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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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Merely vs only in data reports

Only 12% and 17% of users played games and music on their phones in 2006, respectively. Can I use merely in place of only in the above sentence? I haven't found any examples of merely preceding data ...
An IELTS Learner's user avatar
5 votes
3 answers
2k views

How to use DOUBLE as a verb

Context: There are 90 boys and 40 girls in a school. Is it correct to say The number of boys more than doubles that of girls. Or The number of boys is more than double that of girls. How to use ...
tina's user avatar
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1 answer
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Role of "that" in "Where are some places in your neighborhood that people like to hang out?"

Where are some places in your neighborhood that people like to hang out? I think "that" introduces the subordinating adverb clause in the sentence above, and can be replaced with "where&...
Qiang Lu's user avatar
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2 votes
3 answers
67 views

Do native speakers say "the highest height", "the longest length", or "the deepest depth", etc?

Do native speakers say "the highest height", "the longest length", or "the deepest depth", etc? I find these expressions repetitive, but I don't know how else to express ...
An IELTS Learner's user avatar
-1 votes
1 answer
44 views

Do you say "he makes money selling saliva" to mean he makes money out of his talking skills?

Sometimes, "to sell saliva" (literally translated) to mean to make money by just using his/her talking skills, normally with a negative meaning. It often used to refer to middlemen. Say you ...
Tom's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
31 views

The meaning of "I don’t want to look, but let’s see"

A quote from a book Phillips awoke from anesthesia the next morning in a hospital. He recalls, “I did the proverbial ‘I don’t want to look, but let’s see’ ” and checked under his blanket to find “an ...
leminh81's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
26 views

Can we use "define sth as clause..." AS "define sth as sth"?

From StoneyB on hiatus 's answer in What is the meaning of "as with" in the following sentences? The first example, defining snap as it is used in utterances like “Her eyes snapped with ...
Mr. Wang's user avatar
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1 vote
2 answers
38 views

The ring was put on in/at the wedding. - which is acceptable?

We use "in" when the subject is actively taking part in an event. For example, "The bride put on the ring in the wedding." And when the subject is just a viewer or audience, we ...
VinceL's user avatar
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-1 votes
2 answers
60 views

1) Can "solid" mean "considerable/substantial"?— "solid money/success/age"— 2) Can "solid" mean "imposing/important-looking"?— "solid appearance/man" [closed]

I looked up the word "solid" but I still have some questions about it. (all sentences below are mine) Can the word "solid" be used in the meaning of "considerable, ...
Loviii's user avatar
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1 answer
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Is it correct to say "the figure proliferated from A to B"?

I wrote: The figures for both men and women at the age of 75 proliferated from 34 thousand and 47 thousand in 1911 to 181 thousand and 210 thousand, respectively, after the period. Grammarly ...
An IELTS Learner's user avatar
10 votes
3 answers
2k views

Can I use "Britons" in data reports?

Maybe it's just me, but I mostly see people using "British people" or "the British" instead of "Britons". Therefore, I wonder if Britons is used in data reports. For ...
An IELTS Learner's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
22 views

To be logged at an amount

To my mind, log something = record something officially. For example, I might write: The company has logged more than 90 complaints. But what about in passive voice? Is it correct to say: Data on ...
An IELTS Learner's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
88 views

Does it make sense to say to a person "you're good to go" when he is done with something?

In the dictionary be good to go ​(of a thing) to be prepared and ready for use; (of a person) to be prepared and ready to do something By tomorrow afternoon the document will be good to go. I’ve ...
Tom's user avatar
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-1 votes
1 answer
73 views

is there a difference between "circle up" and "circle around"?

Does "Circle up" suggest forming a circle with everyone facing inward, while "circle around" implies forming a circle with everyone facing outward. I got it from a chatbot. Is that ...
Tom's user avatar
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0 votes
1 answer
33 views

Is there another way to say instead of saying "make me"?

I watched a film and in the film, a man forced a woman to leave his office but the woman refused to do that. Then he threatened the woman more but she said "make me". I did a study. It seems ...
Tom's user avatar
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0 votes
2 answers
31 views

what does "recess" or "break" mean when it is uncountable and when it is countable?

recess / break (uncountable) when it is a resting period between lessons but recess / break (countable) when it is a short period of time when you stop what you are doing and rest, eat, etc. For ...
Tom's user avatar
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0 votes
2 answers
74 views

Software on/under/in a computer

In a technical documentation, I came across the title "How to run this software under Mac M1 or M2". This made me wonder, again, about a flaw in translation. We often say: "The software ...
Sven Puschmann's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
71 views

'The exam is very difficult so I don't think ___ can pass it'

The exam is very difficult so I don't think __ can pass it. A. anybody B. everybody C. no one D. somebody Semantically, I infer the author wanted to emphasize that no one can pass the exam, because ...
Mr. Wang's user avatar
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1 vote
3 answers
137 views

"He was my father?" vs. "He is my father?"

