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.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
2
votes
3answers
23 views

Is it natural to use “difficult” about a person?

This is said by an idiot husband in a story I'm writing: Don't mind her. She's just got her period. That's why she's a little difficult. Is it perfectly natural to use "difficult" about a ...
1
vote
1answer
17 views

What's the meaning of “has by”?

She tries not to react but knows she has by the smirk on Frank’s face, the threat in the not-so-veiled statement plain. It seems to me as an unusual structure. Could you please explain it to me? ...
0
votes
1answer
13 views

that pockets of his fan base are fracturing

Does "pockets" here mean "groups"? I've checked out the unabridged version of Random English Dictionary and found this definition to be close - "any isolated group, area, ...
0
votes
1answer
17 views

In the phrase..“at the request of” .. why do we use 'at'?

In the phrase.."at the request of" .. why do we use 'at'? I understand it refers to someone specific making a request...but I would like to know why we use "at".
0
votes
2answers
24 views

Do these sentences mean the same?

Supposing that I and a friend are talking about football and then we discover that another friend of ours is listening to our talk.Which one is the best? Do these sentences mean the same? You weren't ...
0
votes
1answer
18 views

Can “if” be used in the sense “albeit”?

I'm reading an English text written by a non-native speaker of English, and now I've come across the following: This idea will be discussed again later on, if from a different point of view. Now I'm ...
3
votes
2answers
46 views

Can you say “This has attracted them to aim for the stars”?

I found This has attracted them to aim for the stars. in a text written by a non-native speaker of English, and I haven't been able to find any support for this construction when I've Googled it. To ...
1
vote
2answers
21 views

Should I use “getting lost” or “becoming lost”?

Which one is better getting lost (e.g. I warned her about getting lost in the maze) or becoming lost (e.g. I warned her about becoming lost in the maze) Or are they equally good, and, in that case:...
1
vote
2answers
30 views

A favor to me vs. a favor for me

What's the correct alternative and why? Example sentence: This isn't a favor to/for me---but to/for you. (Meaning that the one benefited is the other person, not the speaker.)
3
votes
2answers
26 views

Differences between “English novel” and “novel in English”

Is there a difference between "English novel" and "novel in English"? Needless to say, what it's at stake are two aspects: the language of the novel, and its country of origin. To ...
2
votes
1answer
22 views

applying for jobs?

When I was in school my teacher taught me to use "apply for" when talking about jobs. So I would say: "I would like to apply for the job as a nurse". However, I came across the ...
0
votes
1answer
27 views

Does “trap” make sense in this context?

The non native speaker does not want to fall into the trap of using a foreign strange word. Does the word trap in the above sentence make sense in context?
1
vote
1answer
24 views

Usage of “owing to”

I would like to start my formal letter with the phrase: I am writing owing to the fact, that... But I'm not sure about using owing to. Is that correct?
0
votes
0answers
28 views

Are they similar, “Their mom is getting them excited with the gifts” and “The gifts are making them excited”?

It seems that not many people know why sometimes we say "get something + adjective" and "make something + adjective". It seems noone knows general pattern of how to use "get ...
1
vote
1answer
22 views

Usage of “all” or “all of”

Which one of the following constructs is better or correct, and why? Btw, the meaning of the two is the same, right? The customer's all products... All of the customer's products...
2
votes
3answers
32 views

present, past, past participle form of 'spit'

I saw this sentence on the internet. i know being spit on is probably not what you need right now In this sentence, spit is past participle form of verb, spit. I know past form of spit is spit, ...
2
votes
2answers
53 views

The use of “weighing machine” vs “scale”

I attended an English class by a Canadian teacher and he told us that nobody uses the word "weighing machine" to describe a machine that weigh the weight of an object. However, after some ...
0
votes
1answer
15 views

with a CDC and NIH that are free from political influence

Should "a" in the phrase "with a CDC and NIH that are free from political influence" be removed? "that are" means "CDC + NIH" as plural and so "a" ...
0
votes
0answers
20 views

Which country is the slang “moola” used?

There is a slang for money called moola. Where do they commonly use it? I have rarely heard American or British people using this word. And in which situations could we use it?
1
vote
0answers
21 views

Can “I dare say (so)” mean “Of course” in a certain context?

Can the expression "I dare say (so)" mean "Of course" in a certain context? I know the general meaning and usage of this expression. From Collins dictionary: You can use 'I dare ...
0
votes
1answer
28 views

When to use No and Nope [duplicate]

As per what I understand Nope is an informal way of expressing the same what no does. Is it appropriate to use Nope in official mails, or is it suggested to use in like whatsapp chat etc. Also why the ...
-1
votes
1answer
41 views

Does “mailing” necessarily means sending hard copy?

But how about collecting signatures for a popular initiative or a referendum, in which digital tools can play their strengths of quick and massive mobilisation? In contrast to e-voting, we do not have ...
0
votes
1answer
38 views

What does “Give in it” mean?

What does "Give in it" mean in this sentence? The shoes may seem tight at first, but the leather has plenty of give in it. And when can I use it?
-1
votes
0answers
16 views

Difference between “impact” and “influence” [closed]

What is the difference between these two sentences: She has had a lasting impact on the lives of many of her students. She has had a lasting influence on the lives of many of her students.
1
vote
1answer
20 views

Does a tourist guide make a welcome speech or talk? Which one is proper?

A tourist guide makes a welcome talk to a tourist group on the coach. A tourist guide makes a welcome speech to a tourist group on the coach. Which one is proper, a welcome talk or a welcome speech?
0
votes
1answer
28 views

Is the phrase “Mary is a friend in need” confusing?

