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

learn more… | top users | synonyms

1
vote
0answers
37 views

Combining two sentence in one while ensuring grammar errors are not present

Since English is my second language, I have been trying to wrap my head around the subheading I am writing. I feel like it would be better written if it was divided into multiple sentence, but I was ...
1
vote
1answer
3k views

“Against traffic” or “Against the traffic”

The following first sentence comes from Wikipedia, which 'the' is not used before 'traffic', while the second one comes from BBC, which has 'the' before 'traffic'. I wonder if both usages are correct ...
1
vote
2answers
1k views

What does the word robo means? [closed]

I was looking at another StackExchange site and saw this phrase: Although it was ultimately accepted, the reviewers who accepted it look more like robo-reviewers than those who rejected it. ...
1
vote
3answers
454 views

Can a sport team “clinch” a championship in the last regular season game?

This question gets into the subtle shades of meaning of the word clinch, in the context of sporting teams securing spots in the playoffs. My past experience hearing this term on television, or ...
1
vote
3answers
1k views

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

What does the phrase lemon on mean in this context? Is it an idiom? What is its correct usage? Excerpt from where I read this phrase: ... Hold on, for this deal, one that does not exist anywhere ...
1
vote
1answer
464 views

What is the average number of meanings for a word in English?

Many words have multiple meanings. Sometimes they are related (like "theory" as opposed to "practice", versus "theory" as in "scientific theory"), but sometimes they’re completely different (like "dye"...
1
vote
1answer
2k views

What is the meaning of “just as well” in this context?

The family cemetery sat at the bottom of the hill from the mansion. Dan thought it was kind of stupid they'd hired a hearse to carry Grace a hundred yards down the driveway. They could've put ...
1
vote
3answers
278 views

What's the “case” in “basket case”?

The following is a passage from an article on the origin of the idiom basket case: The origins of this idiom are somewhat grisly. In World War I, there were cases reported which involved soldiers ...
1
vote
1answer
114 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. ...
1
vote
1answer
54 views

distanced always by a sense of [closed]

What does "distanced by" mean in: "The images in themselves are as grotesque as those in Hirst’s catalogue pictures but taken out of documentary context, juxtaposed with other material and distanced ...
1
vote
4answers
7k views

What did “your mom did a number on you” mean in Seinfeld?

I remember one episode on Seinfeld, a girl said "did your mother do a number on you" when they were talking about breaking up or not. This is the sentence reported from the transcript: LISI: ...
1
vote
1answer
639 views

Meaning of “as … as any … someone had ever done”

Recently I have been reading "The Lost Symbol" and there is a sentence I find hard to understand. The wooden stair descending to the Capitol's subbasement were as steep and shallow as any stairs ...
0
votes
3answers
14k views

How do I answer “Where do you work?”

What are the main purposes to ask someone 'Where do you work?' apart from to find out the type of place he or she works in? I can answer: I work in a shop. I work in a hospital. I work in an ...
0
votes
1answer
540 views

Please provide me correct interpretation of this sentence [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How does negation affect the use and understanding of “or” and “and” A's girlfriend doesn't like movies or Roses. What would be the correct ...
0
votes
2answers
2k views

What is the meaning of the italicized “do” in this sentence?

A child meets this kind of discipline every time he tries to do something, which is why it is so important in school to give children more chances to do things, instead of just reading or ...
0
votes
2answers
112 views

What's the difference between “insulated” and “isolated”? [closed]

I don't know the difference because they have the same meaning.
0
votes
4answers
1k views

How does “not least” mean “in particular; notably”?

What's an intuitive derivation behind ODO's definition that helps to internalise its meaning? not least = In particular; notably I couldn't find the etymology for this ??adverbial phrase?? I ...
0
votes
4answers
41k views

What does “by way of” mean?

