57

If you do something in a certain period of time, it implies that you have completed the task. The fish and chips are cooked and ready to eat after ten minutes. Doing something for a certain time just means that you spend all that time in that activity, whether you finish your task or not.


53

I would say talking on Skype. "Talking to Skype" means that you are talking to Skype the company.


27

Both are unnatural. You can use "for her age" with the adjective tall, She is tall for her age. Or you can use "by two inches" with the comparitive form of the adjective (and with some reference for the comparison), taller, She is taller than me by two inches. But since one requires the standard form (tall) and the other requires the comparitive ...


17

In English, this type of construction is called a compound noun: it is used to describe a specific type of something. The final noun is the general thing, and any nouns in front of it (yes, there can be more than one) specify exactly what kind of thing it is. As an example, a can is a noun, an opener is a noun, and we can put these two nouns together to form ...


16

Either. Your accent gave it (your nationality) away, or it gave you away as a person of that nationality.


14

We use "by" when we talk about the agent that infects us with the disease. We use "with" when we talk about what we are infected with (i.e., the disease). Jason's comment and Michael's answer explain this quite well. However, there is a distinction between the names of the agent and the disease in regards to COVID-19. According to Mayo Clinic: Coronavirus ...


12

One meaning that hasn't been mentioned so far is using "in" to refer to an action which will begin in the future. If someone says "I will make dinner in 10 minutes" they are usually (in my experience) expressing that they will start to make dinner 10 minutes from now. With this interpretation, the sentence says nothing about the duration ...


12

Since last year = since 2019. For the last year = during the previous 12 months. Since is used in relation to a specific date or period in the past (yesterday, last year, the 1960s). For is used of a length of time (a while, an hour, the past week).


11

It depends if you are speaking about a "day" as a calendar date or a time period. We always say "on" a particular date or weekday, for example: it happens on Mondays It's on the 4th of July When we are speaking about a time period, we use "in" or "within", for example: it happened twice in 24 hours it happened twice ...


11

A native speaker would use for. The difference, I would suggest, is as follows. I'm working for XYZ. Here, company XYZ is spoken of as a group of businesspeople for which one may work. You could also be working for an individual. I'm working at XYZ. Here, company XYZ is spoken of as a location at which one may be and work. You cannot work at an ...


9

This isn't a question of grammar but of what the department is named, which varies from place to place and from era to era. In the UK, it's called the Department for Education (but was known as the Department of Education and Science from 1964 to 1992, and the Board of Education pre-1964). The quotation you give refers to the NHS (the UK National Health ...


9

"Sorry, I am Skyping at the moment" If you search it you will see that such usage is quite common, eg https://www.zdnet.com/google-amp/article/why-are-we-all-zooming-and-not-skyping/


8

Because it doesn't mean down from. As well as its use as an adverb, down can also be a preposition. From dictionary.com: in a descending or more remote direction or place on, over, or along: They ran off down the street. The meaning here is "along" - not necessarily in a downward direction.


8

When you are talking on the phone, you are on a call or on the phone. This is true both for landlines and for mobile phones, and this usage has been established for decades or at this point, a century. Thus, its natural to extend this to VoIP and other teleconferencing solutions, like Skype. You are on a call, on a Skype call or simply on Skype. All of these ...


7

The most logical explanation I can manage is that “from” and “before” are both acting as prepositions with implied objects: I don’t remember him from [the time(s)] before [this time]. I didn’t remember him from [the times(s)] before [that time]. This isn’t something you could do generally because context can rarely supply two implied objects at once. It’s ...


6

In most contexts, on [doing something] and after [doing it] are equivalent and interchangeable. But there can be a nuance of difference, in that strictly speaking the on version implies when, at the actual time of [doing it], whereas after obviously implies a (usually only very slightly) later time. It's tricky to find an example context that's likely to ...


6

I would parse "she is tall for her age" as an idiom meaning something like "she is unusually tall among children of her age". A comparable phrase which comes to mind is the White Stripes song lyric "you're pretty good looking (for a girl)". The implication is that within the set of girls, the person being described is among the more good looking. Similarly,...


6

With HIV / AIDS, HIV is the agent and AIDS is the disease(s), so you would say I was infected by HIV and infected with AIDS. The difficulty (so far) is that coronavirus is both the agent and the disease. Perhaps there will be a separation later - maybe coronavirus for the agent / virus and COVID-19 for the disease? Edit (in response to a comment from ...


6

Since my own comment has gained so much attention in other answers, I thought I'd turn it into an actual answer myself. The Prepositions With and By Here are the definitions of the senses of the prepositions in use, per Merriam-Webster: With: 6 a —used as a function word to indicate the means, cause, agent, or instrumentality hit him with a rock ...


5

If the girl in question is aged 13, then say She is [two inches] taller than the average [13-year-old] girl


5

One more distinction in use: in addition to referring to the contagion itself, infected by in the passive voice could refer more broadly to how the person was infected. Infected by means of (something). This secondary meaning isn't there for infected with. Julie hadn't left her house for weeks, but was infected by her boyfriend who was an "essential worker"...


5

For more context, this is from a passage depicting Truth as a woman, pursued by philosophers, depicted as men. "Certainly she has never allowed herself to be won; and at present every kind of dogma stands with sad and discouraged mien--IF, indeed, it stands at all! For there are scoffers who maintain that it has fallen, that all dogma lies on the ground-...


5

"Gordon Ramsay attempts to make fish and chips for ten minutes" would mean you are promised to see footage which is exactly 10 minutes long showing Gordon Ramsay performing the task of making fish and chips. But it does not guarantee that it shows the whole process. The footage might start in the middle of the process. The 10 minutes might end ...


4

We live off campus Means "we don't live on campus". I live off the farm. Most typically means the farm is your means of living. Either you make your living by selling the products of the farm, or you actually eat the food produced on the farm. Possibly, you also live in a house that's part of the farm. I live off Main Street. Means you live on a ...


4

"Trail" is a verb and has the common meaning "to drag or let drag along the ground or other surface; draw or drag along behind." (dictionary.com) A (grey) sweater is a typical item of school uniform. "from one hand" just means the sweater was held by one hand, and from that hand it went behind him. Tin cans trailed from the car bumper as the newly ...


4

These sentences do not mean the same thing to me. There is a different nuance with regards to whether Jim has been in the city for years or whether he has simply been around the city for years. I will comment separately on each sentence. 1. Jim had been in Washington for years, and knew all the right people. The sentence tells me Jim has lived and worked ...


4

“Decide for yourself” would mean you’re making the decision that is only for you. The consequences of your decision only affect you. For example: “I’m going to order chocolate ice cream, you decide for yourself what you want” “Decide by yourself” means you’re making the decision on your own without anyone else. The decision may or may not affect others, ...


4

I know your question has nothing at all to do with religion or religious belief, and people in power are often described as "gods" (even in religious texts) but you shouldn't be surprised that usage of the word "god" is shaped somewhat by religious contexts. When people speak about "god" in the singular, especially in a religious context when they believe ...


4

For is a preposition ("for me"), but according to the Collins English Dictionary, it can also be used as a subordinating conjunction, introducing "a clause which gives the reason why you made the statement in the main clause" (so, roughly meaning "because, as, since"), in literary texts. Here is an example from the King James Bible (1611): Let him that ...


4

There is no difference in meaning: both indicate something in the kitchen is making a noise. You can be inside or outside the kitchen and say that you heard a noise in the kitchen, but you do need to be outside the kitchen to say you heard a noise from the kitchen.


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