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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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Which of the following peppers falls under the classification of what Australians call capiscums?

I have learned that Australia calls bell peppers "capiscums", and that chili peppers and jalapeno peppers also fall under "capiscums" too, though Australians will just say chili ...
Megas's user avatar
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0 votes
1 answer
26 views

Can "show" be replaced by "present"?

The charts use the verb show. Is it good to use present instead? The charts present the average percentages in typical meals of three types of nutrients.
newbie forever's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
43 views

Using "the" with "return of someone/something"

I am completely baffled by the English language when it comes to the article "the" and "return of someone" or "return of something". Here is a list of some movie titles I ...
user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
36 views

Do you say "her carelessness leaked into her blood" to express that her carelessness is her essence or habit?

Vietnamese people sometimes say "her carelessness leaked into her blood" (literally translated from Vietnamese) when they want to say that her carelessness is her essence or habit and it it ...
Tom's user avatar
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0 votes
2 answers
38 views

What does It refer to in 'It is as if nothing has changed.'

Does it refer to the situation that is described before, or just preparatory 'it'? He has no faith in the current softening of the American line towards the Palestinians, which he says is a replica ...
TUALL's user avatar
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0 votes
2 answers
23 views

Knowing myself x Knowing me

In the sentence below, can either of the expressions "knowing myself" and "knowing me" be used? Knowing myself the way I do, I know I would never last in a job like that for a long ...
Itamar's user avatar
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0 votes
3 answers
62 views

Is "metro" used in British English?

This is an IELTS essay question I saw on a website. IELTS is a British test. Is the use of metros strange? Don't the British use 'underground railways'? Some cities have vehicle-free days when ...
newbie forever's user avatar
-2 votes
1 answer
33 views

Can we use “reverse sweep” in football?

A reverse sweep is the case, for example, when two sporting teams play a seven game series in the playoffs of their league, one team wins 3 in a row, followed by the other team winning the final 4. ...
Phoebe's user avatar
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0 votes
1 answer
30 views

When should I use "suited" instead of "suitable"?

I want to be a professional volleyball player but I eventually realized that my physique wasn't suitable for it. Should suitable or suited be used in this context? I don't see the difference between ...
Phoebe's user avatar
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0 votes
1 answer
47 views

Do people in Sydney or even Australia say napkin, tissue, or serviette?

When I first moved to Australia (Sydney to be precise), I used napkin as a force of habit. However, I ended up switching to tissues. However, online, I read that serviette is a French-sounding synonym ...
Megas's user avatar
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1 answer
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Do we use “prices” or “the price” in this context: “Retailers have to raise *the price/prices* since they have to pay a significant fee for the space

Retailers have to raise prices/the price because they have to pay a significant fee for the space they occupy. I’m referring to the prices of products retailers are selling in general. It seems that “...
Phoebe's user avatar
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0 votes
1 answer
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“I find garish clothes ______” I want to fill in the blank with an adjective/phrase that means “unpleasant to look at”

I find garish clothes ______” I want to fill in the blank with an adjective/phrase that means “unpleasant to look at” I found some suggestions which are visually jarring, like an eye sore, off-...
Phoebe's user avatar
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0 votes
3 answers
53 views

Can “cumbersome” be used for “watches”?

Working from home all the time, I find wearing a watch a bit cumbersome. I searched for “cumbersome watches” but got very few hits. “Cumbersome” here I mean is “inconvenient and uncomfortable to wear”...
Phoebe's user avatar
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6 votes
4 answers
860 views

Is “stuff” used correctly in “ There are all kinds of animals: lions, elephants and stuff.”

There are all kinds of animals: lions, elephants and stuff. I’m wondering if “stuff” is used correctly in this context, because as far as I know, “stuff” often refers to things, not animals.
Phoebe's user avatar
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2 votes
3 answers
231 views

Do you say "You got the floor muddy" the same way we say "get something wet / dirty"?

I am not a native English speaker so I rely mostly on dictionaries. Normally, dictionaries have examples using structures of "get something/ somebody wet" or "get something/ somebody ...
Tom's user avatar
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1 vote
2 answers
70 views

Is it natural to say "you should've done the math exercise smartly"?

This is my daughter's math question. The way she did it is to count every cell one by one, which is not effective. So I told her "the first line is 10 and the second is 10 so we have 20 and we ...
Tom's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
35 views

Can I use "fix up" for people's appearances?

