Questions tagged [meaning-in-context]

This tag is for questions about the meaning of a word or a phrase in a specific context, which a dictionary cannot answer. Please give as much context as possible.

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15 views

What does “folks got high at a quarter to five” in this song?

This line is in 'Great DJ' by 'The Ting Tings'. Fed up with your indigestion. Swallow words one by one. Folks got high at a quarter to five. Don’t you feel your growing up undone. I can get those ...
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1answer
13 views

What is the difference between at the age of and at the ages of?

What is the difference between at the age of and at the ages of? singular noun and plural noun? Please tell me the difference.
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1answer
40 views

In this comparison, how, according to the writer, does Latin relate to French rap?

The Arabic of “Frozen” is frozen in time, as “localized” to contemporary Middle Eastern youth culture as Latin quatrains in French rap. — Translating “Frozen” Into Arabic by Elias Muhanna Please ...
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1answer
21 views

How can I use the world “neighboring ” and associate it with a country?

I'm trying to say the following context, but I'm not sure which structure I can go with ?? Different Versions of the context : 1- I'm just reciting USA'S neighboring countries. 2- I'm just reciting ...
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1answer
11 views

does “yet to come” mean “after” or “later” or “in future”?

Battles between British troops and colonial militiamen in Lexington and Concord in April 1775 kicked off the armed conflict, and by the following summer, the rebels were conducting a full-scale war ...
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1answer
10 views

what's the meaning of “kicked off” in this paragraph

Battles between British troops and colonial militiamen in Lexington and Concord in April 1775 kicked off the armed conflict, and by the following summer, the rebels were conducting a full-scale war ...
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1answer
7 views

the meaning of “You get people who ~ ”

They ignore our need to obtain a deep understanding of a subject, which includes memorizing and storing a richly structured database. You get people who are great improvisers but don’t have depth of ...
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1answer
9 views

Interpretation in context in a paragraph

Probably the biggest roadblock to play for adults is the worry that they will look silly, improper, or dumb if they allow themselves to truly play. Or they think that it is irresponsible, immature, ...
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18 views

have an/any idea about who it could be?

Do you know who it could be? No? Does anybody else here have an/any idea about who it could be? As you see it, could I use "an" instead of "any" if I want to imply that the speaker ...
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1answer
24 views

Have you been doing any exercise today?

Let's say an elderly person is asked if they have been doing any physical exercise that day and they answer: "yes, I've been walking around the house, pottering in the garden and climbing the ...
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0answers
12 views

What does “get us by” mean in this sentence?

The sentence goes as follow: Being rationally uncommitted does not do away with all the other sources of motivation that get us by — habit, desire, fear of the law and so on. I googled the phrase ...
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3answers
71 views

Difference between “bathe” and “shower”

My native English friends often use both of them but I have no idea what they mean by "bathe" and "shower". I take them to mean the same thing. They have other meanings as well, ...
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1answer
13 views

What's the meaning of “cornered” in this paragraph?

The "Boston Massacre" occurred in 1770 when a few British soldiers were cornered by a large number of colonists who were throwing snowballs, rocks, and oyster shells at them. No one knows ...
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1answer
11 views

What does “scary ones, besides the waist” mean?

A quote from a TED presentation at 58 second: Of course, there's health consequences to this, scary ones, besides the waist. What does the bold text mean? Was she talking about the foot or something ...
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0answers
15 views

We look forward to seeing Mrs Brown and your good self this evening. Why is “good” used here?

We look forward to seeing Mrs Brown and your good self this evening. I think yourself instead of "your good self" is enough. Why good is used here? Is he a good person?
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1answer
10 views

You didn’t hurt your little self, did you? “little” implies the person is physically/really young(little) or younger than the other speaker?

