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This tag is for questions related to understanding larger bodies of text.

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22 views

What definition of day is used? Saxon genitive

I had a comprehension test in where there was write "i dug the city after a good day's sleep" Is "day" refeard to a whole 24 hrs day or to light-time day?
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2answers
117 views

This is from high school English test in South Korea

The question is “ what is the writer’s feeling?” I’m a Korean English private tutor. I want to get a lot of opinions about the correct answer from native speakers? Thank you in advance!
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1answer
62 views

Fill in the gap question of Chinese college entrance exam [closed]

The following text has been taken from the Chinese college entrance exam: Two weeks earlier, my son, Ben, had got in touch. He'd moved to England with his mum when he was three and it had been 13 ...
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0answers
96 views

Chinese college entrance exam question

I recently came across the following question that’s in the Gaokao (Chinese college entrance exam). The question presents a text on the benefit of working out, especially in the morning. Some parts of ...
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1answer
42 views

Does adding on to a statement mean you agree with it?

If Person A says "Never trust a used car salesman or a politician" and Person B says "Or a lawyer" is it implied that person B agrees with Person A? Is there a word or phrase for this?
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3answers
96 views

What is the meaning of “These aren't things”?

An English YouTube teacher is annoyed at some common mistakes his countrymen make. At ~2:20 in this video he says: Would of, could of, and should of. These aren't things. Stop. Why? Is this ...
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2answers
38 views

meaning of “only their parents”

I'm reading When Our Grown Kids Disappoint Us by Jane Adams. In the introduction, she talks about who this book is addressed to: ...here are the positive, life-affirming, burden-easing things you ...
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1answer
74 views

How to interpret the two lines in the poem? [closed]

'today is night without the darkness' and "the fish and chip lady sings 'love me tender' over the splutter of fat', what do the two lines mean? Really can't understand it. Thank you for your help.
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1answer
52 views

The child, I am sure, was part of the appeal…What does it mean? difficult to understand :( [closed]

Can't understand this sentence: "The child, I am sure, was part of the appeal", what does it mean?difficult to understand :( Anyone can help me?
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0answers
25 views

Clarification on sentence

I cannot comprehend this sentence in my anthropology textbook. If there is to be a stable and effective political system that meets common needs, then there must be people to do that work. Those ...
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1answer
252 views

A question in comprehension

There was an English exam and it had this paragraph, I have two questions: What does you in this sentence refer to? it is usual as in China, to clean the whole house on the day before New Year, ...
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1answer
95 views

What is the meaning of “that” as an Internet slang?

I see many times in comment sections of Internet forums such comments as the following: A: This girl is so ugly and I know nobody will date her ever. B: That! What does it mean?
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0answers
118 views

Suggested vs. infer

I am test taker who has to prepare for reading comprehension questions. Frequently two types of questions appear, namely Which of following is suggested in the passage? Which of the following can be ...
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0answers
28 views

paraphrase “Scientists were split on the uses to which the discoveries of atomic physics were being put” [duplicate]

I can not get the meaning of "to which" and "were being put" in this sentence: Scientists were split on the uses to which the discoveries of atomic physics were being put.
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1answer
77 views

sudo up to root — I'm not sure if I understand the phrasing correctly

Source: The Official Ubuntu Server Book, 3nd Edition by Kyle Rankin and Benjamin Mako Hill (2014) Example: This way you force users to log in with their regular accounts and sudo up to root, and ...
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2answers
1k views

What does the phrase 'cross-cutting initiatives' mean?

“The bold but feasible cross-cutting initiatives in this report will improve outcomes for patients with cancer, prevent cancer and increase our understanding of cancer,” said Dr. Lowy.  Here is the ...
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3answers
243 views

Reading comprehension

When hunching myself answering a reading comprehension task, I was particularly unsettled with one question, which I will show you right now: This is an excerpt from Susan Orlean's "Life is Swell" - ...
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2answers
67 views

Can I proactively look for a solution but use an idea put forward by someone else?

