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Is there any book around which I can read?

What does the above sentence mean?

  1. "Is there any book available in the market which I can read?"
  2. "Is there any book in this room/or nearby which I can read?"

How do I distinguish between these two meanings of around?

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Your answer is likely to be found in the dictionary or in the larger context in which the remark is made. Please edit the question to show context and to report what you found in a dictionary and why it did not help. Certainly I am not familiar with "available in the market" as a specific sense of around. –  MετάEd Feb 28 '13 at 13:21
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1 Answer

up vote 3 down vote accepted

Like most 'meanings' it will depend on context.

If you are visiting friends and wander into the kitchen at ten o'clock at night and ask "Is there any book around which I can read?" your hosts will show you the bookcase.

If you are in a bookstore and ask "Is there any book around which I can read?", a salesperson will respond "What sort of book would you like?"

If a question about, say, contemporary trends arises in a course on the History of the English Language and you ask "Is there any book around which I can read?", your professor will respond "Well, you could start with Leech; but drop me an email and I'll send you a bibliography."

Around here means essentially 'readily available'; but what that means will depend on your location and your timeframe.

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