53 votes
Accepted

Is it correct to say you are talking “to Skype”?

I would say talking on Skype. "Talking to Skype" means that you are talking to Skype the company.
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  • 64.1k
40 votes
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Do we say - "in the meeting" or "at the meeting"

It may be helpful to determine what question is being answered, literally or implicitly, by the statement. In my experience, "at" usually suggests a location while "in" suggests an ...
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  • 1,606
39 votes
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'Back in 2000' vs 'In 2000'

You would say "back in XXXX" to emphasize that it happened some time in the past. Otherwise there is no difference in meaning. I graduated high school in 1984 I graduated high school back in ...
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  • 87k
37 votes
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“Let for each 𝑗” vs. “For each 𝑗 let”

Mathematician here. Your proofreader is right. The revised version is how this is normally written. I would understand your original text, but it would make me stumble. You should avoid wording that ...
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  • 6,461
29 votes
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There is to such thing

The original quote has been so badly mangled by someone who simply failed to copy it out correctly in the first place. It has then been handed round the internet by others who simply never bothered ...
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24 votes
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Is there any situation where we can use the preposition "in" before a bus?

Both prepositions are correct but have slightly different meanings here, depending on how the author considers the bus. The interpretation also depends on context1. "On the bus" considers the bus ...
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  • 1,077
23 votes
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Why does a grammar checker want to replace "the key to have" with "the key to having"?

The idiom is "The key to something", with "to" being a preposition, used idiomatically instead of "for". So we say "the key to the door" or "the key to my ...
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  • 149k
20 votes

'Back in 2000' vs 'In 2000'

Good answers all around. I'll add another permutation. "Back in 2003" can give a very slight impression that you're trying to set the scene, so to speak, and help the listener remember what else was ...
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  • 2,559
19 votes

Shoot, Shoot At

No, they're not the same. Police shot the suspect. This means that the person was actually shot. They were injured or killed by a bullet fired from a gun. Police shot at the suspect. This ...
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  • 25.2k
16 votes
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“On my own way vs. “in my own way”?

In my own way is the idiomatically correct expression. I can't think of a situation where I would use on my own way. Now, in my way and on my way are both valid expressions. You could say in my way ...
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  • 14k
15 votes
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Plane took off [from] the runway

First, the phrasal verb is indeed take off, which means: take off (phrasal verb) To leave the ground and begin flight; to ascend into the air Second, you can use a preposition after a phrasal ...
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  • 108k
15 votes
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The key to my room. Vs The key of my room

I have studied four Indo-European languages in addition to my native English. If there are any rules on which prepositions are proper in which situations, they are not easily discerned or explicated ...
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  • 27.2k
14 votes

Do we say - "in the meeting" or "at the meeting"

Here is how these two prepositional phrases are used in contemporary American idiom when the subject is Meetings. Is Mr Jones available? --No, he's in a meeting. Were you at yesterday's meeting ...
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13 votes

“in the morning” vs. “in morning”

Morning needs an article, so your example I messaged you in the morning. But since this is past tense, it would be better to write: I messaged you this morning. For the future it is OK though: ...
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  • 31k
13 votes
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"While you're *at* it" - Why *at*?

At it is idomatic, as I suspect you know. The OED defines at it under at as: 16b at it: hard at work, fighting, etc.; busy. I point this out because I think the etymology of the idiom can be ...
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  • 2,168
13 votes
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Should there be a comma in "In this talk, I will …"?

The choice is entirely up to you. Usually, a comma is placed after an introductory adverbial (here: in this talk) if that adverbial is long. By placing a comma you then improve the readability of your ...
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  • 5,054
13 votes

Could "front" also mean "before"?

Yes, the prepositional phrase, "in front of" can replace the preposition "before" in the examples you've given. Other examples include the following: "Her name was before mine on the list." = "Her ...
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  • 4,308
13 votes

Are "on leaving school" and "after leaving school" the same?

It's true that on leaving has a connotation that something happened immediately afterward, while after leaving implies only that something happened at some later point (possibly much later), but since ...
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  • 18.1k
12 votes
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Do we say "accuse somebody for" or "of"?

As far as I know, accuse is always used with the preposition of. To say accuse someone for something is just grammatically wrong. If you accuse someone of doing something wrong or illegal, you tell ...
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12 votes
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Zero articles after "of"?

Although in general we precede a singular, uncountable noun with a determiner such as the indefinite article a(n) or the definite article the, there are many instances in which we use the zero article ...
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12 votes

Plane took off [from] the runway

You are confused between 'verb' and 'phrasal verb.' You are absolutely right that 'off' here means 'away'. I was walking off the road - away from the road. But the main verb there is 'walking.' ...
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  • 64.8k
11 votes
Accepted

pick vs pick out vs pick up

By itself, pick (in this sense) means to select: Look at your choices carefully and then pick one. Pick out means to select from a large group (at least, it does in my American experience). She ...
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  • 4,908
11 votes

Consult VS Consult with

The only time you consult with someone is when you're seeking advice from a person (not a book or internet article), and you're looking for general information. Any time you say "consult with", you ...
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  • 4,417
11 votes
Accepted

Flee from vs flee

flee implicitly means to move away from something, moving "away" is implied. fled the city fled from the city have the same meaning, from is not necessary and some might consider it redundant, ...
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  • 65.4k
11 votes

I sleep in middle. You sleep in outside. Mummy sleeps in inside

If one side of the bed is bordered by a wall, then "inside" and "outside" are natural and appropriate expressions in English - I don't think there are better ones. There are other ways to refer to ...
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  • 1,694
10 votes
Accepted

Is it "in a contest" or "at a contest"?

This is a case where how many "entries" you find has little to do with correctness. Which preposition you use depends on context and what you are trying to say. Generally speaking, in regards to at a ...
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  • 108k
10 votes
Accepted

A cookie in the shape of a foot

In your examples A cookie in the shape of a foot. is grammatically correct A cookie in the shape of foot. is grammatically incorrect, however A cookie in the shape of feet. is ...
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  • 65.4k
10 votes

What is the difference between 'at Christmas' and 'on Christmas'?

For me (British), I would never say "on Christmas", because 'on' is used with a day, not a period. I would say "on Christmas Day", or "on New Year's Day", or "On Easter Sunday" but "at Christmas" or "...
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  • 64.1k
10 votes

'Back in 2000' vs 'In 2000'

As well as emphasizing that it happened some time in the past, "back in 2003" has a more informal feeling to it than "in 2003". You wouldn't be so likely to see "back in 2003" in a formal business ...
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10 votes

“On my own way vs. “in my own way”?

"In my way" refers to the definition of way as "preference", or "style", so it would be more appropriate here: Frank Sinatra sang that he always did things in his own way. "On my way" refers to ...
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