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Questions tagged [comprehension]

This tag is for questions asking about techniques that promote the understanding of English, or the rules of English. It is NOT for questions about the meaning of a particular word or passage.

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Which part of the sentence gives the main idea. Before “so” or after “so”

"Splitting water into oxygen and hydrogen makes spacecraft fuel, so ice-rich asteroids could become interplanetary refuelling stations." What is the main idea of the sentence (before so) "Splitting ...
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What are the “glass coffins”? What does “there's lights out, then there's lock up” mean here?

All the rowboats in the paintings They keep trying to row away And the captains' worried faces Stay contorted and staring at the waves They'll keep hanging in their gold frames For forever, ...
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1answer
100 views

Industrial Agriculture or Intensive Farming?

Look at the following paragraph and fill in the blank. So can the true cost of food be brought down? Breaking away from industrial agriculture as the solution to hunger may be very hard for some ...
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1answer
109 views

Meaning of the idiom “the playing field is far from level”

Here is an article from an exam. Imagine if just anybody could hike up the tallest mountain in the world and be back again in time for dinner, with no special equipment or training needed. Well, ...
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1answer
36 views

What does make me nervous?

The hallway is eerily empty when I exit the elevator, which always makes me nervous. Which does make me nervous, The hall way, The hall way being empty or the elevator?
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1answer
32 views

What do you understand “3 times per week” to mean in this sentence?

A total of 20 patients included in this study. hCG (1,500 IU) was administered intramuscularly, 3 times per week. Which of is the correct: it means that they administrated 1500 UI all together ...
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2answers
23k views

including but not limited to - explain this sentence

You will not be permitted to bring any personal items to the test centre, including but not limited to wrist-watch, cellphones, calculators, etc. I think It means a candidate will not be permitted to ...
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1answer
82 views

TOEFL reading question

A very different argument comes from Barbara Bender, who argues that before farming, there was competition between local groups to achieve dominance over each other through feasting and the ...
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0answers
52 views

The duality … so that [SV]

Am I right to think that the next sentence has a duality in meaning? I got here early so that we could have a few minutes along together. (M. Swan, Practical English Usage, §583.7) Could we ...
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1answer
799 views

What should be the correct sequence in the question given in description? [closed]

I recently took an exam and its answer keys have just been released. There is this type of question where you are provided with jumbled sentences and you have to mark the correct sequence. Question 1:...
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1answer
50 views

What does “to get to” mean in this sentence?

It is said here that the phrase "get to do something" implies to have the opportunity to do something. But is it the real meaning of the expression in this Garfield's sketch ? "Next time I'll have ...
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1answer
63 views

Listening comprehension: a fighter anime [closed]

& Hello, friends! (Not "fiends," mind you.) I'm struggling to understand the first 30 seconds of this anime: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9IGBVXLfmm8&t=10s Could anyone please listen to ...
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2answers
471 views

A Comprehension question

The techniques employed by science fiction writers are meant to draw the reader into a world where extraordinary events can occur and unexpected scenarios draw a striking comparison to events which ...
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1answer
3k views

Is 20 eyes an expression that means 20 person [duplicate]

The book slipped from his hands and fell on the floor with loud noise, 20 eyes looked up at him and his face turned red..... Q: approximately,how many persons where at the library? •10 •20 •40
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0answers
101 views

A complicated passage [closed]

What is the exact meaning of the following passage? It is from a political telegram with a special shortened style from 1953. "Daily charter situation has weakened substantially with ...
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1answer
635 views

What does it mean to change tense to past in precis writing

I read the rules of precis writing. One rule states: It should be written in the third person and past tense. (Source : https://uogenglish.wordpress.com/english-lecture-notes/eng-102/precis-...
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2answers
170 views

How to understand this Joke?

In Planes, Trains and Automobiles (1987), as Del Griffith met his close friend, Gus: Gus: Del Griffith! How the hell are you? Del Griffith: Well, I'm still a million bucks shy of being a ...
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1answer
59 views

but more the technical

Source: UNIX System Administration—A Beginner's Guide by Steve Maxwell (2002) Example: Certainly this is the ideal situation, but the world is full of situations that are far from perfection. As a ...
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1answer
269 views

Is the use of “well”/“poorly” “understood” right in this case without “when it's”?

