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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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2answers
22 views

Why not use ‘The only funny thing’ instead of ‘The only funny things’?

The only funny things we heard that evening came from the advertiser at the beginning of the programmer. Why not use ‘The only funny thing’ instead of ‘The only funny things’?
0
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2answers
35 views

did the machine break/ was the machine broken

I was buying coffee today and the staff tole me that they couldn't make coffee at the time. If I wanted to know the reason and I suspected it was because of the coffee machine. Are these three ...
0
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3answers
54 views

Ask when the hotel would serve dinner and breakfast [closed]

I am staying at a hotel and they offered breakfast and dinner. The hotel specifies the time periods for breakfast and dinner time, like maybe 8 - 10 am for breakfast and 6 - 7pm for dinner. Like you ...
1
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3answers
38 views

Cut down or take down (instead of reduce)

A guy is hired for a day,and his performance was not very satisfactory(even for one day). There are two employers. So one of them sats(jokingly) says: Let's cut down (or take down) his pay a bit.(...
0
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1answer
17 views

Put someone in a class/make someone join a class

X's mother got her child enrolled in a personality development class because she was very shy,so what should be used: She put X in a personality development class. She made X join a ...
1
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1answer
21 views

Rescue workers are drilling a hole through hard rock. Why not a hard rock?

Rescue workers are drilling a hole through hard rock. Why not a hard rock or hard rocks?
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0answers
31 views

“Undercut someone's path”

In this video, the narrator is saying, from 1:29~ "President and Nielson will be meeting there tonight and though the president undercut her path, it seems by this point he is fed up." From Merriam ...
0
votes
1answer
24 views

To reign is worth ambition

be worth something can be used as-- The Taj Mahal is worth a visit. The idea is worth our attention. In this kind of sentences either an article or a determiner is used after worth . But in ...
1
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1answer
42 views

French Fries Vs Fries

I went into an argument with a good speaker in my country if native speakers call french fries but just simply as fries (when they order). Which is correct? Do native speakers say only "fries" when ...
4
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2answers
43 views

“Grow out of clothes”

Is "grow out of clothes" used only for "kids who grow bigger and can't fit in their earlier clothes"? Or can it be used for anyone who has put on some weight(like adults). Like a lady says: I can'...
0
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3answers
48 views

Menacing or teasing people or… - What is such a person called in English?

Please have a look on the following video and let me know what do you call such a person in everyday speech and which verb can be used to describe his actions: https://youtu.be/AsTo14yf8BQ Based on ...
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3answers
36 views

She’s always on me

In a novel "Dead Beautiful " by Yvonne Woon a guy tells Renée about the lady who punished her: “Lynch loves watching people squirm. She’s always on me for having too much facial hair.” I couldn't ...
-1
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1answer
23 views

How to describe the achievement of your subordinate

what is the apt word that is to be used to describe the enthusiasm to learn and involve in work. Completed the assigned work well within the time and also proactive in learning the subject. Does ...
0
votes
1answer
31 views

Word or phrase for “the call just ended”

If we don't pick up a call,it just ends. So can "hang up" be used in this sense? I mean it's used with people. Like: Mom: Hey! I thought my phone was ringing. I: It was but it just hung up.(...
0
votes
2answers
26 views

Use of “In the Middle” to describe an ongoing description

If I write this: In the middle of my return to our dormitories, Do you see anything wrong with it? A friend was pointing out the use of the word "middle" , but I think it can be used to describe ...
0
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1answer
14 views

Suck-ups,suck up to

Are the phrases used? I mean it's slang....... "Suck up"https://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/suck+up (verb) To habitually offer flattery in the hope of gaining favor; to behave sycophantically. ...
0
votes
1answer
13 views

What is the difference between ‘a hard layer of rock’ and ‘a hard layer of rocks’?

What is the difference between ‘a hard layer of rock’ and ‘a hard layer of rocks’ ? Because rocks are something that can be counted, I think there should be rocks, but I see ‘a hard layer of rock’ in ...
0
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1answer
19 views

“Going up” instead of “put up” [closed]

The posters are going up all over the town. Is "going up" used more commonly in this context? Or is this one more likely to be said: The poster are being put up all over the town. So which one ...
0
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0answers
14 views

“of that” vs “that”

I can assure you of that. I can assure you that. Are these two interchangeable? Do they have different meanings?
0
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2answers
19 views

The difference between ‘The later train’ and ‘The next train’

The next train will also get you to work on time. Can I replace the ‘next’ with ‘later’ ?
1
vote
1answer
9 views

Can I add ‘if’ before ‘they’ in the sentence?

Did you know they were coming by air? Can I add ‘if’ before ‘they’ in the sentence above and is it usual to delete ‘if’ before ‘they’ ?
1
vote
1answer
16 views

Be behind someone, be ahead of someone

Are the phrases I used in the sentences below used in English? Are they natural and common in colloquial language?.. Like someone falls behind someone, can these sentences be used: I'm behind ...
-1
votes
1answer
19 views

Phrase “A existed as little as B years ago”

I'm curious about phrase "A existed as B (adverb or adjective) as C years ago" or more specifically, "A existed as little as C years ago" The original sentence is like the below. Active ...
1
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1answer
17 views

The difference between ‘He had only been there for a few minutes’ and ‘He had been there only for a few minutes.’?

