New answers tagged

1

If I understand your question right, you want to compare two different things (concepts, etc.), but the descriptors that you use for the things are not analogous to each other. That can definitely sound a little weird: "The enormous paw prints in the mud were mistaken for a tiger." "The delightful aromas of frying onions and roasting chicken could ...


6

"Bite down on a towel" is possible. If a person has had a tooth extracted, and they are bleeding in their mouth, they might put a towel in their mouth and bite down on it to stop the bleeding. It is not exactly a common expression, but a dentist might say it. "Bite down on something" means to hold something tightly in your teeth. If you bite down on a piece ...


1

Yes. “His,” “her,” and “your” are all possessive pronouns, but replacing the pronoun with the explicit noun works just as fine. Your first three examples though must be referring to multiple mathematicians, physicists, and ladies (but I believe you know this).


0

To me, the most natural way to say this would be The drink spurted out of the can. A close second would be The drink sprayed from the can. However, The drink exploded from the can would also be perfectly fine – and would in fact be the best choice if he shook the can really hard and you want to emphasize that the drink came out very quickly ...


-1

Exploded is the best word because it's the the only word I've ever seen used in this context. Other words are likely not familiar in this context and would make it harder to understand the meaning of the sentence. The drink exploded out of the can after he shook the diet coke can and opened it. Other words like Spew or Erupt usually imply the the ...


1

I believe the correct word is gush or gush out def: to flow or send out quickly and in large amounts: Oil gushed (out) from the hole in the tanker. Blood was gushing from his nose. Her arm gushed blood where the knife had gone in.


6

I prefer the term burst. The drink burst out of the can after he shook the diet coke can and opened it. Burst - Merriam-Webster : to break open, apart, or into pieces usually from impact or from pressure from within


8

Another possibility is erupt: From Merriam-Webster: 1a (1) : to burst from limits or restraint (2) of a tooth : to emerge through the gum b : to force out or release suddenly and often violently something (such as lava or steam) that is pent up c : to become active or violent especially suddenly : break forth war could erupt at any ...


3

One typically breaks an impasse, as in these two sample sentences found in Merriam Webster: // But Gilbert’s request for his mother to go out and get him a can of coke on the night of the murder in 2015 broke the impasse among the jurors. — Fox News, "Jurors in father killer trial over cut off allowance say a can of coke was 'aha moment' that helped to ...


1

I'm assuming you are talking about a computer game where the Avatar visually carries out a specific action when you press a button (e.g. a move in a fighting game), rather than an animated character in a cartoon/film. The virtual character performs an animation [sequence] after the player orders it to carry out an action [by pressing a button] As a ...


21

I suggest the word spew which is defined by Lexico as spew VERB 1 Expel large quantities of (something) rapidly and forcibly. buses were spewing out black clouds of exhaust Edit: as commented, a better dictionary reference is the next item in the same definition. 1.1 Be poured or forced out in large quantities. great screeds of ...


29

Possibly one of "spray", "fizz", "surge", "foam", depending on how large/strong the flow of liquid, along with a preposition like "out", "from", or "over", depending on how you describe the movement of the liquid. Why does a shaken soda fizz more than an unshaken one? Does Tapping a Soda Can Prevent it from Foaming Over? when the shaken can is ...


1

It's hard to describe the "limits" of how some idiom can be used, because its use may be quite broad, with any number of variations and nuances. In general, to be "done with" something implies completion, but the details depend on context. For example, in FumbleFingers comment: I'm done with John implies the speaker does not want any more contact with ...


-1

The idiom is "(the witch was) burnt at the stake". It is not uncommon to drop "the", and if there are several stakes then the plural would be used. Burning "on" the stake is less idiomatic, but still sees plenty of usage. However if you are looking for the "correct" expression then it is "burnt at the stake".


3

The fixed phrase for the execution of e.g. witches, etc, is "burning at the stake". "Stake" is singular; there is only one; it is a wooden post to which the victim is tied. "Stakes" (plural) is an error. It is a good idea to use dictionaries to verify meaning and usages, since Google will find wrong as well as correct usages. burn somebody at the stake ...


1

Usually we have different names for animals and the meat produced from them. We raise cattle and pigs, and the final meat products are beef and pork respectively. To talk, in general, about raising unspecified animals for meat we can, however, say "raise meat". Pig or Pork? Cow or Beef?


