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112 votes
Accepted

Your English is better than my <<language>>

It’s both a compliment about your skill with English and a self-deprecating joke about our own lack of skill (likely zero) with yours, in hopes this will put you at ease. The subtext here is that we ...
StephenS's user avatar
  • 8,139
95 votes

How should I reply when I answer some question on Stack Exchange sites, people thank me and say it helped?

I commend your desire to be polite! However, since your question is specifically about “stackoverflow sites”, I recommend you do not respond to “thank you” comments or post your own “thank you”-type ...
rob mayoff's user avatar
85 votes
Accepted

Do Americans say “My car's tire has a slow puncture” in everyday English?

I live in the U.S., and I would say "My tire has a slow leak." It is the leakage of air that is slow. The leakage might be caused by a puncture or by something else. If people in the UK say &...
Jack O'Flaherty's user avatar
64 votes
Accepted

Is it correct to say "I am scoring my girlfriend/my boss" when your girlfriend/boss acknowledge good things you are doing for them?

No, you cannot say "I am scoring somebody" to mean that you are building favor with them. The verb "score" with a direct object other than "point" or "goal" can ...
Katy's user avatar
  • 11k
61 votes
Accepted

"Correct me if I'm wrong"

It's used both ways – it can indeed be an expression of confidence, but it can also be a genuine request for clarification. And even in the former case, you can usually assume that the speaker is in ...
Nanigashi's user avatar
  • 2,912
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
58 votes
Accepted

Can you please explain this joke: "I'm going bananas is what I tell my bananas before I leave the house"?

The first one is a play on the phrase 'I'm going bananas' to mean going a bit crazy. (Sounds a bit like a Tim Vine one-liner this). It is meant to make you think they are going crazy when you read the ...
Smock's user avatar
  • 2,516
54 votes

What phrase would American English speakers use in place of "Tom, Dick and Harry"?

As Michael Siefert says, this is both used and immediately recognizable in American English, but it would be generational, with the oldest speakers finding it natural, many or most middle-aged ...
Kirt's user avatar
  • 1,982
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
  • 1,978
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
50 votes

The meaning of "seven’s sixteen and a half"

The character is doing math and saying it out loud. Here, "and seven's" means "plus seven is", as in, nine and a half hours plus seven hours makes sixteen and a half hours before ...
gotube's user avatar
  • 50.9k
50 votes
Accepted

Do you have an expression saying "when you are very hungry, bread is also delicious for you" or similar one?

An English saying is "Hunger is the best sauce". A sauce is added to food, especially boring food, to make it taste better, so the saying means that when you are hungry all food, even boring ...
Peter's user avatar
  • 7,567
49 votes
Accepted

What does 'do steak and chips' mean?

Steak and chips (also known by the French name steak frites) is a classic meal across much of Western Europe. It's not a binomial phrase with any other meaning, as far as I'm aware. It is possible ...
Katy's user avatar
  • 11k
47 votes
Accepted

Is it correct to say to a child "let go of the chair" when he is holding on to the chair?

The distinction you describe does not exist. "Let go of" just means to stop holding something, regardless of what's moving away or if anything is moving at all. "Let go of the chair&...
Darth Pseudonym's user avatar
46 votes

Do the phrases "I laughed the hell out of myself" and "I laughed the hell out of you" make sense?

In the sentence "you scared the hell out of me", the phrase "the hell out of" acts as an intensifier - it can roughly be paraphrased as "you scared me a lot". Importantly,...
IMSoP's user avatar
  • 4,396
45 votes

He is honest (9 out of 10). How to construct a phrase in which a person's honesty is scored on a scale?

I think a more likely construction would be: I’d give him nine out of ten for honesty.
Mike Scott's user avatar
  • 2,096
45 votes

Can you please explain this joke: "I'm going bananas is what I tell my bananas before I leave the house"?

"I'm going bananas" is what I tell my bananas before I leave the house. is a "garden-path sentence" . The Wikipedia article defines this as: a grammatically correct sentence that starts in such a ...
David Siegel's user avatar
  • 41.3k
45 votes

Is it correct to say "his wife ghosted him although they lived in the same house"?

"Ghosting" is a fairly new word in Engilsh, and the full range of its use hasn't been explored, but my guess is that when it settles, it will not be possible to ghost someone who knows where ...
gotube's user avatar
  • 50.9k
44 votes

Is 'no more' used to mean 'dead' in English?

Not quite. It is true that "He is no more" can mean "He is dead", but that doesn't mean that "no more" is a way of saying "dead". In "He is dead", the word "dead" modifies "he", and the verb "is" is ...
hmakholm left over Monica's user avatar
43 votes
Accepted

Is it really OK to use "because of"?

Actually, 'of' can be correct, in standard grammar, after because. It depends on what comes after that. If the next part is a complete and potentially free-standing clause (say, a verb phrase), then ...
SamBC's user avatar
  • 22.8k
43 votes
Accepted

Do we say "it is on the news" in both American and British English?

The explanation you got is technically correct, but misses the main difference between the two. If something is "on the news", it means news shows (usually TV or radio) have mentioned or ...
gotube's user avatar
  • 50.9k
42 votes

What is it called when at university there are two subjects being held at the same time?

In my experience the most common idiom is a scheduling conflict This can apply anywhere, not just to academics. For example, in a work email: Hi Jim, can we move our meeting to 3pm? I have a ...
Andrew's user avatar
  • 88.4k
42 votes
Accepted

What sense does "I approve of this message" make?

To approve of [something] is a prepositional verb which means: to speak or think favourably of something, or to have a good opinion of something. To approve [something] means: to officially agree to/...
Billy Kerr's user avatar
  • 3,759
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
  • 27.2k
41 votes
Accepted

How should I reply when I answer some question on Stack Exchange sites, people thank me and say it helped?

All your examples are fine. I would offer the following advice to make it sound more natural to a native, however, the most important of which can be summarised by saying keep it short. Shorten "You ...
SteveES's user avatar
  • 4,669
41 votes
Accepted

“in US English” vs "in the US English"

No. When "US", "UK", "UN", "UAE" etc are used as nouns, they have the definite article "the" preceding them. We are going to the US next week. The UK held a referendum on EU membership. ...
rjpond's user avatar
  • 23.1k
41 votes

When talking about computing, are "not enabled" and "disabled" same?

From a computing perspective, I would not perceive a negative connotation to the word “disabled”, as it is a very common term. Part of the negative connotation it has in referring to people is ...
Guest's user avatar
  • 411
41 votes

Is it rude to say "Speak of the devil- Here is Grandma now!"?

This phrase comes from a very old superstition that naming the Devil would cause him to appear — see The Phrase Finder. Over the centuries it has developed into a light-hearted saying that doesn't ...
Kate Bunting's user avatar
  • 57.2k
41 votes
Accepted

Is it idiomatic to say "I have to race with time" to mean I have to do a thing very fast and finish it before something bad might happen?

The idiomatic expression is "race against time". To race with something or somebody can also mean you are competing against them, so arguably it does mean the same thing. But idioms are ...
Astralbee's user avatar
  • 106k

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