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This tag is for questions which a dictionary cannot answer about the meaning or correctness of a word in a sentence. Give as much context as possible.

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2answers
28 views

There are at least a handful of individuals into who (or which?) the spirit incorporates

The pronoun forms of who and which seem to be used more 'randomly' nowadays than Oxford English would allow. Which of the two is more correct. To my somewhat British ears, which is often used in ...
0
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2answers
14 views

why do we use the word “get” in most of the passive causative sentences?

I am learning English and I have noticed that "get" is used in most of the passive causative sentences. for example 1) I get shan to write a letter.(Active) 2) I get a letter written(passive) in ...
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2answers
12 views

Is it common to write “dreams” (in plural) even if it's composed of only one objective/item?

Let's say, there's this woman, Mary. Her dream is to have a baby. One day, she goes to the doctor and finds out her ovaries are dying very fast. Should I write dream with and s or without an s?: ...
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0answers
11 views

Can “attempt” be an intransitive verb?

source Regardless of the result, we must go back to the hospital and attempt! I think it should be "try" here.
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0answers
26 views

Why 'anything' used instead of 'something' in this sentence?

In no time at all, Defense Against the Dark Arts had become most people's favorite class. Only Draco Malfoy and his gang of Slytherins had anything bad to say about Professor Lupin. "Look at the ...
2
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1answer
25 views

Is it correct to say “I slump/slumped on/onto the stool/barstool?”

I wrote this sentence: "I buy a bottle of beer and slump on/onto the last stool." A native English speaker told me that "slump" doesn't work here. That you can't slump on a bar/barstool. Is this ...
18
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3answers
4k views

Does one call “regular” men “Sir” in the UK?

I've lived in the US for a couple of years and ended up using "Sir" when addressing "regular" men in a large range of situations (in which I would use "Ma'am" if I was addressing a woman): [on ...
0
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2answers
25 views

Confused about 'puts'

I am confused about using the future tense of the word 'put' in a plural sentence. Which is correct: A: Value the ones who puts it back. or: B: Value the ones who put it back.
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2answers
31 views

if he is singular then why do we use were in some sentences?

I am learning English. I read the rule that we use was with singulars but in some sentences were is used instead of was. For example: 1) Would that he were mine. 2) He was very good batsman. ...
1
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1answer
27 views

Word choice - Buy and Shop

We can say "I want to buy a new dress", but can we say "I want to shop a new dress" ? What's the difference between those 2 utterances?
0
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1answer
20 views

Could you say what is the core meanings for ‘to run’? [on hold]

Once one Englishman said me ‘to engage’ means – ‘get into contact’ in any its meanings and after that I began using it easier. Unfortunately dictionaries give dozens meanings for a word and learners ...
1
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1answer
17 views

Please explain the difference between 'on-the-job training' and 'on job training'

I know the phrase 'on- the- job training'. But, I am confused with the use 'on job training' in the following sentence. Please explain the difference between them. We have really turned our back on ...
3
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2answers
38 views

What is the word that describes a word that can mean anything?

What is a type of word that can mean anything? For example, there's a cartoon where the characters would say "Smurf" to refer to anything. It seemed to be used as a noun or verb. There was another ...
7
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3answers
2k views

Help to understand the use of 'but' in this sentence

They had the bodies, hind legs and tails of horses, but the front legs, wings and heads of what seemed to be giant eagles, with cruel, steel-coloured beaks and large, brilliantly orange eyes. I don't ...
1
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1answer
34 views

usage of the word “modest IQ”

I came across the expression "modest IQ" in a book. Drawing on groundbreaking brain and behavioral research, he shows the factors at work when people of high IQ flounder and those of modest IQ do ...
0
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1answer
15 views

Use of “and hence” for short conclusions

I wrote: Hydrochloric ions can influence the mutual solubility of IL and water and hence affect the extraction mechanism. For several conclusions, I may use this construction. I would like to know ...
1
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1answer
28 views

Is “is close” formal enough to replace terms as “similar” , “analogous” or “comparable”?

Is the use of the term "is close" formal enough to deal with the similarity between two concepts? "The term A is close to the concept of the term B". I need to say that two concepts are very close, ...
1
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2answers
32 views

To use contagion in a sentence

I struggle on how to use the word “contagion” in a sentence that I want to construct; and I cannot seem to find what I am looking for elsewhere. In economics you can use a term such as default ...
0
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1answer
31 views

Difference between “other” and “another”

Why in this sentence "Other" is used? "I find this shop very expensive. Next time I'll try other shop." And in this other, another is used "I'm not happy with this product. Next time I'll buy ...
1
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1answer
39 views

Subject/verb agreement for [on hold]

Which one is correct? A series of policies across the DoD and Federal Government has/have been developed.
0
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1answer
19 views

Why using comparative adjective in this sentence?

The sentence is: Many people move to the city, because there are too few jobs for them in smaller towns. (It is a single sentence without context - taken from a 'complete the sentences' exercise) It ...
0
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1answer
38 views

“How to do” v. “The way to do” v. The way of doing” [on hold]

Is there any difference between “How to do” and “The way to do” and “The way of doing”? Is there any preference?
1
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3answers
1k views

What does “his mirror” refer to in this context?

... He scowled at the dark ceiling. Did they think he couldn't look after himself? He'd escaped Lord Voldemort three times; he wasn't completely useless.... Unbidden, the image of the beast in ...
0
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3answers
59 views

What is the difference between “Soccer” and “Football”? [on hold]

I am very confused about these two words. I mean these two words are used interchangeably. which make new comer so much confused. i need full explanation which can differentiate these two words with ...
0
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1answer
38 views

What does 'choo mean in “ 'Choo fall over for”?

