Questions tagged [sentence-meaning]

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71
votes
6answers
6k views

“Why does paper cut so well?”, ambiguous question?

I have posted a question titled "Why does paper cut so well?" (on the Physics stack exchange). After a while, I noticed that over 40 people understood the question as "Why is it so easy to cut paper (...
13
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2answers
4k views

What does “To die quietly of old age would be to go there on foot” mean?

I have seen "To die quietly of old age would be to go there on foot" {a translation to English from the original} and can't get the exactly meaning of them. I know what's the meaning of 'To die ...
6
votes
2answers
787 views

What does “If you are playing the Yankees, you don’t want the umpires to show up wearing pinstripes” mean? [closed]

The sentence goes: A good judge, like a good umpire, cannot act as a partisan... If you are playing the Yankees, you don’t want the umpires to show up wearing pinstripes. I cannot understand the ...
4
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1answer
19k views

“It was broken” vs. “It got broken” [duplicate]

When we say "The glass was broken" it means when we looked at it, it had been broken before, that is, it shows a state that could be spread over a period of time. But when we say "it got broken" it ...
3
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1answer
360 views

Meaning of a sentence in “Aurora Leigh”

I cannot understand the meaning of one sentence in Aurora Leigh: "Now may God Deliver me from this strait! This gift of yours Was tendered . . when? accepted . . when?' I asked. 'A month . . ...
3
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2answers
110 views

Is the sentence logical?

It had been sunny for a week when the storm broke out. Is this sentence logically valid and sound? If I think of it, it looks like it means when the storm broke out, it was sunny. There couldn't be ...
3
votes
1answer
172 views

What's the meaning of this sentence? “Don't grind your pearls”

In the first episode of Barkskins (France circa 1600s), an immigrant is watching a carriage full of women. then his master tells him "Do not grind your pearls" He answers "Come on, they are beautiful"...
3
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1answer
165 views

Meaning of the sentence from Rudyard Kipling's “The Man Who Was”

Dirkovitch, who had devoted himself steadily to the brandy—the terrible brandy aforementioned—did not understand, nor did the expurgated translations offered to him at all convey the point. Decidedly ...
3
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2answers
260 views

Linkage between reality and perception

I am trying to make sense of this statement: So in common parlance reality still means reality, but includes the assumption that perception is an accurate indicator of reality, a known ...
3
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2answers
190 views

Making sense of “What Do You Care What Other People Think?”

"What Do You Care What Other People Think?" is the title of a book by Richard Feynman. The use of the first "what" sounds very unusual to me (a non-native speaker of English) since I've never seen ...
3
votes
1answer
82 views

“Can live no more” vs “can no more live”

Is there a difference in meaning between the two versions of this famous phrase/quote: "Man can live no more without air than a fish can without water" vs "Man can no more live without air ...
2
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2answers
232 views

What does “90m-strong” mean here?

"Goumin, a pet-services portal, says China has 73.5m cat- or dog-owners, a group approaching the size of the 90m-strong Communist Party." What does "90m-strong" mean here? Thanks.
2
votes
1answer
49 views

What does “having a confirm for someone” mean?

The context: "Thanks for your message. Sorry for that you haven't received the item yet. I understand you truly, but please don't worry; we will fix the problem for you smoothly. Could you please give ...
2
votes
1answer
37 views

What does it mean by “made a national champion of”?

"Although the chip battle may have pre-dated Mr Trump, his presidency has intensified it. He has made a national champion of Qualcomm, blocking a bid for it from a Singaporean firm for fear of Chinese ...
2
votes
1answer
3k views

What does “To her fair works did Nature link” mean?

I found this in "The Water Babies" fairy tale. It is part of the poem Lines Written in Early Spring by Wordsworth: To her fair works did Nature link The human soul that through me ran; And much ...
2
votes
3answers
365 views

God seldom opens one door that he doesn't close another [closed]

I'm reading An Unquiet Mind: A Memoir of Moods and Madness. I don't understand this part: I couldn't help thinking, with more than a trace of bitterness, that God seldom opens one door that he ...
2
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2answers
5k views

Having completed and after having completed

(After)having completed his work, he left his office. Is there any difference in meaning between with and without 'After' in the sentence
2
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1answer
182 views

Does “it is not the case that it is likely” mean it is unlikely?

