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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a guy about to get married disapear?

In my book there is the text: A thousand thoughts went through my mind. It was another mystery and right in our old hometown. Why would a guy about to get married disappear? Maybe he'd gotten cold ...
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2 answers
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Meaning of Regretful: Can I use it for an accident?

Can I say I am "regretful" for an accident which is not caused by me? feeling or showing that you are sad or disappointed because of something that has happened or something that you have ...
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1 answer
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What's the difference between "so" "very" and "too". Is it right to say "Don't drive very fast!"

I have trouble understanding the differences between "so" "very" and "too". Are these following sentences correct to say so? And what are the differences? Many thanks! &...
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1 answer
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Omitting 'is' in English sentences [closed]

Legs shaking, he walked up the hill Chest heaving, he stopped for a rest Why not, legs are shaking and chest is heaving?
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1 answer
45 views

The woods following their side of the road [closed]

Is it correct to say: "They were standing ten feet or so behind the car, gazing and sniffing in the direction of the woods following their side of the road." Meaning: a long road with ...
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1 vote
3 answers
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Is it correct to say "She married the rich man for her parents' wishes"?

Most dictionaries have this kind of example, "She married the poor man against her parents' wishes". However, as an English learner, I found it very strange that the dictionaries don't have ...
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0 answers
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Is it correct to say "soup doesn't go well with fried eggs"?

We know that "someone gets along well or gets on well with someone" they have a good relationship. How do we express the similar idea when talking about food? For example, people don't eat ...
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0 votes
1 answer
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Pressure in/on someone's chest

Just the thought of going to work makes me feel pressure in/on my chest. Should it be in or on here? Initially, I chose on because I think the pressure is pushing down on your chest. But a native ...
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8 votes
4 answers
4k views

Is 'neon' used in daily life to refer to modern things?

The words '新世紀' in the name of the anime '新世紀エヴァンゲリオン'(Neon Genesis Evangelion) means 'new era' literally, but in its English name, 'neon genesis' is used metaphorically. A similar situation can be ...
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0 votes
3 answers
34 views

Is it correct or at least natural to say "do not take over my kitchen today, please"?

I have watched the film "Father of the Bride" 2022. There is 1 scene in which a woman is cooking in her kitchen. The counter of the kitchen is already full. Then her friend comes into the ...
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0 votes
1 answer
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Which verb and noun/adjective to describe a person who acts different in front of people to get what they want?

He is ___. He will ___ to the boss if he has to, to get the position. Basically I need to know two words here, first to define what kind of person that is using a noun or an adjective and secondly ...
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0 votes
3 answers
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Is it correct to say "Some milk flicked out of the bowl" in this situation?

When I pour milk from a box into a bowl, I keep the distance between the box and the bowl far enough away that tiny bits of milk shoot out of the bowl. These tiny bits of milk are very small and that ...
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3 votes
1 answer
66 views

The reason for it (or 'its') being so

The reason for it being so trendy is its appeal to young people. The reason for its being so trendy is its appeal to young people. I understand the grammatical difference between these two sentences,...
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1 vote
1 answer
20 views

Is it correct to say "I did yoga on the wrong side of the mat" or "I did yoga on the bottom side of the mat"?

Sometimes, I put my yoga mat upside-down on the floor before doing yoga. I should turn it right-side-up. Is it correct to say "I did yoga on the wrong side of the mat" or "I did yoga on ...
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0 votes
1 answer
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When describing someone is 'suspicious'

If I say just 'he is suspicious' Could that mean a) he thinks someone else did something dishonest of wrong b) he looks like he did something wrong or dishonest at the same time? For example, a) He's ...
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2 votes
2 answers
39 views

Is it correct to say "Don't act too much when saying 'Hi Siri'"?

If you use iPhone, you probably know this Siri App in which you ask Siri robot a question and it will answer you. Before you can ask a question, you have to say "Hi Siri" first or else the ...
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0 votes
1 answer
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What kinds of smartness does Tom Sawyer in "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer" have? "street smart" or "smart aleck"? [closed]

I guess most American or British people have read "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer". Tom Sawyer in "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer" is smart but not book-smart. Once, his aunt punished ...
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0 votes
1 answer
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Can we say "a piece of equipment turns on/off"?

Most dictionaries say "turn" is a transitive verb in "turn something <-> on/off". For example, "I turned the hair dryer on/off" Can "turn" in this case is ...
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0 votes
1 answer
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What it means when as is added in front of an adjective?

What does it mean when "as" is added in front of an adjective? For example: Although colors may not be as important to consumers, we are of the opinion that having more variety will ...
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2 votes
1 answer
204 views

"Pervert" Vs "Deviate" as verbs [closed]

I wonder how the following pairs differ in meaning? The history teacher tried to (pervert / deviate) the boys by showing them pornographic magazines. These journalists by reporting false information ...
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0 votes
1 answer
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"The implication being that" vs. "the implication is that"

Most of the time, the candidate selected by students as looking the most competent was also the one who’d had real life electoral success, the implication being that voters too had been swayed by the ...
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2 votes
3 answers
5k views

What does the word "Slay-Cation" mean here?

What is the meaning of the word "Slay-Cation" in the following sentence from the description of this drag queen show (link): The 5th show of our Summer Slay-Cation is coming in hot with ...
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-1 votes
3 answers
35 views

having cleaned/ cleaning

I have finished cleaning the floor and my friend tell me: Thank you for cleaning the floor or Thank you for having cleaned the floor I would use the second sentence because the cleaning is ...
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0 votes
1 answer
22 views

Surrounded by nature / in nature

Which of the two options is more idiomatic? Are they both correct? We're going camping because we want to spend some time surrounded by nature / in nature.
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0 votes
1 answer
13 views

Is assuming - verb choice

Is "assume" an appropriate verb to use in this sentence? We all need to acknowledge the great importance science is assuming nowadays.
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0 votes
0 answers
46 views

In British English, is "in a restaurant" used when the place is important and "at a restaurant" used to talk about the purpose?

