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Is it correct to say the following: "What means gol (a Farsi word) in English? Flower means gol in English." Can you bring an example of asking question about the subject of the verb "mean"? Thanks

closed as off-topic by AmE speaker, Nigel J, tchrist Dec 13 '17 at 1:50

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  • What? Like subject and predicate? or what? Cause, if that is the case, both your subjects should be "gol" (your answer should be "Gol means flower in english" the one you have is wrong: "Flower does not mean gol in english"). The question to get the subject is "what/who". – Billeeb Nov 29 '17 at 9:16
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    "What means X in Y" is poor construction. "What does X mean in Y" is better. – Davo Nov 29 '17 at 12:47
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We would normally say:

What does 'gol' mean in English?

'Gol' means 'flower' in English.

Although the above is ambiguous since it is not clear that the word 'gol' is not an English word, so we are more likely to ask:

What is the translation of 'gol' into English?

or

How does 'gol' translate into English?

  • I'd disagree with the first part - the only meaning of 'gol' in English is a pretty meaningless mild profanity. More appropriate would be what is the English [word/phrase] for 'gol'. – Spratty Nov 29 '17 at 9:16
  • I don't disagree with you @Spratty. I did say that it was ambiguous, but the question specifically asked about usage of 'mean'. The fact is that using 'mean' in this way is inappropriate, so I suggested an alternative, as did you. – Lee Leon Nov 29 '17 at 9:46
  • Absolutely fair enough - I just have a personal thing about what does <foreign word> mean in English?; it just rankles to ask what a word which clearly has no meaning in English actually means in English. Just me, most likely - I blame the rather rapid aging process. – Spratty Nov 29 '17 at 9:49
  • In that case @spratty, "what is the English [word/phrase] for 'gol" is wrong cause the correct question should be "What is the English translation for 'gol'?", cause, strictly, the english word for gol is gol. ;) – Billeeb Nov 29 '17 at 9:52
  • I put my hand up to that one - my use of a regional idiom right there, I suspect; good catch :-) – Spratty Nov 29 '17 at 10:00
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Question:

  1. What is the meaning of 'Gol' in English?

  2. What does 'Gol' mean in English?

  3. What would be the English word for 'Gol'?

Answer:

  1. The meaning of 'Gol' in English is ...

  2. 'Gol' means in English ...

  3. The English word for 'Gol' would be ...

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"gol" could be a word in many different languages. Some of the other answers here fail to point out, in their suggested rephrasings, that you're specifically asking about the Farsi word "gol". I'd say

Question: What's the English translation of the Farsi word "gol"?

and

Answer: The Farsi word "gol" means "flower" in English.

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