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30 votes

Why the use of "mystery" instead of "mysterious" in this case?

"mystery" used in this way means "unidentified or unexplained". This is subtly different from "mysterious" which means "difficult to understand or account for; of a ...
Luke Sawczak's user avatar
  • 13.1k
20 votes

Any implication of using "that" instead of "The" in this headline?

There are two important differences. The first is that in the original headline with "that", "most" is an adverb meaning "very", so it means lace is a very coveted ...
gotube's user avatar
  • 51k
18 votes

Isn't the phrase "minutes show" grammatically weird at the end of this text?

It is odd, but it is "headlinese". Compare with My husband is an idiot, wife says. For impact and style, the content of the quote is put first. The attribution is put in a bit at the end. ...
James K's user avatar
  • 226k
13 votes

Why the use of "mystery" instead of "mysterious" in this case?

"Mystery", in this kind of context, means unknown. "Mysterious" means more than that... it can mean strange, uncanny, unusual, or difficult to explain. When you think about it, ...
Astralbee's user avatar
  • 106k
11 votes

Using ing verbs

There is no limit in grammar. Three participles is not a problem at all. Having very many such phrases would be annoying and poor style. This is essentially a list, and there is no limit on how many ...
James K's user avatar
  • 226k
10 votes

Does losing means loser in this context?

The choice of which word to make an adjective and which a noun ("lying losers" vs. "losing liars") has some connotation about which characteristic is more permanent or defining in ...
Nuclear Hoagie's user avatar
10 votes

Why the use of "mystery" instead of "mysterious" in this case?

Mystery and mysterious can both work as adjectives, and have subtle differences in meaning. Mystery (as an adjective before a noun) often means "currently unknown" or "not yet revealed&...
John's user avatar
  • 286
8 votes
Accepted

ESOL teacher claims present perfect equals s-form

You are correct. Based on the photo you provided, this teacher is hopelessly confused and presumably incompetent. It's not even the only error on that board. "Verbs = actions" is clearly ...
alphabet's user avatar
  • 3,964
7 votes

How to understand "round up" in this context?

One meaning of “round up” is to “gather together dispersed livestock,” usually cattle or sheep. That usage can be extended metaphorically to apply to gathering things that are not livestock but have ...
Jeff Morrow's user avatar
  • 32.1k
7 votes

ESOL teacher claims present perfect equals s-form

The teacher's claim is nonsense. Here is a basic explanation of the present perfect form from the Learn English part of British Council: The present perfect is formed from the present tense of the ...
TaliesinMerlin's user avatar
7 votes
Accepted

We are getting someplace/somewhere

To make a few corrections: He asked, "Did you send the email?" I replied, "Yes, a long time ago." Then he replied, "Now we're getting somewhere." It means that, since you ...
swmcdonnell's user avatar
  • 8,002
5 votes

improved our comfort ride toilet

It's being used as a compound, most plausibly as a model of toilet: We have improved our Comfort RideTM toilet by adding a heated seat. This is a common formula for branding an otherwise generic-...
Luke Sawczak's user avatar
  • 13.1k
5 votes

Isn't the phrase "minutes show" grammatically weird at the end of this text?

Journalists don't want to be accused of "editorialising", that is, injecting their own opinions into their reports. Therefore they try as much as possible to explicitly attribute things to ...
Daniel Roseman's user avatar
5 votes

What is meant by "A still life featuring" in this context?

A still life is a work of art that depicts a collection of inanimate objects, usually small, common ones. In this case, the photograph is called a still life because the photograph is of an ...
stangdon's user avatar
  • 40.9k
5 votes

Why are universities these communities called "Town and gown"?

During graduation ceremonies at such universities (including those in the USA), students, faculty, and other dignitaries wear academic gowns, such as you see below. Wikipedia offers this explanation: ...
Jeffrey Carney's user avatar
5 votes

what is "evening series" referring to in this context?

TITLE: Yankees keep season alive by evening series With Guardians. To even means to make the score even. The Yankees evened the score in the series when they played the Guardians. The verb is a ...
Lambie's user avatar
  • 47k
5 votes

Does losing means loser in this context?

Little liars that lose [something: an election?] can be called "losing liars" However, in the article, those little liars are probably also losers in the slang sense: He is such a loser. [...
Lambie's user avatar
  • 47k
4 votes

A is for Apple / A stands for Apple

A is for Apple Would be the correct common phrase. This is used in nearly every Elementary School in any English speaking country in order to teach the Alphabet to small children. The meaning is ...
Richard Winters's user avatar
4 votes
Accepted

Do I have to look up a word in the dictionary to learn it?

Oxford Dictionaries sense 7.2 gives: 7.2(with object) Predict the result of (a future event, especially an election or a vote) ‘in the Midlands the race remains too close to call’ ‘few ...
David Siegel's user avatar
  • 41.3k
4 votes

How to read this phrase/sentence?

The phrase is a reference to 'Slip Slidin' Away', a famous 1978 song by Simon and Garfunkel. The use of 'slip' and 'sliding' is an example of poetic repetition, common in songs and poems. One action ...
Michael Harvey's user avatar
4 votes

What is the definition of "big tent pop " in this context?

The first definition I found for big tent was a widely inclusive composition or character that allows people of differing backgrounds, opinions, and interests to be members of a group or organization ...
stangdon's user avatar
  • 40.9k
4 votes

WHat would be the definition of "The Pengest Munch"?

'Peng' is very very informal 'street' London teen slang and London Multicultural English (LME) for good, nice, pleasant, attractive (etc). Even many UK people will not know what it means, especially ...
Michael Harvey's user avatar
4 votes

Any implication of using "that" instead of "The" in this headline?

This is a rather poetic and old-fashioned use of that. The meaning is > 1 b. being the one specified -> usually used for emphasis So yes, the meaning is essentially the same as "lace, the ...
stangdon's user avatar
  • 40.9k
3 votes

Is it 'plate tectonics' OR 'tectonics plate'?

“Plate tectonics” is correct. The phrase does not describe an object, but a science dealing with a certain kind of geological process, involving the interactions of large chunks of a planet’s crust as ...
Jeff Zeitlin's user avatar
  • 4,791
3 votes
Accepted

English with Harry Potter

Yes, it definitely can improve your English; however, Harry Potter is a tough book to read, so I'd start out small if I were you. There are very tough idioms and strange grammatical structures in ...
Nick's user avatar
  • 3,051
3 votes
Accepted

Must a kid in an English speaking environment learn phonics?

Some people believe phonics is a good way to teach people to read English. Otherrs, including me, disagree. But it was developed to teach people in English speaking environments to read English. It is ...
Jeff Morrow's user avatar
  • 32.1k
3 votes

How do I learn words, with almost similar meaning, but distinct usage?

You're not going to like this answer, because there is no quick way to learn it. You're going to have to read. Read a lot. Read at a higher level than the average news article. I have built up an ...
Glubbdrubb's user avatar
3 votes

What is the best way of learning new words?

Telling you the best way to learn new vocab would be entirely opinion-based. However, I can suggest alternatives to and offer advice on the standard answer of looking in a dictionary. A dictionary ...
Astralbee's user avatar
  • 106k
3 votes

My English teacher says "I bought a car to my sister" means that my sister sold me a car. Is that sentence grammatically correct?

The construction "bought [a car] [to somebody]" is not idiomatic. It doesn't really have a meaning. It is idiomatic to say "I bought a car from my sister", which means that your ...
James K's user avatar
  • 226k

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