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Questions tagged [word-usage]

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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1answer
12 views

Does this sentence sound right or need to be fixed? [on hold]

I was paying with the credit card but the transaction didn’t go through. I paid cash instead.
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2answers
19 views

Is “they are by the hill” grammatical?

Can I write: They aren't by the lake, they are by the hill. My son had task in workbook to continue sentence They aren't by the lake, they are by the .... He wrote in such way They aren'...
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1answer
12 views

adjective or adverb - She lay asleep

She lay asleep on the bed. Is "asleep" an adverb or adjective in the sentence above? I found that "asleep" can be used as an adverb in Merriam-Webster (https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/...
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1answer
15 views

“Comprehensive quality” vs “comprehensive qualities”?

To be exact, Which one is correct? We should strengthen our comprehensive quality? or We should strengthen our comprehensive qualities?
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2answers
16 views

It rained well or rained good this year

If there is adequate, in fact a lot of rain in a year, is it natural (colloquially) to say: It rained well this year. It rained good this year. Do the bold words sound natural?
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1answer
22 views

what is the meaning of “native” in “native year”?

I read a sentence in my history book which was: In the native year 1203, corresponding with 1796-97, the land advertised for sale comprehended..... I can't figure out what the word "native" means in ...
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2answers
33 views

Someone who eats good things and in large amounts

What do you call a person who has gotten used to have quite high-quality and nutritious foods habitually and in a considerable amount? (Such that individual sometimes often devours their food!) The ...
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1answer
23 views

Is there anything wrong with the sentence? [on hold]

I opened the door and walked inside the bathroom in which I found a vacuum standing in the corner.
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0answers
22 views

You cannot resist taking picture here or you can't resist but take a picture here [on hold]

Honestly telling, you cannot resist taking a picture here. Is this a complete correct sentence?
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1answer
17 views

Come from behind, sneak up on someone from behind,walk up to from behind

Our teacher was telling us about a "murder" in our psychology class. So she said: A man came from behind and stabbed a lady. A man sneaked up from behind and stabbed a lady. A man walked ...
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0answers
8 views

should I use “end up being full of charges” or “end up full of charges” in this sentence?

When you keep charging a capacitor for a period of time, the plates will end up being full of charges and When you keep charging a capacitor for a period of time, the plates will end up full of ...
0
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1answer
16 views

It comes later in the chapter, it comes in your chapter

Is the use of "come in" natural in these sentences: It comes later in the chapter. (That is, it happens a little further on in the chapter). This comes a little later in your chapter. (Of a ...
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1answer
21 views

Are there ways to rephrase this sentence?

Caroline was skiing when she broke her leg. Is when a conjunction or adverb? Can I replace when with the word and? Are there ways to rephrase this sentence?
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4answers
62 views

What's the difference between “reduce” and “lower”?

I am not sure if I am mistaken, but it seems that reduce and lower aren't synonymous. For example, one of the sentences sounds incorrect in the following examples: The government reduced the legal ...
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2answers
35 views

walking vs. walked

Which tense is correct? She was walking faster towards the station ‘cause she didn't want to miss the bus. She stumbled over the sidewalk and fell down. She walked faster towards the station ‘...
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4answers
42 views

What Microsoft calls most commonly confused English words

Recently and belatedly, I came across this article about what they call the 10 most commonly confused words in English. I happened to find the lead sentence interesting. Here is the link: https://...
1
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1answer
17 views

Go from there/go that way

I was working and my brother started poking me because he had to go out through the door. But I was busy and said : Go from there. (There are two doors in the room). And if he asks me to move, ...
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0answers
34 views

How can “never” and “ever” be identical in meaning?

I came across two sentences which were: The water was higher than (n)ever before. I was as happy as I had (n)ever been. I am confused as to how can "ever" be substituted by "never" in these ...
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1answer
12 views

Why do we use capital letter in this sentence?

I am not too sure why we use capital letter with the word ‘Site’ here is the context The Kellers’ caravan is on Site 24. I did some google research but I did not find anything!
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2answers
27 views

Is it correct to say “He was breaking his own record.” after ten minutes of victory?

Context: The car race has just ended ten minutes ago. He not only won the match but broke his own record. Breaking a record in sport takes only a moment. And it just makes sense to me that we are not ...
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2answers
17 views

Is “short” extraneous and ungrammatical in “short abbreviation”?

Abbreviation: Meaning "a short form of a word or phrase" See for example the following original sentence; We generally use the abbreviation 'MP' instead of writing out 'Member of Parliament' in ...
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1answer
12 views

the correct usage of “feel appropriate” phrase

People should not be forced to retire, and they should be allowed to continue working as they feel appropriate. I want to say as they feel it is OK. Is this is a correct usage of the word?
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0answers
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The use of the word “recuperating” in context

Tell me please if the word is used correctly in the sentence. Recuperating exercises is an essential part of recovery from musculoskeletal injuries. What I am trying to communicate is that the ...
2
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1answer
149 views

Cut your dress down to your length/size

A girl buys a size that fits her, but is too long for her. So she says: I guess I'll have to cut it down to my "length/size". (It fits her perfectly but is too long) So what should be used "length/...
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1answer
14 views

Should not there be “accused” instead of “prisoner” in this definition?