I've been thinking about this for a long time now, and still haven't been able to come up with a logical explanation. Which is more correct, [1] "He was my father." Or "He is my father?&...
KingofSpades's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
305 views

Is it possible to use the verb "fill" with the word "shortage"?

Can we use the verb "fill" to mean "compensate" when we are talking about shortage of something? For example, can we say "We can fill each other's shortages"?
Shahram's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
34 views

How to express a door opens / closes at different ranges?

Look at the above picture, If the space is A, we say "open the door a crack", can we say "close the door a crack" in this position? If the space is B, we say "open the door a ...
Tom's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
41 views

The shares of Germans and Canadians aged over 65

In the below sentence, I'm trying to use "share" in the sense of "percentage". Can I use it this way? This is a follow-up question to an old post of mine, which hasn't received a ...
An IELTS Learner's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
41 views

What adjective describes a boastful, lying man?

A boastful person is one who talks too proudly about himself and his abilities, achievements or possessions. But what about those who lie or exaggerate about themselves? For example, I say, 'I am an ...
mohamadi_arch's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
66 views

Do you distinguish "show up" and "turn up"?

Some dictionaries say "show up" and "turn up" are synonym, but according to my study: show up: is used to mean to arrive when people are waiting for you expectedly. Seth showed up,...
Tom's user avatar
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2 votes
2 answers
785 views

What does cavalier mean in this sentence?

In He treated her in a cavalier manner. which does cavalier mean: awkwardly as a brother would polite/politely without care cavalier is defined as 1 : marked by or given to offhand and often ...
Tim's user avatar
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0 votes
1 answer
42 views

Do you have idioms with "as simple as ..."? [closed]

I know that we have as easy as anything/as pie/as ABC/as falling off a log: ​(informal) very easy or very easily The whole procedure is as easy as ABC. Fooling him was as easy as falling off a log. ...
Tom's user avatar
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9 votes
2 answers
3k views

Is it idiomatic to say "I have to race with time" to mean I have to do a thing very fast and finish it before something bad might happen?

I am bringing in the washing when suddenly it starts to rain. I have to do it really fast or else the washing is going to get wet. If I translate from Vietnamese to English, it would be "I have ...
Tom's user avatar
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0 votes
0 answers
27 views

Usage of "around"

This is an answer that it is not correct. I am not complaining and I am finding the reason. I searched the reason to understand the answer why it is wrong but I did not find. That is why I am asking ...
Thamilay's user avatar
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6 votes
5 answers
70 views

Can I say "to join the academy" to mean "to go into academia"?

I use 'the academy' in this way, but a friend pulled me up on it and suggested that it was not correct. It had never occured to me before that it could be wrong, but I'm now struggling to find ...
user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
40 views

Can we say "outswim / outclimb / outslide" to mean "swim /climb/slide faster" the same way we say outrun? [closed]

In the dictionary ​outrun somebody/something to run faster or further than somebody/something He couldn't outrun his pursuers. Can we just invent words such as "outswim / outclimb / outslide&...
Tom's user avatar
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-1 votes
1 answer
32 views

Is it correct to say "squeeze the tube using the flat side of the toothbrush"? [closed]

When my tube is almost out of toothpaste, I often apply the flat side of the toothbrush head onto the tube and run it all the way to the neck of the tube to get some toothpaste out. I just want to ...
Tom's user avatar
  • 24.3k
-1 votes
2 answers
37 views

Do you say "pimples" or "zits" just for acne or for many other spotted skin condition as well? [closed]

I remember when I was 14 or 15, I had many spots on my neck and face. When I popped them, white mucus came out. I think I had acne back then. (Source) When it is very hot, my skin has some small red ...
Tom's user avatar
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4 votes
4 answers
123 views

When does "the share of" equal "the percentage of"?

So I've found some examples where "the share of" has a similar meaning to "the percentage of". 1.The fracking boom and a more modest clean-energy boom have increased this country’...
An IELTS Learner's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
30 views

Are "swim across the pool" and "swim widthwise" the same?