1

Usage of prepositions follows obscure, perhaps non-existent, rules. at an exchange rate of and for an exchange rate are idiomatic in the financial industry. I have never heard "with" or "in" used in that phrase


2

Yes it is idiomatic: more and more: an increasing amount; additional amounts. As I learn more and more, I see how little I really know. Dad seems to be smoking more and more lately. the more (one thing happens), the more (another thing happens) An increase in one thing (an action, occurrence, etc.) causes or correlates to an increase in ...


3

As the sentence stands, you need the second are in there for 2 reasons. The mix of adjective (violent) and noun (worker) without the second are sounds awkward (to me at least) Without the second are it could be construed that they are less hard workers Having two are's in close proximity might seem a little clumsy though. (could just be me). To fix this I ...


0

Either is acceptable, but if you repeat the verb, it will be less confusing. With the repeated verb, it is clear that you mean to say that the pupils [are less violent (in general)] and [are hard workers]. Without the repeated verb, it could also be (mis)understood that you mean to say that the pupils are [less violent workers] and [hard workers], or even ...


0

According to Merriam-Webster, definition #3, "either" is ... "—used as a function word before two or more coordinate words, phrases, or clauses joined usually by or to indicate that what immediately follows is the first of two or more alternatives" Since they say, "two or more", your sentence is fine. Definitions 1 and 2 of the same entry specify only 2 ...


2

Affinity here appears to be a technical term used in this specific game. This use is not one of the natural meanings of the word, although it may be derived by extension from such a natural meaning. It is not a common term in RPGs in general -- I played several of the early RPGs, including Original D&D, 2nd ed Advanced D&D, Traveler, Top Secret, and ...


4

According to the idiom dictionary: from the top From the very beginning. Used in reference to the performance of something, especially a song. No, no, no—you're still coming in too early with that high note, James. Let's take it again from the top, everyone! I think this is a much fuller definition. "From the top" sounds like it ...


0

In this context, "Find out" is grammatically correct, as the definition matches the point that you are trying to get across. (Definition of find out: to learn by study, observation, or search) (Definition of find: discover or perceive by chance or unexpectedly.)


2

"well worth the ride" can be used in regard to any metaphorical journey. I have seen it used with the classic metaphor of life as a journey: A fulfilled life is well worth the ride. Such a use is not a mixed metaphor. (Not that there is anything wrong with a mixed metaphor when it communicates well. "To take arms against a sea of troubles, and by ...


1

It's not unnatural to mix metaphors. It's just a questionable writing choice. For example: If we want to get ahead we'll have to iron out the remaining bottlenecks. This is a mix of "iron out the kinks (wrinkles)" and "work through the bottlenecks", that doesn't make literal sense, but nevertheless the intent is obvious. It's better when ...


1

You need to study hard, many years; it’s a long way up, but well worth the ride I think this is another idiomatic way of saying well worth your while From collinsdictionary.com: worth your while - If an action or activity is worth someone's while, it will be helpful, useful, or enjoyable for them if they do it, even though it requires some effort


1

You can use could without a verb following like all modal verbs, but the context should make sense. Could should only be used if the sentence is expressing ability to do something and is conditional. Could infers that one can do it now and after, but you used the past-tense of to be (was). Here's an example which would work. Person 1: He could make the ...


1

I would expect this phrase and similar phrases to be uses most often in a sarcastic manner. A: I was about to demonstrate how to use the tool. B: Don't I just bet you were. With the p[roper tone, B might well mean "I don't for a moment believe you were going to do anything of the sort." In my experience "I just bet" and similar phrases are most ...


1

"Lack of [something]" is specific enough to use some kind of article, but we often leave it off for style. All of these are fine: The event was canceled due to lack of interest. The event was canceled due to a lack of interest. The event was canceled due to the lack of interest. The event was canceled due to their lack of interest. In this way "...


1

Caviar comes in tin cans, so we usually say one tin or one can of caviar, just like we say one can of tuna. If you use ctrl+F on this page, you'll see people using both tin and can. If you are looking for the word for individual eggs, the most conversational thing to say would be just that: one caviar egg. Another answer cites the word pearl found on a ...


1

Reading this caviar website it seems that beads or pearls would be an appropriate way to refer to a caviar egg. He took one caviar pearl and put it on top of a rice ball just to show him he was a frugal chef.


1

Both "from" and "at" are grammatically correct and idiomatic. "at" works because you are located "at" the restaurant. "from" works because the food comes "from" the restauarant. You say "I see a lot of people saying it". If these are English speakers, then the fact that lots of people use this expression makes it correct, at some register.


1

Choices are: You were trying to synchronize your jumps with your wife's jumps during the race. or You were trying to synchronize your jumps with your wife's during the race. or You were trying to synchronize jumps with your wife during the race. regarding: Saying wife's instead of wife looks weird. Am I wrong to say that? ...


