32

Your assumption is correct—it's to distinguish between the city and the state. Idiomatically, it's simply the case that the phrase New York city (or the proper noun New York City) was picked as the more common "identifier" over than the phrase New York state (or the proper noun New York State). (Having said that, I have heard people refer to New York State—...


21

Do and make in this context are both light verbs†. Which verb works is somewhat arbitrary; you'll simply have to memorize which light verb goes with which noun, one by one: give a hug make a mistake take a nap do a review have a swim The correct light verb for mistake is make, and your phrase made a few mistakes is perfectly fine. In ...


19

I don't think you answered the question wrong. I think both sound just fine. Grammatically, and in terms of common usage, both are correct. Here is a little bit of reading to give you some information on the minor differences between the two: BBC English SE


19

If that was said by a non-native speaker, it sounds like they are hoping you plan goes smoothly, meaning you don't experience any bumps (problems) executing the plan. For clarity, this is not how a native speaker would express this, but it's easily understandable. It's similar to saying They run a smooth operation. meaning things just work without ...


18

While watching some videos/movies or reading books in English, I tend to see that people always adding the word "city" to New York (New York City). What's behind this stuff in English? Adding the word "city" is not "stuff in English". The name of the city is New York City. Quite often, though – perhaps because it happens to be one of the biggest and ...


15

Technically "pale" refers to the saturation of the color, and "light/dark" refers to luminance, or the perceived brightness. In AmE usage however, light can also mean a color that is not intense. I can't think of an instance where pale could be used for a color that is intense but light (or bright). As I mentioned in my comment, in general conversation, ...


9

I think "unload" is fine. Normally you wouldn't use it when talking about people but I think it's appropriate since slaves were just another cargo to the slavers. "On the coast" is correct, not "in the coast".


9

The phrase you're looking for is noun adjunct or adjectival noun. In English, we can use a noun like an adjective to modify another noun. The second noun is the thing itself - in this case, trouble. The first noun, the one that works like an adjective, tells us what kind of thing it is - in this case, cough, so it is trouble regarding a cough or trouble ...


8

'On foot' is the more commonly used expression.This also stems from the fact that 'on' is usually used for actions involving body parts. 'By' is usually used to talk about a means of transport (i.e. train, car, boat, plane, etc). They both have the same meaning, albeit with different grammatical structure. We can use say both – with these ...


8

Tantrum is an odd word. First recorded in 1715, with no obvious source. It was probably unrecorded slang before that. Throw also has a twisted history. As þrawan it first meant "turn, curl or twist" (Hence to "throw a pot" means to make it on a turning wheel"). The Old English word for "propel through the air" was related to "warp", that was replaced by "...


8

It would be more idiomatic to use the expression rings true, which means "seems to be believable or authentic," and is often used in the context of fictional characters or plots: Unlike the other characters in the movie, John really rings true. The metaphor behind this expression is from the distant past when coins were minted from real gold. A real ...


7

"Sympathy at" is not an idiom I am aware of. That collocation is much less common than "sympathy for" ('at' has ~400k Google hits vs. 15 million for 'for')-- I would say it is most likely a coincidence. Specifically, in She expressed her sympathy at our loss to me the most natural parse of this sentence would treat it as being of the pattern: express [...


7

The verb "to talk" can be used idiomatically as a transitive verb, but usually with a limited number of nouns that can serve as a direct object. Let's talk business. Let's talk money. If you say "let's talk about money", you might want to discuss the history of bank note printing, or the dealings of the European banks: "money" is in this case quite ...


7

Usually a habit is developed over time, or an action becomes a habit. If one is not careful, social smoking can become a real smoking habit. However, the first thing that came to mind with grow (your) habit was that, with the legalization of marijuana, one might literally be able to grow one's habit


7

If I tell people that my wife and her family are from New York, they frequently assume I'm talking about New York City (NYC). Only I'm not, I'm talking about a place that's 5 and half to six hours away by car. It's fairly important to say whether you mean NYC or New York State because the city comes to mind first for most Americans, not the state -- which is ...


