/video about foo called "foo-porn"?

I was browsing Reddit and I discovered many subreddits named after foo-porn, to name just a few: /r/EarthPorn /r/FoodPorn /r/Map_Porn /r/ruralporn /r/shockwaveporn /r/SkyPorn /r/unixporn It seems ...
user avatar
  • 1,209
18 votes
5 answers
32k views

differences between dependence and dependency

In Merriam-Webster learner's dictionary, "dependence" is defined as "the state of being dependent" and dependency as "the quality of being dependent; dependence". ...
user avatar
  • 2,941
17 votes
3 answers
28k views

SB and STH in dictionaries

tell sb to do sth (Cambridge Learner's Dictionary) When I look in dictionaries, I often see the words sb and sth. Are these proper words? What do they mean? Can I use these words in my essays, for ...
user avatar
43 votes
4 answers
9k views

Do native speakers still use "ought to"?

Do native speakers still use "ought to" in daily conversation? I haven't seen "ought to" used on any social or news ... websites. I only read about it in English grammar books. Ngram: Trends: ...
user avatar
  • 4,450
20 votes
5 answers
12k views

Why do the British use the word "flipping" for emphasis?

In the English (British) TV drama, Coronation Street, the word "flipping" is often used to stress a situation, so much so that it feels like a swear word to me to some degree: I've got a flipping ...
user avatar
  • 2,122
13 votes
4 answers
39k views

Tomato ketchup Vs Tomato sauce

Dictionaries did not help me. Collin's writes tomato sauce = tomato ketchup but not vice versa. There tomato ketchup is ketchup flavored with tomatoes. Furthermore, ketchup is sauce! MM says ketchup ...
user avatar
  • 64.8k
9 votes
8 answers
7k views

"We have known each other for some years now" - so is it a long time or short time?

The definition of 'some' reads as on OALD page (#3) a large number or amount of something But then the next entry says... (#4) a small amount or number of something I wonder if someone says ......
user avatar
  • 64.8k
8 votes
5 answers
46k views

The difference between "prevent" and "avoid"

The accident could have been prevented The accident could have been avoided Would you show me semantically what the difference between the two is? Also, are there any scenarios in which both ...
user avatar
  • 5,767
4 votes
1 answer
3k views

Difference between 'anybody', 'somebody', 'someone', 'nobody'

What is the difference between anybody,somebody,someone,nobody? And when should we use one or another of them? It's a bit confusing to me. Example: Does (anybody/somebody/someone/nobody) want a ...
user avatar
5 votes
4 answers
30k views

A comparison between "Creep", "Crawl" and "slither"

We have three too similar words: Creep, Crawl, Slither. These three words have very tiny and slight nuances. Based on dictionaries, one cannot recognize which ones can be used for the nouns: "snake" "...
user avatar
  • 13.7k
4 votes
1 answer
302 views

persons vs people

I always thought persons was wrong.But recently, I came across this word "persons" in some book. Is it correct? If it is, when would you use persons and when would you use people?
user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
7k views

Difference between These & Those [closed]

I would like to know what is the exact difference between These & Those.
user avatar
12 votes
4 answers
43k views

What is the meaning of the word 'pace'?

I read the word 'pace' from a word-builder vocabulary book and says it comes from a Latin root and has the meaning of 'contrary to the opinion of', and an additional sentence example: She had only ...
user avatar
  • 211
8 votes
1 answer
2k views

What does it mean by 'bringing him gasping to all fours' in Harry potter?

Immediately, his insides started writhing as though he'd just swallowed live snakes -- doubled up, he wondered whether he was going to be sick -- then a burning sensation spread rapidly form his ...
user avatar
  • 3,339
4 votes
3 answers
6k views

What's the difference between "citizenship" and "nationality"?

What's the difference between "citizenship" and "nationality"? Webster says on "nationality": the fact or status of being a member or citizen of a particular nation and on "citizenship": the ...
user avatar
  • 3,745
4 votes
4 answers
108 views

The meaning of "around" in these sentences

What's working around communication? What's not? What's working for you around influence? What's not? Please tell me the meaning of these sentences. I have problem with the word ((around)) and ...
user avatar
3 votes
3 answers
2k views

Differences among "It feels...", "It looks...", and "It seems..."