I took a look at a graduate reading comprehension, cos I'm worried I'm poor at it. The test, to me, makes no sense. E.g. Surely, I'm thinking, an organisation can be "proactive", yet not "put forward"...
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2answers
171 views

Why are articles in Atlantic magazine difficult to comprehend for an average reader? [closed]

I read articles on ny times, economist, atlantic etc. One thing I noticed is that articles on Atlantic are difficult to comprehend - I have to pay more attention or some times go back and re-read ...
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1answer
287 views

What is the subject of the first sentence?what does “so that” means? What is the role of two last phrase, could you paraphrase it for me

Just as painted designs on Greek pots may seem today to be purely decorative, whereas in fact they were carefully and precisely worked out so that at the time, their meaning was clear, so it is with ...
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1answer
108 views

Analyze the role of “had the Chinese not come” in this sentence [closed]

What is the role of had the Chinese not come in this sentence? What is the relationship of the second half of this sentence to the first? The significance of decorations on Chinese pottery may ...
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1answer
84 views

How to parse this sentence by Joyce's in A Portrait of the Artist?

Joyce's sparing use of commas sometimes makes sentences difficult to parse for me, e.g. The gossip of his fellowstudents which strove to render the flat life of the college significant at any cost ...
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1answer
403 views

Understand every words but whole passage doesn't make sense [closed]

I am aware that this might not be a good question because you probably won't be able to understand what I am asking if you haven't read "Space Odyssey 2010", and it's impossible for me to introduce ...
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1answer
88 views

Help me understand what the lady says in the video at 9:46 [closed]

Could you please help me understand what the lady says in the below video at 9:46 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k95ln3wfTFs Just one sentence that is not totally clear to me. Thank you.
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1answer
833 views

Meaning of “indispensable” in Thoreau quote [closed]

Most of the luxuries, and many of the so called comforts of life, are not only indispensable, but positive hinderances to the elevation of mankind. ~ "Walden", Henry David Thoreau In my dictionary ...
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2answers
295 views

Is there an art to lying? [closed]

1.) "If you believe that deceivers are colorful folk who mislead with elaborate lies and tall tales, you are greatly mistaken." 2.) "If you yearn for power, quickly lay honesty aside, and train ...
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1answer
975 views

Have lines crossed!

I couldn't understand the meaning of have lines crossed in the sentence below: "We must have had our lines crossed, thank you for checking." I'd appreciate it if you help me in this order. Thanks
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1answer
3k 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
789 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
541 views

Reading Comprehension question [closed]

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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2answers
1k views

GRE question - not convinced with the answer

Should we really care for the greatest actors of the past could we have them before us? Should we find them too different from our accent of thought, of feeling, of speech, in a thousand minute ...
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1answer
486 views

What is the tone of this line?

I am preparing for an aptitude test and then I came to a question. I need to find the 'tone' of a line that is written below. John likes work, it fascinates him! He can sit and look at it for hours. ...
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2answers
99 views

what is the correct answer choice and why? [closed]

Studies have shown that people who keep daily diet records are far more successful at losing weight than people who don’t keep track of what they eat. Researchers believe that many weight-loss ...
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1answer
124 views

Ambivalence about the 'respective' rate of increase (or decrease?) in the statements of type

Here is a sentence: "In the United States between 1850 and 1880, the number of farmers continued to increase, but at a rate lower than that of the general population." Now, from this, I infer ...
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5answers
1k views

Does “I wouldn't do this, if it wasn't compulsory” sound natural? [closed]

Would the above sentence sound natural? If not, what would be the modification?
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2answers
297 views

What do you call the the effect that causes people to miss the “the the” in this title?

Ages ago someone told me that most readers will not spot a double-the in a sentence. Something about the way we process words apparently filters out the extraneous "the" but I don't know what that ...