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.

1,014 questions with no upvoted or accepted answers
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The usage of “also”: is it idiomatic put “also” at the end of a sentence in writing?

This video (https://youtu.be/38-K2rPu8fc?t=167) is talking about the usage of "also" and gives this example She wrote three emails to him but he didn't answer, he ignored her calls as well. And ...
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45 views

Much vs a lot of [Why not to use much in positive sentences?]

I would like to know a few things about the use of "much" and "a lot of" in positive sentences. First of all, I have been taught that in positive sentences I have to use "a lot of" and not "much". ...
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1answer
29 views

“attachment for”?

JavaLatte gave an excellent answer in 2017 about the verb attach, which takes the preposition "to". My question concerns attachment in a non-physical sense. "His attachment to his ex-girlfriend made ...
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47 views

X minutes left before

Do these sound fine instead of "It's five minutes to/before ten": There are five minutes left before ten. We/I have ten minutes before ten. And if someone asks: How many minutes are left ...
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30 views

Can you omit 'it is' from “it is likely that blah blah”?

To every ones amazement, the ring world has erupted into a flurry of color as thousands of space worms, or as it seems, larvae, are transforming into butterflies. Likely the change has been brought on ...
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19 views

Is it a general statement when talking about “animals” without explicitly using generalising words?

This post gives an excellent explanation about the difference among “besides”, “except” and “apart from”. Although some other website visitors and I can’t understand clearly the different between ...
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41 views

agreat vs. a great vs. greater

Here is a quotation from the movie Great Expectations Part 2 (1999; Director: Julian Jarrold) If the danger would be 50 times agreat I should still have come to you. The meaning is clearly "...
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53 views

Are these usages better off without the prepositions?

Is it better to not add the preposition when using any of the usages below in daily conversation and in writing? Why? Will the answers vary from person to person? spend time (on) doing something / ...
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46 views

She's gone now, so you'll have to wait

I know that this question sounds really bizarre. This is a situation I once witnessed. There's just one restroom. There are three girls there. Two girls are waiting their turn. One of them leaves ...
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29 views

do we say “wrap it up” when we want our kids to stop playing games or watching TV?

wrap up | wrap it up ​(slang) usually used as an order to tell somebody to stop talking or causing trouble, etc. Now it's time for lunch & your children are playing games, watching TV or doing ...
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178 views

For some time or For a while

Which one is correct and what is the difference? Are they interchangeable? Should I use "for" with a while? I understand that some time means for a long period of time but I mean about a description ...
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1answer
49 views

Use of article “the”

Do we have to use the article "the" in the following example: Coordinator in (the) Director's Office, Department of Legal Affairs?
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32 views

Mistakes which are made by native English speakers

Which difficulties do native English speakers face when they learn their mother tongue at school or just in life(especially I'm curious to know about high school when people are already supposed to ...
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45 views

“To” as “compared to”

On Monday, January 28, Grandview played at Inglis but notched only five goals to seven for Inglis. (source) So often he has played second fiddle to Wright and notched only nine goals last season ...
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1answer
22 views

Do I say 'a product has to be tested before it goes 'into the market' or 'to the market'?

Do I say 'a product goes 'into' the market or 'to' the market? The context is the following: Every product requires a specific testing protocol before it goes in/into the market.
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1answer
138 views

Is it okay to say “Let me start from question No.5 in this quiz”?

I want to tell my teacher that I have done 4 questions in the quiz and would like to start from the fifth question. Is it okay to say "Let me start from question No.5 in this quiz"? Is question No.x ...
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1answer
45 views

The output of an adapter

I'm trying to name a function in a software package. Let's start with some backgrounds. The package provides supplemental functions to multiple upstream packages that train random forests. To avoid ...
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1answer
1k views

Tell me/inform me

We were going to get an e-mail regarding a trip from our school. The next day, our school told us that they've emailed us the list. But I didn't receive any email, so I asked my friend and she said ...
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4answers
215 views

Is “draw in electricity/energy” idiomatic?

I googled "the contact draws in electricity" and found 0 result, yet it seems something you would read in an engineering paper or journal. I couldn't find anything. Is there a more idiomatic way of ...
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1answer
245 views

Does having a temper make you angry or calm?

Are we using the word "temper" correctly? Usually when someone is said to "have a temper", we interpret that to mean they are quick to anger or are prone to outbursts of anger. However I'm wondering ...
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1answer
23 views

When I talk about a very short time, is it idiomatic and clear to use “time point” “time frame” to describe time? Is there a more appropriate term?

I post this in another discussion. think of "Right now" has a meaning of "time point" which "currently" don't have. "Turn around right now" means "Turn around" in a few seconds and "currently" does ...
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1answer
49 views

Is “come off the programme” (meaning was removed from the programme) idiomatic English?

I am a health care staff and on our unit everything is computerised. So when doctors prescribe it goes up on the program. However, there was this prescription that suddenly stopped on the program. So ...
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1answer
46 views

Shift a little forward? (I feel that it will be better to use “move over”)

When someone is asked to move over a little, is it idiomatic to use "shift"? I heard someone say (though of course not a native): Shift a little forward. I found it a little strange. Is it better ...
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0answers
654 views

Grate on someone's ears / nerves

What does the sentence below mean? His voice grates on my ears. His voice grates on my nerves. Please have a look on Longman's definition below: To grate on (to annoy someone):  - Mr ...
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0answers
59 views

Are there 2 distances?