I was watching a TV show, and one man asked another where he was from. The response was "Pennsylvania by way of Illinois", and I can't really understand what it means in this context. Edit: ...
0
votes
0answers
94 views

What does “grandfathered in” mean? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: “I'm only grandfathering you in because of Serena.” Over here, Jeff says something using the expression "grandfathered in." What does that mean and how can ...
0
votes
3answers
1k views

Can I say it this way “ People are benefited by social networking ”

Is it correct to say People are benefited by Social Networking when what I really want to say is that People benefit from Social Networking
0
votes
3answers
644 views

Meaning of “little heart” vs. “less heart”? and why

Little heart/less heart? And why? I have read the following sentence: "he has little conscience and less heart." Can I write that "he has less conscience and little heart"? Could you solve my problem?...
0
votes
2answers
415 views

Does “Should I wash my hands of this?” suggest a bribe?

Should I wash my hands of this? Has this expression ever been used as a way of suggesting a bribe?
0
votes
1answer
92 views

What is the intended connotation of addressing somebody by 'lovely' in a letter or an email?

If as a man I got emails from a woman with: "Thank you, lovely!" and "Good morning, lovely!" what would the connotation of the addressing word 'lovely' be in English ? Is this word in English common ...
0
votes
3answers
7k views

What does “long enough to” mean?

"Around 10pm, I finally stopped drinking long enough to remember I had a car in a garage somewhere." I can't understand the above sentence clearly, especially the meaning of long enough to in this ...
0
votes
2answers
254 views

What does “to 1 part in 2x10^5 ” mean? [closed]

What does "to 1 part in 2x10^5" means in this sentence? A bridge circuit enable us to measure the change in capacitance to 1 part in 2x10^5, equivalent to a rotation angle of 8x10^(-8) rad, with ...
0
votes
1answer
1k views

Meaning of 'That old rocking chair's going to get me' [closed]

In the Joni Mitchell song Stormy Weather, there's this line: That old rocking chair's going to get me What does that mean? I suppose that old rocking chair is a symbol of something, but what? ...
0
votes
3answers
605 views

What does my coworker mean that our company doesn't support “Comp”?

I was talking to a coworker that said that our company doesn't support "Comp". We were talking about taking overtime to complete a project this weekend. I searched for comp in relation to jobs and ...
0
votes
2answers
145 views

Meaning of “that” in “holomorphic function in the sector S that is continuous”

I have encountered a confusing sentence in a math textbook: Suppose F is a holomorphic function in the sector S that is continuous on the closure of S. What does that mean in the above ...
-1
votes
3answers
101 views

…, as the Marxist critic Herbert Marcuse has proposed [closed]

Two questions regarding the following paragraph: First question: Which meaning is grammatically true for the first bold lines? (My problem is to know what the sentence "as the Marxist critic Herbert ...
-1
votes
3answers
1k views

Meaning of “as” in following sentence [closed]

I am not sure of the meaning of this sentence: The significance of culture and identity in development has to do not so much with the cultural factor in the process of development as with ...
-1
votes
2answers
2k views

What's the 'alternative forms of sexuality'?

The Beat Generation is a group of American post-WWII writers who came to prominence in the 1950s, as well as the cultural phenomena that they both documented and inspired. Central elements of "Beat" ...
-1
votes
1answer
690 views

Does the word “welfare” have an abbreviation?

I was listening to a lecture about Mercantilism where I heard a word that sounded like Welf. I tried to find if this word exists but I didn't find. In the lecture I heard this: The amassing of ...
-1
votes
1answer
284 views

What does “which” refer to in “in respect to which”? [closed]

From footnote 34 on page 216 of Thinking Like a Lawyer by Frederick Schauer:  . . . it is accepted that individuals have due-process rights to notice and hearing [//] with respect to ...
-2
votes
1answer
4k views

Meaning of “hyperbole” in “were prone to hyperbole” [closed]

hyperbole: n. A figure of speech in which exaggeration is used for emphasis or effect, as in I could sleep for a year or This book weighs a ton. Let us read the following sentence: Well, her ...