I read a definition of "dock" in "Merriam Webster dictionaries" which was: The place in a criminal court where a prisoner stands or sits during trial I suppose there should be "accused" instead of "...
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1answer
57 views

Where did we come out at/end up at

My mom was showing me around the city, so that I don't get lost and I know my way around when I'm alone. She kept asking me where we were. We were driving down a narrow street with huge buildings all ...
0
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1answer
13 views

‘Not so beautiful’ vs 'less beautiful'

What I want to say is that the not so beautiful girls are less bothered by boys, and hence are more likely to succeed in studying. Girls not so beautiful are more likely to succeed in studying. ...
2
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1answer
17 views

Sign/give someone your autograph

People like getting star's autographs,so once a star refused to sign autograph as he didn't like signing the autographs. So what sounds more natural: Sorry but I don't sign autograph. Or Sorry ...
1
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1answer
31 views

Listen to or hear a song?

What sounds natural in the sentences below: Hey! Did you "listen to/hear" this song? Yes I "listened to/heard" it. Have you "listened to/heard" this song before? Yes I have "listened ...
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2answers
18 views

Did you see the cat?

When there is a cat present in the room, how would you ask your one-year-old kid whether she see/saw the cat? -Did you see the cat? -Do you see the cat? -Have you seen the cat?
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0answers
4 views

‘The end of October 1886’ ‘The end of October in 1886’ and ‘The end of October of 1886’ What is the difference among them?

‘The end of October 1886’ ‘The end of October in 1886’ and ‘The end of October of 1886’ What is the difference among them or if someone is right?
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1answer
10 views

One hundred and fifty-one or one hundred fifty-one?

One hundred and fifty-one or one hundred fifty-one? Which is right? When should I have and and should not I have and?
0
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1answer
28 views

What does the word “current” mean in this sentence?

I read a sentence in "The Hindu" which was: But in no other country than India has this current anti-minority, far-right politics resulted in a concerted pattern of lunch attacks against minorities. ...
4
votes
1answer
152 views

Flash light on something

In a dark room, you flash the spotlight. So if you flash it on a particular thing, is the use of this sentence natural: Hey! Flash the light on the table (and what about: Hey! Can you flash some ...
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1answer
11 views

Sit in for(is it common?)

https://www.macmillandictionary.com/dictionary/british/sit-in-for to take the place of someone temporarily I’ll be sitting in for the secretary at/on the meeting tonight. Is the use ...
1
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1answer
16 views

Meaning of “I knew going into this that”?

What does it mean when you say "I knew going into this that ~"? For example: "I knew going into this that we didn't have much time." I can figure out the meaning but can't really catch the ...
2
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3answers
29 views

Take a class (like a subject)

If a teacher teaches a subject teaches a subject, we say "(s)he teaches X". But if a few classes are not about subjects like science or math, like: Sports or SL&LP (Student Leadership and Life ...
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3answers
28 views

What is the difference between ‘woke’ and ‘awoke’ in the following sentence?

When the soldiers awoke, it was a bright day. Can I replace ‘awoke’ by ‘woke’ and why?
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1answer
12 views

He remembered to post a present to his mother for her sixtieth birthday. Why not use ‘posting’ instead of ‘to post’?

He remembered to post a present to his mother for her sixtieth birthday. Why not use ‘posting’ instead of ‘to post’? I think posting is better. But the book use ‘to post’, I feel it weird.
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2answers
8 views

What is the difference between ‘wake up’ and ‘wake’

My wife was asleep, and I woke up her. My wife was asleep, and I woke her. What is the difference?
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1answer
29 views

Word usage of 'ON' in “On they flew through the gathering darkness”

On they flew through the gathering darkness; Harry's face felt stiff and cold, his legs numb from gripping the Thestral's sides so tightly, but he did not dare shift his position lest he slip ... he ...
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1answer
27 views

What does the word “willing” mean in this sentence?

I read a sentence in "The Hindu" which was: In fact, the EC had appeared to be willing itself into inaction amid a flurry of abusive and divisive speeches by pleading powerlessness. I don't quite ...
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0answers
22 views

What preposition would be proper with threshold?

When I want to say like: The number 150 of members was the threshold _________ a small band changed into a large band. Should I use: over which? at which? through which?
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1answer
24 views

'more smooth' or 'more smoother'? Which is right?

Curve A is more smooth than curve B Should 'smooth' be replaced by 'smoother'?
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0answers
17 views

How to say that something is intuitively right?

Here the 'something' means a theory or a principle. My sentence is While this principle can only be appropriately understood in terms of rigorous theorems (see below for some), it is in ...
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1answer
15 views

Is “ingratiate someone” idiomatic?

All major dictionaries provide the usage of the verb "ingratiate" as "ingratiate oneself with people". However, I just came across this line: Since the outset of last season, Curry has cut down on ...
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1answer
30 views

Water is not coming from/out of the tap

If we turn on the tap and water doesn't flow out of it,what will be used: Water is not coming from the tap . Water is not coming out of the tap. There is no water in the tap.. What ...
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2answers
18 views

which word to be used “tirades” or “diatribe”

I am unable to figure out which word to be used to describe a situation of political accusations. could some one explain how/under which circumstance tirade/diatribe to be used.
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0answers
10 views

What is the difference between ‘a pair of binoculars’ and ‘binoculars’?

What is the difference between ‘a pair of binoculars’ and ‘binoculars’? I feel they are the same.
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0answers
23 views

the meaning of “would” in the “before” clause

Before he would agree to make the appearance, he carefully arranged for nearly one thousand paid applauders. What is the meaning of "would" in the sentence above? Below are definitions in Merriam-...