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9 answers
23 votes
11k views
I'm baffled at this expression: "If I don't talk to you beforehand, then......"
22 votes

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 ...

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4 answers
10 votes
3k views
What is the subject of “With great power comes great responsibility.”?
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18 votes

Your sentence looks like a saying, and it uses subject-verb inversion to give more impact. Sometimes you must use inverted word order to communicate the intended idea. Inverted word order occurs when ...

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11 answers
6 votes
2k views
Is there a phrase/word meaning "visit a place for a short period of time"?
18 votes

I would think pop in describes a short visit, as Free dictionary indicates: enter briefly He popped in for two minutes. Here is what Cambridge says: to visit briefly: Why don’t you pop in and see ...

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9 answers
37 votes
7k views
Your English is better than my <<language>>
10 votes

It is a compliment, so it is likely positive. Think of it like that: Your knowledge of English is better than my knowledge of Czech. I say only likely positive and not definitely positive because ...

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3 answers
3 votes
50 views
Can the verb "to impress someone with something" be used in a negative way?
9 votes

This is a meaning that impress had at its origins: late 14c., "have a strong effect on the mind or heart, to stamp deeply in the mind," [whether it is by something positive or negative - it ...

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1 answers
2 votes
523 views
He says he's vegetarian, yet he eats everything put in front of him. What is the use of PUT here?
8 votes

Yes, you understood correctly. Put is the past participle of the verb "to put" and it is used in a passive reduced relative clause modifying the indefinite pronoun everything (I will put ...

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2 answers
4 votes
333 views
To pick at the scab - Is this a proper idiom
8 votes

Cambridge doesn't consider it as a set phrase, but it gives an example of it used in the literal sense under the entry of scab as noun: a hard covering of dry blood that forms over a cut or sore: ...

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1 answers
0 votes
114 views
What do Americans call a tubelight?
8 votes

AHD finds no instance neither of tubelight nor of tube light. More generally, it is called a fluorescent light. I first thought of neon lights but this American site called homesteady explains it well:...

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3 answers
3 votes
330 views
Contraction for negative short answers
7 votes

Yes it can be formal and it is correct. This doesn't mean that this answer without contraction is impossible in less formal contexts. It can also be used for emphasis. Imagine an excessively caring ...

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1 answers
3 votes
586 views
And not to acknowledge that is becoming increasingly perverse
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7 votes

No, that refers to the fact that there is less racism and sexism, and transphobia at this moment in America, and in particular in our institutions than there has ever been anywhere on Earth. Sam ...

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2 answers
3 votes
1k views
What does "beast at (something)" mean?
7 votes

The onlineslangdictionary gives this definition of beast (among others): a person who is exceptionally good at something, or performs that activity aggressively. and gives this example: He is a ...

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3 answers
12 votes
2k views
"In the mud" or "in mud"
6 votes

"In the mud" is what you need in your sentence. "In mud" is possible for general statements as in ... playing in mud makes you happier! Playing in mud can make you healthier too. (...

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3 answers
2 votes
282 views
Questions about 'smoothly'
Accepted answer
6 votes

Generally, when people refer to their level in a certain language, the idiomatic technical word is fluent (or speak fluently). Smooth is used more to describe the manner of speech rather than to ...

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2 answers
0 votes
130 views
What does "ter" mean?
Accepted answer
6 votes

ter summat stronger if yeh've got it is used to show heavy accent or a dialect by writing words as they are pronounced (see Phonemic orthography). Here ter would be the phonemic orthography of to: I ...

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3 answers
5 votes
1k views
It seems that/It looks like we've got company
6 votes

Your expressions are synonyms: It looks like - it seems that (PowerThesaurus). So you can use either. The difference is that "it looks like" is more informal. Interest was high amongst the ...

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8 answers
9 votes
5k views
What's the word for changing your mind and not doing what you said you would?
6 votes

If you need a single word you could say reconsider (WordHippo) To alter one's opinion about something The episode had made him reconsider, like a great sickness or a bereavement. if a phrase is ...

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3 answers
6 votes
671 views
Is there any difference between "take the initiative" and "show initiative"?
6 votes

Let's look at two definitions from Macmillan dictionary: UNCOUNTABLE the ability to decide in an independent way what to do and when to do it Example: Mr Hills showed initiative and bravery when ...

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2 answers
3 votes
214 views
...major changes 'on / in' people's lifestyle
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5 votes

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 ...

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2 answers
-4 votes
58 views
Is there a word to refer to your brother/sister without referring gender?
5 votes

Sibling a brother or sister: I have four siblings: three brothers and a sister. (Cambridge) The word brister does not exist. There is brethren, but it has a restricted meaning: (used as a form of ...

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1 answers
0 votes
53 views
Noun 'compliance' used as an adjective?
5 votes

In your sentence the noun compliance is not an adjective, but an attributive noun. M-W explains: Attributive here means "joined directly to a noun in order to describe it". There are a few ...

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2 answers
0 votes
96 views
Meaning of the word 'Norse god'
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5 votes

These Norse gods were pretty fierce, so here the author is using a simile: a giant of a man, ruddy and gruff, like an angry Norse god. All the adjectives would well describe the intimidating ...

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1 answers
2 votes
124 views
Is there any word for the rocks used to pave paths near a medieval home?
Accepted answer
5 votes

You may be thinking of cobbles or cobblestones: A naturally rounded stone (usually from rivers, fields or the sea) used for paving and walls. Setts are often popularly called cobbles. They are small ...

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2 answers
9 votes
820 views
“a nice breeze” vs “nice breezes”
5 votes

In such a context you don't normally use the plural. Think of wind. Unless you want to make distinctions between the different types of winds, or speak of a particular category of winds (summer winds, ...

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1 answers
0 votes
10 views
How to use "make" and "form" with "impression"?
4 votes

The two expressions are used in different contexts and each takes a different preposition. Thus, we say to make an impression on sb which means to cause someone to notice and admire you: He made ...

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3 answers
-1 votes
36 views
Verb or phrasal verb that means to provide information on a website
4 votes

I would say enter your information/personal details. Here are some instances: Simply enter your information in the boxes below George, and wait to be sent your bottle of the chicken sunscreen. (...

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3 answers
3 votes
70 views
Is the word "suicide" a verb?
Accepted answer
4 votes

This is the process of using nouns as verbs that has been increasing lately. Some call it denominalization, others verbing. It’s nothing new — verbs have been created from noun forms throughout the ...

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1 answers
2 votes
25 views
Can I use "in the first place" in a continuous tense sentence?
Accepted answer
4 votes

In the first place has no connotation of time, it just marks the order of considerations, truths, ideas or facts, which can be past, present or future. So it does not matter what tense you use. It ...

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1 answers
2 votes
33 views
meaning of "that" in "that much better"
4 votes

The adverb that here is an instance of anaphoric reference, as it refers to those 30 or 40 little things written in the notebook from the precedent sentence. That is an intensifier of much, and it ...

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1 answers
1 votes
10 views
Can both terms be used? Dated and Scheduled
4 votes

Dated does not mean planned for a particular date. It means: provided with a date e.g. a signed and dated painting (Oxford Languages) or OUTMODED, OLD-FASHIONED dated formalities (M-W) When used ...

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3 answers
3 votes
373 views
What does the expression of 'mountain frowning on me' mean?
4 votes

If you look at the shape of the eye brows you can see the lines like two mountain curves. This picture from Pentaxuser is called "frowning mountains": You can see the same shape like ...

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