Questions tagged [connotations]

This tag is for questions regarding the associated or underlying meaning of a word, in addition to its primary definition.

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Do “showing emphasis” and “giving emphasis” mean the same thing?

The definition of emphatic on lexico is Showing or giving emphasis; expressing something forcibly and clearly. Do "showing emphasis" and "giving emphasis" mean the same thing? If not, could ...
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1answer
44 views

Connotation of word shrewd

I did a lot of research on internet regarding the connotation of word shrewd. It can have negative as well as positive connotation.It depends on the context of the passage. For instance, A shrewd ...
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1answer
13 views

Does “exploit” (verb) inherently carry a negative connotation?

I want to use it to mean "thoroughly make use of ... without pushing it/them over its/their limit" but I am worried it does not mean that.
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1answer
40 views

Do a demonstrative and a possessive pronoun make it offensive (if so, what is the alternative)?

In a Japanese Language question, I was informed that English construction such as That son of yours These cats of hers would have an extra offensive connotation outside of a neutral combination of ...
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32 views

What do you think when you hear the phrase “fist or palm”? [closed]

What comes up in your mind when you hear the phrase “fist or palm"? (Forget the Fist or Five voting technique of agile software development and tell me what the first impression of this term would be ...
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1answer
16 views

tone: the sick man of . .

I'd like to know whether the phrase the sick man of . . . has a tone of ridicule to it in the following: Today, Europe again looks like the sick man of the global economy.’ ‘Many is the ...
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1answer
14 views

Can “headfirst” be used in a positive sense?

Can I use head first, head-first or headfirst in a positive sense in a sentence like: He's not affraid of anything. He delved head first into his own bussiness. Thanks!
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25 views

Word for someone who speaks less but has positive connotation

I understand there are words like Taciturn that have same meaning but can be used to compliment someone. Taciturn seems to have negative connotation.
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22 views

nuances at expressing composition

I would be very grateful if somebody could say whether there are any nuances among the 3 forms below when expressing composition (as in the tail is part of the dog - not ownership as in the tail ...
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82 views

Could you help me getting the exact meaning of the highlighted sentence in following english para?

(This is a story of a child who had always been reckless about his french language learning. Now, his city has been conquered by enemy forces. In the following scene, the child is in his classroom, ...
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1answer
38 views

The different nuance between “I think~”/“I don't think~”

Is the sentence 2. sounds more..rude-ish?? They convey the same point but the way how the speaker delivers it could change the nuance and I wonder if that is applied to these two sentances~! I don'...
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27 views

How to numerate pictures or diagrams when writing a book or paper?

This is shown in the diagram 1 / diagram no.1 / diagram number 1. ... The statistics can be seen in diagram 2 / diagram no.2 / diagram number 2. What is a common way to numerate pictures or ...
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5k views

'provocative' vs 'sexy'

Are there any differences in meaning between 'provocative' and 'sexy' when they are used to describe clothes? It seems to me that 'provocative' is almost always disapproving, while 'sexy' can even be ...
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34 views

Does the expression “taking a cut” imply some sort of grift? If so, what's a neutral equivalent expression?

Does the expression "taking a cut" (to mean taking some financial commission) imply some sort of grift, or is it neutral? If it implies some sort of grift, what would be a neutral equivalent ...
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37 views

What does 'SEE' mean this sentence?

'It is sad to see a man so corrupted by the desire for money and power.' 'see' is mean that by using speaker's eyes? o_O
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4answers
101 views

can “what have you done” be asked in a neutral way?

I'd like to know if "what have you done?" can be used as a neutral question, since it is often used to express anger, shock or sadness. For example: I want to close a window that has been opened by ...
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1answer
49 views

Difference between adjective+noun and noun+adjective

It was a speech calculated to appeal to the unions. I encountered this sentense on the internet and got a question that how the sentence will change its meaning or nuance if the noun and adjective ...
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2answers
191 views

Begin vs beginning

What different nuance is it between 'it begins to verb' and 'it is beginning to verb'? the same problem is in case of 'start'.
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37 views

What are the connotations of the word “pedantry”?

This is a request of help for the connotations of a word If native speakers hear the word, pedantry, does it assume an air of showy, academically pompous, impudent impression to them? Would this ...
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1answer
88 views

persist in V-ing

Does "persist in V-ing" convey negative connotation? Does the following sound odd? The detective persisted in searching for the truth. I'd appreciate your help.
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1answer
40 views

Please let me know the nuance and teach me which is correct [closed]

This new sports complex is _________, so people can enjoy the games whatever the season is. (A) encased (B) enclosed (C) encircled (D) enveloped
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5k views

Connotations of “in any capacity”

What would you hear in this sentence? Thank you for your contribution, in any capacity. a) Thank you for your contribution, no matter the size ("for both big and small donations"). b) Thank you ...
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1answer
57 views

Other word for “financial help”. Can charity be a financial “contribution”?

Thank you for your donations. How to change donations in this sentence? Financial help? Contribution? What if I wanted to generalize my thanks for all kinds of helping? Could I say gifts?
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1answer
38 views

(all) that, too, so

Is there a difference between (all) that, too, and so when used in a negative sentence? For instance: It's not all that/ too/ so difficult once you get the hang of it. He's not that/ too/ so crazy ...
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1answer
531 views

have p.p vs past tense

I know similar questions were asked by many others before but I am still not sure. They are already getting what they wanted They are already getting what they have wanted If I understood ...
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2answers
47 views

Relationship between “detrimental” and “effective”

A sample IELTS question in the reading section concerns a passage about how dentistry has improved over the last few centuries. The passage includes: "...for most of the 18th and the beginning of ...
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3answers
875 views

a CERTAIN answer?

