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This is an excerpt from musician Sara Bareilles' interview.

"I want to be someone who speaks to messages that are uplifting, and to tell people how loved they are. So it’s really informed how I am in the world in a big way."

What does informed mean in the sentence? I've only encountered 'inform' as a verb but not an adjective as in here.

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This is using ’s as a contraction for “has”, rather than for “is”. Thus, it is saying that it has informed Sara Bareilles.

How the sentence should be read, omitting the contraction:

So it has really informed how I am in the world in a big way.

The usage meaning “to influence” is the most appropriate definition here.

I can tell this because “informed” is not an adjective that would work here; that would mean that “it” is knowledgeable, and with the rest of the sentence it would be incorrect if read that way. Instead, it is using the present perfect tense—“has” and then a past participle, in this case “informed”.


Cool info coming from Anton Sherwood in the comments:

This usage comes from Latin “informar”, to shape/form/instruct/educate that in turn came from “in forma”, literally “into shape/form” (etymology details from Wiktionary).

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  • So could it be said that she meant "So it has explained how I am in the world in a big way." ?
    – Jin
    Aug 19, 2019 at 22:04
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    @Jin it’s more like “it has influenced how I am…”. Aug 19, 2019 at 22:25
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    @Jin sorry, I realized my original answer was unclear in some aspects. I’ve made it a lot more specific about what the word means. Aug 19, 2019 at 23:01
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    Here inform = give shape to, the old (etymological) meaning! Aug 20, 2019 at 0:30
  • @AntonSherwood Wow this is amazing, finally problem solved! cos I was confused on what it means every time I encountered 'inform' reading books! Thanks Anton :)
    – Jin
    Aug 20, 2019 at 0:54

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