Go over the documents which will be reviewed by Ms. Gao. The documents are on a variety of tasks where I need her input in order to complete.

What does "on a variety of tasks " mean? I know the meaning of each word, but not the overall meaning of the words together.

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    There is no combination: the subject(s) of the documents is/are several ("a variety of") different tasks. – Colin Fine Dec 13 '16 at 10:02
  • I'm not sure about the source of your confusion, because as you said, you know the meaning of each word. I guess two possibilities: a) you may know variety, but not in this sense (see stangdon's answers below), or b) you try to read "on a variety of tasks" as one phrase, which is not technically incorrect, but it suggests that you might forget to read this on as a plain on (i.e., The books are on the table; there's nothing special about this on). – Damkerng T. Dec 13 '16 at 12:46
  • your are right. i regarded "on" and other words together. it's clear now. thank you. – chenlu1902 Dec 14 '16 at 2:52

Everything here has its literal dictionary definition (although some of the words have many meanings).

On: in connection or association with.
A variety: a number of different kinds of things.
Of: relating or belonging to.
Task: a piece of work.

So the documents were related to a number of different kinds of work.

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  • i missunderstood "on" . Thank you very much for your explaination. – chenlu1902 Dec 14 '16 at 2:45

"On" in this example is used as a synonym of "about" or "relating to".

Oxford Dictionary gives the relevant definition of on as:

Having (the thing mentioned) as a topic; about:

In your example the thing mentioned is the tasks. So "The documents are on a variety of tasks" could be written "The documents are about a variety of tasks" instead with no change in meaning.

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