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.

1,051 questions with no upvoted or accepted answers
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2
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75 views

is regretting and regrets

I know this is the basic grammar knowledge, but I can't figure out the differences between these sentences: 1)We sure hope Brad is regretting those hateful tweets now. and 2)We sure hope Brad regrets ...
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1answer
24 views

as softly and aesthetically as it deserves

I would like to know if the following comparison, parallelism is grammatically correct : "as softly and aesthetically as it deserves" or rather "as soft and aesthetical as it deserves&...
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1answer
725 views

Is "Her hair is in a pigtail" (singular) used in British English?

The British say "Her hair is in a plait" (picture 1) but "Her hair is in pigtails" (picture 2). Americans say "Her hair is in a braid" (No.1) and "Her hair is in ...
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1answer
195 views

What word best describes "to move your hand over a surface while pressing firmly"?

rub [intransitive, transitive] to move your hand, or something such as a cloth, backwards and forwards over a surface while pressing firmly → stroke rub your nose/chin/eyes/forehead etc ...
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0answers
61 views

Run it under water, hold it under water, run water over it

The following sentences are about rinsing something under running water, be it a whisk (or any utensil for that matter) or a scald, wound/cut. Just run it under water. Just hold it under water. ...
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2answers
4k views

usage of ‘hope’: uncountable or countable plural?

Here are some examples from dictionaries where hope is used in the plural people have hopes of increasing trade between the two regions (Collins Cobuild) she has hopes of studying to be a ...
2
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1answer
185 views

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, ...
2
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2answers
1k views

contexts for "to learn" vs. "for learning"

Consider the following sentences We came here to learn English. We came here for learning English. I suppose most of us here would agree that both of them are grammatically correct. And I ...
2
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1answer
87 views

Can I use the verb 'forgo' in this context?

Cambridge says: forgo (v.) to not have or do something enjoyable: I shall have to forgo the pleasure of seeing you this week. So, can I use the verb forgo in this context? For example, if one ...
2
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1answer
571 views

using "a/an" with "enjoyment"

Can enjoyment be used with an article "a/an" or should it always be a non-countable noun? For example, Listening to her was always an enjoyment. Among numerous examples of using "enjoyment" in ...
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1answer
11k views

What is the difference between "I am sorry to miss your concert" & "I am sorry for missing your concert"?

Here is from the dictionary Sorry (adj): [not before noun] feeling sad and sympathetic sorry (that)… I'm sorry that your husband lost his job. sorry (to see, hear, etc.) We're sorry to ...
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1answer
4k views

Is it right to use the structure "do as well as doing"?

These properties are particularly useful in travel items which can face varying climates and weather conditions, as well as withstanding the rigors of various transport methods and rough handling. In ...
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4answers
5k views

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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3answers
389 views

Can we use the word "image" for all digital pictures?

I was reading this question : Photo Vs. Picture Vs. Image : What is the difference between them? As a technical person, we use the word image for all digital pictures. I wanted to know is that ...
2
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1answer
1k views

Verb for someone who refuses to repay money

What's the verb to say the behavior of someone who refuse to repay the money he owed? (Even if he knows it and is able to pay it back.) As far as I know, there is a commonly used noun which called ...
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1answer
20 views

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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1answer
21 views

Difference between "by way of illustration" and "as an illustration"

I'd like to know there is any difference in meaning between "by way of illustration" and "as an illustration"? or there are used interchanged? I'd like to use it in the following ...
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1answer
28 views

Is it correct and natural to say "activate a cell phone plan" meaning to get the minutes and internet that come with it?

Could you tell me if it іs it correct and natural to say activate a cell phone plan meaning to get the minutes and internet that come with it? For example: Sir, if you wish to activate your cell ...
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1answer
14 views

Usage of “constitute”

Can constitute be used in the following sentence? “Every drop constitutes a part of the ocean.” If not, what word can I replace it with?
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1answer
23 views

Is it correct to say "The toy bunny is about this big" or "The toy bunny is about this small"?

I have a toy bunny which is about the size of a thumb, I don't have it with me right now and I want to let my friend imagine its size with my hands. Is it correct to say "The toy bunny is about ...
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1answer
11 views

To intrude vs. to impose

I understand that "intrude" is used in situations in which you are going to ask somebody for their attention or commitment, and "impose (on)" is often used when you are going to ...
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0answers
31 views

Can "point-down" be used as an adverb even we don't see it in dictionaries?

I heard a native speaker say "put the knife point-down into the basket" when teaching people to put knives into a basket of a dish washer the right way. And he said "point-down" is ...
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0answers
25 views

What do we do with a benchmark?

Considering the concept of a benchmark, in the sense of a single point of reference. What does one say, when, for example, a person has achieved a score that is higher than some benchmark score? I ...
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0answers
25 views

Do we say "some tiny bits of yogurt or ice cream" "drops"?

Some food such as ice cream, yogurt, smoothies etc is in form "a semi-liquid". It is not water but not frozen. It is in the middle. When eating yogurt, sometimes some tiny bits of yogurt, ...
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0answers
21 views

Figurative use of "buy" in a phrase such as "just to buy myself peace of mind"

I came across the phrase "just to buy myself peace of mind". I am wondering, are there other examples where "buy" is used similarly to communicate paying a figurative price in ...
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1answer
31 views

Would "ordinary" sound self degrading in this context?

