Skip to main content

New answers tagged

1 vote

What does '...are quite well down the politeness scale...' mean?

well|far down (on) the _____ scale is a rather overused construction these days, often used as a mock-serious or as a snarky put-down as it admits creation of ad hoc "scales" Gas-station ...
TimR's user avatar
  • 130k
1 vote

What does "winner" mean in "O'Brien conditioned winners of 13 European Derbies during his career"?

Whether it was animals or people, it means individuals who would go on to win the 13 European Derbies, after he had trained them. After they had won, you could say "Who trained them?" Well, ...
Jack O'Flaherty's user avatar
2 votes
Accepted

Even though the bike was underneath CCTV, they weren't going to look at the footage. | Why ".....weren't going to do...."?

"BE going to do" something expresses an intention. The police had no intention of looking at the footage. Stated the other way around, "The police intended not to look at the footage.&...
TimR's user avatar
  • 130k
6 votes

What does '...are quite well down the politeness scale...' mean?

Yes, down the scale has the sense of low. Imagine a scale measuring degrees of politeness in which 10 is 'extremely polite' and 0 is 'rude'. The author suggests that asking someone "Aren't you ...
Kate Bunting's user avatar
  • 57.5k
2 votes

Even though the bike was underneath CCTV, they weren't going to look at the footage. | Why ".....weren't going to do...."?

It means more than the fact that the police did not look at the footage, which would be quite mild. It means the first one: 1-They would not look at it. There’s a sense of refusal or brushing aside ...
Seowjooheng Singapore's user avatar
1 vote

I hope you did as well

I learned a lot writing this essay, and I hope you did too. I add to @FumbleFingers’ comments. If the listener co-wrote the essay, he’d know the learning the speaker enquires about refers to the co-...
Seowjooheng Singapore's user avatar
2 votes

There is no chance he will/would win - differences in meaning?

There's not much difference. But "will" is a simple future. It makes a statement about a future event. "Would" is used in conditional sentences, and so the second suggests an ...
James K's user avatar
  • 226k
0 votes

What does this sentence mean? Is it a run-on?

The reason is: that no one bought the fish because it came out that it was just as intelligent as a dolphin. In the West, how many times do you expect to be served dolphin? There would be a public ...
Aaryan Jain's user avatar
3 votes

what does cipher mean here?

The secondary definition of 'cipher' in Cambridge is: cipher noun (PERSON) [ C ] formal disapproving a person or group of people without power, but used by others for their own purposes, or someone ...
Astralbee's user avatar
  • 106k
1 vote

Can 'as much as' be replaced by 'as well as' in 'Sam retorted that it was my fault as much as his.'?

No, they are not interchangeable as @Mary already gave an example for. However, that example overlooks the use of the word retorted from the Cambridge dictionary definition: to answer someone quickly ...
roganjosh's user avatar
  • 379
15 votes

Can 'as much as' be replaced by 'as well as' in 'Sam retorted that it was my fault as much as his.'?

No. If it is your fault as well as his, it means that you are both at fault, but it does not mean that you are equally at fault. If it is your fault as much as his, it means you are equally at fault. ...
Mary's user avatar
  • 5,702
0 votes

using ignorant as a positive word

You could use "ignorant" to imply innocence, particularly of something negative. Sally arrived from her hometown ignorant of the wicked ways of the Big City but she was a quick study.
Spehro Pefhany's user avatar
3 votes

using ignorant as a positive word

No, it won't work, partly for the reason you give, but also because it means unaware of some information - it doesn't get used of a capability or incapability.
Colin Fine's user avatar
  • 76.3k
0 votes

The right word for ___

Wetland or wetlands Simply stated, wetlands are parts of our landscape that are defined by the presence of water. More specifically, wetlands are areas where the presence of water determines or ...
Lambie's user avatar
  • 46.9k
1 vote

The right word for ___

Rivers and other bodies of water like ponds have banks. It's just about the most generic word you could use. Typical everyday BrE usage: The banks of the River Thames The bonnie banks of Loch Lomond ...
Peter Jennings's user avatar
3 votes

Does causality mean consequence or cause?

Asking whether causality means consequence or cause is like asking whether haircut means barber or client. Causality is the relationship between consequence and cause. But anyway, as has already been ...
Paul Tanenbaum's user avatar
5 votes

Does causality mean consequence or cause?

