This question may sound odd but as I am not a native speaker I would like to clarify this sentence that a person sent to me:

I wrote it. It was in a notebook of mine that I had forgotten about. I wrote it months ago. It is in quotes so that it is understood that it is a poem.

Obviously a poem is meant by "it" in the I wrote it part.

Now my question - by using wrote word, does this mean that a person literally composed the discussed poem? Meaning that the person is an author? That's how I understand it but if anyone could confirm I would be thankful.

  • 4
    It probably means that he composed the poem, but it could also mean that he "wrote it down" (copied it).
    – Mick
    Dec 29, 2016 at 15:12
  • 1
    @Mick Thanks. It's actually "she" in this case. So it's impossible to distinguish between "composed" and "copied". Very confusing for me to recognize this but thank you.
    – Ivan Sivak
    Dec 29, 2016 at 15:17
  • 2
    We can, perhaps, be 90% certain that it means "composed".
    – Mick
    Dec 29, 2016 at 15:22
  • @Mick I was 100% certain that it means "composed". But that person now says she really just meant "wrote it down". Confusing. Thank you though.
    – Ivan Sivak
    Dec 29, 2016 at 15:28
  • 2
    @IvanSivak: Normally "I wrote it" would mean "I composed the poem"; a careful writer (such as one would expect a poet to be) would not write "wrote" when she meant "copied"—they are two different processes. But not all would-be poets are careful writers, and we have to allow that people do sometimes make poor word choices.
    – Robusto
    Dec 29, 2016 at 15:55

1 Answer 1


The most natural interpretation is that "wrote" here means "composed". The reason is semantic:-why would she need to assert that she merely wrote out the poem. The context (the mention of quotes) appears to be that someone has doubted her authorship, based on the fact that she placed the poem in quote marks, apparently implying that she was quoting someone else's poem. She contradicts this person, asserting her own authorship.

"write" can mean both to "scribe" and to "author" https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/write senses 1 and 2. While the sentence could be interpreted as meaning "scribe" it is unlikely. If she wanted to indicate that the first meaning she could use "I wrote it out..." https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/write_out

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