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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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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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“also”, “too” and “as well”

Is there any general principle as to when to use "as well", when "too" and when "also"? I've heard them all being used many times, but have no idea about how they differ from each other in terms of ...
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Is the structure “should do something” JUST advice form of “simple present tense”?

We all know that simple present tense is used to show habitual action. I play tennis. (current habitual action) She does not play tennis. (current habitual action) She always forgets her ...
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310 views

Do we use “would do” or “would have done” after “if it wasn’t/weren’t for…”?

In dictionary, if it wasn’t/weren’t for…: used to say that somebody/something stopped somebody/something from happening If it weren't for you, I wouldn't be alive today. (seem like ...
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48 views

Have I used “Such a” in an appropriate way?

Have I used "Such a" in an appropriate way? Congratulations for having such a little bundle of joy.
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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 ...
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8 views

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 ...
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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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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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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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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-...
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11 views

Capital or samll initial for “among” in a title

In academic papers, the title used to have capitalized initials except for articles. However, I came across a case where I need to use among. It is not clear for me whether I should capitalize it or ...
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21 views

Regarding a word “Eyeballs” in a news

I found an article in my country about Youtube's inappropriate method to make money, and the narrator "seems to be" saying ( Excuse me if I heard incorrectly and in case if you can not listen to ( due ...
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14 views

‘a slip of tongue’ or ‘a slip of the tongue’

I see both in one book, and I feel it is weird why there were two phrases. You made some slips of the tongue. Are you sure that it was just a slip of tongue? I guess the former is right.
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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 ...
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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?
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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 ...
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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 ...
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16 views

Can the noun 'constitution' be used to refer to one's health

Can the word constitution be used to refer to one's general health. E.g.: 1) I'm not in the best constitution today. 2) My health constitution is good. 3) My health's constitution is good. 4) His ...
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26 views

Is it possible to say “I'm in the final stage of doing something?”

I've been playing this game where upgrading each building consists of a certain number of stages. Is it possible to say "I'm in the final stage of upgrading... say Stables?"
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28 views

That chapter is a little further ahead

My friend and I are reading a textbook. So she asks me about a chapter(she asks: Where is the chapter X?). I say: It is a little further ahead. So,actually we are on page 20 and it's somewhere ...
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17 views

I have taken down notes for the book that I read or I took down notes for books that I have read

which one is correct. I have been confused by past tense and present perfect.
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12 views

how to use the verb “compare”?

Which is preferable as an instruction for an assignment: "Compare the skyscrapers of NYC in terms of height, year of inauguration and number of floors!" or "Compare the skyscrapers of NYC with each ...
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7 views

what's the difference between preaching and proclamation

I checked the meaning of preaching the delivery of a sermon or religious address to an assembled group of people, typically in church. and the meaning of proclamation a public or official ...
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27 views

Too much knowledge are/is sitting in too few minds. Do I use “are” or “is”?

What I want to say is that we have produced a large amount of knowledge collectively. However, we only know a small portion of what is known individually. Since knowledge is an uncountable noun, the ...
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50 views

What's the difference between “walk sth” and “walk + prep + sth”?

I've just seen the phrase walk the moon and I thought it should be walk on the moon. I double checked this in the Oxford Dictionary, and I found another phrase walk the moors. So I guess ...
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Is the use of “on” or “in” as well as “the” acceptable for “at breakfast”?

For example in this sentence: She used to read a newspaper at breakfast. Is it acceptable to use, for example, the followings? At the breakfast On breakfast In breakfast I'm always ...
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30 views

Is there a requirement about

Does this phrase sound natural? Is there a requirement about [something]?
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126 views

“that's the case”, “that's the fact” and 'that's the truth".

A: I am sure we didn't make a mistake at all ,dealing with the complaining customer. B: Well, if that's the case and why are we being warned about this? Q: In the above sentence, What' the ...
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68 views

How to use Human beings, Mankind, people, Humans, Humankind & Human being

I had some doubt about the usage of Human beings, Mankind, people, Humans, Humankind & Human being. I noticed that there are some questions about those words in 'ELL' community, but none of them ...
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169 views

Is “class room” instead of “classroom” considered a mistake?

