This tag is for questions about the meaning of a longer passage of English.

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What is the meaning of “in which the sales each force operates” in this sentence?

A friend has asked me to translate this sentence into Persian, but I don't undretsand the bold part.(I wish I knew its previous and next sentences,too, but she has given just this sentence!) Sales ...
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2answers
35 views

How to understand 'unless' = 'on a less or lower condition', in: 'Don't X, unless Y'?

Please help me dig deeper than definition 1 below, without appealing to any other definition of 'unless'. I understand the paraphrases of the sentences here and here, but not my own (ie 2) below. ...
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1answer
21 views

What's the meaning of “personal correspondence”?

"His personal correspondence is renowned in the Italian language" - from an article about Niccolò Machiavelli What is the exact meaning of "personal correspondence" in that context ?
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1answer
30 views

The differences bewteen “Mere” and “Merely”.

What are the difference between these two sentences: 1) He's a mere boy. 2) He's merely a boy
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1answer
42 views

meaning of “object”

We know "object" has several meanings: a thing, objectivity in philosophy, goal, disagreement, ... but, which one is true in this context?: "On the one side is the school of neo-realism, which ...
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0answers
38 views

How to call the first 20 banks of some rating

If we consider banks that are in the first 20 of a rating, what do we call these banks in short? I suppose we can call them "TOP-20 banks". I need this phrase in the sentence. The assets of ...
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2answers
37 views

what is “that…” referring to?

In his book Unweaving the Rainbow, Richard Dawkins challenges the view expressed in Romantic poetry that the desire to analyse the workings of the world through examining its smallest components is ...
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1answer
66 views

What does “older faith” mean in this sentence?

I've come across a sentence in God is not Great by Christopher Hitchens and don't understand what older faith means here. "Extra ecclesiam, nulla salus," as the older faith used to say. “Within ...
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2answers
313 views

What does the phrase “woman who does” mean?

I've first heard the phrase on QI (season 3 episode 6) where Stephen Fry uses it as rhyming slang for "buzz" Bill: "Woman"? Stephen: "Woman who does": buzz. Bill: Buzz. Phill: ...
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1answer
48 views

mom-husband-wife thing [on hold]

I heard this one on TV, too. Here is the quote: Narrator: Sara is isolated geographically and emotionally from her family and friends. A friend: Five years had gone by where we were doing ...
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0answers
30 views

hit the road (meaning in context)

I was watching a show on TV (I escaped my killer) and Lisa Noland is dropped off after being raped several times by her attacker and to her surprise he doesn't kill her, drops her off at her ...
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1answer
28 views

What does “nothing that” mean? [on hold]

I read this article- Greeks take to the streets for dueling rallies that reflect a divided nation in Washington post. And I'm confused about what the "nothing that" means in this part : The ...
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1answer
50 views

What does 'get something about me' in this context?

I am reading 'The Invisible Man' by H.G.Wells and there is this scene. Griffin(the invisible man) broke in Dr.Kemp's house and they met. After Griffin finally made Kemp understood that he is actually ...
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1answer
44 views

What is proverbial town pump?

"Patrick Wethered was as well known as the proverbial town pump; his mysterious and tragic death filled all Dublin with dismay. The lawyer, who was a man sixty years of age, had been struck on the ...
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1answer
33 views

What does “facility” mean in the context of fitness certification? [on hold]

I want to host a fitness certification. So, i have to fill this form. But i didn't understand what facility means in this context therefore i can't find the best word to put in that field. What does ...
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1answer
62 views

What does “one” refer to in this sentence? [on hold]

Here I am with a Hitchens sentence again! I can't come up with an exact part or parts one might be referring to in the following sentence. (Please note, however, that I will give the whole preceding ...
2
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1answer
45 views

What is the meaning of this “go in and out”? [on hold]

What is the meaning of this "go in and out": (from Randall Jarrell’s The Bat-Poet) The chipmunk said in a pleased voice: "My day." He sat there and listened while the bat said: In and out the ...
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3answers
56 views

What does “delinquent” mean in this context? [closed]

I'm more or less aware of the meanings of the word delinquent. However, I can't decide what it exaclty means in the following quote which is from god is not Great by Christopher Hitchens and where he ...
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3answers
121 views

Good Luck **in** all your endeavors' versus Good Luck **to** all your endeavors'

What is the difference between 'I am currently busy with family stuff so I really don't know when is a good time to catch up. Good Luck in all your endeavors' versus 'I am currently busy with family ...
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1answer
56 views

Reading Comprehension Question: How to narrow down to correct answer? [closed]

Passage (Its a bit long) The pioneers of the teaching of science imagined that its introduction into education would remove the conventionality, artificiality, and backward-lookingness which ...
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1answer
31 views

Nobody would believe what an effort it is **to do what little I am able**,--to dress and entertain, and order things

Nobody would believe what an effort it is to do what little I am able,--to dress and entertain, and order things. (a part of "Yellow Wallpaper" by Charlotte Perkins Gilman) I don't ...
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1answer
61 views

What does 'drinkle' mean? [closed]

I came across the word "drinkle" in the sentence: It's one of the Drinkle girls. I Googled it, but I couldn't find anything helpful.
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3answers
70 views

What does “bet-covering” mean in this context?

As always, I'm stuck in a Hitchens sentence from God Is Not Great. Here it is: If you believe in god and there is a god, you win. If you believe in him and you are wrong — so what? I once wrote a ...
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2answers
60 views

To be sound in doing something?