You didn’t hurt your little self, did you? "little" implies the person is physically/really young(little) or younger than the other speaker? I feel a sort of feeling that the speaker is ...
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1answer
21 views

If you are a dog and your owner suggests that you wear a sweater suggest that he wear a tail. (Author Fran Lebowitz)

If you are a dog and your owner suggests that you wear a sweater suggest that he wear a tail. (Author Fran Lebowitz) How a person could wear a tail?
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25 views

How should I interpret “…and what modern epistemologist would…”?

The sentence goes as follow: ...and what modern epistemologist would greet an authoritative pronouncement that she in fact possessed knowledge by trying to refute it? I have two different ...
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1answer
50 views

Today I have been

A women who has just had an operation is surprised and happy she isn't in any pain. She says: "I thought for sure I'd be in a lot more pain and would find it difficult doing things but today I ...
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1answer
73 views

Can I say “I am out of breath because I have just been climbing the stairs”?

I would like to know if I am correct about this. I have trouble climbing stairs because of health problems. I have just climbed stairs and I am out of breath. Can I say: "I am out of breath ...
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2answers
16 views

“Of the mutinous forces that lie so thinly screened behind life..” - what does “screen” mean here?

In a story by A. Blackwood, I am unable to find out the correct meaning of "screen" in the following sentence: Of the mutinous forces that lie so thinly screened behind life, dropping from ...
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3answers
281 views

What does the expression of 'mountain frowning on me' mean?

I have stumbled upon this expression twice now, once in Bram Stoker's Dracula in which he writes: Then the mountains seemed to come nearer to us on each side and to frown down upon us. and in The ...
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1answer
9 views

“Hoping his contempt was not too clearly marked for politeness. ” - meaning?

In the following sentence: hoping his contempt was not too clearly marked for politeness. I could not find a suitable meaning of "mark for" so I am unsure about the meaning. I could guess ...
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2answers
88 views

In a chair at a club, what does it mean if somebody “wheels up their chair”?

From a short story by Algernon Blackwood, titled If the Cap Fits (public domain PDF), Field-Martin, the naturalist, sat in his corner armchair at the Club [...] [...]. Field-Martin wheeled up his ...
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20 views

Meaning of somewhere off?

What is the definition of "somewhere off" not just in this example but also the meaning in general Example: Potential infinity refers to a procedure that gets closer and closer to, but never ...
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1answer
34 views

What is the difference between “state of the art” and “state-of-the-art”?

Sometimes I see sentences with "state of the art" and others with "state-of-the-art". What is the difference if it has a hyphen?
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1answer
18 views

Are “air-waves” the same as “ether-waves”? I cannot find the meaning of the latter

In a story I am reading, I would like to know what "ether-waves" mean: The odd thing really is that one should hear, but not see; that air-waves should bring the voice, yet ether-waves fail ...
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1answer
16 views

what's the meaning of “she takes a small measure of delight in the smudge of …”?

Hadley takes a small measure of delight in the smudge of lipstick on her collar, ... I know the meaning of take delight in but I don't understand the meaning of the sentence. Does it simply mean she ...
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1answer
12 views

“swept in this extraordinary, incredible fashion into > invisibility— into some other place.” understanding the meaning

Reading an old story, I have some problems with understanding the following (esp. the part in bold): it was this very day fifty years ago—February 13—the man disappeared from its shadows; swept in ...
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0answers
29 views

What does 'hymnodies' refer to in this context?

Following is a quote from the novel, "Requiem, Changing Times" by R J Parker (emphasis mine): "I had that rash on my face from that fish Mom got - that was the last meal that came out ...
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1answer
37 views

What does 'at the string' mean?

"But,--sir,--I'm very sorry," said Gluck, hesitatingly; "but--really, sir,--you're--putting the fire out." "It'll take longer to do the mutton, then," replied his visitor ...
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1answer
30 views

Does “trap” make sense in this context?