I've searched on Cambridge, Merriam-Webster and Oxford. Only Oxford says "distance" is countable. Assume there are 3 points in a 2d Euclidean space, point A=(A𝑥,A𝑦); point B=(B𝑥,B𝑦); point C=(C�...
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1answer
45 views

Concrete examples to supplement(s) when talk about some operation or explanation

I am confused with the usage of the word supplement. A similar usage might be a 16-page advertising supplement where it means an additional part of a book, newspaper, report etc Following is ...
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0answers
435 views

“Prepare” Vs “Get / Make ready”

As you know the two verbs "prepare" and "make/get ready" are two completely similar verbs and have lots of semantic overlaps in usage. Aside from some broader usages of the verb "prepare", the only ...
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2answers
813 views

“Variability of” vs “variability in”

How to choose between "variability of something" and "variability in something"? Both forms appear to be widely used, e. g. Google: "variability of this" (21m results) and "variability in this" (27m ...
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1answer
210 views

“In the end” or “At the end”

Which of these phrases is correct: "We are in the end." "We are at the end." I know that most of the time when using "at the end" there should be a noun. Like, "...at the end of something". But ...
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2answers
76 views

“Clumsy” or “Awkward”

Let's assume an inexperienced guy who doesn't know where to say what to a girl at the first meeting and says some irrelevant and out-of-place words which may even offend the girl. Or Let's ...
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0answers
30 views

“of” vs. “from” in introductions with company affiliations

A person who owns a business called BBB Cupcakes is making a tutorial video for a for-fee e-learning platform. The hour-long video is purely a cupcake making lesson; it's not directly an advertisement ...
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2answers
1k views

“in turn” or “in return” - which is correct in this sentence?

Your gift is the most immediate way that you can help our school which {in return / in turn} provides tuition assistance to families in need, bolsters academic programs, and enhances our students' ...
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1answer
36 views

Have a thing for, about something

I read "have a thing about" is actually having strong feelings about something either negative or positive. My question is whether "have a thing about" is used for negative feelings as well? And ...
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2answers
49 views

Use of more and as many as in different place

I wrote four sentence with “more” and “as much as” used in different places in sentences. Is there a difference among sentences in meaning ? It really confuses me. There are ten times more bacterial ...
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29 views

How to describe this figure clearly? 2 dimensional feature vector?

This post is discussing the perceptron model. x_1 and x_2 are x axis and y axis respectively. should I call this figure 2-variable function or 2 dimensional feature vector, or something else?
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1answer
273 views

The usage of “excess”

Suppose A and B usually come together. For example 10 units of A and 10 units of B. However, sometimes you may have 15 units of A and 10 units of B. I want to say that A is in excess .... B. Or ...
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2answers
72 views

Go from there/go that way

I was working and my brother started poking me because he had to go out through the door. But I was busy and said : Go from there. (There are two doors in the room). And if he asks me to move, ...
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1answer
37 views

How to attribute the adjectives “open/closed” and “undone/done” to a “zipper”, “zip”, “fly” or a “button” correctly?

It strikes me that almost always using all four adjectives "open/closed" and "undone/done" for all the words "button", "zipper", "fly" and "zip" can be used interchangeably and freely; but I need to ...
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1answer
21 views

Can I add ‘if’ before ‘they’ in the sentence?

Did you know they were coming by air? Can I add ‘if’ before ‘they’ in the sentence above and is it usual to delete ‘if’ before ‘they’ ?
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1answer
309 views

The difference between ‘He had only been there for a few minutes’ and ‘He had been there only for a few minutes.’?

The difference between ‘He had only been there for a few minutes’ and ‘He had been there only for a few minutes.’ ? The ‘only’ was put in different position.
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0answers
2k views

Is it possible to say “I'm in the final stage of doing something?”

I've been playing this game where upgrading each building consists of a certain number of stages. Is it possible to say "I'm in the final stage of upgrading... say Stables?"
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2answers
55 views

Describing a Concept as “Delusional” or “Illusional” Here?

So I wonder if there is any chance for such a use of the term "delusional" to make sense (even for exaggeration): We will show that such-and-so concept can be delusional. If not, would "illusional" be ...
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1answer
88 views

Have your birthday in December,Birthday in December

Someone was conducting a survey on people who have December Birthdays. So he said: 1.What does it feel like to have you birthday in December? 2.What does it feel like to have a December birthday? 3....
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2answers
246 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?
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1answer
88 views

Keep/ be quiet in order to ask someone to stop talking

When someone is talking a lot and I want that person to stop talking, can I use: Please keep/be quiet. Why am I confused? Because someone told me that "keep quiet" is used to ask someone to remain ...
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1answer
41 views

Conjunction usage in this example?

1) She was in a good position now, with time on her side. 2) The painting was reframed and hung on the wall, more stunning than ever. 3) The painting was reframed and hung on the wall, a stunning ...
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1answer
529 views

What does the word “should” mean in the sentence

For Mrs. Bennet, a woman's worth is determined not by what she is but by what her husband has, and it would be a great shame If any of her daughters should remain single. Why the word "should" put in ...
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2answers
143 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 ...
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44 views

Type of sentence/correct usage

It makes you consider the difference between riding down that road in a car, versus driving down that road on a bicycle. What do we call these type of clauses, where they have a comparative ...
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2answers
303 views

collocation with a word stress

This is my question. feel stress have stress receive stress get stress which collocation is best fit for a word stress? (particularly in academic writing) and if there are any awkward collocation,...

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