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 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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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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"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 ...
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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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 "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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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 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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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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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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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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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 ...
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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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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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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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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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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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What do you call a plastic tube or pipe that is made of plastic and flexible?

I'm trying to think what this thing is called in English: This is something that we use, in my country, to connect a tap water to water some plants. Anyway, if I have to call it based on my current ...
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"We denote that symbol = math formula" is correct?

Can you write "we denote that math symbol = definition of the symbol" in math essay? I am writing an essay in mathematics. I need to define a symbol by a math formula. E.g., when symbol X is ...
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3 votes
1 answer
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How to use “to store them” amounts of paper correctly in a sentence

This seems off to me and I am not sure how to correct it or if the pronoun is wrong for paper in this sentence: You moved a large amount of paper from a space and intended to store them in a room ...
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Is the use of the word "opening" correct in this context?

This context comes from the book "Black Rednecks And White Liberals" by Thomas Sowell "Early Lebanese businesses in the United States were noted for “opening 16 to 18 hours daily,” ...
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1 answer
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Do you use mostly past tense when reporting a past event? [closed]

I'm writing about a company just winning a past competition. I know the title should be present tense, but how about the body? Are the below examples correct? Team QQQ won the first prize in WWW ...
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1 answer
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The noun form of plant [closed]

****I challenge this clause: Policy for questions that are entirely answerable with a dictionary. * If this question is entirely answerable with a dictionary, why do the three answers given to this ...
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Can I use the verb "I sail a boat" when the boat does not have a sail but an engine?

We say: I drive a car/taxi/truck etc I ride a bike/motorbike/horse. I row a boat. The dictionary says: sail: to control a ship or boat (especially one that has sails) while traveling on water. ...
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What is the very thick liquid called when we braise meat in coconut milk?

I dice meat, then cook it in coconut water in a slow cooker. We don't have a slow cooker, we can use a pot and cook it slowly for a long time until it boils down and thicken. The result is some pieces ...
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8 votes
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Is "wait" an exclamation in this context?

Which part of speech is the word "wait" in this context? Wait! You forgot your keys! Is it a noun, verb, or else? I couldn't find any discussion about this, the only parts of speech I ...
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Choosing prepositions X and Y in “I just wanted to follow up X our chat Y Friday” [closed]

What is the correct word choice for the following sentences? I just wanted to follow up on our chat from Friday. I just wanted to follow up on our chat on Friday. I just wanted to follow up from ...
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hackneyed adjective or verb?

“When I first came here,” she said, “I had a little room in a building right about there where the firehouse is now... I shared the room with three others... We built our robots all in one building. ...
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Meaning of "maybe" in "a maybe technology"

I am learning using a TED video, and at 1:07 she says we discuss this idea of a maybe technology. maybe in the sentence looks like adjective but maybe has no adjective meaning. (reference: oxford) ...
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Use of the verb "to decide"

When one is trying to say that someone has made a decision to do (or not to do) something, is this way of using the verb "to decide" valid or correct? At a certain point in her life she ...
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I picked them up and put them on the table. (about the second "them")

There were some gloves on the floor, so I picked them up and put them on the table. Could you explain why it's necessary to repeat "them" after "and"? Is it not clear the object ...
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Can we say "She painted her fingernails twinkling"?

I saw many women painted their nails like the above picture. There are a lot of tiny shiny dots on it. if it is a normal color like red or blue, then I just need to say "she painted her ...
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Do we say "Do you remember your homework?" or "Did you remember your homework?"

I agree that we should say "I remembered my homework" because at the time I say this sentence I have already remembered it. I am not sure if we can say "I remember my homework" ...
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Do we say "we have a situation here" for big serious problems in American English?

According to dictionaries, especially in American English, people say "we have a situation here" when they have "an important or sudden problem". I am not a native speaker so I can ...
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1 vote
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The use of swear/cuss words [closed]

Recently, I often hear swear words in various videos (like those on Youtube), in voice chats while playing games, and in dramas on Netflix. According to my native English-speaking friends, such words ...
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5 votes
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"I pushed him by his back" vs "I held the cup by its handle"?

Normally, we use "by" to say a part of an object that we hold, grab, take etc. For example, "I held the cup by its handle". Can we say "I pushed him by his back" or "...
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Is it correct to say "it's getting late to cook lunch"?

normally, we say "it's getting late" to say that time is passing and especially that evening or late evening is coming For example, It's getting late so we should probably go home. My ...
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Title case: Which is better ? pre or post-modifier in this case?

Followings are titles for a thesis on Ambrogio Lorenzetti’s Allegory of the Good Government. Ambrogio Lorenzetti depicted two Justices in his picture. Among the four, which one is grammatically best ? ...
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2 votes
2 answers
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Installment and Season difference

I noticed a TV show in a streaming app that basically has 2 seasons, but I'm wondering why do they use the word differently i.e. season and installment (instalment if it's British according to OALD) ...
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Difference between "meadow" "prairie" "pasture"

I'm a bit confused about these words particularly "meadow" and "prairie". What's the difference?
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"some" in negative sentences

I learned that usually I should use "any" and not "some" in questions and negative sentences. But I also learned that sometimes I can use "some". Can I say like this: I ...
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