user3169
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Is there an idiom that says not to change a perfectly good thing?
86 votes

If it ain't broke, don't fix it. (informal) If it isn't broken, don't try to fix it. Edit: You could leave out "try to" (I've heard it both ways), but the point of the proverb is that if you ...

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Meaning: "waiting for 6 hours" vs. "6 hours since I was waiting"
32 votes

No. I have been waiting for you for 6 hours. It is now 7:00, and I have been waiting for you since 1:00. It's been 6 hours since I was waiting for you. I was waiting for you until 5:00, but ...

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Using "at a jail" vs. "in a jail"
28 votes

If you are at the jail building, then you can say: I am at the jail. or "detention facility" or such. But if you were arrested and locked up, then you would say: I am in jail. because ...

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The meaning of "shooting" in this sentence "Here's the HTML we're shooting to generate"
20 votes

You could also use aiming. Here's the HTML we're aiming to generate.

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The difference between 'extra chair' and 'spare chair'
15 votes

Let's say you are holding a meeting, and there are 10 chairs, but only 9 people show up. Then you can say: I seems like we have one extra chair. It is available but nobody is sitting in it. But ...

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Words to describe the situation in which my diary book has a few fresh pages left
Accepted answer
15 votes

Instead of "fresh pages" you should use "blank pages". Then you could write: My diary (book) only has a few blank pages left. I will need to start a new one soon. or My diary (book) is almost ...

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'I got a cold' versus 'I caught a cold'
15 votes

In my experience (AmE), the proper form is caught. I caught a cold. Using got is more informal, and can be used to indicate motion of the illness (as in your example): I got the cold from you. ...

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“puked” vs. “vomited”
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14 votes

I would not say either about a baby. I would say: Our baby spits up milk. Our baby was spitting up milk last night. (AmE) Puke is a crude word for vomit, so I don't think you would want to ...

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“in the morning” vs. “in morning”
13 votes

Morning needs an article, so your example I messaged you in the morning. But since this is past tense, it would be better to write: I messaged you this morning. For the future it is OK though: ...

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Which one(s) of “up”, “above”, “over”, “on” and “upon” is (or are) correct for this sentence?
Accepted answer
13 votes

2) Could you please put the pen on the book? is the most likey way someone would say this. 3) "upon" is also OK but is more likely to occur in literature. These refer to placement. 1) Could you ...

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"Product list" vs "Products list"
Accepted answer
12 votes

Product list A list by definition is already plural, so using product (what kind of list) as a modifier is correct. Products List might not necessarily be wrong, but a better way to use products ...

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Which is more polite, "Would you" or "Could you"?
12 votes

When you say: Would you tell me the way to the station? you are asking a favor of someone. When you say: Could you tell me the way to the station? literally you are asking if the person knows ...

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Alone or by yourself?
11 votes

Yes, a slight difference, more in usage than in grammar terms. You cannot drink it alone. means wanting to drink with other people around. More common would be: You cannot drink alone. For ...

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Alternative ways of saying "...., right?"
11 votes

You are going tomorrow on the 11:30 flight, aren't you?

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Overdose or overdo on vitamins?
10 votes

I think I might have overdosed on vitamins. This would be OK if you took an excessive amount of a certain vitamin. As long as doing so causes the possibility of harm, it is an overdose". The amount ...

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Meaning of "That was all he had in the way of a wheel barrow"
Accepted answer
10 votes

It would be like saying: That was all he had that was like a wheel barrow. meaning the "box with a string tied to it" was the boy's attempt to make a wheelbarrow. Wheelbarrow decides the boy must ...

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Which is correct: "have been completed" or "are completed"
Accepted answer
10 votes

The requested modifications have been completed. is better, because you are referring to a continuing action (you finished writing the code, but it will get tested next). Put into context: The ...

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difference between "came along" and "along came"
10 votes

When you say: John came along. It means John went with you (or others). John came along with us to the party. But when you say: Along came John. it means from your point of view, John ...

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fall into a category vs. fall under a category
10 votes

In your example: Notice that these examples fall under well-established categories of acceptable, standard English. Think of a hierarchal chart with categories and sub-categories. In your example,...

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"Lily, not he/him, had planned the party" — Which pronoun is more appropriate?
9 votes

Given the clause (what was explained): Lily, not him, had planned the party. both Lily and "him" are subjects. So use the subjective pronoun form, he is correct: He explained that Lily, not he, ...

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take a screwdriver to something
9 votes

taking a screwdriver to (something) is an expression used when a person without necessary skills tries to fix something (as the example says). One example would be to refer to someone trying to fix ...

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Difference between "fat chance" and "slim chance"?
9 votes

fat chance is like a cynical no chance: You think you can win the lottery? Fat Chance. slim chance is when there is a small possibility. It does not infer any hidden meaning. Even though I did ...

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Sarcastic Idioms for being slow to notice something
9 votes

A good comment for an absent-minded person: What planet were you on? or Earth to (insert name), ...

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A word for the machine that tells a news reader what to say (using scrolling subtitles)
Accepted answer
9 votes

I am not sure exactly what you are looking for, but check teleprompter.

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What is the meaning of "For Good"?
9 votes

Yes, for good. for good means you are leaving for the last time. You will NEVER come back. Check this definition: for good

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Correct plural usage for "hundreds" and "thousands"
Accepted answer
9 votes

It is because you are not counting the thousands, you are counting the trees. So when you say: There are seven thousand trees. The noun trees is countable and plural. thousand is an adjective in ...

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Bring versus Take: specific example
Accepted answer
8 votes

It depends on where you are when the action occurs. If you go to the counter and ask someone to move food at the counter to your table (at that moment), then: Please take these items to my table. ...

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My passed-away grandmother
Accepted answer
8 votes

If the person I am speaking to knows my grandmother was dead, I would just say: my grandmother If the person did not know, I would still say the same unless the topic is related to her passing. In ...

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What "Mechanics can pull codes for many of these sensors" can exactly mean?
8 votes

to pull codes means to download error codes from the computer memory. mechanics refer to those working people that repair mechanical devices.

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Now we're only a nip and tuck away
8 votes

Now we're only a nip and tuck away The style seems similar to a common advertising style, for example "We are just a phone call away", meaning their services are nearby or conveniently available. In ...

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