The non native speaker does not want to fall into the trap of using a foreign strange word. Does the word trap in the above sentence make sense in context?
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1answer
26 views

rewriting a thesis statement

Our teacher said that this is an example of how to write a thesis statement in your words again. The thesis statement: Making healthy food choices are not easy. Her example: Making healthy food ...
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1answer
25 views

The meaning of “seeds that turn around slowly to the ground when they fall”

Cambridge Dictionary defines "sycamore" as a tree with leaves divided into five parts and seeds that turn around slowly to the ground when they fall. Could someone explain how a seed turns ...
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When question,answer contents are poor, and question , answer do not meet quality standards [migrated]

Many questions of mine posted to English language and usage sites and to English language learners sites are considered as low-quality posts and incomprehensible. My question is, Are questions posted ...
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1answer
23 views

“new songs with the authority that their old songs had…”

Q. On that tour, you performed a number of excellent songs you've still never released. I'm thinking of titles like Traces, Love-Art Blues and Pushed It Over The End. What happened to those songs? A. ...
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4answers
2k views

He missed the car in front by that much

He missed the car in front by that much. What does this sentence mean? Does "in front" modify "the car"? What amount does "by that much" indicate?
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1answer
10 views

What does “Whether it's 2026 or 2028 or 2030 matters less” mean here?

Does it mean Whichever year, 2026 or 2028 or 2030, is not important? Yifan Zhang, an associate professor of economics at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, didn't have an exact guess for the year ...
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1answer
16 views

I don't think I was fairly treated, but “then” that's life, isn't it?

What is "then" here? I can hardly understand the "then" here. "Then" means at a particular time in the past or in the future.
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47 views

Does “a home” here mean “house” or “homeland”?

Does "a home" here mean "house" or "homeland"? This ability to enjoy life is a rich and vital gift. It enables a person to bear stress well. It saves us from turning ...
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1answer
48 views

“Why aren’t films true ? Why aren’t songs true?”

There’s always this inherent kind of limit to the self,” he says. “You know, there is a limit to how far one can connect with the world because of the self, and I think that’s what I’ve been talking ...
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1answer
34 views

Have you coloured your hair?

My friend has recently changed the colour of her hair and it suits her. I would say: "Have you coloured your hair?" it looks nice. Is this correct? Is it clear I am referring to a recent ...
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1answer
25 views

“ I know him to speak to.” What does this mean?

I know him / to speak "to". What is "to"'s object? speak to whom? Who is the subject of "to speak"
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0answers
13 views

doubts about a meaning of *proper*

I'm very confused about the use of proper in this paragraph: "In the Introduction, we saw how a number of Neolithic cultures interacted to produce a set of characteristics—“Longshan culture”—that ...
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1answer
14 views

Is there a difference between a jewel set with gems and one embedded with gems?

Is there a difference between a jewel set with gems and one embedded with gems? I was wondering if the two terms were interchangeable since their definitions look pretty much the same—obviously within ...
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0answers
46 views

Present perfect continuous for a short action?

This is from a novel: The police is called because a man has urinated in a parking lot. When the police arrive 5 minutes later they ask the man: "Have you been urinating in the parking lot, sir?&...
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2answers
37 views

Would you please interpret the following GRE Text Completion in layman sentences?

Being a non-native English speaker, I could not understand at all the meaning of the following GRE Text Completion. That was basically a three blank answer choice. For convenience, I'm filling the ...
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25 views

What does the “decide” mean here? [closed]

Source: https://www.etymonline.com/word/champion ......one who has demonstrated superiority to all others in some matter decided by public contest or competition" is recorded from 1730. In the ...
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1answer
14 views

What does “dramatic” mean in this context? [closed]

"Name one moment in time that has had a positive effect on you. Preferably, choose a moment in which you took action in some way. This moment doesn’t have to be dramatic, simply any moment that ...
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1answer
18 views

Is the “with the blessing of” here used in a sarcastic way?

I read this from the Harper's Magazine, and here is original article. But perhaps Ukraine’s clearest departure from the standard model of European liberalism is its proliferation of armed far-right ...

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