I wanted to write a follow-up question to an answerer where he/she has used two phases Classical and Non-classical in context of endocrinology which are unknown to me.

Would it be right to write -

What does Classical and Non-classical mean? I haven't found these terms before.

Please cite a reference.

  • 1
    Unless you think of "Classical and Non-classical" as a single composite thing, you should ask What do Classical and Non-classical mean? Consider how you'd reply if you asked that and someone replied I didn't hear that. What were you asking about "Classical and Non-classical"? Would you say I just asked what they mean, or I just asked what it means ??? Bear in mind that you said in your own text Classical and Non-classical ... are unknown to me. – FumbleFingers Reinstate Monica Sep 29 '16 at 18:02
  • @FumbleFingers What do they mean, of course. – Tyto alba Sep 29 '16 at 18:05
  • What they do mean, or what they does mean? If that's all you're asking I think the question lacks prior research, even for ELL. – FumbleFingers Reinstate Monica Sep 29 '16 at 18:07
  • books.google.com/ngrams/… – Tᴚoɯɐuo Sep 29 '16 at 19:11

Since there are two separate phrases, "do" is the correct verb tense for what you want to say. If there is only one phrase that includes an "and" or similar conjunction, to avoid verb confusion you would surround it with quotes. Example:

"What do "short sale" and "leveraged buy" mean when buying and selling stocks?

"What does "weighed and measured" mean when you say someone has been "weighed and measured"?

As in my first example, you can also put quotes around each of the terms you don't understand.

Lastly, I would say "I haven't encountered these terms before" instead of "I haven't found these terms before". "Found" implies that you actively went looking for them, while "encountered" means you just passively came across them.

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