New answers tagged

0

There's nothing 'offensive' about the expression "good job". It isn't particularly informal but it isn't overly formal either. Opinions may vary, but we don't give opinion-based answers on this site. Some people are what you might call 'hypercritical' - constantly looking for fault, quick to assume the worst about others. If you have a boss like ...


2

In the show, it's used as an intentionally flimsy excuse to leave for the sake of a joke. "I need to wash my hair" (or any variant of "I need to X my Y" used as an excuse, see I Need To Iron My Dog) is a common comedy trope - the idea is that the character uttering that phrase doesn't actually have an excuse, so they're coming up with ...


2

To "take someone for" something is to swindle, con, hustle, or cheat them out of that something, generally money or property. Apparently, this usage is fading from popularity, because it used to be universally understood, and now people have to ask when they run across it or guess what it means. I'm not guessing. That IS what it means, in that ...


6

Almost definitely, the second speaker is saying "I can make steak and chips", meaning they will cook/prepare steak and chips for both speakers to eat for dinner. Considering the context of your example, the second speaker is offering a solution to the problem "What are we going to eat?" To say "I can do ..." definitely sounds ...


1

'Do' is a very flexible verb! In this case it means 'provide', probably by cooking the stated meal. It can mean 'visit' or 'experience' - 'This week we're in France, next week we do Italy'. It can mean to provide a service, the charlady Mrs Mopp in the vintage British radio show 'ITMA' would ask "Can I do you now, sir?" It can even be a ...


2

I struggle to think of a situation where "in seconds" can mean the same thing as "by seconds". There isn't enough context to be certain, but the original sentence probably means, "The plant was growing within seconds", as in, almost immediately after doing something to the plant, it started growing. The phrase, "by seconds&...


1

Be careful, there are a number of forms. "I can do a casserole". - Steak and chips example, I can prepare... "I can knock up a casserole" - same meaning. Not quite the same... "I could do with a pizza". - means I would like a pizza very much. "I can do without this!" - means I do not like. But also..... "We ...


0

“Do” as a main verb is usually a substitute for some other main verb that should be clear from context. Since the discussion is about food, the most obvious verbs are “eat” and “make”.


1

With "programs" the sentence suggests structure to me - perhaps the organization offers regularly scheduled classes with training for particular jobs. Without "programs" the promise is less focused. Without "for adults" it might even refer to on the job training. Which way to write the sentence depends on what you want your ...


7

The context here is limited - we don't know who the speakers are or where they are speaking. "Do" is a very flexible verb - which can substitute for many other verbs, but it seems to me the most likely interpretation is that "do steak and chips" means "prepare and cook steak and chips". In a context such as a group of friends ...


-1

If an action (verb) is anticipated, then ‘to’ is used and if it's a noun, then ‘for’ is used. For example, “I’m looking forward to getting your letter.” Or, “I'm looking forward for your letter.”


48

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 that the speaker means "make steak and chips" when they say "I can do steak and chips." Another likely possibility is that the speaker means &...


35

One of the definitions of “do” is “accept” or “agree to.” For example, if I said, “When can you come in for an interview?” you could say “I could do Thursday,” which means Thursday is an answer that works for you. “I could do steak and chips” means “I would be okay with eating steak and chips for lunch.” The most likely interpretation would be that they are ...


1

At least is US English, it's more common to hear "drop out of school" than "drop out from school". In your list, grammatically speaking, choice #1 is the best. Choice #4 is acceptable, although not quite as idiomatic. The others aren't correct. We could add #6 to the list, which is also acceptable, moving "is" to the end. Many ...


0

Convert them all into their respective answers: I say that (whatever "that" is) based on this empirical evidence: ... I put the songs on the album based on this order: ... I believed you were lying based on this information: ... So they're all grammatically correct, but worded... strangely, especially the second one (it makes it seem like the ...


2

I can't think of a specific word/phrase to describe this, so at work I would say something like this "This is a great idea, but we need to prevent scope creep, so we can prioritize it after we make progress on the current workload"


3

Colloquially, they have different meanings: "The husband walked away from his wife," could be used in stage directions (blocking), expressing a short-term action. It is less common to use that phrasing for a long-term relationship change. "The husband walked out on his wife," on the other hand, is almost exclusively used to mean he ...


