117 votes

What's the opposite of the phrase "pay under the table"?

A word that means the opposite of under the table and uses the same metaphor is aboveboard: American Heritage Dictionary adv. & adj. Without deceit or trickery; straightforward. [Originally a ...
Jack O'Flaherty's user avatar
89 votes
Accepted

Two thousand seventeen VS twenty seventeen: What is the rule for year pronunciation?

I am a native speaker with a careful ear. From my experience, I can tell you that when the millennium turned from 19xx to 20xx, we said "two thousand" plus the remainder throughout the aughts (01, 02, ...
Robusto's user avatar
  • 14.4k
79 votes
Accepted

What's the opposite of the phrase "pay under the table"?

There isn't a standard way of describing the method of payment, though I have seen "over the table" used occasionally. The best way of describing this situation is to say that the employees ...
JavaLatte's user avatar
  • 59.4k
61 votes
Accepted

Can I say "Oh boy" to a girl?

The expression is not even that dated, e.g. here's a movie from 2020 with exact this title, and there's another one from 2012. In neither case is the title supposed to be a sentence addressed to a ...
Dmitry Grigoryev's user avatar
55 votes
Accepted

Next month, I _______ John for 20 years

D is certainly not idiomatic in British English, nor I think American. B is the only natural choice. It is possible that D is idiomatic in Bangla Deshi English: I don't know.
Colin Fine's user avatar
  • 74.7k
53 votes

Is it correct to say "I fixed the towel with a peg"?

Two issues: When "fixed" is used as a verb, the average native speaker is likely to interpret it as "repaired" or "mended" if that is even remotely plausible. Using it ...
Kevin's user avatar
  • 1,968
51 votes
Accepted

Does "You little liar" mean "You tell small and not so serious lies" or just "You tell lies in general"?

The word "little" here is native colloquial English, in the UK at least, but this specific example is likely to be of, to, and between children, or in a child-like manner. The little here, ...
Stilez's user avatar
  • 1,027
44 votes
Accepted

Can I say: “The train departs at 16 past every hour“?

I have seen this written many times on bus timetables etc. and find no reason why someone wouldn't understand it. To be extra clear, I would make one amend:: The train departs at 16 minutes past ...
Gamora's user avatar
  • 4,258
41 votes
Accepted

"One of THOSE days" vs "one of THESE days"

One of these days One of those days These are idioms. The former means sometime in the near future. So you can say "we really must visit them one of these days". The latter (one of those days) ...
Khan's user avatar
  • 27.1k
37 votes

Can I say "Oh boy" to a girl?

You can, the "boy" in the phrase is not addressed to the person you are speaking to. (It probably started as a minced oath with "boy" replacing the blasphemous "Jesus" ...
James K's user avatar
  • 213k
35 votes
Accepted

Is it correct and natural to say "I'll meet you at $100" meaning I'll accept $100 for something?

If the potential buyer had previously offered to pay less than $100 (e.g. $80), then it's natural to say "I'll meet you at $100". Otherwise, "I'll accept $100" is a better choice. ...
jsejcksn's user avatar
  • 516
35 votes
Accepted

Does "I slept in" imply I did it on purpose or by accident?

slept in means slept late intentionally. overslept means woke up late, unintentionally. P.S. I'm a native speaker of American English and it's possible other dialects of English might use this ...
TimR's user avatar
  • 122k
34 votes

Stubbed my toe... which preposition?

by is used to show the person or thing that does something. You can't really use by with a table in this sentence, because it's you that's doing something (kicking the table). You could use by about a ...
JavaLatte's user avatar
  • 59.4k
32 votes

Is it correct to say "turn the air conditioner up/down" when we want the air conditioner to make the room cooler/less cool?

I would argue that the usage is unclear, and is best avoided. I have a pet peeve with my refrigerator because of this ambiguity. On many refrigerators, you can control the temperature, perhaps with a ...
Andy Bonner's user avatar
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32 votes
Accepted

Can "it's down to him to fix the machine" and "it's up to him to fix the machine"?