I've looked up each and every possible meanings of sound. I've reduced the options to two or so. But I still find it hard to ascertain the meaning of sound and the way its is used in this context. ...
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1answer
40 views

the switch went on (definition)

I heard this in a documentary. The speaker is some serial killer who claims he started his rampage after watching a video. He goes like this: "I put one of the videos in and what came on the ...
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2answers
67 views

Reading Comprehension question

Here is a GRE practice question that I have an issue with. It is given here, Question #7. Passage: French cuisine is highly regarded all over the world. Yet in Paris there are more ...
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1answer
56 views

“to appear in the dock on”

I'm new here. This is my first question. What's the meaning of the sentence with italic/bold. I'm writing complete passage to make simpler. He was described by prosecuting lawyers as the alleged ...
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27 views

Reading Comprehension GRE

The article “Shock therapy for mental patients will be reviewed” continues the ignorant tradition of demonizing electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) in the media (the very use of the ...
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3answers
965 views

Why would a cynic be offended by fantasy?

I just came across the sentence Like most people today, Judy was a cynic and was offended by the slightest hint of fantasy. According to the dictionary, a cynic is : a person who believes ...
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3answers
129 views

What does unicorn mean in the following context?

The Black Adder s01e03 - The Archbishop. In the epilogue, Sister Sara asked the Mother Superior, So presumably you won't be needing the unicorn tonight? followed by a laughing track. Is she ...
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1answer
58 views

There you have it again?

I wonder if no one has asked it simply because it is so obvious, but I really can't grasp the exact meaning of there you have it (again). I occasionally infer it from the context but not every single ...
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8answers
914 views

What is the term used to define an answer which does not offend anyone?

For instance - I do not want to take anyone's side in a debate and when asked about my point of view, I end up giving a smart answer which does not offend anyone of them. What is the word for that ...
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2answers
52 views

Meaning of “if you want to exchange gear for promo”

What is the meaning of this model's response to a photograph? Well I have enough work on my plate, but if you want to exchange gear for promo, I'm always cool with that!
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1answer
37 views

Meaning of “Industry Puzzled” [closed]

I'm not a native speaker and I have a bit of trouble with understanding the meaning of the term Industry Puzzled in a newspaper headline. Here is an example I found that uses the term: Biodiesel ...
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2answers
59 views

Meaning: 'take on a macabre ring'

I've come across a confusing phrase. This former Belgian possession is the most Christian country in Africa, boasting the highest percentage of churches per head of population, with 65 percent of ...
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3answers
87 views

What's the “tumbleweed” in tumbleweed badge?

Well I just earned one :). According to the description it's awarded to a question which receives literally no attention in a week. (Snapshot below) So it led me to the notion that a "tumbleweed" ...
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0answers
102 views

Meaning of the term “empty use” in the context of modal verbs

I'm reading a book titled Comprehensive High School English Grammar & Composition. The author, who is Indian, says this on the use of the modal verbs can and could: Can is used to express ...
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2answers
92 views

What does “tend one's spinning wheel” mean?

However hard I tried I've failed to get the exact meaning of tending his spinning wheel here. It would be argued, and indeed I would argue, that Muslim intransigence would have played a ...
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1answer
32 views

What does “the same” refer to in this quote from the Reactive Manifesto? [closed]

This is the first few lines of the Reactive Manifesto: Organisations working in disparate domains are independently discovering patterns for building software that look the same. These systems ...
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3answers
52 views

What does “the private comes well” mean in the following context?

Sharing the cycle with Elisabeth Leonskaja and Khatia Buniatishvili, among others, to Douglas has fallen the massive Hammerklavier and the Waldstein sonatas, as well as gems such as Op 90 and ...
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3answers
72 views

What is 'move it along' [closed]

One of the colleague has mentioned the following, We should be able to do it, but to move it along (My name), please do it at xyz. What should I infer from this statement?
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1answer
81 views

What does “a lot of talent sitting in suits” mean?

After Cavalier’s losing the NBA finales game, LeBron James said: “Tried as much as we could to try to make up for those guys, but it’s a lot of talent sitting in suits,” James said. “I’ve had a ...
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1answer
53 views

What does “wishful tradition” mean?

A passage from The Magus, by John Fowles, reads: The wishful tradition is that our family came over from France after the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes- noble Huguenots remotely allied to ...
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2answers
39 views

Who are belongers and emulators? [closed]

As part of a lengthy description of its Ideal Customer, a remodeling company says this: Our ideal customers are belongers and emulators - they entertain and love to have family around. A big draw ...
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2answers
345 views

What is the meaning of “lie down and die”? [closed]

"If one still refused to lie down and die, he lost, or loosed, his temper. His temper was like a red dog, and he always had it close to hand." What is the meaning of "lie down and die"? Is it a ...
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1answer
50 views

In any but the most vestigial and nostalgic way…?

Once again, here I am with a question raised by the highly unintelligable Hitchens... It can be equally useful and instructive to take a glimpse at the closing of religions, or religious movements. ...
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2answers
415 views

Meaning of 'amp' in an emotional-distress context

What does 'amp' mean in this phrase? I am glad they cannot read these signs so they won't get sad&amp
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1answer
36 views

meaning of “with two-thirds of the voting rights, and a third of outstanding shares”

The merger plan must win approval from shareholders with two-thirds of the voting rights, and a third of outstanding shares in order to pass a shareholder meeting scheduled for July 17. I ...
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2answers
61 views

meaning of “it's less of a drain on resources” [closed]

What does this statement mean? He's more comfortable, we are more comfortable, it's less of a drain on resources, the authority is ecstatic. I can't understand what it means by "it's less of a ...
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2answers
68 views

Difference in I have and I had

I am always get into dilemma situation whether to use "I have" or "I had" for immediate past event. For example: I have discussed with you or I had discussed with you-:(Discussion happened yesterday ...