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Questions tagged [meaning-in-context]

This tag is for questions about the meaning of a longer passage of English. A SPECIFIC CONCERN must be emphasized.

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Semantic implications of “The President and we are disbanding the Forum”

In a widely publicized statement, a group of CEO's on President Trump's "Strategic and Policy Forum" wrote that because of contention surrounding recent statements by the president: As such, the ...
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What is the meaning of the following sequence of words: “adj or pp+as+pronoun+verb”?

What is the meaning of the following sequence of words: "adj or pp+as+pronoun+verb"? Example: It is climate that largely determines the type of agriculture that may be carried out in a particular ...
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168 views

Meaning of gosh all, git-up in this context

In the song Jeepers creepers by Louis Armstrong, there is a line that goes like this: Oh, gosh all, git up, how'd they get so lit up? It refers to the eyes of a person. My question is: what does "...
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269 views

established in or over

In the following passage from Meredith's Diana of the Crossways, Sir Lukin, who tried to seduce the heroine and who has to keep that episode in secret from his wife, is remorseful. Reflection ...
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519 views

Is it grammatically incorrect to use “It was double the pleasure…”?

English is my second language and somebody told me that the second sentence I created is grammatically incorrect: It was a great pleasure to meet you. And it was double the pleasure to share a ...
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335 views

“that was a classic money handshake”

I'm reading the play "Dumb Show" by Joe Penhall. (See on Google Books) Almost at the beginning of the play one of the characters uses this phrase: classic money handshake. What does it mean? (Barry ...
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148 views

Connotation of a sentence in a listening material from TPO

(Here for the original audio source (MP3 file). The part in question begins approximately at 2'18'') This conversation is an excerpt from one listening material in a TPO (TOEFL Practice Online) test, ...
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211 views

1610 Meaning of 'occasion'

Source: Journals of the House of Lords (1610) That whereas the House of Commons have already, among their Grievances, preferred a Petition to His Majesty, as of Right and Justice, That the Four ...
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30 views

Does 'evinced' make sense in this context?

Is this sentence correct, and if so, does the word evinced make sense here? An aura of gloom and doom had also settled over the City, evinced by a fusion of dirt, ash, building debris, and ...
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16 views

Meaning of “its own loom would have forsworn” in O Henry's “Furnished Room”

The paragraph is as follows; The young man followed her up the stairs. A faint light from no particular source mitigated the shadows of the halls. They trod noiselessly upon a stair carpet that its ...
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18 views

adverb vs. adverb + enough

Interestingly, only 38% of couples bother to get married these days. Interestingly enough, only 38% of couples bother to get married these days. What is the difference between the meanings of 1 ...
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16 views

Can participant be used for devices or machines

I have a technical documentation where robots are working together in a team. They are referred to as participants (lower case!). Is this correct in English? How should it be called? (field bus) ...
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meaning of 'narrow' in 'narrow possessiveness'

What does 'narrow' mean in the following sentence, which is from Political Ideals (1917) by Bertrand Russell? He will not desire for his country the passing triumphs of a narrow possessiveness, but ...
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59 views

What’s the difference between “How can I help you?”and “How can we help you?”

I heard this expression in a video about buying clothes.In that video,the shop keeper welcomed the customer by saying "How can we help you?".But he is the only one in that store.So I wonder why he ...
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29 views

About the usage of “had” in this sentence?

Epistemologically speaking, it is facts about the relationship had with the trusted that determines the justification of trust, it is not the mere absence of defeating reasons. (Source) It seems to ...
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30 views

What does “but she felt it all the way down” mean?

A paragraph from Redemption Road: A Novel, by John Hart: People filed out. The big patrolman waited until the end and brushed Elizabeth with a shoulder as he passed. The contact was swift, but she ...
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116 views

What does the phrase “blast your way” mean in this context?

Here is the sentence: Blast your way through 90's nostalgia and into the 21st century with Mr. X, who is the latest hero to join the list of our game's celebrities. None of the following ...
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46 views

Meaning of 'shot havoc'

In D. H. Lawrence one can find a lot of unusual constructions. Here's the one (from his essay on Herman Melville's Moby Dick): He was a mystic who raved because the old ideal guns shot havoc. The ...
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76 views

Why is she using “for” instead of “to” after the verb “lose” in this sentence?

I'm watching the famous TV show, “Desperate Housewives”.  I have learned a plethora of words and grammar things from it, but now something caught my ears and I'm a bit stuck.  There's this sentence in ...
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325 views

What is the exact meaning of this excerpt from Chapter 52 of “Pride and Prejudice ” by Jane Austen?

While elaborating on the arrangement between Mr. Darcy and Mr. Wickham in her letter to her niece Elizabeth Bennet, Mrs. Gardiner mentions the following: ...His debts are to be paid, amounting, I ...
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94 views

In Charles Bukowski's “Some people” what is the meaning of phrase “It's Cherub, they say”?

I'm puzzled at a phrase in Charles Bukowski's poem "Some people". The second paragraph reads: it’s Cherub, they’ll say, and they pour wine down my throat rub my chest sprinkle me with oils. ...
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59 views

Does “We're going to buy you X” sound vaguely confrontational, vs. “We’ll buy you X”?

McWhorter, J, Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue (2009), p 127. [emboldening mine]   What they think brings English back to par with German and the rest is, for example, the tricky English future ...
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45 views

How do you understand this sentence as a native English speaker?

I and my colleague, we tried a photo app. After taking a photo, there's a "Cancel" button. A popup says "Are you sure you want to delete the photo before sharing it" is shown when you choose "Cancel". ...
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262 views

What does “stunt babies” mean?