This is quite confusing. In the dictionary, they say a friend in need: someone who helps you when you need it Say, Tom was broke and he needed help and some financial support. Mary helped him while ...
0
votes
1answer
27 views

Is it appropriate to use “drink” as verb for canned soup?

I know that soup is considered a dish, not a beverage, so a phrase like "drink soup" sounds odd accordingly, and it should be rephrased like "eat soup", right? Also, it is obvious ...
0
votes
1answer
18 views

Can any other word have the form grow + adjective?

While reading some books, I came across this phrase. before Nate grows tired of walking in circles with me And here's the whole paragraph. I break for the oak tree, dragging Nate behind me. I find ...
4
votes
2answers
58 views

“Any time after” vs “anytime after”

Call me any time after 12pm. Call me anytime after 12pm. Are both sentences grammatically correct and mean the same thing? I looked into their differences, and there aren't any, other than how it is ...
0
votes
0answers
24 views

Is saying “an elongated period of time” in a sentence incorrect? [closed]

Is it incorrect to say “An elongated period of time”? I believe it is.
0
votes
1answer
25 views

“The gap we had to climb was over 2 hundred feet high. ”

The gap we had to climb was over 2 hundred feet high. My question is why it is not correct to use the word "gap" in this sentence? If "gap" is not correct in this sentence, which ...
1
vote
1answer
38 views

Use of whispers/whispering

As the terrorist walked off, whispers started among the hostages. As the terrorist walked off, the hostages started whispering. Are "whispers" and "whispering" used correctly in ...
-1
votes
2answers
41 views

hit or reach a plateau

What’s the variant the most idiomatic? The figures reached/hit a plateau Are they both grammatically correct?
1
vote
0answers
18 views

Choosing between also and plus

"Also" and "plus" can be interchangeable when they mean "in addition." But is there any subtle difference between them? Maybe "plus" is preferred when it's ...
0
votes
1answer
18 views

What does there now mean here? “There now! What did I tell you?”

What does there now mean here? "There now! What did I tell you?" And when can I use it like this?
1
vote
0answers
30 views

What does “reflect on” means in this context?

Political parties engage strongly during a campaign. Popular votations are an opportunity to highlight themselves, reflecting on concrete issue against the background of their basic ideologies and ...
0
votes
0answers
39 views

Can we say “shake fish out of the shark”, “set a rug for a meal”, “grown-up bears”, “the dog snarled at the vacuum”? [closed]

I am trying to write a story based on the below pictures. Mickey and Mimi caught a baby shark which had just eaten a lot of fish. Mickey shook fish out of the shark. They and their dog are very ...
0
votes
1answer
21 views

Which is correct upfront or upfrontly

I want to express to another person how much he is willing to pay for a task and he can openly tell me. Upfront seems a good word for this. Which of the two sentences is correct: You can let me know ...
-1
votes
0answers
36 views

Can we use gerund after adverbs of places, e.g. “I am on bed reading a book” and “I am at home taking care of the dog”?

I had some feeling that native speakers often use gerund after some adverbs of places. For example, "I am on bed reading a book", "I am at home taking care of the dog", and "I ...
0
votes
1answer
30 views

Using “fine” instead of “okay.”

They mean roughly the same. "Fine" also means that you are agreeing but not really agreeing. In the following situations, I think "fine" sounds better ... but I'm not a native ...
-1
votes
1answer
30 views

'draw a border' or 'draw a boundary'

What's the variant more appropriate? Are they both right and equal? Draw a border Draw a boundary In the context, for instance: "When we're talking about philosophy and psychology we have to...&...
0
votes
1answer
24 views

can I use 'get' to say that a date hasn't passed yet?

Can I use 'get' to say that a date hasn't passed? for example: Q: "Is it Christmas yet?" A: "No, we've not gotten there yet"
-1
votes
0answers
21 views

In our poems, we forebear [closed]

Is the word "forebear" used as a verb? (The word normally is only a noun) I guess it refers to "serve as pioneers/founding fathers." I am not sure. My Lord, how beautifully you ...
-1
votes
1answer
18 views

is this correct: “Q:There are other options available A: like what?”

What does "like what" mean? I'm asking because I'm not sure if this is correct. And is this correct? For example: Q: "There are other options available" A: "like what?"
0
votes
1answer
17 views

Is the expression “cake cutting ”suitable when cake is sliced on special occasions?

In India on the special occasions like on 'birthdays and anniversaries cake is cut and this act is described as below 1)The birthday girl cut the cake 2)The cake was cut 3)Cake cutting ceremony etc. ...
1
vote
1answer
20 views

exert influence vs influence

What are the differences between them? influence exert influence The latter is more emotional and stronger, isn't it? (The translation of these two words into my language are absolutely the same.)
0
votes
1answer
47 views

How to correctly use “in an otherwise” in sentences?

I have come across the following sentence sentence and I understand what it means. China is a rare bright spot in an otherwise ravaged global economy However, I am unable to construct sentences ...
4
votes
1answer
165 views

What does if mean here: “He's a good driver, if a little over-confident”

What does "if" mean here: He's a good driver, if a little over-confident when can I also use it like this?
-1
votes
1answer
34 views

“face one's men about” means 180 degrees rotation or 90 degrees?

"face one's men about" means 180 degrees rotation or 90 degrees whether it be to the right or left? I saw a movie and they say "about face" to mean "turn around".
0
votes
0answers
26 views

What is the difference between “a clumsy bag” and “a cumbersome bag”?

In the dictionaries: cumbersome (adj): 2 heavy and difficult to move a large cumbersome machine clumsy (adj): 2 a clumsy object is not easy to use and is often large and heavy What is the ...

1
2 3 4 5
175