64 votes

"She dressed like/as an owl." Which is correct?

She dressed like an owl. When looking at her (say from a distance) she vaguely resembles an owl. Maybe she is wearing a long brown frumpy gown or over-sized sweater, has very large horn-rimmed ...
49 votes

Why write "does" instead of "is" "What time does/is the pharmacy open?"

What time is the pharmacy open? I would assume you are asking about the time during which the pharmacy is open (its working hours), and would reply with We are open from 9 to 17. (I am being a ...
48 votes
Accepted

Why write "does" instead of "is" "What time does/is the pharmacy open?"

Confusion around use of ‘is’ versus ‘does’ is exceedingly common among people learning English as a second language, as it’s a distinction that a large number of other languages make through context (...
32 votes
Accepted

"She dressed like/as an owl." Which is correct?

1: She dressed like a child The way she put her clothes on was child-like (perhaps she struggled with the buttons, etc.). 2: She dressed as a child The particular clothing she wore was ...
30 votes
Accepted

A sentence with listing items: How to remove the ambiguity?

One way to reduce the ambiguity is to include articles:  Put the green apples in the first box.  Put the red and yellow apples and the oranges in the second box. With the definite articles in place, ...
30 votes

Why write "does" instead of "is" "What time does/is the pharmacy open?"

Your confusion here is because the English verb "open" can be both a verb: I opened the door. / I did open the door. (the second uses "do support") And an adjective. This is ...
  • 164k
30 votes
Accepted

What is the correct way to say I had to move my bike that went under the car in a crash?

The correct answer is basically what you already had, pull out. It took some time to pull out the bike from under the car because it got stuck. That is perfectly acceptable. I would probably move ...
  • 2,246
29 votes

When you're having a cat nap and a bad car accident happens

I had dozed off when we crashed. .......................... when the car accident happened. You should use the past perfect tense because your falling asleep happened before the car accident. doze ...
  • 22.9k
27 votes

A sentence with listing items: How to remove the ambiguity?

Simply repeat the use of apples. Rather than using the shortcut of red and yellow apples, use the expanded form of red apples and yellow apples: Put green apples in the first box. Put red apples, ...
25 votes
Accepted

Is it okay to say "We are no more in the 20th century"? Using "no more" with periods of time

no more can have the same the meaning as no longer and, up until 1840, it was more widely used. Here is a typical example: He instantly determined to be no more a slave. - The works of Hannah More, ...
  • 57.2k
23 votes
Accepted

"What is 'bleach'?" or "What does 'bleach' mean?"

Both questions are OK but they could be slightly clearer. If you want to know the meaning of the word, it's better to ask: What does the word bleach mean? This makes it clear that you are ...
  • 25.3k
23 votes
Accepted

Is hi-fi a proper English word?

"Hi-fi" is a real word, in the sense that it has been used and recorded in dictionaries for many years. But it means a "high-quality record player" (or cd player etc). Typically ...
  • 164k
20 votes
Accepted

"It was pleasure to meet you" vs "It was pleasure meeting you"

Well, the first thing I must point out is that neither of these sentences are correct without an 'a' in them. It was a pleasure to meet/meeting you. As for whether you should use "to meet" or "...
  • 4,693
20 votes

How to say that you spent the night with someone, you were only sleeping and nothing else?

The ambiguity of sleeping with being a euphemism for sex is often the cause of humour, confusion, or embarrassment for English speakers. This Quora discussion gives a brief history of this usage in ...
  • 924
20 votes

How to remove ambiguity: "... lives in the city of H, the capital of the province of NS, WHERE the unemployment rate is ..."?

The ambiguity arises because you have one sentence doing three jobs. It is telling us which city Jessica lives in, where that city is, and what the unemployment rate is. The simple fix is to split the ...
  • 164k
20 votes

Which sentence is better? "Sites no longer use..." or "sites not use anymore..."?

The first sentence is good. If you want to use 'any more' then it is more natural (at least to me!) at the end: 'These sites do not use the "###check-also-box" widget any more.' But I ...
  • 564
19 votes
Accepted

Living by himself vs Living on his own

They can be somewhat interchanged; that is, they have similar meanings that in some contexts are equivalent, but in others they have a different connotation. "living by himself" tends towards meaning ...
  • 4,445
19 votes
Accepted

How do native speakers say condolences to someone else (especially in AmE)?

"I am very sorry for your loss," is probably most common. You can elaborate if you wish, but otherwise this is simple and sufficient, especially if you are not very close to either the bereaved or the ...
  • 87.3k
18 votes
Accepted

How to say that you spent the night with someone, you were only sleeping and nothing else?

I think the easiest way to phrase this would be "I stayed with". For instance, if you shared a room with your father at a hotel, you can say "I stayed with my dad at the hotel" or "I stayed in a room ...
  • 196
18 votes
Accepted

How to remove ambiguity: "... lives in the city of H, the capital of the province of NS, WHERE the unemployment rate is ..."?

Halifax has an unemployment rate of 5%. Although the original sentence could be parsed as using parenthetical commas, it could also be parsed as having each comma functioning to have what comes after ...
17 votes

When you want to ask someone to maintain their class

I'm not sure that in modern usage of english that we refer to class directly in this way - people tend to reference the attributes that go with being in an upper-class environment, rather than ...
  • 9,767
15 votes

When you're having a cat nap and a bad car accident happens

Under this kind of condition, I'd be likely to adopt a quite formal tone, rather than less formal phrases such as "dozed off", so I'd think something like: I'm sorry, I was asleep at the time of ...
15 votes

When you want to ask someone to maintain their class

I don’t know anyone who would say, “Maintain your class.” The word class in this context doesn’t usually get a personal possessive pronoun such as my or your. Instead, we’d use a determiner like some: ...
  • 108k
15 votes

What is the correct way to say I had to move my bike that went under the car in a crash?

It took you some time to extricate the bike from under the car. Merriam Webster defines "extricate" as "to free or remove from an entanglement or difficulty" and notes that it &...
  • 1,758
14 votes
Accepted

When you're having a cat nap and a bad car accident happens

Abruptly is redundant in both sentences since "accidents" are usually abrupt. What you are trying to say is I was taking a nap when the accident happened. I was asleep when the accident happened ...
  • 65.5k
14 votes

When you're having a cat nap and a bad car accident happens

I was catching some Z’s that the accident happened abruptly. I was having a cat nap that the accident happened abruptly. The second half of both of these doesn't work. "That" isn't suitable ...
13 votes

Which sentence is better? "Sites no longer use..." or "sites not use anymore..."?

The first is correct and good. The second is grammatically incorrect. "anymore" should be "any more". "any more" should go at the end. There is a missing word "do&...
  • 5,158
12 votes
Accepted

"Take advantage of" and "make the most of": What is the difference?

As you might have noticed, both phrases need an "..of" - we have edited your question. "to take advantage of" and "to make the most of" have an overlapping meaning of "using an opportunity". So you ...
  • 14.2k
12 votes
Accepted

"consists of" or "consists in"?

As this chart shows, in the construction [some complete thing] consists in [the parts thereof]... ...the preposition in is now at the very least "dated", and should probably be avoided in your own ...
12 votes

How do native speakers say condolences to someone else (especially in AmE)?

I would like to offer you my condolences or My condolences on the death of your grandmother Is how you would say that. If you actually knew person who died though, they would probably expect ...
  • 3,286

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