0

I am puzzled with the following sentence. Here goes:

Call him out on that!! Did you mean for that to sound passive aggressive?

Does "mean for that" mean the same as "mean by that"?

2

In this case, "mean for that" has the same meaning as "intend for that", it's specifically this secondary definition of "mean" as a verb:

2, intend (something) to occur or be the case.

"they mean no harm"

"mean by" tends to be used in this form:

  1. intend to convey, indicate, or refer to (a particular thing or notion); signify.

http://www.dictionary.com/browse/mean

Or to put differently, "mean by" asks for clarification of content, "mean for" asks for clarification of tone.

1

Call him out on that!! Did you mean for that to sound passive aggressive?

The pattern is "mean for that to (some response to the statement from the other party)". The respondent is trying to guess the intent of the other party.

Call him out for his bad behavior!! What did you mean by that?

"mean by that" stands by itself. that refers to the statement from the other party, asking for an explanation.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.