According to OD: fix up: to repair, decorate or make something ready Can I use it for people's appearances? For instance: Q: When do you use a mirror? A: Whenever I need to fix up my appearance. I'...
An IELTS Learner's user avatar
9 votes
9 answers
3k views

Why isn't "meanwhile" advisable in this sentence? Doesn't it mean "at the same time"?

I wrote this sentence in another post of mine, and some advised me not to use meanwhile in this case. Why? Doesn't meanwhile mean at the same time? Education expenditure was highest in India at 15%, ...
An IELTS Learner's user avatar
-4 votes
2 answers
62 views

Do you say "don't play with fire" to a person who is playing with something that might get him dirty?

My son is throwing rocks into a pond with dirty black water and if the rock is pretty big it might splash the water all over the place and the water might get his clothes dirty. Can I say to him &...
Tom's user avatar
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-2 votes
2 answers
58 views

Is it correct to say "arrange the cup side by side in a row"? [closed]

According to my study, to arrange cups in a row means the face of each facing forward like this But this way of arrangement takes up too much space, so people arrange them like this But to describe ...
Tom's user avatar
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0 votes
2 answers
42 views

Are "lay the newspaper on the floor" and "spread the newspaper on the floor" interchangeable?

Normally "lay" means "to put somebody/something in a particular position" (meaning 1) but it also means "to spread something on something" (meaning 2). So, "lay the ...
Tom's user avatar
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-1 votes
0 answers
37 views

Is it natural to say "no more conditions" when one gives you a condition when you ask him to do something?

My daughter often gives a reason for not learning math, for example, "I'm tired" or "I have to play" etc. Then, I often say "no more excuses". But sometimes she gives me ...
Tom's user avatar
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4 votes
1 answer
214 views

How to use "average" as a verb?

According to CD: average (v): to reach a particular amount as an average Here are some examples that I found: Many doctors average (= work an average of) 70 hours a week. Trainee accountants ...
An IELTS Learner's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
19 views

'have got to do' vs. 'have to do' with repeated actions

I still have questions about the difference between 'have got to do' and 'have to do' in case of repeated actions. I understand that 'have got to' is informal spoken British. But there must be other ...
sanya6's user avatar
  • 27
0 votes
1 answer
39 views

A is in 1st grade and B is in 2nd grade. Is it offensive to say "A studies in lower grade/class"?

I asked Chatgpt this question and it says "A studies in lower grade/class" is offensive because "lower class or grade" shows derogatory. But "class" or "grade" ...
Tom's user avatar
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3 votes
4 answers
321 views

is it correct to say "push the table by its far edge"?

My daughter put her hands in the middle of the edge of the table and pushed a table, which was hard to move the table. So, I told her to put her hands on one end of the edges and push the table, then ...
Tom's user avatar
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4 votes
2 answers
744 views

are "I will check your homework later" and "I will check on your homework later" similar?

I often ask my children to do homework and after that, what would I say "I will check your homework later" and "I will check on your homework later"? Someone on Quora told me &...
Tom's user avatar
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3 votes
1 answer
573 views

Is it idiomatic to say "home to diverse population"?

My city is home to diverse population I meant to use this phrase when speaking, not writing. And I wonder if it sounds a little bit literary. So is it idiomatic to say this?
Phoebe's user avatar
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0 votes
1 answer
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Is "watch screens" used to cover "watch TV/ phone/ tablet/ laptop..."?

I don't want my children to watch too much TV/ or anything on tablets/phones/ laptops/ smart watches... I don't want to give an exhausting list like that when talking to my children. For examples &...
Tom's user avatar
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4 votes
1 answer
571 views

Would native speakers use "forefather" when speaking about history or is it too literary?

I want to say: My forefathers were badass for defeating the enemies in those bloody wars. I have two concerns: Is "forefathers" too literary for speaking? Is it correct to use "...
An IELTS Learner's user avatar
14 votes
9 answers
3k views

Do you have an expression saying "when you are very hungry, bread is also delicious for you" or similar one?

In Vietnam we often say "when you are very hungry, rice is also delicious to you". When you are full, food doesn't taste good to you. But when you are hungry, even the most boring food ...
Tom's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
36 views

How to understand 'Up here'—Up here, this chemical changed the composition of pre-existing gases

Over the following hundreds of millions of years, more microorganisms began producing this toxic gas, first saturating Earth's oceans and eventually its atmosphere. Up here, this chemical changed the ...
Mr. Wang's user avatar
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-2 votes
0 answers
28 views

Stand and deliver!