I’m watching a documentary, and a sentence confuses me. Births in royal families were always packed out, it was an honour, and also people there to make sure that the right baby came and was kept. ...
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Is this sentence grammatically correct in this context?

My instincts tell me that you won't refuse me this one time. Is the sentence above grammatically correct? I am a bit doubtful about the phrase in italics - this one time. Context: I am asking for ...
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505 views

What is the difference between span and period in this context?

span the period of time that sometimes exists or happens period a length of time That said, I still don't see the difference. I have the following exercise in my schoolbook: The course would have ...
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99 views

Is it okay to say 'margin of survival'?

I read a sentence 'Most animals lived very close to the margin of survival.' And the writer wanted to say: 'Most animals lived in conditions that were hard to survive.' I wonder whether his ...
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39 views

Meaning of “breakers close beneath her lee” in Byron's Don Juan

From Byron's Don Juan, Canto II: Some lash'd them in their hammocks; some put on Their best clothes, as if going to a fair; Some cursed the day on which they saw the sun, And ...
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79 views

How to explain the phrase of “Shakespeare’s trifling does indeed tread upon the very borders of vacancy”

All we then want is to proclaim a truce with reason, and to be pleased with as little expense of thought or pretension to wisdom as possible. This licensed fooling is carried to its very utmost ...
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457 views

the use of “while”

Can "while" be used to link two situations that are not contary? (Other than the meaning of "at the same time") For example, (1) The earthquake in Korea occurred due to the earthquake in Japan. (...
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452 views

“a high forehead” meaing

i came across this phrase while reading the novel The Death of The Heart by Elizabeth Bowen. I wonder what it means. Does it mean literally she has a high forehead on her face or idiomatically means ...
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What does 'lift up' mean in a religious context?

I came across this tweet from Sen Rob Portman from Ohio, referring to the death of Otto Warmbier, His passing today is a loss for Ohio and for all of us. Jane and I are lifting up the Warmbier ...
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92 views

Right way to describe in title

I have few titles that I'm not sure which one of them to use. I will try to explain what will be in the chapter. First: In the chapter I'm making few simulations that in each one of them I'm ...
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79 views

Usage of the phrase fall back

I came across the usage of "falling back" in a poem (Ted Hughes' Crow and Mama), and googled for its meaning and its usages. Putting the poem aside, what I'd like to understand is when an english ...
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129 views

Concepts implied by the word 'realize'

When saying 'I realized something' does this imply that I became aware on my own? If someone had explained something to me and only after did I understand, can I still use 'I realized'? Or do I need ...
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309 views

Interesting newspaper headline

One of the recent The Economist headlines reads: "If France used America’s system, Marine Le Pen might have won" Note that this is before the second round has taken place, so the final outcome of ...
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56 views

Understanding the use of “active warden” in scientifc texts

I've been reading some computer science papers, and in particular papers I see the use of the phrase "active warden" such as: If an active warden drops all delayed packets, then it will potentially ...
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139 views

Specific Ad Hoc Usage

Ad hoc is defined as: formed, arranged, or done for a particular purpose only. I have created a computer system to allow distributed machines to connect and run simulations as they become ...
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304 views

What can you “distinguish” between? Distinguishing between things that seem incomparable

Given my lack in vocabulary, I assume the title doesn't make much sense (and I will welcome more suitable suggestions or edits for the title), but, basically, what brings up that question is a pretty ...
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440 views

Usage of “presumptuous”

I was under the impression that the word presumptuous means rude in a pushy way, or asking too much because one thinks of oneself as an important being. I read the dictionary.com and Merriam ...
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228 views

Anything more would be cruelty

What does "Anything more would be cruelty" mean when it is said by a doctor? Does it mean "we can not do anything more for him" or "anything more than this would be illegal"? Context: Doctor: You'd ...
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282 views

Can “pigtail” be insulting in certain context?

I'm Chinese. Manchurian regime (Qing dynasty, 1644~1911) used to enforce their hair style upon all Chinese men, which looks like the middle one in this picture. I know it's called "pigtail" in verbal ...
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270 views

“..profit from burgers is more than offset by the damage…” how to understand this sentence

"To help quantify the costs of a poor diet, I recently tried to estimate this impact in terms of a most famous food, the burger. I concluded that the profit from burgers is more than offset by the ...
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281 views

What does “Apportionment” exactly mean?

If you're well acquainted with the politics of Iraq, you should know that the current Iraqi government isn't exclusive to one dominating sect like it used to be. Is that called "apportionment"? If ...
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215 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 ...
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55 views

Event pitch shall be shadow free

what does this wording mean "Event pitch shall be shadow free"? does it mean that the pitch (field/area for the event) should be free of shadows for the cameras and television stuff?
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1k views

Take advantage of this opportunity

I find myself recurrently stopped while writing e-mails for a main purpose (e.g, answering a direct question from a previous mail somebody sent me) and wanting to add a second theme "taking advantage ...
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194 views

Meaning of dialogue in “Madam Secretary” episode

I am watching American Drama "Madam Secretary" season 1, episode 14. And there are some dialogues I can't understand. I wonder what the meaning of last two sentences is. Please help me! Russell:I'm ...
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819 views

What is the meaning when someone say “it doesn't get much weird than Lynda?”

Lynda made a dance performance, it's very weird and many audiences couldn't understand it. Then a guy made a comment "It doesn't get much weird than Lynda?". What does he mean ? Is that "Lynda is ...
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9k views

What's the meaning of “his jaw was set.”

This is a passage from a novel: "No," he said again, standing up straight and wiping his palms on his pajama pants. "We've already got plane tickets." (Both quotes are Neal's) "Neal, I'm serious. ...