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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1answer
50 views

“Get Groomed” Is it safe to use without negative connotation?

Can I ask someone to "Get Groomed" without any negative connotation? Recently I came across a post on hinative.com which said: The second meaning is that it's an expression which means ...
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1answer
63 views

Is “ill employee” offensive?

In the following sentence I would like to mention employees who suffer from a disease. Ill employees are terminated in some developing countries, but I believe that under fair-trade rules, workers ...
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2answers
90 views

what does “painted” mean in these contexts, exactly?

Aren't you bitter about Amy? I thought she was the one who ditched you. All women are painted satans. So why should I even care? What does "painted" mean in this context? Is the speaker ...
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11answers
3k views

“must” vs “shall” - are they the same, or is one a softened version of the other?

In Information Technology, the "RFC2119 standard" (not exactly standard, but it does not matter here) provides guidance for the use of some words: "must", "must not", &...
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0answers
13 views

Which antonym to “under the table” is better? “On the books” or “aboveboard”?

I submit that if one is contrasting to paying someone "under the table" to avoid reporting their taxable income, or certain other illegalities like an immigrant without a work permit, that &...
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1answer
74 views

Is using “, right?” at the end of a question aggressive or could be read as such?

Is using ", right?" at the end of a sentence aggressive or could be read as such? For example: What you say is that the project should be finished tomorrow**, right**? Could this "...
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1answer
27 views

How to ask for a clarification for some word

For example, someone said: The dm said its our call I'm new to D&D, so I don't understand what does it mean by "our call". How do you ask for that? I tried: What do you mean by "...
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2answers
51 views

How good is it, “decent”?

When you say "a decent meal" or "a decent job", how good is it usually, on a scale of one to ten? 5 or 6? or 8? or above that?
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1answer
26 views

Meaning and nuance of “The art of those commercials is not to be mean, but it’s actually for the guys to like each other.”

I love this part of the interview of Steve Jobs and Bill Gates because they, have been long-time rival to each other, exchanged positive emotions between them, on Steve's explaining about Apple's ...
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1answer
28 views

Nuance of “Why” which has comma after it

On Twitter, a phrase in an advertising was mentioned as a mistake by a native English speaker. Why, Subaru? I think the advertising tries to say “Why don’t you choose Subaru?” However, this sentence ...
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1answer
28 views

Is it normal to feel rude if someone tells me “you might appreciate” in certain context?

There was a meeting that I did not attend due to my schedule. I made prior notification to my colleagues and they have accepted it. My colleague said he will give me a “full” update of the work and ...
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1answer
84 views

Does petite have a sexual connotation?

Is there a synonym that doesn't convey the sexual connotation? Also, could you list words that contain sexual connotations because I don't want to say them and get in trouble?
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2answers
142 views

Does it sound rude to say “you'd better…”?

When I want to make some suggestions to others, does it sound rude to say "you'd better..."? I feel like it contains the implications that I am bossing people around. If so, what are some ...
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0answers
20 views

How is it (that) Subject Verb ~~~

Do "How is it that...?" and "How...?" mean the same thing? Hi I've looked at the above post. Now I want to know the nuance of "how is it (that) S V~~?". Tᴚoɯɐuo said, ...
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1answer
38 views

<My understanding> You know what probably happened? and others

I have learned more about conjecture. Link: You know what probably happened? So, my understanding is as follows. First 1. You know what probably happened? 2. You know what I think probably happened? ...
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1answer
57 views

You know what probably happened?

You know what probably happened? Somebody must have stolen my credit card. I have seen the above sentences from a textbook. Question 1 According to a textbook, "You know what probably happened?&...
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7answers
4k views

Is “beyond your comprehension” an offensive phrase?

In the following sentence does "beyond your comprehension" have an offensive connotation? When a large population of tourists swarm the city during the tourism season, it's beyond your ...
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2answers
336 views

Does stickler have a negative connotation?

Does "stickler" in the following sentence have a negative connotation? My wife is stickler for detail. If it is negative could you please give me an alternative which has a positive ...
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1answer
129 views

Does “prevalent” have a negative connotation?

Here is the definition of prevalent from Cambridge: Prevalent: existing a lot in a particular group, area, or at a particular time: It doesn't tell anything about the connotation of the word. But in ...
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1answer
52 views

Set limits vs set up limits vs set out limits

In the following sentence, should I use "set", "set out" or "set up"? The government has set/set up/set out strict limits on public spending this year. Do the 3 of them ...
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1answer
94 views

Connotation meant by “B of A” and “A's B”. What would be the differences?

Do you agree with the interpretation of the following three example sentences? I don't want to be involved in the problems of my boss.The boss probably deals with some problems. e.g. slow sales, ...
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1answer
98 views

Is this an order or a suggestion?

So, I have been with a friend shopping. After we bought almost everything, I have seen some shoes and I wanted to suggest him nicely then he can get some this shoes. He answered me rudely that he is ...
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1answer
418 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
25 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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2answers
93 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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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
17 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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1answer
31 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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3answers
2k 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
42 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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0answers
37 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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3answers
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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1answer
54 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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2answers
41 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
106 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
55 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
646 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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1answer
42 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
184 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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11k 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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64 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
870 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
51 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
2k 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
74 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
3k 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
73 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 ...