1

The problem with "flip" is that it implies a quick motion, and it's not obvious see how to quickly turn a glove inside-out. It might make more sense if you explained the action (or sequence of actions) necessary to do this: If you want to flip a glove inside-out to let it dry off, what you do is this: Put your hand in the glove and lightly curl your ...


1

It depends on whether you mean "history" as the broad concept, or as a concrete example with a narrower focus. Both are fine in a formal context. He is the greatest general in history He is the greatest general in the history of Europe Additionally, you can still reference the concept, but limit to a particular subset: He is the greatest ...


1

Agreed. To be very logically consistent, it should be: He turned into a dog, and remained that way, until he wagged his tail (became human again by wagging his tail). The original sentence's meaning is clear though. In the context of a fast-paced game or movie where everyone understands what's going on, the original usage of the sentence might be ...


0

The expression is "turn your glove inside out" is idiomatic. Its not very common, because not many people turn gloves inside out, or if they do then they don't need to be told it. "Flip..." is fine, it suggests a quicker motion. But why? "I know that the expression is "turn your glove inside out" [is idiomatic], sometimes I see "flip" being used" This ...


0

Yes, that's the idiomatic way to say it. Indeed, those exact words or words very close to them are very commonly said. True, "things" is normally used to refer to inanimate objects, and your children are (hopefully) not inanimate. But the trick here is, if you used a word that was more specific, like if you said, "My children are the most important people ...


0

In this context the words "It is..." are referring to the very big picture, how the world works at the highest or most general level. The examples are of small sets; the rich, the nobles, the sacred in contrast to large sets; the poor, the commoners and the uneducated. It is a claim made of the inevitability of such a condition and how seeing it in these ...


2

"in"-"at" doesn't go. However, you could use one or the other. The writers of the show decided to throw a bunch of stereotypical evil antagonists at the protagonist of the series to make the show more interesting. or The writers of the show decided to throw in a bunch of stereotypical evil antagonists (to make the show more interesting).


2

This is how Merriam-Webster defines the verb savage: : to attack or treat brutally If I mutilate myself with a knife, then it would make sense to say I savaged myself. In fact, I'd argue it would be a natural phrase in that context. It's at least one that I've heard applied in such a context before. The reflexive use is also fine in that context. But ...


0

I would use grow: After what he did, her mistrust in their relationship grew. So they already had mistrust in this agreement, but with the recent turns of events their mistrust grew. If you do that, their mistrust in you would grow. From Merriam-Webster's entry for grow: 2 b : INCREASE, EXPAND // grows in wisdom


1

"What do you say we X?" is just one of many idiomatic ways of saying "Do you want to X?" (as in, do X together). Literally, I guess it means, "what do you say in response to the suggestion that we X?" You could also tag it on the end of a suggestion like so: "I'd like to meet for a cup of coffee later. What do you say?" I wouldn't analyze it further than ...


0

Both versions are fine and mean the same thing. Coup is more commonly used than Coup d'etat.


3

mkennedy is right about what the 911 operator says when you call them. So you don't need to worry about your prepositions when calling 911, the dispatcher will get them under control for you. However, for other situations when emergencies (or any other things) occur, you might say either, "I have an emergency up here" or "I have an emergency in here". Or ...


3

Neither one of those is idiomatic in American English. The operator will answer a call with something like, "9-1-1 operator. What is your emergency?" You would normally respond and state what the problem is: "There's been a car accident." "I think I'm having a heart attack." "I need help!" and so on. The operator will then ask for your name, ...


2

The second form is idiomatic with one caveat. When we say it, we emphasize did. This means that we would also emphasize it in writing: What did go wrong? It doesn't sound right if we don't emphasize did. Without the emphasis, we would revert back to the simpler What went wrong? When we do emphasize it, we are generally comparing it to something that ...


0

The first sentence is idiomatic: ✔ What do you say we meet up for a cup of coffee sometime? The second sentence is not. In order to add if, the verb tenses also need to be changed: ✘ What do you say if we meet up for a cup of coffee sometime? ✔ What would you say if we met up for a cup of coffee sometime?


0

There are lots of idiomatic ways of saying this, for example: Let's meet up for a cup of coffee sometime Would you fancy a cup of coffee at a time that suits you? How about a cup of coffee once you're finished work? I'd love a chat over a cup of coffee at your leisure May I invite you to a cup of coffee when you're free? And so on....


Top 50 recent answers are included