When talking about a classroom in school, college or university, is writing "class room" instead of "classroom" as a compound word considered a mistake? I am asking it because one of my classmates ...
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61 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 ...
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20 views

Is “As expected of” uncommon IRL conversation?

I watch some anime shows and there are lots of expression about expectation. I searched them in Youglish for just making sure. Then I got a few results referring "expect nothing less from", but not a ...
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15 views

“a slowdown in the economy” And “weakness in the ecnomy”

There has been a slowdown in the world economy. There has been weakness in the workd economy. Here, I am confused whether "a slowdown in the world economy" means the economy grow positively at a ...
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179 views

Should I use “to a significant extent” or “by significant extent” in this sentence?

I find the meaning of to some extent as follow: to some extent Somewhat; partly; in a limited way or to a limited degree. Your essay would be improved to some extent by tidying up your ...
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23 views

The use of the word “yet” in context

Tell me please if I used yet correctly in the following sentence. For this exercise we could use a rubber band, but unfortunatly we don't have one yet. I have noticed that natives predominantly ...
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36 views

Type of sentence/correct usage

It makes you consider the difference between riding down that road in a car, versus driving down that road on a bicycle. What do we call these type of clauses, where they have a comparative ...
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42 views

How to consider the example of a word's usage 'repeating' its own meaning?

I was to put this question months back but was not getting a proper example. Now, I have one in my hand! I had observed it many times that dictionaries give examples of words' usages. But at times, ...
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34 views

What are the differences between “all year / day / month..” & “all the year / day / month…”?

We often hear: I have been working hard all year / day / month When should we say this sentence? Say at the end of 2017, I say: I have been working hard all year Does it mean: I have been working ...
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25 views

How to use although

Is "although" correctly used in the following sentence? Or is there any other way to convey the clause after the comma? Gaveston is the dissolute and insolent friend of Edward 2 who was banished by ...
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22 views

The position of the word “best”.Very naive question

A textbook gives me a simple sentence. I don't know who can best perform this task. Should I change the position of the word best as followings, could the implication change in someway? I don't ...
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35 views

Is “improve/enhance formats” proper English?

As we know, when we edit posts in stack exchange, we need to fill Edit Summary area: I didn't realize improve formats may not be proper English until searching google improve formats and enhance ...
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34 views

Usage of a verb, Prevent

I would like to know when I can use prevent. When I searched for the verb in dictionaries, it says to stop something from happening, or stop someone from doing something Longman So I thought I ...
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53 views

I want to express that I write about something. Which sentence should I use?

I want to express that I write about something. It could be history, politics etc. Which sentence should I use? I write articles & blog posts focused on ___ I write articles & blog ...
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12 views

What is the main clause here?

"This third objection also applies to other explanations of the forcé of morality which appeal to the interests of the person who must act. For example, it may be said that you should treat others ...
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41 views

Should I use “Speed up” or “Speed-up”?

Phrase: ___ and repair of a slow computers. Should I use speed up or speed-up instead of ___? Some dictionaries say that "Speed up" should be used only as a verb and "Speed-up" as a noun (noun ...
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35 views

Why is there an “in” in “Of America's million millionaires in, the average age is 63”?

Of America's million millionaires in, the average age is 63. https://www.shanbay.com/review/learning/42379858288 Why is there an "in"? (The main question) How about using "American" replacing "...
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23 views

Can “clean off/out/up” sometimes be used interchangeably?

I know that clean off, clean out, and clean up are different, but I think sometimes they can be used interchangeably because they share the meaning of clean.
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What is the usage of the second “with”?

The premier enjoyed the limelight early in his tenure for an economic reform stance heavy on empowering the private sector. He is credited with improving the job market and promoting the growth of ...
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10 views

How to put this idea

If one man needs to give me four items, but he just gave me two items, the other two items are not given to me. Can I say you still owe me 2 pcs