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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18 views

Preposition with 'unbecoming.'

What is the difference between various prepositions used with unbecoming? E.g, unbecoming to vs unbecoming for vs unbecoming of. And sometimes when there is no preposition at all, like conduct ...
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1answer
39 views

when someone say “yesterday was raining, so I didn't go outside of house” is it “raining” or “rainy”?

I heard someone said "yesterday was raining, so I didn't go outside of house", which seems to be a misuse. per this post To describe what is actually happening right now, you use the verb form: ...
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25 views

“a right way” or “in a right way”?

I heard a lot people omit the "in" while saying "in a right way". for example if a kid play with a knife, someone would told him/her "you are not using the knife a right way" is it grammatical and ...
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1answer
34 views

What does “testing the weather” mean here?

My brothers are awake, testing the weather. Does it simply mean they're testing the weather condition? Or it has another meaning? Could you please explain it to me? The fuller text is here: ...
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1answer
23 views

Can the word leitmotif can be used this way?

https://www.scmp.com/comment/insight-opinion/article/2148249/india-proves-democracy-no-longer-fit-purpose-while-chinas Such odious tactics are democracy’s leitmotif globally, as Brexit and Donald ...
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1answer
62 views

Correct way to phrase: “He has a bomb which no one knows how powerful it is”

Is the following grammatically correct? He has a bomb which no one knows how powerful it is. I think the "it" should be removed to make it grammatically blunder-free.
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1answer
31 views

“Grow up” VS “Be brought up” VS “Be raised”

Edited: We can say: He grew up in Colorado. He was brought up in Colorado. He was raised in Colorado. Source With almost the same meaning. But I wonder if instead of the following ...
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2answers
17 views

Does “other people” mean people that are not his/her parents in common sense?

I am not sure whether this is Longman official online dictionary, and I think this sentence may need some improvement. This was my first experience of living with other people. Technically, most ...
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1answer
24 views

Hypothetical sentence about Superman

Would Superman be such a great lad if he had been born on Earth? Can we write this sentence this way? Like imagining how Superman would be if he was an earthling. Specifically, I want to know if "...
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1answer
17 views

A set of vs a group of

What is the difference between set and group? Is there anything can help me get my head around it better?
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2answers
17 views

WOULD meaning in those sentences

1.I think we would be better off friends. 2.I think that i would die. 3.I would die for you. 4.I think i would just cut the wire. Why would is used in those sentences? I think it is not ...
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1answer
20 views

What I have learned so far in my journey of life

The point is, I want to write a book about my life. Which one of this sentences that good in grammar and fit for my book? What I have learned so far in my journey of life What I have learned ...
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2answers
38 views

I haven't given you much/a lot of

I was having dinner, but I couldn't finish it all up. So my mom said: Eat it up, I haven't given you much/a lot. Eat it up, it wasn't too much. Something like soup: Finish it, I haven't ...
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1answer
19 views

When it comes to some repetitive/repetitious (words / excuses) in an argument

Let's imagine you are arguing with someone pursuant to an old matter after a short time gap. Some new events make you feel that you will probably hear some new excuses/words from the person you are ...
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1answer
29 views

An adjective for an episode / a movie that was shown before

Let's assume that your family members are sitting to watch a sitcom / movie. They call you to join them for watching it, but you refuse it because you've already watched it and this is a repeat of the ...
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2answers
30 views

“Down in the mouth” vs “Blue”

I wonder what would call someone who seems to be unhappy and a bit sad in informal English? In the state in my question, the person doesn't show tendency in talking to the surrounding people and keeps ...
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1answer
14 views

Long-standing effort?

Does long-standing sound right to native speakers in this context? Example: Your long-standing effort has paid off. Does this sound idiomatic?
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1answer
33 views

QUESTION about WOULD

My friend said to me yesterday that "I don't think having superpowers would make my life easier". Why did he use would in that sentence? It is not future in the past, so why use would?
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1answer
42 views

Someone who never gets tired

He always works and I have rarely seen him sitting. A hardworking man who never tends to show down or stop working. He always works with lots of energy and effort and never gives up while he can ...
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1answer
46 views

Is it idiomatic to say “number of employee turnovers”? Or should it be “rate of employee turnover”?

The regional unemployment rate ignores the relative number of job vacancies and employee turnovers. Google returns 450K results for "number of employee turnover" and 230K results for "rate of ...
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1answer
33 views

You are writing a fiction / fictional book?

You are writing a fiction book? You are writing a fictional book? I am reading a fiction book. I am reading a fictional book. Are fiction and fictional interchangeable in the above context?
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1answer
21 views

Is it idiomatic to use “consists of” with only element/factor?

From this book "Deep Learning and Convolutional Neural Networks for Medical Image Computing" Recent statistical data published by the World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that 23% of cancer-...
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1answer
19 views

Meaning of “have got it to”

What does have got it to mean in this sentence: I've got it to work in the emulator running Q image I know that we use have got to when we are saying that something is necessary. But I don't ...
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1answer
30 views

Is “offering” the right word to use in this context?

I read a sentence in a chapter in my book which was: Will you stop writing a wee while, Mr. Evans, and listen carefully. Candidates offering German, 021 - 1, should note the following correction. ...
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1answer
38 views

How can I say that an idea goes into another, more global concept?

