95 votes
Accepted

"I often buy fruits when I go to the supermarket" – illogical?

In the context of running errands, go to (some place) is idiomatic speech, and it means more than the physical act of going to that location. So, when I “go to the store,” I don’t merely park in a ...
  • 109k
92 votes
Accepted

Why is it that when we say a balloon pops, we say "exploded" not "imploded"?

A balloon contains air under pressure. When it pops, the air expands. Merriam-Webster defines "explode" as, among other things: to burst forth with sudden violence or noise from internal ...
  • 1,758
76 votes
Accepted

I'm baffled at this expression: "If I don't talk to you beforehand, then......"

It merely reflects that someone is doing something somewhat earlier than expected because there may not be another opportunity to do so conveniently. If you do not communicate with your client daily, ...
  • 31.3k
45 votes
Accepted

Is the phrase "I read that in Spock" correct?

Such expressions are very common. For example, one might say "I've read Shakesepeare extensively." The person means that he or she has read Shakespeare's works, not the author himself. This ...
22 votes

I'm baffled at this expression: "If I don't talk to you beforehand, then......"

I understand it in this way As I will probably not talk to you before the holidays begin, I hope you have a very happy, healthy and safe holiday! Or As it is likely I will not talk to you before ...
  • 9,008
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 "...
  • 4,701
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 ...
  • 87.4k
19 votes

"I often buy fruits when I go to the supermarket" – illogical?

Your student is not wrong. Natively in American English we use "go" in this way. "Go" in most cases implies "to be" which means you don't have to specifically say you are in a place. "Go" also implies ...
  • 201
18 votes

Is the phrase "I read that in Spock" correct?

The grammar is fine, as others have answered. I’ll add that it’s especially common to cite works by author’s last name in academic papers, and the character Jack Torrance is a (fired) prep-school ...
  • 6,239
17 votes

I'm baffled at this expression: "If I don't talk to you beforehand, then......"

It is very common in English for speakers and writers to say "if [something happens]" when they actually mean "in case", to the point there's a subgenre of jokes premised on taking ...
15 votes

"What more" vs "what else" do you need?

Both more and else are syntactically fine in OP's example, and in many contexts they'll mean exactly the same thing. But note that idiomatically, What more do you need? is far more likely when what's ...
15 votes
Accepted

When to use "bon appetit"?

As some of the comments have mentioned, it's not frequently used in English. I would say that, unless it's being used in a humorous way, the phrase is usually reserved for fine dining settings. In ...
  • 109k
13 votes

"I often buy fruits when I go to the supermarket" – illogical?

I think your sentence sounds fine. However, the use of the noun fruits would sound strange to a native speaker in the context of how you've used it here. When you are talking about fruit in general ...
  • 1,676
13 votes

Why is it that when we say a balloon pops, we say "exploded" not "imploded"?

I think there are many possible reasons for this; a single answer is not possible. Some suggestions: Explode is a frequent word, whereas implode is less frequent, and somewhat limited to technical ...
  • 2,820
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
11 votes
Accepted

Can we use "Been" without have/has/had?

Been is widely used in a number of British and American dialects as an abbreviated form of present perfect have been/has been. In some cases the form is established as a dialect standard, in other ...
11 votes

Why is it that when we say a balloon pops, we say "exploded" not "imploded"?

An implosion is a region of low pressure collapsing because of the higher pressure surrounding it. That's clearly not what is happening when a balloon 'pops', as the sound that is produced is the high ...
  • 869
10 votes

"What" in questions about professions

"What is he?" could answered in several ways, depending on the situation: He's a runner. He's a goalie. That guy over there is a defenseman. He's Chinese, she's Canadian. He's a carpenter. He's a ...
  • 109k
10 votes
Accepted

Is it rude to say "I will let you know"?

It's not rude at all to tell someone I'll let you know It either can mean you don't know or you haven't made up your mind. Less ambiguous is I'll let you know when I find out. since it means ...
  • 65.7k
10 votes
Accepted

Is using “pretty damn spicy” to mean “actually very spicy” proper?

Damn works as an intensifier, similar to very. Pretty is much milder, and has a sense of "more than expected", "more than average". It actually works to soften damn in this sense, ...
9 votes

Meaning of "I am supposed to meet a friend in 1 hour"

If you look up "suppose" by itself, you will get nowhere with this sentence; the words be supposed to must be treated as a unit. To "be supposed to" generally means that you are intended, expected, ...
  • 18.6k
9 votes

"....in 10 days" or ".....after 10 days."

OP is mistaken in thinking that native Anglophones wouldn't say I will fly to London after 10 days. The only relevant factor here is that after [some amount of time] requires a context within which ...
8 votes
Accepted

When you use a dimmer

Your example shouldn't use "here", it should use "it". (Although "it" is non-specific, but people understand what is being refered to. Check my second example though.) It is too dark, Andy. Please ...
  • 2,475
8 votes

"I often buy fruits when I go to the supermarket" – illogical?

In a literal sense 'when I go to (a place) refers to the period of time that I am engaged in the act of "going" , not the time when I have finished 'going' and am now doing something else at the place....
  • 1,007
7 votes

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

I would not use either phrase, to my ear both need an "a", thus: It was a pleasure to meet you. It was a pleasure meeting you. When the "a" is added then either can be used. ...
  • 2,074
7 votes
Accepted

You are a gluttonous / overeater

Gluttonous is impossible: it an adjective and cannot take the determiner a. Use the noun from which it is derived, glutton. But this is a very derogatory term (in fact, gluttony is one of the seven ...
7 votes

When to use "bon appetit"?

Bon appetit is a salutation and can be said to a person who is about to start a meal, under any circumstance. No hard and fast rule regarding that. Even when a person joins you for a meal, it can be ...
  • 569
7 votes
Accepted

To (have / take) a swim

All three sentences are correct, but they can carry a surprisingly complex subtlety of meaning. "I'm going for [something]", in this context, means I am departing to do or obtain that something. In ...
  • 1,011
6 votes

"What more" vs "what else" do you need?

In the context you have given, can mean different things. What more do you need? Can be taken as for example - "Isn't what is given enough? What else possibly could you need" implying that what is ...
6 votes
Accepted

Is it correct to say "no need of thanks"?

There is no need for thanks. Here, thanks is a noun. There is no need to thank me. Here, to thank is a verb. In the same way: There is no need to be sorry. (verb) or There is no need for ...
  • 31k

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