47 votes

Why "years to life" instead of "years of life"?

Because it isn’t “years of [her] life,” describing where the years are coming from—that’s implicit. Instead, it’s a range: from a minimum of 14 years, to a maximum of “life,” that is, until the ...
user avatar
  • 3,684
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 ...
user avatar
  • 13.8k
39 votes

Is it acceptable to omit "about" in this sentence? "I love everything (about) math."

The form "Everything + noun" is a recognized form, often used in the context of marketing, meaning everything that has a connection to whatever the noun is. A shop might advertise itself as ...
user avatar
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 ...
user avatar
  • 8,697
32 votes

Understanding "of" use in "all I could think of was"

In this case, of is a part of a larger phrasal verb--in this case, 'to think of.' To think of something is to be reminded of it, to consider it, or to make an opinion about it. It is almost a synonym ...
user avatar
  • 1,663
28 votes
Accepted

Into his pillow vs. onto his pillow

Onto portrays the pillow as a surface. Into makes sense if the pillow is fluffy and partially surrounds your head. Assuming an ordinary-sized pillow, "He sank into the pillow" is another way ...
user avatar
  • 3,123
28 votes
Accepted

"I am joined by two guests today" or "I am joined with two guests today"?

If you are joined with two other people, you are physically fixed together like conjoined triplets, or maybe stuck using glue. The 'native British speaker' may have been using English carelessly.
user avatar
28 votes
Accepted

Can we leave out "to" after go?

"Way" phrases are often used adverbially without a preposition: Walk this way. Do this the same way as she does it. You should start heading that way. Are you going to go my way? I like to ...
user avatar
26 votes
Accepted

Is it acceptable to omit "about" in this sentence? "I love everything (about) math."

It is borderline acceptable. You would normally expect an adjective: "I love everything spicy". Now, "math" isn't an adjective, it is a noun. It can be used attributively "a ...
user avatar
  • 149k
25 votes

Can we leave out "to" after go?

"To" means there's a destination. You don't use it when you're giving a direction without a destination. So... Let's go left. Let's go right. Let's go straight on. Let's go north. Let's go ...
user avatar
  • 2,190
18 votes
Accepted

Which one sounds more natural: "agree to a price" or "agree at a price"?

I would recommend the following three: "We agreed on the price with the customer, but then he changed his mind." "I offered $1000 for the car and she agreed to that." "We ...
user avatar
18 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?

This usage is unfortunately both completely natural/idiomatic, as well as ambiguous and confusing. A native speaker might very well say "please turn up the A/C" and mean either "raise ...
user avatar
14 votes

Into his pillow vs. onto his pillow

I'm pretty sure sank is the reason here, it becomes a metaphor in which into is used since "sank" literally proves a rhetorical point. The word into refers to the person slowly sinking "...
user avatar
11 votes

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

As gotube's answer explains, there are some subtleties here. In general, we say that something is "in a newspaper or magazine", but "on the television or radio". This extends to ...
user avatar
  • 3,628
9 votes

Into his pillow vs. onto his pillow

Good question! It’s not something I consciously think about often, but into and onto are very tricky words: I remember one fellow from Mexico, who had grown up using en for both and finally thought ...
user avatar
  • 4,409
8 votes
Accepted

pay by credit card Vs. pay with credit card

From my experience, to pay by credit card refers to the method of payment in a more abstract way. Here, you're talking about the abstract idea of paying with a credit card, not so much about paying ...
user avatar
8 votes

Why "years to life" instead of "years of life"?

It's the expression they use in courts. Consider: A parole proceeding is a hearing to determine whether an offender is suitable for release to parole supervision. An example of a life sentence with ...
user avatar
  • 8,082
7 votes
Accepted

Why can’t we use just “drive” instead of “to drive” in “Tom offered to drive…”?

You have misunderstood. Offer can function as a catenative verb—that is, verbs that can be followed directly by another verb. Often, the second verb is a gerund. In other cases, the verb is an ...
user avatar
7 votes

The meaning of "on" in "don't hit snooze on"

When you hit an alarm clock snooze button, you get to ignore the alarm and sleep a few more minutes. DON'T HIT SNOOZE ON $35 SEPARATES The link shows a headline for a swimwear advertisement. It ...
user avatar
7 votes
Accepted

The meaning of "on" in "don't hit snooze on"

A typical use would be "hit snooze on the alarm clock"—the "on" refers to the location of the snooze button. Searching the web for "hit snooze on" reveals colloquial/...
user avatar
  • 3,123
6 votes

'a large number' without 'of'

What would convince the owners to keep the playground open? A large number of visitors does this. Who highfives the janitory at the playground? A large number of visitors do this. In the first ...
user avatar
  • 276
6 votes

Is the sentence "our son was born in the last week" correct? (Using preposition and definite article with time units)

'In the last week' suggests that you don't know when exactly your son was born, but are sure it was no more than one week ago, which would, as you observe, be an odd thing for a new parent to say. '...
user avatar
6 votes

Is "crashed into a field" correct?

The driver went off the road and crashed into a field. As a native speaker the use of "into" in this sentence does not strike me as odd, but may suggest that some details of the accident ...
user avatar
  • 628
6 votes

Can we leave out "to" after go?

Correct versions are: "Let's go the other way." "Let's go to the other side." You use "to" when you are giving a destination. Like, "Let's go to Sally's house." ...
user avatar
  • 57.2k
6 votes
Accepted

Passive voice of - A rolling stone gathers no moss

Short answer: the phrase is always active, you shouldn't change this proverb to a passive form. However, consider the semantic role played by "A rolling stone". You can consider this to be ...
user avatar
  • 149k
6 votes

The seemingly unnecessary “out” in phrasal verbs

The Collins Cobuild Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs has a Particles Index. The introduction to the index makes it clear that in many cases the particle emphasises, modifies or extends the meaning of the ...
user avatar
  • 2,855
5 votes
Accepted

between March 22 and June 6, 2021 vs. between March 22 to June 6, 2021

Not really (though there is little chance of misunderstanding. Idiomatically it is From ... to ... Between ... and ....
user avatar
  • 149k
5 votes
Accepted

"I'm on bed" is ungrammatical?

“In bed” is an idiom that refers to a person who is resting or sleeping in a bed. It frequently implies being under bed clothes. Like other idioms, it can be odd. “On the bed” is not an idiom and so ...
user avatar
  • 27.3k
5 votes
Accepted

...major changes 'on / in' people's lifestyle

Basically, you inflict or impose changes ON something, but you cause or bring changes IN something. You can use any of these verbs, but because the intended meaning is that the impact on people's ...
user avatar
  • 8,082

Only top scored, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible