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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Is a noum/pronoum required in this example?

I'm currently writing an article in english about coverage of the pandemic in portuguese news. Examples have to be translated, and most of the time, doubts come from the most simple things. This one ...
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2 answers
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How to express the idea that a wound has young skin when it is healing?

I have a scrape on my knee. At first, the scrape is covered in dried blood and I don't want to break it off because it might bleed. After a week, the dried blood breaks off by itself and I can see ...
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Left it late to net dramatic equaliser

I don't understand the verb "left it", what does it mean? What does "it" refer to? At the death! ⏱ Richarlison left it late to net a dramatic equaliser on our last trip to The ...
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Can "so" in the following "did so" be omitted?

I left the teachers' lounge, one of the few times I did (so) with a smile on my face. [Explanation: students rarely leave the teachers' lounge smiling.] Can so be omitted? If not, can so be replaced ...
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shunt into the shadows

The Muslim conquests completed Europe's shunt into the shadows that had begun with the invasions of the Goths, Huns and others two centuries earlier. "Shunt" reads in Merriam Webster's ...
2 votes
1 answer
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Is “It is happy to see that there is nothing sectarian about it” (meaning "the speaker is happy to see ...") grammatical and idiomatic?

Most of the native speakers around me say (i) below is not idiomatic. (i) It is happy to hear that. (meaning "I (the speaker) am happy to hear that.") Today, however, I came across sentences ...
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Do Americans say “My car's tire has a slow puncture” in everyday English?

According to the Britannica Dictionary: British people say: “I got/had a puncture” Americans say: “I got/had a flat or a flat tire” But what about "a slow puncture"? According to the Oxford ...
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"Running this experiment in environment A gives you a different result than running it environment B"

I was trying to write a sentence explaining that two different results can be observed from the same experiment conducted in two different environments. I initially wrote: Running this experiment in ...
2 votes
4 answers
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How to use "seems to be"

What is the correct way to say this.. I just checked my bank account and that seems to be have been activated. I just checked my bank account and that seems activated. I just checked my bank account ...
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What is the difference between "would" and "is?"

Speaker A is asking a question, then B answers it by using "would". How does it work? If I subtstitute "would" for "is" and say "it's fine to just say...", is ...
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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 ...
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Make a plan / programme for your day

Are both expressions correct and idiomatic or just the first one is? Do they mean the same thing? You should make a plan / programme for your day.
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Could you explain what "open up" means in this context?

I'm confused by the verb "open up" used in this sentence. It has a couple of senses. 34 min City open Newcastle up with a beautiful passing move on the left. Eventually De Bruyne plays in ...
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Using discrepancy to mean there was a mistake

There's a discrepancy in the amount of money I received. I got $1200 less. Is the above sentence grammatically correct? Does the first sentence imply the amount received was incorrect? I only ask ...
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"didn't" vs. "didn't make it"

One of my friends asked me about another friend Jim yesterday, I said Jim thought he could get a promotion this year but he didn't. Should I have said this? Jim thought he could get a promotion ...
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1 answer
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Could you explain what "make pay" in this context?

I'm not clear about the phrase used here. Does "pay" in this context mean to score? GOAL - Mohamed Salah Fulham 2-2 Liverpool After being so organised for most of the game, the Fulham ...
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How does "would" work in this sentence?

I'm confused because the entire sentence is present. Why does the writer suddenly talk about the past? (to) Seal This verb originally meant to close a letter’s envelope by using wax and a ‘seal‘ or ...
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1 answer
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Which is better, most important or the most important

A-1) What is most important to me in life is love. A-2) What is the most important to me in life is love. B-1) Love is most important in life. B-2) Love is the most important in life. Are they all ...
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a list with or a list of

Which word would you use after list here, "with" or "of"? Make a list of all the verbs you know. or Make a list with all the verbs you know.
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no ... nor VS no ... or

Since there's no warning nor error thrown, I assume it's valid AHK code? Since there's no warning or error thrown, I assume it's valid AHK code? Which one is grammatically correct or both are ...
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3 answers
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"[They] went away disappointed/disappointedly" – Does "went away disappointedly" make sense?

Most of the people waiting for tickets went away ________. A. disappointed B. disappointedly As far as I know, if I choose A, the meaning would be 'Most of the people waiting for tickets went away, ...
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1 answer
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I saw him take and I thought he arrive

Can someone explain to me the grammatical rule for: I thought he knew it I saw him arrive Why use past tense (knew) for one,and present for another (arrive)
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1 answer
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Hot, spicy and seasoned

I am really confused about the "hot", "spicy", and "seasoned" usage when we talk about food. "The food is too hot" - It sounds like the food is too warm, ...
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Absent Vs Missing

Can the word absent be used to refer to a thing? We say absent logic (idea, concept) absent person...etc. But does it sound correct to say absent chair, book (rather than missing). I know that absent ...
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1 answer
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Is it correct to say "I braised the pork" or "I stewed the pork"?