There is a topic about the differences among "it seems" and "it likes": What is the difference between "it seems" and "it looks like"? But what about the difference of the "it ...
user avatar
  • 197
3 votes
1 answer
458 views

What does "times" mean in the newspaper "Washington Times"?

What does “times” mean in the newspaper “Washington Times”? I have always wanted to ask about this, but feared it might be so obvious that I would look like a fool. For that many times, I haven't ...
user avatar
  • 3,804
2 votes
2 answers
5k views

How to use "yet"?

Yet another question about yet, It's really confusing! Please help me parse this phrase: Be honest yet witty At school, we used to use yet in the past perfect[if I remember] Like when we say : he ...
user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
12k views

So, "in 5 minutes" means either "during 5 minutes" or "after 5 minutes" right?

Cambridge Grammar said: We use in to say how long it takes someone to do something: He was such a clever musician. He could learn a song in about five minutes. We use an apostrophe -s ...
user avatar
  • 15.1k
2 votes
3 answers
72 views

Is this a clear expression, "on a rainy day, Bob is grumpy with a 60 % chance, happy with 40 %"?

This question comes from this post, where I am trying to express the following meaning clearly and concisely. this is clear but not concise on a rainy day, Bob is grumpy with a 60 % chance, Bob is ...
user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
616 views

(Bell pepper, capsicum, chilli, pepper) What's the difference?

I would like to know the meaning that comes to your mind when you hear the four words as a native speaker. If you don't know the difference between two of the words, please let me know instead of ...
user avatar
  • 1,936
1 vote
4 answers
1k views

A word for something that is too visible?

How to call something/someone that is too visible, more that it/she should or deserves, or more than it is natural and accepted? The word I have in mind is "over-visible". Are over-visible and over-...
user avatar
  • 1,930
1 vote
1 answer
1k views

X feet long/high versus (a/an) x-foot [noun]

Why in this picture are the length and height of a plane given as x feet long and y feet high but the wingspan is described as a z-foot wingspan? Are they the same units? How can I choose which one ...
user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
33 views

What's the meaning of the word "languid" in the following context?

"His conversation seemed to excite a general though languid interest" One of the definitions in TFD is: b. Slow-moving or weak in force: languid breezes. Can it mean the interestest was weak ...
user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
288 views

Difference between "WOULD" and "WILL"................?

Consider the examples:- When would I get the access of the system. When will I get the access of the system. which sentence is correct in spoken/written English. thanks.
user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
3k views

What does the word "it" mean?

Even if determinism isn't true for everything that happens—even if some things just happen without being determined by causes that were there in advance—it would still be very significant if ...
user avatar
  • 609
0 votes
1 answer
95 views

Is brief a contranym?

Why brief as a verb means to give information thoroughly and even as a noun it means a legal document, given to a barrister, containing all the information about a case but as an adjective it means ...
user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
124 views

Toy Line (Production) Run

I am not sure about the meaning of this: link Transformers: Generation 1 (also known as Generation One or G1) was a children's toy line that ran from 1984 to 1991 and was produced by Hasbro. ...
user avatar
  • 7,563
0 votes
1 answer
194 views

Could you help me finding some less colloquial equivalent to highlighted phrases of this speech

Today I want to be able to give you some good tips on parallel parking. It's part of your road test. It's something you need to learn. For most new drivers it's real difficult, because they're not ...
user avatar
  • 5,119
0 votes
1 answer
2k views

to come out {on to | to | on | into | in} the streets

Thousands of people came out onto the streets to attest their support for the democratic opposition party. Can we rewrite the sentence in these ways? what would they mean if possible? Thousands of ...
user avatar
  • 10.6k
0 votes
1 answer
42 views

"Line up", "Hook up" and "Fix up"

Please tell me which choice below (or rather a better choice that I need to know) works better in my sentences in informal English: I got myself out on a limb. I need to clear my check by tomorrow. ...
user avatar
  • 13.7k
8 votes
6 answers
10k views

What is the difference between "shut" and "close"?

It is obvious that shut and close are very similar in meaning. However, while learning English as non-native (a long time ago) the teacher underlined that the two words are not identical in meaning. ...
user avatar
  • 8,914