The distinction is slight, and quite probably ignored by most people, but it you were to force me to differentiate, then I'd say it depends on the 'number of potential candidates' for the task… down ...
DoneWithThis.'s user avatar
31 votes

"I'm OK with it" VS "It's OK with me"

Very little difference. Perhaps "It's okay with me." would be how you respond if you were being asked for your approval. "I'm okay with it." is how you would respond if you were ...
James K's user avatar
  • 213k
31 votes

Next month, I _______ John for 20 years

Most verbs I can think of where “I will have been” doing something in the future perfect progressive are for actions that could be stopped and started over, resetting the clock, whether or not that ...
Davislor's user avatar
  • 8,423
31 votes
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Does the phrase "Tom has been seeing Mary for a while" always imply they have a romantic relationship?

Without any context, the sentence "Tom has been seeing Mary for a while" would strongly imply that they had a romantic relationship. In the dictionary entry that you cite, the only example ...
MarcInManhattan's user avatar
30 votes

Fruit is cut into smaller pieces like a chip and then boiled dried in sugar. Are they called "papaya/banana…chips" or "papaya/banana…jams"?

In American usage (at least), a "fruit chip", a "fruit jam", a "candied fruit", and "fruit candy" would be four different things. Let's take the papaya as an ...
Michael Seifert's user avatar
29 votes
Accepted

Do we say "She looks prettier with her naked face" or "She looks prettier with her bare face"?

No, they aren't the same. Your first sentence (with "naked") would be unnatural. Your second sentence (with "bare") is possible but would still be very uncommon. In general, we use ...
MarcInManhattan's user avatar
28 votes
Accepted

Are the statements "The bank opens/closes at 7 am / 4 pm" and "The bank is open/closed at 7 am / 4pm" the same?

The bank opens at 7 am. This means that the bank is closed before 7 am, and open afterwards. The bank becomes open at 7 am. The bank is open at 7 am. This means that, if you went to the bank at 7 ...
MJ713's user avatar
  • 1,315
28 votes
Accepted

Is this a "teachers' lounge"?

Japanese schools have a different cultural expections from schools in the UK (I've worked in both). The staffroom(UK), or teacher's lounge(USA) is a room with soft furnishing, and usually a place to ...
James K's user avatar
  • 213k
27 votes

Does "I slept in" imply I did it on purpose or by accident?

The dictionaries all agree that to sleep in is to stay in bed longer than usual - but none I can find indicate whether or not that's intentional. My own personal experience as a UK native differs from ...
DoneWithThis.'s user avatar
26 votes

In the USA, do you say "my car runs on LPG gas" or just "my car runs on gas" if your car runs on liquefied petroleum gas (LPG)?

LPG would typically be called propane or autogas in the United States. It may also be known as LPG, just as in other countries. There's a lot of folks here telling you that propane/LPG isn't used as ...
JRE's user avatar
  • 670
26 votes
Accepted

Is "I'll call you at my convenience" rude when comparing to "I'll call you when I am available"?

Asking someone to do something at their convenience is polite (implying that you don't expect them to drop everything to oblige you), but saying that you will do something at your convenience would ...
Kate Bunting's user avatar
  • 53.4k
25 votes

"What is the weather today?" or "How is the weather today?"

Both can be fine. While the first focuses more on the objective description of the weather, and the second focuses more on someone's subjective opinion of the weather, the answer can go either way, ...
Andrew's user avatar
  • 88.2k
24 votes
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In the USA, do you say "my car runs on LPG gas" or just "my car runs on gas" if your car runs on liquefied petroleum gas (LPG)?

As the 'G' in 'LPG' stands for 'gas', to say "LPG gas" would be a tautology in British or Australian English. In American English, it would just be confusing. The American use of 'gas' for ...
Astralbee's user avatar
  • 98k
23 votes

In the USA, do you say "my car runs on LPG gas" or just "my car runs on gas" if your car runs on liquefied petroleum gas (LPG)?

The most common term in spoken American English is "propane". Sometimes you will see "LP gas" or "LPG", but usually in written materials like manuals and labels. I've ...
Phil Frost's user avatar
  • 1,214
23 votes
Accepted

Can we call "a robber" "a thief"?

Thief is an over-arching word that covers both a robber and a burglar. A google "define" search (Put "Define robber" or "Define burglar" into google or chrome address bar)...
Jontia's user avatar
  • 2,138
22 votes

When is "seems to be" used instead of "seems"?

Seem used as a link verb can be followed by an adjective,to be +an adjective, You seem (to be )angry with something, noun phrases, She seems (to be) a nice girl. infinitives, They seem to ...
V.V.'s user avatar
  • 7,085

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