I diced pork as shown in this picture Then I put them into a pot and then put some cooking oil in OR very little water in. Then, I cook it slowly in low temperature in the covered pot for a long time....
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Is it safe to say that…

I’ve heard people often say “it is safe to say that … {statement}” but would it be correct if I used the label verb or any other? (“Is it safe to label that as…”)
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Is it correct to say "give me 100 bamboo segments and I will turn them into a bamboo with 100 nodes"?

According to my study, the part between 2 nodes of a bamboo is called "internode". But there is no such word in dictionaries. What do you say that part in everyday English? Can we call it &...
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Is it idiomatic to say "are you up to nonsense again?" the same way we say "up to no good"?

"up to no good" is an idiomatic expression ​up to no good: (informal) doing something wrong or dishonest Those kids are always up to no good. My children sometimes talk nonsense and I don'...
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Difference between Misery and Miserable? [closed]

Do they mean state of unhappiness? . Please help me with some examples. Thank You.
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Is it correct to say "She had never been sick since she started staying at home until she started going to school"?

Look at this diagram As shown in the diagram, my children had been staying home for a year due to Covid-19. Within that year, they had never been sick. A week ago, they started going back to school. ...
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100 people's death or deaths?

The title says it all. The original question goes like this: Fill in the blanks with the correct form of the given word. The flood which happened last week caused 100 people's _______ (death). I ...
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1 answer
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How to use the word "fit"?

Which of the following sentences is correct? Structure A fits a wider variety of situations. Structure A can fit a wider variety of situations. Structure A is fit for a wider variety of situations. ...
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1 answer
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Can quite some be used in place of quite a few?

Can 'quite some' be used in place of 'quite a few' in the following sentence? When a person is emotionally attached to an institution, he or she tends not to see quite a few things wrong with it. ...
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Does the phrase '(very) lazy to do something' make sense?

We have a common pattern 'too lazy to do something'. Apart from this pattern, can we use the word 'lazy' with the to-infinitive. I have looked it up in many dictionaries but have not found any ...
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<at> (the) last moment/night

I am confused about using these terms. 1- He came at last night. 2- He came last night. 3- He came at the last night. 4- He came the last night. 1.1- He came at last moment. 1.2- He came last ...
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Using "packed" to convey cloudy [closed]

The sky is packed Is it correct English? The intention is to convey that it's very cloudy outside
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Why is there no "s" in "look" in the following phrase: A meta viewport tag makes the page look good on all screen sizes

Since "page" is a third-person singular noun, "look" should be "looks", right?? Is that phrase correct or just misspelled?
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2 answers
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What verb should I use to express that the chair of a meeting says there will be a break?

I want to say that if a meeting drags on, the chair will VERB a break, but I don't know what verb to use. The only verb I can think of is "announce", and it gets quite a few hits, but mostly ...
1 vote
1 answer
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Reference of the relative word "where"

At first glance, calcite might be confused with quartz where both are clear, colorless, and "glassy". I'm not familiar with the use of "where" here, which usually refers to a ...
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2 answers
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Is it correct to natural to use the verb "correct" in the sense of changing people's behavior for the better?

Is it correct to natural to use the verb correct in the sense of changing people's behavior for the better? For example: In a lot of cases prisons don't correct people. If it is not natural, what ...
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2 answers
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Is it correct to say "I had a race with my friends"?

It seems that "I had a race against my friends" is what a dictionary often says. My question is that: Does it make any sense to say "I had a race with my friends"? we say: Tom and ...
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Difference between prepositions ‘for’ and ‘to’

For ‘for’, in dictionaries there are two examples: 1.The box is too heavy for me to carry. 2.For her, books were as necessary to life as bread… But I saw this in a video that if your friend ask you ...
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Correct use of 'mayhap'

Can you use it interchangeably with 'perhaps' or 'maybe'? Could I use it in an informal letter at the CPE writing part or is this an archaic form? Edit: How about 'mayhaps'?
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more common and formal adjective which means "one shot"

The context: You can't protect your dental health just by "damage control" and don't be satisfied with just a one-shot treatment. It is advisable to make efforts toward preventive ...
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Tell me/inform me

We were going to get an e-mail regarding a trip from our school. The next day, our school told us that they've emailed us the list. But I didn't receive any email, so I asked my friend and she said ...
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"we are only given something" or "we are given only something"?

chapter 1 of the book "Machine Learning - A Probabilistic Perspective" says The second main type of machine learning is the descriptive or unsupervised learning approach. Here we are only ...
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Is it correct to say "We rescued the man in the river" and "We rescued the man from the river" in this situation?

A man is thrashing in "a swift-flowing river" (I am not sure if it is correct to say "a swift-flowing river" to mean the flow of the river is running very fast). Is it correct to ...
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1 answer
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As about - I was reading an article in that magazine. It was as about the new government policies

I know this usage With prepositions, as has the general sense of as far as, so far as, and thus restricts or specially defines the reference of the preposition; e.g. as against, as between. as ...
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Understanding inwards and outwards in context

The following quotation is from Anthony Trollope's The Small House at Allington: That she was a lady, inwards and outwards, from the crown of her head to the sole of her feet, in head, in heart, ...
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Is "add background" an idiomatic expression?

I asked a question (In some cases, "come" and "go" are interchangeable, right?) just now, and added some explanation at the beginning. This post is discussing verbs, the ...

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