The Stack Overflow podcast is back! Listen to an interview with our new CEO.

Questions tagged [sentence-meaning]

The tag has no usage guidance.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
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
votes
2answers
779 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
votes
1answer
13k 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
votes
1answer
347 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
votes
1answer
150 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
votes
2answers
244 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
votes
2answers
104 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
57 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
votes
2answers
121 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
33 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
1k 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
347 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
votes
1answer
119 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
votes
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
154 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
0answers
99 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
2answers
2k 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
votes
1answer
131 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
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
votes
1answer
66 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
votes
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
vote
1answer
129 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
vote
1answer
110 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
vote
2answers
16k 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
vote
1answer
254 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
vote
1answer
199 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
vote
2answers
119 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
vote
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 ...
1
vote
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
vote
1answer
459 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
vote
1answer
54 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
vote
1answer
42 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
vote
2answers
364 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
68 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
49 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
71 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
vote
1answer
26 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
vote
1answer
862 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
vote
1answer
79 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
vote
1answer
93 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
vote
1answer
742 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
49 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
vote
2answers
438 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
vote
1answer
221 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
vote
1answer
430 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
vote
0answers
37 views

What does “fights to break out over” and “get points down” mean in the two below paragraphs?

We are also very pleased with a new installation of the Go-Kart arena which is 120 square metres in area. Again the problem is the geology; we had to level the mounds on the track for safety reasons. ...
1
vote
0answers
23 views

Usage of 'Both'

" Innocence is courage and clarity both." I heard this sentence. Is it correct?
1
vote
2answers
94 views

Nobody's idea of [closed]

"Yet the Tories have gambled, choosing a populist leader who is nobody’s idea of a safe pair of hands." What does it mean by saying "nobody's idea of sth?"
1
vote
1answer
58 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
vote
1answer
255 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