The difference between ‘He had only been there for a few minutes’ and ‘He had been there only for a few minutes.’ ? The ‘only’ was put in different position.
0
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0answers
16 views

commitment to “-ing” vs “infinitive”

Commitment is followed by to infinitive according to cambridge dictionary. commitment in cambridge dic Players must make a commitment to play for a full season. It is also followed by to -ing in ...
0
votes
2answers
36 views

I came / arrived / got here a week ago

if I am travelling in a foreign country and the local people there asked me when I entered this country. Are the following three sentences equivalent: I came here a week ago I got here a week ...
0
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1answer
30 views

I'm sorry if you think so

Can "I'm sorry if you think so" be used in the context where someone is looking down on me or expressing that they don't have a good opinion of me. Like, "I think your recent work is not good" "I'm ...
0
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2answers
29 views

Do a subject at a university (is it used in AE as well?)

"Do a subject" means "studying a subject". But the Dictionaries said it is used in the UK. So my question is whether it is used in AE? So is this use common in America,is it used? Like: I did ...
0
votes
1answer
19 views

What is meant by the phase “roving inquiry”?

I read a sentence in "The Hindu" which was: HC remarks on Jayalalithaa death probe panel are a needed caution against a roving inquiry. "Roving" means "not restricted to one place". But that doesn'...
0
votes
1answer
19 views

Is “All were happy” correct? [closed]

Is it correct to write "All were happy", for example in the end of a story? Thanks for your help.
1
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3answers
30 views

Can I replace if with whether?

Judy wanted to know if the flight ticket to Shanghai was valid? Can I replace if with whether in the sentence above?
0
votes
1answer
19 views

This case is too/fairly heavy, but I can still lift it. Which is better?

This case is too/fairly heavy, but I can still lift it. Which is better, ‘too’ or ‘fairly’ ?
0
votes
1answer
14 views

What is the difference between ‘ swam on’ and ‘swam’?

After it had passed, they swam on as quickly as they could because they knew that the boat would soon return. Can I replace ‘swam on’ with ‘swam’? What is the difference between ‘swam on’ and ‘swam’?
0
votes
1answer
31 views

Is it correct to say A (which is made up of X+Y+Z) includes a wide range of X, such as m, n, o, p, etc.?

I am facing a technical problem with the following idea. According to many dictionaries, the word "include", when used, must not precede a complete list. In my case, I have a "thing" called Support ...
0
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1answer
12 views

A worker who takes orders in McDonalds

what do you call a worker who asks me about what i want to eat? I mean it's not a waiter and it's not a hostess i guess. And what do they say when there is no any line and they are ready to serve ...
0
votes
0answers
10 views

The difference between ‘the third time’ and ‘for the third time’?

When he asked for the third time, the angry policeman told him again of Mr. Lane’s defeat and retirement. Why not use ‘the third time’ instead of ‘for the third time’? I can not tell the difference ...
1
vote
2answers
59 views

What is the correct way to say month in the past

I need to mention for things that only happened on the last month and 2 months before, but excluding this current month. My intend is to write a terms and conditions which mention that a reward only ...
1
vote
1answer
20 views

Too silly to consider VS too silly to be considered

The strikers’ demands are too silly to consider. The strikers’ demands are too silly to be considered. What is the difference between these two sentences?
2
votes
1answer
24 views

My phone is low on power,it has low power

If my phone's battery will die soon(run out of juices), what should I use(if any of the sentences below sound natural) My phone has low power. My phone is low on power. So either of those ...
0
votes
1answer
49 views

Why not ‘mark’ instead of ‘marked’?

The success of the battle marked the turning point in the civil war. In this sentence, why not use ‘mark’ instead of ‘marked’? I think it should use ‘mark’ because this thing is a objective thing. ...
0
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2answers
22 views

Get up from here

Just get up from here and go sit next to him (while pointing at the person). Is the use of "from here" natural? A teacher says this to a kid.
0
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1answer
18 views

“what number are you?"

Today I went to the the Japanese consulate general in my city and applied for a visitor visa. The application process was like, we would get a number and wait for our numbers to be called and then we ...
12
votes
4answers
2k views

When a company launches a new product do they “come out” with a new product or do they “come up” with a new product?

When a company launches a new product do they "come out" with a new product or do they "come up" with a new product?
1
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2answers
40 views

what do you see in her anyway?

I think I heard this conversation an ESL podcast. Two people are talking about the girls they have romantic interests in. One person said, "what do you see in her anyway. She's a little chubby." ...
0
votes
1answer
39 views

Make/score a goal (AmE)

What is more common in AE? He made a goal. He scored a goal. So is "made" or "score" used in soccer? I mean which one is more common?
1
vote
1answer
19 views

Can the word “latency” be used to convey a sense of “delay”?

According to "Merriam Webster dictionaries" "latency" means: A state of temporary inactivity But, "network latency" is a term used to indicate any kind of "delay" that happens in data communication ...
0
votes
1answer
44 views

“Road” when referring to an unphysical thing

Can "road" be used in the following situation: The original sentence: They got angry that they were not willing to hear any excuse. The shortened version: They got angry unwilling to hear any ...
1
vote
1answer
22 views

“Tô blow off with someone”

If someone blows off something they should attend, they fail to show up for it. If they blow someone off, they ignore them. Let's say someone is supposed to show up for a date with me, and the ...
0
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2answers
37 views

Same sound different meaning

What's the difference in using practise instead of practice and advise instead of advice? I always get confused when using them in sentences or essays..
0
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1answer
15 views

How to say in different/ better way?

I have completed the certification program, but after 24h I do not have the badge yet? Can you assist? Is is correct word formation and can I express my thoughts in better more natural American ...