0

(Native American English speaker) I would contradict the answers put forth by @James, which perhaps take on a slightly more British English response, and suggest that the phrase: He guessed the time was about 3:00 is the most natural in the context of spoken (American) English and that the addition of the word "about" does, in fact, change the ...


1

I would use “by accident” when it was the result of something undesirable happening, and “by chance” when it was merely an unlikely event. But in common speech, people may use “by accident” for both, as a general term for anything that wasn’t intentional.


2

"Speak of the devil" would be an insult, except that in modern conversation, it is almost always said sarcastically, just to note to coincidence of someone appearing just as you're speaking about them. The sarcasm needs to be obvious, and you should only say this about someone if you're in a position to gently, sarcastically chide them. You could ...


4

“By accident” is similar to “by chance” in this context, but with the added connotation that Sam was not intended to know. If he knew the name of the lake “by chance” then it implies there was no prior expectation that he know it or not know it. As it just happened to come up on Jeopardy the previous night, he happened to know it. This was neither in line ...


2

This could be read two ways: Sam does know the name of the lake, having discovered it by chance (this implies that he would not be expected to know the name of the lake - perhaps he is not from that area for example). In this case, some event occurred (eg he read an article in the paper) which lead to him discovering the name of the lake. In this case, it ...


11

"By accident," implies an action (or inaction) taken by the person, often leading to negative consequences, e.g.: He left the gate open by accident and the cow got out. On the other hand, "by chance," doesn't require the person to have done something, or left it undone, and it often involves past events, e.g.: By chance, he had met her ...


1

That is correct. It means to mess with someone; to tease or play a prank on someone. So here it means "... or are you just pretending to love me?"


-2

Look For Irony As it is, yes, this is often rude, as you're equating the presence of this person with the presence of the devil: unwanted and unfortunate. However, this saying in modern contexts is often said ironically, particularly about a good friend. So we're stuck looking for additional context clues. Was this muttered out of earshot of the person in ...


13

Your tone of voice, the relation with the recipient and the events prior to the appearance of said person determine whether it's acceptable to use that phrase. It can be considered rude or offensive when the person in question wasn't actually being discussed, but something or someone else. For example: Some work isn't getting done on time, because you're ...


40

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 imply hatred of the person arriving, though it would depend on your relationship with them (and the tone in which you said it) whether you thought it was ...


0

Maybe ask for a length of the 2 micron thick double layer plastic sheet. According to this English grammar rule, you want to try to put it size, material and type in that order. However, I did put type before material because it was more natural sounding to me. size: 2 micron thick material: plastic sheet type: double-thickness Otherwise it could read: 2 ...


1

We have certain words that mean to kill by way of. Strangulation is one of those words. If I say someone strangled someone else, I mean they choked that person until they were dead. If I tell a group of twenty people that's what strangulation means a large percent will make the incorrect argument that you can use strangle to mean choke. People misuse ...


0

No, we can't know for sure, since both words can be used in both ways, but strangle is more often used if we mean that the person was killed. The most potentially confusing thing in the definition that you found is that strangle is given as a synonym for choke. As is often the case with synonyms, it isn't an exact match, and has connotations that the other ...


2

choking or strangling may imply killing, but do not necessarily lead to it. You would have to say "choked to death" to show killing, otherwise the meaning depends on context


3

As you noted, "to back off" is a verb, distinct from its component parts which may be prepositions or adverbs. Using the structure you are looking at, the correct phrase is "I waved the car back" without including "off". If you wish to use the exact phrase "back off", you will need to change the structure and add some ...


3

As "Keep your eyes on the road" is a set phrase and an idiom, it has come to express the idea of "pay attention to where you are going" more than the literal words of "look at the road". I have also seen the phrase used in an entirely metaphorical sense, meaning to pay attention to what is happening in your life. This meaning ...


2

Grammatically the sentence is fine, but I think that many English speakers would find it a bit strange for two reasons: Saying that something is "just" somewhere often implies that if you go a little further, then you will encounter it. That is why when an infant crawls toward his mother, you can say, "You're almost there . . . Go just a ...


