This is the quote (from ccn.com):

"We are operating in a market economy, not one with state-owned oil companies,"

Is this an usage of "at one with [someone]"?

Should I interpret this as

"We do not agree with state-owned oil companies"

or does it have a broader meaning like

"We do not feel compelled to agree with state-owned oil companies"?


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    I think "at one with [someone]" means to have a unified relationship with someone or to be in agreement with someone. The quote states that the oil interests have not been nationalized (=run and owned by the state). Rather, the oil prices are set by market forces. I don't think the statement is looking for agreement with the stance of the oil companies. – rajah9 Apr 27 '20 at 11:03
  • @rajah9 Thanks - I also think unified relationship fits better in this context, since US oil market is not inclined to satisfy price policies adopted by state-owned companies. – Ricardo Baptista Apr 27 '20 at 11:41
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    The word one substitutes for economy in the sentence without repeating it: "Not an economy with..." There is no suggestion of spiritual unity. – Yosef Baskin Apr 27 '20 at 16:15
  • Thanks @YosefBaskin. But what if we interpreted it as "The US is not one with Russia and Saudi Arabia regarding oil output cuts" (which is what the whole article is about)? I see a suggestion of (absence) of unity here. – Ricardo Baptista Apr 27 '20 at 19:56
  • The contrast in your sentence, not the article as a whole, is between two kinds of economic systems, not different countries. This sentence does not suggest the absence of political or soulmate unity. You may have gotten caught up in misreading it as "We are...not one with state-owned oil companies," which is not there. Actually, we are operating in X, not Y. – Yosef Baskin Apr 27 '20 at 22:47

One refers to an economy. It has nothing to do with the expression to be at one with someone.

The meaning is "...not the kind of economy that has state-owned oil companies."

  • Thanks Kate. But what is the clue to tell between both in this case? I'm asking because at first it seemed to be an (at least grammatically) valid usage of "to be (at) one with someone". And, as I replied on my question above, I'd interpreted that as "The US is not one with Russia and Saudi Arabia regarding oil output cuts" – Ricardo Baptista Apr 27 '20 at 20:05
  • There is no to be but are operating in one type of economy, not another. – Yosef Baskin Apr 27 '20 at 22:39

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