It’s a typographical error. It should be casualties.
Seowjooheng Singapore's user avatar
4 votes
Accepted

"Brass neck of her. Spoilt rotten, her."

There are no "sentences", there are a couple of phrases and you need to use context to understand what's going on The first is "spoiled rotten" (an idiomatic colocation) and we ...
James K's user avatar
  • 226k
0 votes

"load of something" vs "loads of something" -? Difference

'Wildlife' is a collective noun. Collective nouns are used to refer to a group of people, animals, or things, either *as a single entity or as individuals within the group. Collective nouns refer to a ...
James Mathai's user avatar
  • 1,128
1 vote
Accepted

"So, why would we possibly want to go there?" VS "So, why on earth would we want to go there?"

Why would [subject] possibly want [unlikely thing]? is used quite often, and in most cases it's equivalent to Why on earth would [subject] want [unlikely thing]? But we're much more likely to use Why +...
FumbleFingers's user avatar
1 vote

"So, why would we possibly want to go there?" VS "So, why on earth would we want to go there?"

Yes; you could think of it as "how could it be possible that we would want to go there?" That is, it's rhetorically suggesting a distinction between reality and fantasy, that wanting to go ...
Andy Bonner's user avatar
  • 15.7k
4 votes

What is the meaning of " one two many"

As @YosefBaskin explains in his comment, it’s not two but too. Compare, “How many deaths is too many? Why, a single death is one more than we would willingly accept. Even a single death is one death ...
Paul Tanenbaum's user avatar
2 votes

since she lived in Glasgow

If you want to state unambiguously that Jane at this moment is living in Glasgow, and also state that she's been having headaches since moving here, or there, you could use a coordinated sentence ...
TimR's user avatar
  • 130k
1 vote
Accepted

"I would say" VS "I would have said" (in the context of giving one's opinion about something)

... it's like, it's covering up pain, isn't it? a little bit covering up of pain, I would have said. There’s no grammatical justification to use would have said, which should be applicable only for ...
Seowjooheng Singapore's user avatar
10 votes
Accepted

What does "steal so much as a single glance" mean?

The question doesn't seem to be about the meaning of steal a glance, which the OP already understands. It's the construction so much as a single XXX that confuses the OP. So here's the same ...
FumbleFingers's user avatar
0 votes

What does "steal so much as a single glance" mean?

"stole a glance" meaning. OP has given the meaning of the idiom. Ref. Collins dictionary If you steal a glance at someone or something, you look at them quickly so that nobody sees you ...
James Mathai's user avatar
  • 1,128
3 votes

What does "steal so much as a single glance" mean?

The phrase those who dared steal so much as a single glance means everyone who had the nerve (audacity, courage, temerity, foolishness, recklessness, etc.) to look, even momentarily and even once. ...
Paul Tanenbaum's user avatar
1 vote
Accepted

Nursery Rhymes message :

You're missing a very commonly added second verse, which provides the 'positive' message, I guess - Jack went to his cosy home and got better using the helpful 'medication' available there: Jack and ...
Michael Harvey's user avatar
-3 votes

Is the word "her " needed?

She likes nice things. a general statement which doesn't tell us she has any.... She likes her nice things. means she has some OR has had some and likes them. Otherwise, it would make no sense at all....
Lambie's user avatar
  • 46.9k
6 votes
Accepted

Is the word "her " needed?

Omitting 'her' in the sentence would remove a certain nuance. We can use a possessive pronoun (his, her, their etc) to discuss someone's likes, and it serves to emphasise the fact that the person ...
Michael Harvey's user avatar
3 votes

not crazy to take this risk

Neither seems very likely, and I suspect you are misquoting or simplifying without understanding. There is an idiom "to be crazy about something", which means strongly like something or ...
James K's user avatar
  • 226k
2 votes

not crazy to take this risk

They mean the second one. The infinitive clauses modify crazy and madman. a. I am not [crazy to take this risk]. b. I am not a [madman to take this risk]. The following would be clear to mean the ...
Seowjooheng Singapore's user avatar
3 votes

Requesting explanation on the meaning of the word 'Passerby'?

Just a point of clarification. All that is necessary for the meaning is a location and people walking past it. A second person somehow linked with the location is unnecessary but certainly possible. ...
TimR's user avatar
  • 130k
3 votes

Requesting explanation on the meaning of the word 'Passerby'?

In general, we say "passerby" to mean someone passing by some specific place. (And side note, the technically correct plural is "passersby", but many English speakers say "...
Jay's user avatar
  • 68k
5 votes
Accepted

Requesting explanation on the meaning of the word 'Passerby'?