Can "certain" be used as a synonym of "definite" in front of "answer"? When I hear "a certain answer", I think about "a specific answer" not a "definite" nor "ultimate" answer. Can a "certain answer"...
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1answer
68 views

What are the right words for this sentence?

My job was to shelve books correctly and to keep the library clean that was hectic and bustling with large volume of visitors. Now the sentence above is what I just wrote to ask this question ...
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1answer
2k views

Work on (doing) something and work at (doing) something

What's the difference between work on and work at, and what's the right way to use them? We're working on/ at our relationship. I need to work on/at my German- it's getting rusty. We're working on/...
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1answer
51 views

downplay, play down; downscale, scale down

There are quite a few words that are formed with down/ up either preceding the actual rootword, or as a particle making for a phrasal verb. But does it change the meaning in any way or carry different ...
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4answers
2k views

Concede vs admit

I wonder if there any nuance between the two sentences. I admit that you are right. I concede that you are right. I believe there is a slight difference between them. Do both sentences suggest that ...
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2answers
163 views

Does “unfounded” have the connotation of “not fair”? [closed]

Does "unfounded" refer rather to the lack of arguments for a statement or their irrelevantness?
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1answer
56 views

What are some words with the connotation of unreality/numbness/dream? [closed]

Our world is only a reflection. I'm looking for a word that could replace reflection here so that it would be still clear it's supposed to indicate numbness/unreality/fiction - that it's meant to ...
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1answer
76 views

“That be me” in the movie The Hateful Eight

I watched Tarantino's The Hateful Eight and heard the following dialogue between Major Marquis Warren and John Ruth: I know you too. We shared a steak dinner once upon a time in Chattanooga. ...
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384 views

What would be the connotative meaning of “deeply grounded in tradition”?

What would be the connotative meaning of "deeply grounded in tradition”? I have looked on various searches and sites and haven't been able to find anything. I have to find an example of denotative ...
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2answers
76 views

Connotation behind “forking possibilites”

"Every time you make a choice, a decision, the reality forks off into a new possibility. " - The OA What would you imagine under those words? Does "forking" connote rather with the process of [a ...
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2answers
147 views

Is “any of … + not” wrong?

I think it's "any of them + ... not" to say what everyone did, which happened to be not doing something: I wonder why any of them have not addressed the issue. And the nuance differs if it's ...
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3answers
2k views

Is calling someone “creepy” rude?

I learnt "creepy" is feeling unease or scared, but it's not considered rude to say creepy at someone? In my language, when people felt scared about something in horror, we use a word close to "eerie" ...
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2answers
72 views

I don’t get the exact nuance of this sentence

I’m an English learner and I saw yesterday tv soap opera ‘Smallville’ season 7 episode 5. From there, I heard an sentence but I don’t get the nuance of that. “After all these years of reading ...
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3answers
2k views

Have no problem doing something and have no trouble doing something

What's the difference between the two phrases? I'm interested in nuances. For instance. We had no problem/ trouble finding the stolen item/ finding her a house etc You had no problem/trouble ...
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2answers
109 views

Connotations—are they to some extent instinctive?

I've noticed that many synonyms are often not very alike. Yes, their core meaning is the same. But there are many differences in mood or tone. Often I understand the kind of meaning it will have by ...
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1answer
43 views

What is the connotation of “up” in phrases like “eat up” and “wait up”?

What do you feel "up" in "eat up" and "wait up" indicates? Does it sound like "be quick" (eat up) or "I'll be quick" (wait up)?
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2answers
3k views

Does ‘Dear [surname]’s family’ sound friendly?

I’m writing a letter to my host family in Australia. They are a family of five and I’d like to write it in a friendly way. So, does the expression ‘Dear [surname]’s family’ sound friendly? I’d like ...
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2answers
82 views

I would like to know nuance of creepy

I hear word "creepy" a lot in many situations but is it always including a scared feeling? For example when people are watching horror movies, or dolls which seems scary, people say creepy! I think ...
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1answer
6k views

Meaning difference between insinuate and imply

I looked up the meanings of the insinuate and imply. Insinuate, as shown on the site vocabulary.com, means suggest in an indirect or covert way, and imply means to express or state indirectly. I ...
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2answers
9k views

Care to elaborate?

I have faced a lot of times at a chat or some Q&A site a reply: Care to elaborate? As far as I understand, the poster is asking for more details or explanations. However, in this case, I'd ...
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1answer
380 views

Does word “segregate” sound natural?

Does the word "segregate" have any undesired side context to US speakers? These are examples: Segregate configuration from the code. A task is about test segregation.
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2answers
473 views

The nuance of “ample”

In a letter to a university professor, I wrote "as a prominent Japan scholar with an ample knowledge of...." But in retrospect, I wonder if I should have said "vast" or "extensive" instead of "ample." ...
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108 views

Why is interior decorating insulting in this context?

This dialog is from the movie The Mexican. This clip on YouTube may help with the context. Samantha: I... know the kind of people in your business, OK? Winston: Yeah? Samantha: And to me,...
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1answer
96 views

The first day of spring/the first spring day

I guess, there is a subtle difference between these expressions: the first day of spring the first spring day Could you help me grasp it?