A river has 2 long ends and no short ends. So, when you swim across the river, you swim from 1 long side to the other long side. On the contrary, a pool has 2 long ends + 2 short ends. When you say &...
Tom's user avatar
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5 votes
1 answer
2k views

Can I say "keep your head tipping backwards for 2 minutes" to mean to keep the head still and in a state that it is fixed at a tipping position?

After I put in eye drops, I need to keep the head still and in a state that it is fixed at a tipping position for 2 minutes so that more drops get into my eyes and don't come out too much. The verb &...
Tom's user avatar
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2 votes
1 answer
66 views

Is it essential to use the correct word among the synonymous words?

I'm not a native English speaker, I've seen that there are many words in English that have different synonyms. Some of them are, (sneak out, creep out), (stare, gaze), (exhaustion, fatigue), (...
Etemon's user avatar
  • 281
0 votes
1 answer
37 views

Can "either" be replaced by "each"?

I think in the two quotes, either doesn't mean only one of the two options. Since these are product reviews, it makes no sense to say the first option is better than only one of the latter two options....
newbie forever's user avatar
-4 votes
1 answer
47 views

Can I say "I have to take her/his call" instead of "I have to take this"? [closed]

This is what I often see in a film. A man's phone is ringing and the man says to his friend "I'm sorry I have to take this (call)". Then he presses the blue button to start talking on the ...
Tom's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
73 views

Is it better to replace 'which' with 'where'?

From Rodney Huddleston Geoffrey K Pullum. (2017). The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language. ch.7.6.1 #Landmark and trajector In formulating expressions about spatial relationships, typically one ...
Mr. Wang's user avatar
  • 1,034
0 votes
1 answer
30 views

Time expression of recently

"Recently" How long is recently? I know that present perfect can use with recently. All people are talking recent past action by using present perfect but how long it is I did not find the ...
Thamilay's user avatar
  • 357
-1 votes
1 answer
38 views

Does "volume" equal "the amount of"?

According to the OALD, volume is the amount of something. However, I heard people talking about sales volume a lot. Sales is a plural noun, and it refers to the number of items sold, so why does it ...
An IELTS Learner's user avatar
7 votes
7 answers
5k views

Do "tinker" and "tinkerer" imply "unskillful"?

The Webs of Humankind says In 1400, the biggest ships and perhaps the best navigators were Chinese. Under the Song, the Yuan, and then the Ming (1368–1644) dynasties, the Chinese had rapidly ...
Tim's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
36 views

Difference between 'anyone' and 'everyone' [duplicate]

I came across a dialogue today: Speaker A: You see, that house isn't just for music majors. It's for anyone who's interested in music. Speaker B: But isn't that everyone? What does speaker B refer ...
kokomi's user avatar
  • 147
1 vote
2 answers
46 views

Can I call a subway rider "a customer"?

"Customers" typically refers to people who purchase goods or services in a commercial setting. While subway riders pay a fare, it doesn't feel like a typical customer-seller relationship. So,...
An IELTS Learner's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
32 views

Should I say, "Canada consumed over 50 million kilograms of rice in 2021"?

Canada consumed over 50 million kilograms of rice in 2021. I wonder if I can use a country's name to refer to all the people living there. Thank you!
An IELTS Learner's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
42 views

Do you say "swimming teacher"?

I remember someone told me that we only use "teacher" for school subjects such as English, math or science but not for sport subjects such as swimming or basketball. For sports, we often use ...
Tom's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
18 views

Right usage of 'large' ("The windows in the front room are 10 m × 12 m large")

Is it correct to say 'this is x cm large'? For example, is it O.K to say The windows in the front room are 10 m × 12 m large.
Shawn Reagan's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
64 views

Why do people keep saying that "rate" is the number of something that happens over a period of time?

I have raised some questions about how "rate" should be used in our forum, and most of the time, people just left the discussion when I still had a lot of questions in my head. "Rate&...
An IELTS Learner's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
23 views

Is it grammatically correct to write: "It needs not to be known"? For an academic writing, is it correct to say: "she thought there will be".?

Is it grammatically correct to write "she thought there will be no one by her side at her lowest"? Or it should be "she thinks there will be no by her side at her lowest
Munni Akter's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
33 views

Are they going to put/hold off the wedding till May?

I am trying to translate a dialogue into English. Which is idiomatic: 1. — Are they going to put off the wedding till May? — Yes, they couldn't get it organized any earlier. 2. — Are they going to ...
sanya6's user avatar
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