"It is a very serious thing, well understood it can give life, poorly understood it'll deprive life.".
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6answers
2k views

Difficulties interpreting this complex sentence

James had been a high priest of technocracy ever since coming to NASA in 1961, arguing for the authority of experts, well-organized and led, and with sufficient resources to resolve the many problems ...
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0answers
64 views

risk of developing type 2 diabetes by around a fifth — “by around a fifth”?

Source: Never mind the food you eat... what you drink could be making you fat Example: A study earlier this year found that having just one can of sugary, fizzy drink a day can increase your risk ...
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1answer
48 views

the development of several popular communications protocols to include TCP/ IP — exact meaning of “include” here?

Source: The ABCs of IP Addressing by Gilbert Held (2002) Example: Although the TCP/IP protocol suite predated the OSI Reference Model, we can obtain a better appreciation for the functioning of ...
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1answer
2k views

Help me understand a joke - “Watch out for that first step. It's a doozy!”

Source: Computer Networking First-Step by Wendell Odom (2004) Example: Often, learning something new can be a chore, particularly with computer technology. In fact, because you've obviously been ...
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1answer
121 views

Listening comprehension (a war movie)

. . Hello, friends. Could anyone please listen to the movie clip (from 2m51s to 3m30s) and check my following transcription? for mistakes? ??? Go on! Don't get back here. No more. Why don't you ...
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1answer
223 views

Gulping the Minimum Hardware Details — I don't understand how the verb “gulp” is used here

Source: TCP/IP For Dummies, 6th Edition by Candace Leiden and Marshall Wilensky (2009) I don't understand how the verb gulp is used here. To gulp, as far as I know, basically means to consume or eat ...
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1answer
113 views

past which… — not sure how to understand that

Source: Networking—A Beginner's Guide, 5th Edition by Bruce Hallberg (2010) Example: Managing multiple processors requires a lot of overhead work on the part of the operating system. Because of ...
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2answers
3k views

knocked several people down — what does this mean? (context provided)

Source: Sams Teach Yourself TCP/IP in 24 Hours by Joe Casad (2012) Example: Configuring the router as a DHCP server was easy, at least for Maurice, because he read the documentation carefully ...
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1answer
59 views

with a medium to large enterprise — not sure what that means

Source: Sams Teach Yourself Networking in 24 Hours, 4th Edition by Uyless Black (2009) Example: If you and your design team are associated with a medium to large enterprise, it's likely you’ll ...
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1answer
51 views

Granted, the plastic envelopes that encase computer components challenge the most avid box shredder. - I don't understand what this sentence says

Source: Sams Teach Yourself Networking in 24 Hours, 4th Edition by Uyless Black (2009) Example: If you're opening the case and the top doesn't come off easily, don't force it. Forcing a computer ...
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1answer
61 views

how to get 'an extra 9 hours'

I had to read these sentences in an article. Most people need from 7 1/2 to 8 1/2 hours of sleep a night. You cannot save hours of sleep the way you save money in the bank. If you have only 5 ...
3
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1answer
92 views

the best one for learning on — I'm exactly not sure what “learning on” means here

Source: Getting Started with Arduino, 3rd Edition by Massimo Banzi and Michael Shiloh (2015) Example: There are many versions of this board; the one we’ll use throughout this book is the Arduino ...
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1answer
69 views

and out stamped this Alabama varsity — what does that mean?

Example: Q. Why do the Alabama Crimson Tide have an elephant as their mascot?A. A fan called them elephants during a 1930 game against Ole Miss and the name stuck."At the end of the quarter, the ...
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1answer
1k views

Why did Constantinople get the works? — what exactly does that mean?

From the song Istanbul (Not Constantinople): So take me back to Constantinople No, you can't go back to Constantinople Been a long time gone, Constantinople Why did Constantinople get the ...
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1answer
421 views

students of the mind — what exactly does that mean?