"Fell over," said Harry. " 'Choo fall over for?" sniggered Stan. What does 'Choo mean? I suppose it's a dialectal spelling of some word, but I can't figure it out. -- From Harry Potter.
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2answers
41 views

I didn't know “nonsense” was a polite word

It has never occurred to me that the word "nonsense" can be a polite one, until I watch the British TV show Downton Abbey. I.e., to me, the word "nonsense" always associates with negative connotations,...
0
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2answers
23 views

To HOST/HOLD/ORGANIZE an event [on hold]

Governments host an event every year for a potential profit increase. Or Governments hold an event every year for a potential profit increase. Or Governments organize an event every year for a ...
0
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2answers
20 views

Is “transferring data” used when talking about people?

I know that "data" and "transfer" are used when talking about technology and things like that. My question is when talking about people learning new things, can I use the words "data" and "transfer" ...
0
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1answer
17 views

difference between fine and very well? [on hold]

I learnt that one of this is officially accepted, is there any difference between I am fine, thank you, and I am very well, thank you
2
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2answers
34 views

Should I use “key” or “a/the key”?

The word key is both an adjective and a noun meaning something is important. But which is the preferred one to use in terms of different territories? For example, should I say The hint is key. or ...
1
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2answers
24 views

Can I say “the tunnel can be crossed” (lengthwise)?

Can I say: The tunnel can be crossed in 5 minutes. Normally when we cross a road we mean perpendicularly. But what if I'm crossing the road, or in this case a tunnel, lengthwise, from end to end? ...
0
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0answers
13 views

With or without ',' in the case of 'from the Cellular level to the Organ-system level'

I read through my textbook and encountered this quote. 'Homeostasis is a dynamic condition. In response to changing conditions, the body's parameters can shift among points in a narrow range ...
0
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2answers
28 views

What's the meaning of “how little he looked forward to his birthdays”?

Yet another unusual thing about Harry was how little he looked forward to his birthdays. He had never received a birthday card in his life. ... What does "how little he looked forward to his ...
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1answer
45 views

Help to understand the use of 'need' in this context

As long as he didn't leave spots of ink on the sheets, the Dursleys need never know that he was studying magic by night. As I understand, 'need' denotes the sense of "To be under the necessity of or ...
1
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1answer
40 views

Rephrasing of “a person with this habit/with a habit of”

Is it grammatically and lexically correct to call a person with a particular habit "a habit holder" or "a habit carrier" for short?
5
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3answers
419 views

What sense of 'make' has been applied in “made the most of the last few hours”?

They made the most of the last few hours in which they were allowed to do magic before the holidays. They played Exploding Snap, set off the very last of ... "They made the most of the last few ...
0
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0answers
29 views

“such that”, “so that” or “in a way that” in this sentence

I wrote: The problem is that "can we cover the bigger rectangle with small rectangles such that no two rectangles overlap and no gap opens up" Is it a correct usage of such that? Could I use "so ...
0
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2answers
52 views

Help to understand the meaning of “Why” in this sentence

"Because if Harry here --" Mr Malfoy shot Harry a swift, sharp look, "and his friend Ron hadn't discovered this book, why -- Ginny Weasley might have taken all the blame. No one would ever have been ...
0
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1answer
35 views

Making a Tactful Comparison using “as…as”

Anne is as old as Lucy. The use of the word old here is usual because it shows that they have the same age. Anne is as young as Lucy. The use of the word young here is unusual because it puts ...
1
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1answer
28 views

“I couldn't find XXX” and “I didn't find XXX” which is better?

We communicate via email. He told me to get something under an address. But I can't find it under that location. How would I say? I didn't find it. - I couldn't find it.
20
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5answers
9k 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 ...
1
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1answer
19 views

Can “guidance” be in line with an “occupation”?

I am currently writing statement of purpose for my graduate studies and I find myself struggling with a particular turn of phrase. I'd like to convey (at this point in my letter in a rather abstract ...
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0answers
12 views

The uses of “little” and “little of”

I am wondering whether we can say: There is little evidence to support his claim or there is little of evidence to support his claim
3
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1answer
41 views

Gym changing room, why gym not genitive

In an English study book a task consisted of listening and writing down what you heard. One of the sentences was: Fiona and Charlotte met in the gym changing room. Why is the above correct? The ...
2
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1answer
35 views

Is LESS is a Adjective or Adverb in the particular context

You are paying less attention to your studies than you used to do. What is “less” in this sentence? A. Noun B. Verb C. Adverb D. Adjective I was studying English mcqs at a particular website which ...
0
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1answer
27 views

Should I say Where Have You Been To or Where Have You Been In? [on hold]

If I want to ask someone how many places he/she has visited before. Should I say in or to? What if I want to restrict the place in a country, like the US. How should I ask then? Thanks
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2answers
31 views

What is the difference between “confirm” and “approve”?

I am stuck here, I don't know which one to choose. I am a programmer and I have to name a button which deletes some data. Before deleting it, I am asking user "Do you confirm/approve deleting the data?...
0
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1answer
12 views

What does 'public' mean here?

The word is at the last line.What does 'public and illustrious' mean? This definition excludes many individuals usually referred to as intellectuals -- the average scientist, for one. I ...
0
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1answer
21 views

formally vs officially

In Cambridge Dictionary the word formally means officially. Does it mean that I can use those two words interchangeably in the following sentence: World Water Day was first formally/officially ...
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1answer
31 views

Fail in OR to + noun/gerund/infinitive? [closed]

TIL: the phrase "fail in + noun/gerund" means: to not be successful in an attempt to do something. and the phrase "fail to + infinitive" means: leave something undone According to the meanings ...