40 years after Adam Ant, I suddenly had a flash of ingenuity: You can also deliver a speech. Is also "deliver an act [of art]", or something like that, legit enough as a phrase that the ...
Hauke Reddmann's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
31 views

Why did the author use "travel by taxi" and "bicycle use" to refer to the distances traveled by these modes of transportation?

In an IELTS sample essay on: Average distances in miles travelled by different modes of travel, a famous IELTS examiner wrote: Travel by taxi saw the most significant change, with more than a ...
An IELTS Learner's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
26 views

What does 'a tidy step' mean

I'm reading Agatha Christie's novel: The Secret Adversary, and there's a sentense that I could not understand. The character in the novel asks a porter in station for a way to the house, below is the ...
Azarea's user avatar
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0 votes
1 answer
28 views

How to use would in right manner?

I'm confused on the usage of would in sentences. I've seen people using it in future sentence like, I would meet you soon or I would do it for you. Is it correct usage of would? Kindly correct me on ...
Ali 's user avatar
  • 1
0 votes
1 answer
30 views

I went to my second job

I have been wondering if in certain contexts it is possible to say that we "go to the job". Normally "job" is reserved for meanings closer to "position" and "post&...
Penguin422's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
33 views

Are "leave the phone for me" and "leave the phone to me" the same?

I guess "leave the phone for me" and "leave the phone to me" are different. Look at examples from the dictionary Did she leave a package for me? We left a good tip for our ...
Tom's user avatar
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-1 votes
3 answers
62 views

Does "he hit his head on the wall on purpose" sound natural?

If "hit" means to knock a part of your body against something by accident, we can say "He hit his head on/against the low ceiling.". We can also use "bang" instead "...
Tom's user avatar
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0 votes
0 answers
23 views

Can "Place of interest" be used for personal preferences/interest?

According to what I've searched, "Place of interest" often describes tourist attractions, landmarks, museums, parks, historical sites, or any other location that people may find interesting ...
Phoebe's user avatar
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12 votes
5 answers
3k views

Is it ever more appropriate to use "incessant" over "constant"?

In every sentence I have ever read that used the word "incessant," it could easily be replaced by "constant". For example, we say: incessant/constant + rain/noise/complaints So, ...
An IELTS Learner's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
19 views

What does "exclusive of other beings" mean?

from Commentaries on the Law of England by William Blackstone “The Earth, and all things herein, are the general property of mankind, exclusive of other beings, from the immediate gift of the creator&...
leminh81's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
37 views

Is it correct to say “Students will *flock to you* if you are a good teacher”?

What I want to say is “If you are a good teacher, a lot of students will register for your class and study under you”. As far as I’ve researched, “flock to somebody” means “come and visit somebody in ...
Phoebe's user avatar
  • 1,125
1 vote
1 answer
25 views

are "day by day" and "by the day" the same?

The dictionary says "His health is growing worse day by day. = His health is growing worse by the day. [=his health is growing worse every day]" However, Chat GPT says "day by day" ...
Tom's user avatar
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0 votes
2 answers
47 views

What does "then" signify in the context of "my whole life" already being mentioned?

In Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 (2023), Mantis speaks to Guardians of the Galaxy: Mantis: I love you all. I do. But my "whole life" I did whatever Ego wanted, and then, I did whatever the ...
Cameron Melvin's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
25 views

is this sentence too long "stand up the footstool so that it is on its side"?

If the footstool is on its side like this, we can not sit on it. So we say "lay the footstool flat" or "lay the footstool down flat" What about do it the other way round? Say a ...
Tom's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
36 views

Using Allotted in a Sentence

In the following sentence, is the word allotted used correctly? Unless I reschedule in the allotted 24 hour time frame given then I will need to keep my appointment.
Stormie Martinez's user avatar
-4 votes
3 answers
60 views

Do you say "you're very reasonative" the same way we say "you're very talkative"?

A talkative person is one who talks a lot. So, I deduce a reasonative person is one who often gives a lot of reasons for his/her behaviors. There is no "reasonative" entry in dictionary, but ...
Tom's user avatar
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0 votes
0 answers
31 views

Have I used ''spin your wheels'' correctly?

When learning a language, language learners often feel like they are spinning their wheels as progress is so gradual that many think they are stuck and aren't improving at all. Is that a correct use ...
Idk29's user avatar
  • 359
7 votes
5 answers
2k views

Is it correct to say "a picture of teen Uncle James"?

When someone is a grown-up, how can we refer to photos which were they were taken when they were younger? I remember someone told me I can say "a photo of baby you/ baby him / baby Mary...". ...
Tom's user avatar
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