Source: C++ Primer Plus, 6th Edition by Stephen Prata (2012) Example: Life is full of complexities, and one way we cope with complexity is to frame simplifying abstractions.You are a collection of ...
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2answers
197 views

“When is a virtual function not?” — I don't understand the phrasing

This is from a For Dummies series book. I don't think I understand the phrasing of this title. When is a virtual function not... not what? I presume this must be some kind of a pun. A friend of mine, ...
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7answers
1k views

How to overcome comprehending the words we don't know while listening

Well, It happens to me time to time while listening musics, the singer uses some words I have no clue beforehand, So I was looking for a solution to tackle this. I listen to rap musics mostly, and the ...
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2answers
240 views

Help understanding a sentence from “The Screwtape Letters” by C. S. Lewis

The trouble about argument is that it moves the whole struggle onto the Enemy's own ground. He can argue too; whereas in really practical propaganda of the kind I am suggesting He has been shown for ...
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2answers
826 views

The right answer for the following question in a passage [closed]

I'm reading Intermediate Comprehension Passages, page 1. In the following passage, It was already late when we set out for the next town, which according to the map was about fifteen miles away ...
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1answer
874 views

Do I fully understand the full meaning of this sentence?

People were brought together by the need to produce food cooperatively, as the use of food surpluses in one place to relieve shortages in another ended due to a change in climate. Question 1: Does as ...
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1answer
98 views

Meaning of each in following sentence

Which statement is true about this sentence? Each time X did the puzzle right, Y gave him a reward. X always did the puzzle right X sometimes did the puzzle wrong
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2answers
83 views

simple for us to go out — what does that mean?

Source: Lecture 3 | Programming Paradigms (Stanford) (It's a Youtube video, So just click the link and it will automatically take you to the exact moment he says it. I have put in a time stamp for ...
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2answers
2k views

Which of the following options is best suited for the given statement?

The English exam question is which option would best suit as a conclusion for the statement? The Pacific yew is an evergreen tree that grows in the Pacific Northwest. The Pacific yew has a fleshy, ...
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1answer
252 views

Understanding an excerpt from a news article [closed]

Please explain to me what the underlined parts mean Clearly, in the post-Greenspan age, a central banker does not have the defences available to the brainy professor to blink his way out of ...
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1answer
76 views

than any one of use would like — I don't understand that

Source: Networking Bible by Barrie Sosinsky (2009) Example: There is a considerable amount of product information in this book, and I’ve tried very hard to make this information both accurate and ...
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1answer
159 views

not helped by the fact that

Source: Beginning Databases with PostgreSQL: From Novice to Professional Example: Today, just about every useful database system supports SQL to some extent. In theory, SQL acts as a good unifier, ...
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1answer
52 views

determination to fix the hitch in his giddy-up — what does that all mean?

Source: Sams Teach Yourself C++ in 24 Hours (5th Edition) This book is dedicated to my dad, who’s currently teaching himself something a lot harder than computer programming: how to walk again ...
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2answers
80 views

as only one cog in the vast machine of effort involved, … — I don't understand that

Source: C++ Programming for the Absolute Beginner, 2nd Edition by Mark Lee The amount of time and effort involved in the process of publishing a book is considerable, and this book is no ...
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3answers
430 views

meaning of a complex sentence

From the University of Alabama "Application for Admission", as of February 2016: At the time of your entry to UA, will you have been separated from the U.S. Armed Forces, National Guard or ...
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1answer
233 views

“Do PC screens in Australia scan from bottom to top?” — explain the humour please

Source: C++ For Dummies, 7th Edition by Stephen R. Davis (2014) Example: Return to our PC-screen-repaint problem. Surely it must need a loop structure of some type to write each pixel from left ...
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1answer
207 views

What is “appear to be telling gentlemen how ignorant they are while giving the ladies a pass” intended to mean?

Source: C++ For Dummies, 7th Edition by Stephen R. Davis (2014) Example: Use of gender is always a tricky subject when writing a how-to book. I don’t want to appear to be telling gentlemen how ...