After listing some points in my essay I need to say that all they go into a definite concept. What words can I use here? Here is my complete sentence: Goals, challenges, self-discovery, ...
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1answer
17 views

Wear it on both your shoulders; wear both the straps, wear your bag with two straps

When kids sling their bags, teachers say: Wear it on both your shoulders. Wear both the straps. (on your shoulders) Wear your backpack with both straps. Do these sound natural? I read ...
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1answer
26 views

What does 'could have' mean

"Few could have taken advantage of this one-day 'sale' price." What does 'could have' mean in this sentence?
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0answers
15 views

Get all your answers checked by me

Kids were solving a few math problems. So our teacher said: Get all your answers checked by me. Is there a more natural way to describe this? ( I mean without using "checked"..) Actually he was ...
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1answer
16 views

“Precipice”, “Cliff”, “Crag” + “Valley” or “Canyon”

I wonder what word do you usually use in the following sense: Boy: What an astonishing scene. Come on; let's approach the its edge and take a selfie! Girl: no; let's not approach it. It is a ...
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24 views

“Would” usage in this sentence

The truth is that I loved him and I stood by him and he sent me to you, like he would send a stagehand to pick up his shirts. What is the usage of would in this sentence? I think would is only used ...
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1answer
28 views

Difference between “him” and “his” in these sentences?

What is the exact difference in meaning of following sentences: I understand his quitting. I understand him quitting.
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1answer
45 views

My father taught me vs my father learned me

I have read like these sentences: My dad has also taught me a lot about love. My dad taught me a lot of things. I am wondering if we can say "learned me" instead. So as to be My dad ...
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1answer
41 views

How to say when I have motion sickness in a car?

I wonder if I could say something like: "I feel nauseous." or "I got carsick." when I feel sick and going to vomit due to a motion in a car. Does the sentences above sound natural?
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22 views

How to express a scenario more likely than the other clearly and concisely?

I just replied a comments in a post, then I realized that this expression may need some improvement. A book using "we'll provide" makes more likely as if I am sitting in a classroom than "we ...
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1answer
20 views

To infinitive vs gerund

Consider these two sentences: We will update the server to include more space. We will update the server including more space. Sentence 1 is the original sentence, but I was asked if ...
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1answer
46 views

“Drench” vs “Soak”

I wonder which one of the two verbs below fits better in each sense and which one doesn't work in which sentence and why: Soak: to make something completely wet. Drench: To drench something or ...
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0answers
22 views

At the beginning of a chapter or an article , is “we provide” or “we'll provide” better, or no difference?

From this book "Deep Learning and Convolutional Neural Networks for Medical Image Computing" Abstract Computerized algorithms and solutions in processing and diagnosis mammography X-ray, ...
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1answer
14 views

Usage of “condemn” in this sentence

Those who don't understand Unix are condemned to reinvent it, poorly. According to Cambridge dictionary, condemn means to criticize something or someone strongly. In the above sentence how is the ...
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1answer
19 views

Does `a developing sense` mean that the sense/idea approaches but not achieves the advanced?

From this book "Deep Learning and Convolutional Neural Networks for Medical Image Computing" Interest and advances in deep learning are still growing rapidly in both the computer vision and the ...
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1answer
57 views

Can you make a noun doubly possessive?

I've noticed that native speakers sometimes make nouns they've already made possessive, possessive again. If this is syntactically sound, I don't understand it. For example, "her relative was mean" ...
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1answer
23 views

Question about “neighbors trouble spots” grammar?

I am currently reading this article, and I came across this line, Turkey, which neighbors trouble spots such as Syria, Iraq and Iran, has long sought to address shortcomings concerning its air ...
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2answers
57 views

Is “pending for her return” grammatical?

Is it valid to use: We will be pending for her return instead of, for example: We look forward to her return
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2answers
48 views

When is it better to use “believe” over “think”?

I can think of one context in which it is always better to use "believe" over "think." When you want to convey your belief or trust in someone or something. God, for example. Being faithful, too. That ...
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1answer
33 views

Till what grade, till grade

My grandma hadn't finished her schooling, so I wanted to know when she stopped going to school or more specifically "the grade after which she stopped going to school". Actually she completed her ...
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1answer
28 views

From … on/onwards, after

I was telling someone that "platyhelminthes" is the last phylum which shows organ (and the only phylum) level of organization and after that all other phylas show "organ system level of organization". ...
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3answers
5k views

Why did my “seldom” get corrected?

In an answer in the Spanish site about the use of timbre in European Spanish I tried to say that there is a specific meaning of the word that I know but very infrequently get to use, so I wrote this: ...
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1answer
54 views

What is the difference between “I'm sure”, “I think”, “I believe”

I know these sentences are used to express opinions. "I'm sure", "I think", "I believe" But I don't know the exact difference between them. What I know is that "I'm sure", "I believe" are more ...
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3answers
31 views

More expensive than others

Let's imagine I have some boats with different prices. I am going to be selling them soon. I have gotten a person to buy one of them and he approached the boat I am selling for the highest price. Can ...
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1answer
30 views

Is “bite down a towel” idiomatic?

Looked up the dictionary, and it seems there's no entry for the phrasal verb "bite down", so it's not a common usage; however, there are a few entries for "bite down a towel" on Google. I also used a ...
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1answer
25 views

Given that at least one of options is not, which one is appropriate? “both” or “neither”

this post is discussing "easier to read" topic. Is "have greater readability than" or "easier to read than" not idiomatic? Appending to this sentence, Which following one is more appropriate? ...