A: So you work for that company. Are you some kind of hotshot business man or something? B: Me? No, I'm just an ordinary office worker. Hi. Does "ordinary" sound self degrading or does it ...
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0answers
23 views

Is "bolt" only used if running away from someone/something?

BOLT Verb (of a horse or other animal) run away suddenly, typically from fear. "the horses shied and bolted" (of a person) move or run away suddenly in an attempt to escape. "they ...
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0answers
36 views

Can a person say "I got straight As" if

"Straight As" question... If someone got a B in one subject in the last term, but earned all As in all the subjects at the end of the school year, can they say "I got straight As"? ...
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0answers
33 views

A shorter way to indicate “living in luxury”

I hate......... I exercise moderation…It will be easy to forget your vision and purpose one you have fine clothes, fast horses and beautiful women. [In which case], you will be no better than a slave, ...
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0answers
26 views

graduate from high school / graduate high school / finish high school

Look at these sentences. (a) I graduated from high school last year. (b) I graduated high school last year. (C) I finished high school last year. Which one would you use? Most native speakers I know ...
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1answer
29 views

"might as well be" vs "could very well be"

Compare these sentences: This woman standing right next to him in this picture could very well be his mother This woman standing right next to him in this picture might as well be his mother Are ...
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0answers
28 views

Can you use "abase oneself" positively?

Longman dictionary defines "abase yourself" as: to behave in a way that shows you accept that someone has complete power over you I gave an extensive lookup on the internet on the phrase. It ...
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0answers
40 views

Do we say "Bob is my second big brother"?

A couple has these sons and daughters: Tom (a male - born 1st) Mary (a female - born 2nd) Lana (a female - born 3rd) Bob (a male - born 4th) Lulu (a female - born 5th) Mike (a male - born 6th) ...
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1answer
304 views

"Can I use either of them" or "Can I use both of them"?

Let's say, in a question on this site, I am giving you two sentences which I think probably carry the same meaning and I want to ask you if I can use either of them interchangeably. I feel like if I ...
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0answers
24 views

How to use "by" in the meaning of "according to", "extra info" and "as a result"?

I've found the following definition for "by", but I am not sure HOW and WHEN I can use "by" in such meaning. Definition of "by" in Oxford dictionary from what something ...
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0answers
7 views

Difference between "is like nothing else" and "is not like anything else"

"Anyone who has visited Paris knows that this city is not like anything else" "Anyone who has visited Paris knows that this city is like nothing else" Is there any difference ...
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0answers
28 views

Do you use "abet" positively?

Longman dictionary defines “abet” as: to help someone do something wrong or illegal. Oxford dictionary: abet somebody: to help or encourage somebody to do something wrong That's what I learned until I ...
1
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1answer
51 views

generic (vs general)

I do see that questions about this couple have been posted before (What is the difference between "general" and "generic"?, What is the difference between "general" and &...
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0answers
39 views

usage of "so" in this sentence

The entire motivation for networking was so people could sit at their dumb terminals and, instead of accessing only their local mainframes, access totally different mainframes. My understanding: The ...
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0answers
21 views

Is "any" used with a plural countable noun in a prepositional phrase of a negative sentence?

Textbooks tell us that "any" is often used with a plural countable noun in a negative sentence. For example, (1) I don't have any apples. (2) I can't come up with any ideas. Does that ...
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3answers
114 views

is there any difference between social constructs and social norms?

is there any difference between social constructs and social norms? what would we call it when a society expects you to have a good job etc. or doing the same that is accepted to be the good by ...
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1answer
57 views

Can you say "the events of yesterday?"

While reading through my writing, I noticed that I wrote: "During the events of yesterday..." because it fit the narrative. The phrase, however, made me wonder whether it's correct. When I ...
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0answers
25 views

'Rare are those books you wish shouldn't end'. Is this sentence correct?

Is this sentence meaningful and complete? Should I use 'that' before 'you wish' or is it okay like that? Is 'shouldnt end' depicting that I want the book to keep on going like an endless tuft of pages?...
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0answers
32 views

What is the difference between "I put a picture on/in/at the front/back of the box"?

I have done some research and it seems that "the front/back" refers to either the front or back surface/space of something respectively. So, "put the picture on the front/back of the ...
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0answers
10 views

word usage - clear and understandable

Consider the scenario where I am explaining a math solution to a student. Now to check if he understands it I could ask - Is this clear Is this understandable? Are the above two sentences correct to ...
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0answers
36 views

What is the handle of a gift bag called in everyday conversations?

What is the handle of a gift bag called in everyday conversations? For example, "The strap/strip/string of the gift bag"
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0answers
20 views

can "take" be used in the continuous tenses?

Kid A and B are fighting over the toy. Both hands of A and B are on the toys. Is it correct for the kid A to say "Mom, he is taking my toy" But that situation is rare, normally, it will ...
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0answers
21 views

Treatment for or treatment of?

This study describes a treatment for/of a diseased kidney of a 15-year-old girl. Which is correct (for or of). Does the rest also sounds alright or would it be better to rephrase the whole sentence? ...
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1answer
44 views

Is there a word referring to something that motivates you?

One of my pupils wanted to express that there is a song that gives him motivation to create things. He referred to the song as a "kicker". I looked the word kicker up and the OED says it ...
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0answers
30 views

Is it correct to say "Gathering all together, I'd like to say ..."

Let's say I wrote a lot of things that describes my point of view about something and now I want to summarize and I'd like to know if it's ok to say: Gathering all together, I'd like to say...

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