I appreciate your moderate and attentive treatment to the OPs as always.

A TOEFL textbooks give me this kind of sentence. ( Though in my opinion, since it is in the listening practice section, it sounds a bit abrupt. )

The whole practice is talking about the gene therapies.


At this point of time, there are three types of gene therapy. The first one entails leaving the mutated genes alone, but placing normal genes inside a cell and activating them. The second type involves stopping gene abnormality by binding a specific gene sequence to the abnormal gene sequence. The final type is a so-called gene operation, as it involves away a particular portion of DNA. Lastly, I'd like to explain the risk involving in gene therapy. As a matter of fact, it is no simple task to manually place a gene inside a deceased cell from the outside. For this reason, it is necessary to weigh the risk of side effects during and after treatment, is this sinking in?

Now, here, please confirm, the last phrase will drop on the definition of the below by Merriam Unabridged.

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Assuming, the narrator is confirming the listeners if the recognition of the risks entailed by the gene treatment are enough absorbed by the listeners' minds. Am I correct here?

Thank you for your always moderate supports.

  • "Sinking in" is, in this case, an idiom, meaning "being absorbed" or "being understood at more than a superficial level". – Hot Licks Jul 7 '18 at 11:46
  • @HotLicks I appreciate your warm and quick response as always. My concern about your replies is if the narrator is talking about the treatment of gene therapy or is the narrator is asking the speakers? Thank you in advance. – Kentaro Jul 7 '18 at 11:49
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    It's a rhetorical question meaning "Do you understand all of this?" (There are several errors in the transcript which make it harder to follow, so it's hard to say if the question refers to the last couple of sentences or the whole paragraph. (Would be hard anyway, lacking the clues from spoken English, but the errors make it worse.) – Hot Licks Jul 7 '18 at 12:00
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    Maybe it's because I am British, but I would only use 'is this sinking in?' if I wanted to be rudely sarcastic, and to convey to the listener that I thought they were stupid and/or inattentive. I might alternatively say "Has the penny dropped yet?" or "Is a light going on in your head yet?" etc. – Michael Harvey Jul 7 '18 at 12:49
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    We often used 'sink in' when we are talking about delayed understanding... I saw the plane crash and then it sank in that many people must be dead or injured. – Michael Harvey Jul 7 '18 at 15:00

sink in TFD idiom

  1. Fig. [for knowledge] to be understood.

Yes you are correct:

The narrator is confirming that the listeners are absorbing the information concerning gene therapy.

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