Passer-by a person that is passing or going by, esp on foot He likes to walk the streets, observing passers-by and engaging them in conversation. The Guardian (2018) In the OP’s example, both ...
Seowjooheng Singapore's user avatar
2 votes

Requesting explanation on the meaning of the word 'Passerby'?

When the word passerby refers to people, it is used by an observer who is at a fixed point - like sitting at a cafe table - seeing people go by: the passersby. If you are walking down a road, the ...
Lambie's user avatar
  • 46.9k
1 vote
Accepted

Can we refer to "an electrical socket" as "a plug"?

The OP is right that the device on the wall is called socket, not plug. Plugs are the male counterparts, those that have the three pins or sometimes two, depending on the standard adopted. Sockets ...
Seowjooheng Singapore's user avatar
1 vote
Accepted

Difference between "the number of people you would have thought" OR "the number of people you would think"?

The cited quotation originated in extemporaneous speech, not in edited writing, so it's important to recognize at the outset that we are not dealing here with what the poster describes as "the ...
Sven Yargs's user avatar
2 votes
Accepted

"to do social media-ing". --- Is it really used like this in daily life?

This is not standard English. It is very informal. In general, we have separate words for the verb and the noun in an activity. Like we say, "Al drove a car." We don't say "he carred&...
Jay's user avatar
  • 68k
2 votes

Can a festival or a celebration like Halloween be "invented"?

The words invented and invention are always used loosely in English. The derivation of invention is from "discovered", and the implication in English is that the electric bulb, the telephone ...
david's user avatar
  • 165
1 vote

Adjective placement - why do I sometimes see "meat raw" instead of "raw meat"?

It's the difference between attributive adjectives and predicative adjectives. Attributive adjectives go before the noun and modify it - "raw meat" is an example of this. The meat is raw. ...
Astralbee's user avatar
  • 106k
2 votes

Can a festival or a celebration like Halloween be "invented"?

observed to observe, [formal] to obey a law, rule, or custom: [ … ] The old people in the village still observe the local traditions. / Do you observe Passover? So, Halloween (October 31) was first ...
KrisW's user avatar
  • 1,019
1 vote

“ate an animal raw” or “ate a raw animal”

A belated answer, just for the record... It sounds odd to speak of a raw animal because being raw (not cooked) is the natural state of an animal. The expression eat [something] raw refers to eating ...
Kate Bunting's user avatar
  • 57.5k
1 vote

How to reply to "hope you all had a great time celebrating"

Don't overthink it. You could write a short text saying how much you enjoyed the birthday: I had a great time, thanks. We had cake and danced to old records.
James K's user avatar
  • 226k
7 votes

Can a festival or a celebration like Halloween be "invented"?

Holidays can certainly be invented where they did not exist before. Mothers Day, Kwanzaa, Festivus, etc. are all examples of holidays of greater or lesser recognition invented in the 20th century. &...
arp's user avatar
  • 589
1 vote

tell about vs. tell of

People use them interchangeably, although you'll hear "tell about" used more in everyday speech and "tell of" more in literature. The distinction is that to tell of something is to ...
Momo's user avatar
  • 11
4 votes
Accepted

Does "I rushed to do homework" mean I quickly went to my homework and did it at any rate (maybe be fast or slow) or I did the homework quickly?

I don't think it's something very likely to be said. It could be ambiguous, but I would probably interpret it as your first, because for your second I would expect something like I rushed through my ...
Colin Fine's user avatar
  • 76.3k
-1 votes

Do you say "We have company" even though that person was just a stranger to you?

In the scenario you describe, it would be odd to say, “We have company” because you were the only one there. To whom would you say it? The new arrival? Now that would be extremely odd. If instead of ...
Paul Tanenbaum's user avatar
1 vote

Can a festival or a celebration like Halloween be "invented"?

Yes. Have a festive party with a certain theme or commemorate an event, do it again the next year, make it every year ... et voilá, you got yourself a "traditional festive" that was invented ...
haxor789's user avatar
  • 206
1 vote

Do you say "We have company" even though that person was just a stranger to you?

In its most literal use, 'company' does tend to mean friendly visitors to your home, or that you have someone with you in another settings - someone you would call a companion. Saying "I/we have ...
Astralbee's user avatar
  • 106k

Top 50 recent answers are included