I'm reading Meaning and Argument and in one exercise of symbolization, there is a sentence which reads "That Jack ever slept here is unlikely." The symbolization provided is: "Negation: ~J (J: It is ...
2
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1answer
213 views

Meaning of “it is only a small percentage of whom this would be true at present.”

In the extract It will be said that men will not work well if the fear of dismissal does not spur them on. I think it is only a small percentage of whom this would be true at present. could the ...
2
votes
1answer
183 views

What is meant by “obfuscate by pretending”?

I came accross the following sentence: "Politicians obfuscate by pretending that the world would be the same if it weren't for the Cold War." What is the meaning of obfuscate by pretending and how ...
2
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2answers
44 views

Can we say say something is going somewhere if it was delivered? [duplicate]

Sorry for asking a stupid question. In this context: "A monkey holds a tortoise in his hand when going to the river." Can we say: The tortoise is going to the river? I think the tortoise was ...
2
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1answer
63 views

Does this sentence conveys the message of awareness of coronavirus and being alert?

In India, the lockdown is kind of ended. It's still there but most of the things are allowed but precautions. That doesn't mean coronavirus cases are decreasing in India. Basically, I want to say ...
2
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2answers
64 views

What is the difference meaning of the two sentences?

Mindy hung the picture over the book shelves that she painted last week. Mindy hung the picture that she painted last week over the book shelves.
2
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0answers
266 views

What is the meaning of “squirm out of it”? [closed]

I am reading Diary of Wimpy Kid (Diary of a Wimpy Kid - Book 1). But when I read to this page. I get stuck about like that I told Mom there was no way we were taking Manny with us, because we were ...
2
votes
1answer
2k views

What is the meaning of “previous 12 months ” in the clause below?

for two years after separation of your employment, you shall not solicit, entice away, offer employment, or employ directly or indirectly (as employees, contractors, consultants), any employee, ...
2
votes
1answer
145 views

“To change the sense” vs “to alter the meaning”

A. Your modification changes the sense of the sentence. B. Your modification alters the meaning of the sentence. What is the difference?
2
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3answers
2k views

What does drenched book mean?

The first printed page in the scanned online version of Analytical Solid Geometry by Shanti Narayan says, "the book was drenched". I'm positive it doesn't have anything to do with wetness. So what ...
1
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2answers
48 views

Can we use “next of kin” for things as a metaphor?

Wheat has been man's next of kin. Does this sentence make sense to native English speakers?? It's supposed to be a simile, meaning wheat is like family to humans. It's a translated sentence from a ...
1
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1answer
209 views

Why does “There was little pretense of objectivity.” mean “there is almost no objectivity”?

Today, I am reading the book Freedom for the Thought That We Hate. In Chapter 1, the author talks about the press industry in the 18th century: The newspapers of eighteenth-century America were ...
1
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2answers
33k views

A more appropriate sentence for “I hope you are the right person to ask.” [closed]

I feel “I hope you are the right person.” doesn’t sound suitable for emailing professors. To me, it sounds a little rude, or cheesy, I don’t know... Any suggestions for alternatives???
1
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1answer
291 views

Meaning of excel

In this article there is a sentence as follows Wenger fell instantly for a sport associated with the working classes and kids in school that failed to excel What does that mean by failed to excel ...
1
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1answer
283 views

meaning of “nipper” in this sentence [closed]

The excerpt below is from Liar's Poker. What nationality does the word "nipper" refer to? Also, is it derogatory? [...]he'd sell a few hundred millions worth of government bonds and grow bright ...
1
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1answer
38 views

What is the difference between “counterintuitive” and “contradiction”?

According to the Cambridge dictionary, Counterintuitive: Something that is counter-intuitive does not happen in the way you would expect it to and Contradiction: a fact or statement that is the ...
1
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1answer
57 views

What's the difference between the following two sentences? [duplicate]

Reproductions of fine art should only be sold to the public if they are of high quality. Reproductions of fine art should be sold to the public only if they are of high quality. How do they differ in ...
1
vote
1answer
65 views

What does 'respectively' mean in this sentence?

This sentence is from one of my exam. Find A and B of C and D, respectively. Should I find {A, B of C and A, B of D} or {A of C and B of D}? I think the answer is the second one because '...
1
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2answers
306 views

Meaning of “could” in these sentences

Good day everyone. So I have Michael Swan's grammar book "Practical English Usage" and there's a couple of sections concerning to usage of "could". So in 82.3 it says that we use could to talk about ...
1
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2answers
63 views

“If this isn't flying, I don't know what is.” Is this sentence correct?

If this isn't flying, I don't know what is. The meaning I'm trying to achieve is that If this isn't flying, I don't know what else would be Instead of If this isn't flying, I don't know what ...
1
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1answer
649 views

Am I interpreting these correctly?

Right now I am reading a chapter in Walden. There are two instances where I seem to be missing the mark because the summaries I read online (ie Sparknotes) do not corroborate the interpretation I'm ...
1
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1answer
62 views

Explanation of “I am as smart as I am humble.” [closed]

When a character replies to "Are you smart?" as: "I am as smart as I am humble." Is there a logical explanation as to whether the character means that he/she is smart or not smart, ...
1
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2answers
83 views

What is the meaning of that sentence ? Sentence is “At the start of the year unemployment was plumbing new lows.”

Can you explain why plumbing is used and what "new lows" mean ? Thanks.
1
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1answer
55 views

I'm searching for the meaning of “Up to”

If we substitute this infinitesimal matrix A into orthogonality condition A^{t}A = 1 defined in chapter 1, we will get (1 + x A')^{t}(1 + A'J) = (1 + x J^{t})(1 + x J) = 1, which is same as x J^{t} = -...
1
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3answers
77 views

Meaning of “the artist that perishable tissue has to think” and “with these” [closed]

Please help me understand the following paragraph better. When standing before certain men the philosopher regrets that thinkers are but perishable tissue, the artist that perishable tissue has to ...
1
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2answers
243 views

What does “object” mean in this sentence?

His friends were those of his own blood or those whom he had known the longest; his affections, like ivy, were the growth of time, they implied no aptness in the object. -- Strange Case of Dr. ...
1
vote
1answer
1k views

What does “uncontrolled document” mean? [closed]

I was reading, let's say a policy statement or terms of use document, and at the bottom of each page it had printed in a footer: THIS DOCUMENT IS UNCONTROLLED IN HARD COPY FORMAT For example you ...
1
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1answer
53 views

Please explain the meaning of “appreciation” in the below sentence

Reactions to German Idealism, especially those of the neo-Kantians, logical positivists and Bertrand Russell, were also instrumental in the founding of analytic philosophy, which today reveals and ...
1
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1answer
1k views

what does “getting faded” mean?

I saw this sentence in NCIS tv series : The night is young. Let's get faded what does this mean? night is young and let's get faded thanks
1
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2answers
531 views

What does “as…as” mean here?

Even as legalistic an institution as the EU ought to be able to find a way around snags such as this. Can anyone restructure the sentence to simpler ones as it is not clear for me? For example, ...
1
vote
1answer
90 views

Meaning of “That'll get steam on the table.”

I was watching a movie featuring a conversation between two men. This is an attempt at transcribing the conversation: Man #1: "I'm redistributing wealth. It's quite spiritual. Karma, boy." I'm ...
1
vote
1answer
184 views

Meaning of “feet to the flames”

Nia Warfield, "Crude oil is on track for its best January ever," CNBC: Kelly also noted that investors are now holding oil companies' "feet to the flames" to increase cash flow amid the surge ...
1
vote
1answer
241 views

Stand out with or without “from”

On dictionary.cambridge.org the following two meanings are given for 'stand out': 1) to be very noticable 2) to be much better than other similar things or people For the 2nd meaning, the example ...

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