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.

1,043 questions with no upvoted or accepted answers
Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
2 votes
2 answers
46 views

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 ...
user avatar
  • 109
2 votes
2 answers
35 views

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.
user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
34 views

What is the grammatical purpose of the phrase "So…" in the following sentence?

What is the grammatical purpose of the phrase "So…" in the following sentence? Why don't you wear socks? I don't wear socks because I believe it's more natural and I believe my feet smell ...
user avatar
  • 3,215
2 votes
1 answer
54 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 ...
user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
255 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 ...
user avatar
  • 295
2 votes
1 answer
3k 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 ...
user avatar
  • 15.8k
2 votes
1 answer
370 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 ...
user avatar
  • 15.8k
2 votes
2 answers
100 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. ...
user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
53 views

Is the other car there?

We have two cars. My brother had taken one and wasn't back yet. My dad wanted to go out. So he asked (because my mom wasn't home too): Is the other car there? Does this sound fine? P.S. And does "...
user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
532 views

Initial talking or initial talk?

I just saw "initial talking" as the title to the introduction on an academic text. I had only seen "talk" not "talking". Is initial talking also used as an introduction of sorts?
user avatar
  • 639
2 votes
2 answers
161 views

Which is a better alternative for "limitations" in this context: "lacked resources" or "lacked the capability"?

This is from a book review by Michell (1920): "[...] provinces tried to meet the need [of tackling unemployment] by [...], but the limitations of purely provincial and unrelated bureaus became ...
user avatar
  • 9,914
2 votes
2 answers
2k 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 ...
user avatar
  • 405
2 votes
1 answer
98 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 ...
user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
743 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 ...
user avatar
  • 3,759
2 votes
1 answer
12k 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 ...
user avatar
  • 15.8k
2 votes
1 answer
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 ...
user avatar
  • 2,943
2 votes
4 answers
6k 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 ...
user avatar
  • 1,207
2 votes
1 answer
2k 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 ...
user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
56 views

What's the word I should use for close calls

Please allow me to ask a question, I set a goal in my work, which could not be accomplished in the first place, but it was finally accomplished. How should this situation be described? What word would ...
user avatar
  • 11
1 vote
1 answer
27 views

needs some work doing/done

The following is an example sentence from the Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English: As you can see, the house needs some work doing on it. source It seems that many native speakers prefer &...
user avatar
  • 4,818
1 vote
1 answer
35 views

"Far above" vs "Well above"

Are "well above" and "far above" interchangeable? I know that we can use "well" when talking about something that is above another thing. Can we use, "far" ...
user avatar
  • 1,150
1 vote
1 answer
29 views

around vs round

I will walk around the park vs I will walk round the park. Everyone, what do you feel the difference as a native speaker? around for me = go around the park to avoid it AND walk here and there ...
user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
35 views

“Don’t confine yourself”

From what I see in dictionaries, with the word “confine,” generally “to” is used as in “confine somebody/something to something.” I wonder if it is okay to use the word “confine” without “to something....
user avatar
  • 1,150
1 vote
1 answer
43 views

What is the difference in these sentences?

Numerical adjectives. What is the difference between saying “40 days and 40 nights vs only “40 days and nights” Also, if I’m looking for 10 bottles of wine and liquor does this mean 10 bottles in ...
user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
46 views

What is the difference between "the one thing" and "only thing"?

Do "the one thing" and "only thing" mean the same? Consider the following: Basketball is the one thing that X is can do and Y cannot. Basketball is the only thing that X is can do ...
user avatar
  • 391
1 vote
1 answer
36 views

How to use the verbs "rewind" and "fast-forward"?

As far as I know, one can use these verbs with the preposition "to" like in "rewind/fast-forward a tape to some point". How about "until"? Can it be used with these ...
user avatar
  • 121
1 vote
2 answers
39 views

Usage of "rather"

What's the difference between following sentence: She kept herself rather to herself in her own pantry. and She rather kept herself to herself in her own pantry. Are there some omitted words in ...
user avatar
  • 11
1 vote
0 answers
20 views

The best "attributive" adjective describing someone or something that has to take its turn to do something? Can "Due" be attributive?