6

There's nothing wrong with in Tokyo in Koganey, except that it might be confusing, particularly if people are not familiar with the place names and their relationship. I would say either I live in Tokyo, in Koganey where the comma indicates that the last phrase is an afterthought, making the sentence more precise; or I live in Koganey in Tokyo ...


6

To go on vacation is to take a vacation. But in my AmE dialect questions like these: Where are you going for vacation? -- I'm going to summer camp. What are you doing for vacation? --I'm working as an intern in a biology lab. would be used when the vacation is not at an arbitrary time during the year (as the person taking the vacation sees fit) but at a ...


6

In American English, I have a doubt is fairly uncommon. It is more common to say the following: I doubt that very much. I have my doubts. I have doubts about the solution. Using "doubt" as verb is commonplace, as well as using the plural noun "doubts." As @Deepak commented, I have a doubt may be a common phrase in Indian English. As he ...


6

"Firsthand smoker" would be redundant. We would just say "smoker". I gather you are confused by the use of the phrase "secondhand smoke", to talk about the health problems of people who are not themselves smokers, but who regularly inhale tobacco smoke (from living in a household with a smoker). The use of this term is relatively recent (only about the ...


6

"Answer me" means "give me an answer" (or "say something".) "Answer to me" is quite different, and means "Report [answer] to me and no one else": Remember: you answer to me and no one else. "Love me" means exactly what it says -- "Show me affection." On its own, "love to me" is ungrammatical. However, you can use it in a sentence as @wintersoldier ...


6

Some verbs take "to" as preposition. It depends on the position of direct and indirect object in the sentence: For example: Give me the book. "the book" is the direct object of "give", and "me" is the indirect object. If you change their position, you need "to" before "me" (indirect object): Give the book to me. The structure is: 'subject' +'verb'...


6

It is correct. Pay little attention to automated grammar corrections. With which book should I start? Which book should I start with? Both are correct, the former being the more formal of the two.


6

Hits home means that it had personal significance -- that it somehow reminded you of a similar situation/event in your personal life, and evoked both the memory and emotions involved. Typically this is some kind of loss or hardship, like for an example the loss of a pet -- you could have loss a hamster, the character could have loss guinea pig. You might ...


5

It should always be made - you don't do mistakes. In the process, you "are mistaken", are "making a mistake"; you can be about to make one, but when it's* done & in the past, it's been made. *it's = making a mistake. I put the ramble in to illustrate a little.


5

share by email share through email share via email All are acceptable and mean the same thing in effect. The example is such that the choice does not change the meaning. However, in other contexts/ other sentences, the choice may depend on the exact meaning required. HTH.


5

There is no rule that dictates which preposition follows another. In the case of "nested" prepositional phrases, use the word that best fits the context. That's the easy part of the answer. The hard part is helping you understand when to use "in" vs. "at". These little prepositions typically have around one or two dozen different meanings and usages, some ...


5

Some collocations give you a bit of wiggle-room. This is one such, and you can say any phrase similar to the following: to the best of my knowledge to the best of your knowledge to the best of his knowledge to the best of her knowledge You can't change the first few words of this collocation. All of the following sound strange: *on ...


5

At least to this American, "the seaside" seems too general for the specific action of "I swam". I generally think of "seaside" as referring to a coastal area in general, though perhaps this because (at least Merriam-Websters EL definition of seaside seems to think this) in AmE seaside is most often used as an adjective (e.g. the seaside town, a seaside hotel)...


5

Actually, no. This does not relate to a particular age range. It means someone new to a particular field who is making a name for themselves and is likely to continue to improve. Generally, this refers to younger people but the average age of the person actually doing the work is part of the concept: Here are some examples and explanations She's an up-...


5

Exchange and swap are fine, with exchange being a little more "formal"-sounding. "swap" is a colloquial word, and you might prefer to use "trade" instead...but carries the correct meaning either way. "switch" is another word you could use. "change" is tricky. It does not mean the same thing as "exchange", but sounds kind of similar. So it is sometimes ...


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible