Questions tagged [sentence-meaning]

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69
votes
6answers
5k 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 (...
6
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2answers
777 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
11k 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
340 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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1answer
131 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
228 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
84 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 ...
2
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2answers
94 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
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2answers
13k views

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

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???
2
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1answer
31 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
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1answer
969 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
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3answers
331 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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1answer
85 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
2k views

Is it correct to say “some rain”?

It is the onset of rainy season in this part of the world. It happened I reported in a Whatsapp page that "Some rain in ABC place." Is the usage of the "some" + "rain" correct in English?
2
votes
1answer
145 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
votes
1answer
40 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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0answers
65 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
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2answers
728 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
121 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
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1answer
1k 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
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1answer
57 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
1k 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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1answer
121 views

What does “crust of a rhinoceros” mean?

I've been reading Thank You, Jeeves by PG Wodehouse and couldn't understand what he meant by "The man must have the crust of a rhinoceros". Is this British slang? Can somebody explain to me what this ...
1
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1answer
105 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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1answer
247 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
162 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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2answers
79 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 ...
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2answers
59 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 ...
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2answers
1k views

What did Ralph Waldo Emerson, the great essayist, mean in this quote from a lecture in 1871?

What does the quote, "If a man can write a better book or preach a better sermon or make a better mousetrap than his neighbor, even if he builds his house in the woods, the world will make a ...
1
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1answer
427 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
34 views

Meaning of a passage in “Night on Highway 128” by Cary Mullis

From Night on Highway 128 by Cary Mullis: I was driving up a long and winding road between Cloverdale and Booneville in Mendocino County, heading for my weekend cabin. My girlfriend was asleep and ...
1
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1answer
39 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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2answers
224 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
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1answer
63 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
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1answer
39 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
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1answer
46 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 ...
1
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1answer
24 views

What does “risk divides too wide for any bridge” mean?

I read a sentence "China should re-learn Deng’s self-knowledge, or risk divides too wide for any bridge." Can you help explain the meaning of "risk divides too wide for any bridge" and show where the ...
1
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1answer
605 views

What does “say mass” mean? [closed]

I cannot understand "saying mass" means in the sentence "Pope Francis conferred sainthood on Óscar Romero, an archbishop who was murdered in 1980 while saying mass by an army-backed death squad in El ...
1
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1answer
72 views

correct interpretation/understanding of this sentence

I have the following 2 sentences: 1- I did not see any other classmates, except/but Michael. 2- I did not see any classmates, except/but Michael For the first sentence can we understand that the ...
1
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1answer
92 views

Difficulty in understanding a sentence said by Mr. Einstein

I am unable to understand the meaning behind the sentence: "Einstein adds: “I noticed how little difference there is between men and women; I don’t understand what kind of fatal attraction Chinese ...
1
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1answer
435 views

'things necessary' and 'necessary things' - same meaning?

Take these two sentences - 1) How to express the willingness to learn things necessary on the job? 2) How to express the willingness to learn necessary things on the job? Are they grammatically ...
1
vote
1answer
48 views

What does “Benefit of a second's distance” mean

I was watching Silicon Valley (HBO) and one of the characters said this: ”I grant you with the benefit of even a second's distance, this isn't a good look." Now I understand the last bit and the ...
1
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2answers
357 views

What does the sentence “Please don't drop this from your radar” mean? [closed]

What does the sentence "Please don't drop this from your radar" mean. I searched for this in Google I found some idiom named drop off the radar but still I need some clarity on this. I want to learn ...
1
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1answer
202 views

Meaning of lonely in a particular context

My friend is_____ child. It must be boring not having brothers and sisters. a. a lonely b. an only To me, both are correct. 🙈🙈🙈 The context support both lonely and an only. My friend is a ...
1
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1answer
389 views

with atleast 60% marks in either of the degree examination- [closed]

a candidate must possess the minimum qualification of a Graduate/Post Graduate in any discipline from a recognized University with at least 60% marks in either of the degree examination: Does it refer ...
1
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1answer
45 views

He was never anything but decent toward me

I saw it in the Game of Throne and I felt kind of confused about this sentence. He was never anything but decent toward me. Is positive or negative?
1
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1answer
115 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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0answers
36 views

Have I Ever Done You Wrong Before? [closed]

Have I ever done you wrong before? I don't quite understand the meaning of this sentence. Can someone please help me with that? Thanks a lot.
1
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2answers
338 views

It is supposed that

Could someone say if I understand the phrase "it is supposed that" right? For example: It is supposed that tigers don't like swimming in water. I understand this sentence like there's some random ...
1
vote
1answer
33 views

“Roger was asking for help to heavens” is wrong sentence?

I'm not a native but I'm working as a writer, writing American gossip news. My boss told me that "Roger was asking for help to heavens." is a wrong sentence. What is wrong with it and what's the ...