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You can use arithmetic to refer to the process of doing a particular sum or calculation.

I don't quite understand what 'refer to' means – even after consulting the dictionary! Can somebody explain it in a practical way, and give some more examples about it?

And I'd also like to know other meanings and usages of it if there is any.

Thanks a lot!

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closed as general reference by Mahnax, Matt Эллен, kiamlaluno, jwpat7, Mitch May 2 '12 at 20:06

This question is too basic; it can be definitively and permanently answered by a single link to a standard internet reference source designed specifically to find that type of information.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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I refer you to this page: ldoceonline.com/dictionary/refer –  Manoochehr Apr 26 '12 at 3:57
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I hereby copyright Refer Madness as the title of an upcoming movie. –  Eugene Seidel Apr 26 '12 at 5:58
    
Welcome to ESL&U. –  tchrist Apr 26 '12 at 14:04

1 Answer 1

The quote is incorrectly formed. In written text it would be acceptable with different punctuation. When spoken, I would consider it factually incorrect. In writing:

You can use 'arithmetic' to refer to the process of doing a particular calculation.

Spoken:

You can use the word 'arithmetic' to refer to the process of doing a particular calculation.

Of course, when spoken, there are no quotation marks, which is why you need to add "the word" to make your meaning clear.

In any case, in this usage to refer to means to describe or denote. That definition is not in some of the online dictionaries I looked at, but it is in my offline dictionary and it is the best definition I found.

Hopefully someone more versed than I am in naming verb tenses can explain why a word means something but you use a word to refer to something.

As for other uses of the word:

I refer you to this page: ldoceonline.com/dictionary/refer - Manoochehr

is a great example and a good link to more examples of other meanings.

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