2

The expression for not having the courage to do something daunting is I haven't the guts to... However, this isn't appropriate for the situation you describe. The woman might say I haven't the heart to go travelling with you. ('Go out' suggests going on a date or attending a social event rather than travelling.)


3

It’s a nice sentence. It’s not what you would usually hear, but it’s nice. English language isn’t fixed. This is just the right distance from standard English to be interesting. Now what exactly “long on temper” means is tricky to say. “Short on temper” is someone who gets annoyed very easily and quickly. So “long on temper” might be someone who takes a very ...


3

Definition 8 at Lexico provides the meaning of the idiom "long on": informal Well supplied with. So "long on temper" means she has a strong temper. "Short on" is the opposite, so "short on patience" means she doesn't have much matience. The relevant definition of "complicated" is: Involving many different ...


0

I think it will be less ambiguous if you say: "She is big on temper but short on patience." long does not clarify whether she takes long to be angry or whether she stays angry for a long time. Most people might understand the former meaning than the latter. "Big on temper" makes more sense as being Big on something is the general usage ...


0

Use of 'long' and 'short' here make me think of financial trading, where to be 'long' on a commodity means to have a financial situation where you will profit if the price goes up (e.g. by owning some of it), or maybe just to believe that it's valuable and to be 'short' means to have the opposite situation, where you will profit if the price goes down, or ...


8

I've never heard of a long-tempered person. You could say quick-tempered, high-tempered, or simply 'she's got a temper' (insinuating the same thing) but 'long on temper' doesn't sound right to me. As for a complicated person; that's a correct way to describe someone. The reason it's not in the dictionary is because 'complicated' has a generic meaning, and ...


1

The theory being that our eyes betray us when we lie, "Look me in the eye" is used by the plaintiff: not by the defendant! A defendant might, however, say, "I can look you in the eye and tell you I didn't do it." This is probably what Dwayne Johnson's character means. "Look into my eyes" is used by stage and fairground ...


3

The character in the clip says two things: itty-bitty eensy-weensy There are many other terms that could be used, for example: teeny-weeny itsy-bitsy The term for this formation in general is reduplication, as described in this answer to the question What is the "peasy" in "easy-peasy"?


8

It's fine to say a person is complicated. For your second sentence it might make as much sense to say She's long on temper and short on patience. since you'd expect someone with a temper to be impatient.


0

My guess is that "on here" is grammatical but less useful to indicate where a small object is. If a toy is on top of a box, it is probably visible, so one can simply point to the toy and say "it is here". Whereas if the toy is inside the box, it may not be visible, so one would point at the box and say "it is in here". Like @...


3

For the sake of precision we must remember that the sea-witch transformed the mermaid. The mermaid desired to be transformed but the mermaid did not transform herself. The mermaid has not only transformed (i.e. changed shape) but she has been transformed (i.e. had her shape changed by something else). If you are speaking in context and we as your listeners ...


1

Based on the comments, it seems like you already fully understand the issues here, but to sum up my views: "Award of" is superfluous in any case. "Apply" is a bit of a strong word choice, as that word usually implies that there is some question as to whether the applicant will actually receive the thing applied for. When the person ...


1

I see one significant problem. For some objects, "face-up" has a clear and determined meaning—playing cards, for instance. But unless there's a regional usage that makes it clear to you but not to me, I don't know that it's a given that the yogurt-y side of the "lid" is the "face," so "face-up" could mean either ...


3

Blow-drying requires a rather sophisticated hair dryer and skill. It's often used by hairdressers to add volume and body to hair. The skill lies in making hair look smooth, shiny and soft to the touch. It needs practice, time, and a certain hand-dexterity to achieve the same results at home but it can be done. She blow-dried her hair until it looked as ...


1

If I heard somebody say, "I am blowing my hair dry," my reaction would be to ask them, "You mean you're blow drying your hair?" because I thought they misspoke. Whether you are using a blow dryer or a fan is irrelevant, except that the fan won't do a very good job.


4

You could use the word "nonsense", but if the person was coming out with a stream of obviously made-up words, you might be more likely to say that they were talking "gibberish". Oxford defines "gibberish" as "Unintelligible or meaningless speech or writing; nonsense." ( https://www.lexico.com/definition/gibberish ) ...


Top 50 recent answers are included