Let's say three people, A and B and C, must take turn to roll a die. Is it idiomatic and correct to say The due candidate rolls the die either on the table or on the ground depending on the previous ...
user avatar
  • 5,915
1 vote
0 answers
33 views

You shouldn't / You don't

A: We just discussed a few things. B: Right. Let me just make one thing very clear - you shouldn't/don't discuss my love life with them, alright? If B is angry and orders A not to do that again, ...
user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
25 views

What is the correct way to use the phrase 'I'm a bit of a...(noun)'?

'I am a little bit of a scientist myself'. I've heard this phrase so many times but I can't find any grammatical explanation to this. Is it possible, for example, to say 'I'm a little bit of a teacher'...
user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
49 views

Can I use "tho/though" just like when I use "because" or "but"?

In my country, to be precise, the dialect in my country (not English) is often using a sentence like this (for convenience reason since it's an English site, I'll try to translate into English): ...
user avatar
  • 4,720
1 vote
0 answers
27 views

Is "assess" appropriate here?

(One is in a coma) Doctor: Unfortunately nothing gives us reason to believe that his condition will improve, but cases like this are never easy to assess and therefore we can't say anything with ...
user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
26 views

Why is "for" used in "for me" in standup meetings?

In standup meetings where each attendee tells about what they did yesterday in turn, people always start with "For me", for example, "For me, yesterday I finished my task" or "...
user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
42 views

Does either "inside" or "within" sound more natural to most English speakers in this context?

Is there any difference between the usage of the word inside and within in the context of the following sentence; specifically, does one or the other sound more natural or odd?: (i) the accused stood ...
user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
42 views

Human brain or brains

Should I use the singular or the plural form of brain? Would a native speaker say "human's brain" in my sentence? "She studies parasites and how some of them affect human brain."
user avatar
  • 1,981
1 vote
0 answers
38 views

What word to describe the feeling of someone when they get offended?

When I get offended, usually there is some kind of odd feeling on my chest as if something is growing inside it, ossified, makes me shudder (not because of fear, but because of anger) and limp at the ...
user avatar
  • 4,720
1 vote
0 answers
22 views

<Live by one's age> VS <Live based on one's age> VS <Live according to one's age>

Can we use the phrases "Live by one's age", "Live based on one's age" and "Live according to one's age" interchangeably to mean living in a way that represents your age? ...
user avatar
  • 1,150
1 vote
0 answers
50 views

Can "notwithstanding" be used without a complement?

I have checked Cambridge Dictionary, Longman, and Merriam-Webster, but I fail to find a conclusive answer to whether notwithstanding can be used without a complement. According to Merriam-Webster, it ...
user avatar
  • 1,024
1 vote
1 answer
34 views

phrases with "both" ... "and"

consider the sentence below: you can listen to music doing your homework or playing video games. I want to use both to combine the two phrases, "doing your homework" and "playing ...
user avatar
  • 990
1 vote
0 answers
49 views

Spun it on me (AmE)

A group of friends is talking, and one of them says she is leaving the town for good. The rest show how sad they are and, after their affectionate words, the girl saying good-bye replies: Well, you ...
user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
50 views

What is the function of the word "possible" in "interpret this information in the quickest way possible"?

This is where most people are impeded from being an iconoclast. For example, when confronted with information streaming from the eyes, the brain will interpret this information in the quickest way ...
user avatar
  • 13
1 vote
0 answers
46 views

What word can I use as the opposite of "artistic" in university contexts?

Work at the university is generally divided into on the one hand artistic work, and, on the other hand, work based on scholarly research, right? Now I need an adjective for the non-artistic kind of ...
user avatar
  • 1,024
1 vote
0 answers
32 views

"History and chemistry exams" or "exams for history and chemistry"

A group of students are going to take two exams tomorrow. When you are talking about the exams, which is the normal way of saying this? The students are to have history and chemistry exams tomorrow. ...
user avatar
  • 665
1 vote
1 answer
31 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)
user avatar
  • 295
1 vote
1 answer
17 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?
user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
35 views

search an area throughout

Is "throughout" used properly in the following, witht the meaning that they searched every part of the area? Is not, could you explain why it's not okay? Police searched the area throughout....
user avatar
  • 4,818
1 vote
0 answers
35 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 ...
user avatar
  • 15.8k
1 vote
0 answers
30 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 ...
user avatar
  • 111
1 vote
0 answers
29 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, ...
user avatar
  • 15.8k
1 vote
0 answers
33 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 ...
user avatar
  • 1,405

1
2 3 4 5
21