As AmE speakers use at a restaurant when talking about the purpose of being there, but in a restaurant when the location matters to them, I was wondering if BrE speakers use "at" and "...
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1 vote
1 answer
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Do we say "Rash" when we press our skin against something for a long time?

A rash is defined as a red spot on a person’s skin, caused by an illness or a reaction to something. When I lean my back against some hard surface, an area on my back turns red. Can I call that area &...
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1 vote
2 answers
48 views

the reasons for my decision / the reasons of my decision

I explained to everybody the reasons for my decision. I explained to everybody the reasons of my decision. There is the first sentence in my grammar book. Is it possible to say "the reasons of ...
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1 vote
1 answer
27 views

In conclusion - used in a formal letter

In your opinion, is it appropriate to use the expression in conclusion in a formal letter? If not, how can I replace it? Dear Ms Murphy, I am writing to apply for the position of shop assistant in the ...
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1 vote
1 answer
51 views

Can we use "How dare you + verb" for past action?

In the dictionary, we have how dare you, etc. ​used to show that you are angry about something that somebody has done How dare you talk to me like that? How dare she imply that I was lying? It seems ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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differences between in, on, at, for, during when describing a period of time

I don't know which is the most proper preposition in the sentences below. They eat a special dish during the first three days of the New Year. They eat a special dish in the first three days of the ...
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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 ...
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0 votes
1 answer
26 views

Number with the word "respective"

Based on JavaLatte's answer to this question as well as on various dictionary definitions of the word "respective", I gather that the word serving as the head of a nounphrase premodified by &...
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1 vote
1 answer
46 views

Is "It is happy to see that there is nothing sectarian about it." (meaning "the speaker is happy to see ...") grammatical and idiomatic?

Most of the native speakers around me say (i) below is not idiomatic. (i) It is happy to hear that. (meaning "I (the speaker) am happy to hear that.") Today, however, I came across sentences ...
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0 votes
3 answers
39 views

Name for a document proving that a person has had a specific appointment

I'm looking for the word for an official document that verifies that a person has been employed/appointed for a certain period of time to carry out a certain service. I was thinking "certificate ...
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7 votes
4 answers
1k views

Geometrically, "face" or "surface"?

In my native Danish language we can refer to a 2D side of a geometric object as flade. We can be more specific in case of the 2D side being exposed to the outside and say: overflade, a word that also ...
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5 votes
3 answers
803 views

What is the meaning of "reflecting" in this context?

This comes form the book "Black Rednecks And White Liberals" by Thomas Sowell. Pattern in this context refers to patterns of behavior of southerners who inherited them from people from the ...
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1 vote
1 answer
24 views

"Show sympathy towards someone" or "toward someone", or both of them are not idiomatic?

On this sites I find both of the usage: https://ludwig.guru/s/sympathy+toward https://ludwig.guru/s/sympathy+towards What is the proper choice of preposition here after "sympathy"?
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4 votes
4 answers
828 views

What does the word "increments" mean here?

What does the word "increments" mean in the following sentence? The programmer spent many months making an algorithm to map our world in 20-foot-square increments. I looked up the word in ...
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-1 votes
1 answer
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Is it technically correct to say "Don't blow up the balloon too much as it will pop" or "Don't blow the balloon too hard as it will pop"?

I searched Google Books for "blow up the balloon too much" and "blow up the balloon too hard" and both suggest the balloon will pop. Is there any difference between the two? Or ...
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0 votes
1 answer
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Can we say "the tree broke down while it was raining cats and dogs" in this situation?

We have the phrase "chop or cut down the tree" which means "​to make the tree fall down by cutting it at the base" Now it was raining very hard and the wind cut the tree down as ...
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2 votes
1 answer
61 views

Chapter or Season?

When speaking of tv series, is there any difference between "season" and "chapter"? Game of Thrones, Chapter 2 Game of Thrones, Season 2
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0 votes
1 answer
27 views

How is the phrase 'note of discord' used?

In the Cambridge dictionary, the word 'discord' means the state of not agreeing or sharing opinions. Yet, I saw the word used in 'note of discord' in sentences in example sentences such as 'A note of ...
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0 votes
2 answers
35 views

Does "emergent mother" mean 'woman who has just given birth'?

I'm looking for a word or phrase that refers specifically to women who have just given birth, and I've found "emergent mother", but I haven't been able to confirm whether it's used only for ...
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-3 votes
1 answer
41 views

Do we have another expression that is similar to "Speaking of Which" which is very confusing? [closed]

I heard many American people say "Speaking of Which..." According Urban Dictionary "speaking of which" means "by the way" Do we have another expression that is similar to ...
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0 votes
1 answer
33 views

What should I say when someone is in the following position?

To describe this image can I say, "He sticks his feet to the windshield. "? What should I say when someone is in the following position?
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0 votes
2 answers
32 views

fall silent vs. remain silent

Someone told me "fall silent" is an observation. "Remain silent" is a choice. Example: Mary fell silent for a few seconds. (Here we are observing Mary's action) Mary remained ...
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3 votes
2 answers
30 views

Is it correct to say "Don't put your expectation so high"?

While searching on the Internet, I found that another way to say it is "Don't set your expectations so high", but I didn't find anything related to "Don't put your expectation so high&...
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0 votes
2 answers
101 views

Is "Categorial" a typo of "categorical"?

I recently saw someone using 'Categorial variables' while talking about Loss functions. However, I think in English that word is rarely used. The frequency is 10 times less than the proper word "...
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  • 185
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 &...
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