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Questions tagged [meaning]

This tag is for questions about the meaning of a word, which a dictionary cannot answer. If the question is about the meaning of a word that can't be understood outside its phrase or sentence, the "meaning-in-context" tag should be also used; for the meaning of a phrase, use the "phrase-meaning" tag instead. Your question should normally include the dictionary definition of the word, and explain how the dictionary does not answer your question.

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15 votes
3 answers
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"I only teach you" vs. "I teach only you" vs. "I teach you only"

I only teach you. I teach only you. I teach you only. I think that all the sentences have same meaning, but my teacher says that they are different from each other. I think that the ...
Singh's user avatar
  • 453
89 votes
3 answers
328k views

Does "a couple" always mean two?

Today I said some event was a couple of weeks away. A native speaker from Australia corrected me and said, no it's at least three weeks away. What followed was a discussion as to whether a couple ...
gerrit's user avatar
  • 4,745
6 votes
1 answer
5k views

Correct usage of will and would

Consider the following sentence It will/would rain tomorrow. I understand "would" usually means something that is really improbable. So "it would happen" means it might happen but it is very ...
Alan's user avatar
  • 311
58 votes
12 answers
11k views

Difference between "illegal" and "very illegal"

From my understanding of English, "very" means "more than the usual" or "to a higher extent". I've seen on several places the expression "very illegal", such as here as an example: https://youtu.be/...
Hay's user avatar
  • 1,043
11 votes
5 answers
184k views

Difference between "much, many, a lot of and lots of"

Difference between "much, many, a lot of and lots of" What is the difference between them? Are they synonyms or not?
Ice Girl's user avatar
  • 4,277
7 votes
2 answers
3k views

Perfect infinitive

I thought we can use perfect infinitive construction to talk about plans which didn't happen. For instance: I was to have started work last week, but I changed my mind. But what about that ...
Dmitrii Bundin's user avatar
7 votes
2 answers
40k views

It's time I go to bed vs It's time I went to bed?

What does It's time I went to bed mean? and can we say It's time I go to bed ? and what's the difference between the two sentences?
user37421's user avatar
  • 1,003
4 votes
2 answers
1k views

Between vs. Among - "Difference [between | among] one thing and other things."

Consider the following two versions of a question:1 Version 1: What is the difference in meaning between "[to be] not invited" and similar negation forms? Version 2: What is the difference ...
CoolHandLouis's user avatar
22 votes
1 answer
26k views

What is the difference between "look", "see", and "watch"?

When should I use "look", "see", and "watch"? I'm watching "Star Trek". Have you seen "Star Trek"? Are the examples above correct?
Be Brave Be Like Ukraine's user avatar
13 votes
1 answer
79k views

Could you vs would you

Could you write your name? Would you write your name? When you are asked to do this, are there any situation in which you hear weird if either is used (but the other sounds pretty natural .)
祐一浅野's user avatar
7 votes
3 answers
2k views

What are the differences between "lay" and "lie"?

I'm confused about lay and lie. Please look at these examples: "Don't lie in the sun for too long." "The dog was lying dead on the floor." "She lay back against the pillows." "I told her a ...
user avatar
12 votes
2 answers
2k views

Stative verbs in the progressive

I posted a question today about "Have to / having to?"and I used the verb "find" in the progressive.: I'm finding more and more that "having to" is also used instead of "have to". Someone comments ...
daemang's user avatar
  • 385
9 votes
8 answers
32k views

Do you mind me / my

Do the following sentences mean the same? Do you mind if I open the window? Do you mind me opening the window? Do you mind my opening the window? for me they all mean the same, bit #3 is ...
A-friend's user avatar
  • 14.3k
4 votes
3 answers
18k views

What does *bend the rule* mean?

Malfoy certainly did talk about flying a lot. He complained loudly about first years never getting on the house Quidditch teams . . . "He's just the build for a Seeker, too," said Wood, now ...
Listenever's user avatar
  • 24.2k
4 votes
3 answers
5k views

"All of the ...." or " All the ... "?

I am a bit confused about these two forms For example : John reads books all of the time/all the time All the students/All of the students have participated in march against smoking in the campus ...
Maher's user avatar
  • 545
2 votes
2 answers
18k views

"Will + be + verb -ing)" vs "Will + verb" ?

Can someone explain me the constructions (or however they are called) with the "Will + be + verb -ing)" and the "Will + verb" ?
BoSsYyY's user avatar
  • 323
19 votes
6 answers
9k views

How many items are actually "a few items"?

When we use a few, how many items are usually indicated? My intuition tells me it's something between 3 and 9, but what is the most common range for a few?
Cjxcz Odjcayrwl's user avatar
14 votes
6 answers
243k views

swag (slang) -- what does this word really mean?

Source: Russia Is On A 'Holy Mission' And The West Doesn't Get It Example: In his State of the Union address, Obama displayed similar swag and bluster against both the Kremlin and congressional ...
Michael Rybkin's user avatar
8 votes
3 answers
1k views

What is the difference between “say” and “tell”?

I really get confused when to use say and when to use tell. Which is appropriate in the following: What did he tell? / What did he say? What are you saying? / What are you telling?
user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
448 views

Can the verb "wrap" describe the current condition of something?

Suppose there are two situations: A line of people waiting outside some store is getting very long and the line goes around a street corner. A ribbon is glued around a water pipe. Suppose the ...
meatie's user avatar
  • 7,615
3 votes
3 answers
87k views

What is the difference between "What are you?" and "Who are you?"?

I am often asked "Who are you?" and "What are you?", but I don't know the difference between these two questions. Please explain it to me.
aung's user avatar
  • 391
27 votes
4 answers
20k views

what is the difference between "yet" and "still"?

what is the difference between "yet" and "still"? When we can use "still"? and when we can use "yet"? Are they synonyms or not? "The plan could yet succeed." Can I use "still" in that sentence ...
Ice Girl's user avatar
  • 4,277
17 votes
5 answers
10k views

"said" as an adjective

In our electron pump, when you turn the crank, one side gets a surplus of electrons, or a negative charge, and on the other side the atoms are missing said electrons, resulting in a positive charge. ...
Michael Rybkin's user avatar
14 votes
4 answers
34k views

Difference between "I'm in the school" and "I'm in school"

What is the difference between these two sentences?? I'm in the school. I'm in school. Do they have the same meaning or not?
Ice Girl's user avatar
  • 4,277
12 votes
6 answers
7k views

Difference between will and shall

What is the difference between will and shall in modern spoken English? For example I have the following sentences: He will arrive on Tuesday. He shall arrive on Tuesday. Are there any ...
rsp's user avatar
  • 369
6 votes
3 answers
49k views

Wondering what the expression " I am about to"

Many times I have heard it while natives are speaking, specially Americans. I can not recall the contexts, perhaps they are very fast speaking. I wonder if any body here could give some hints in some ...
user5036's user avatar
  • 5,159
4 votes
2 answers
6k views

Meaning of the phrase "little too"?

Does the phrase 'little too' mean same as 'very', or is it mild form of very ? For instance, I am little too comfortable talking to you. Does it mean same as 'I am very comfortable talking to you' ?
learner12's user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
399 views

he was coaxed a safe distance away -- meaning?

Source: Tortoise pursues man in ‘slowest chase ever’ Once Rose was coaxed a safe distance away, the tortoise turned and beat a hasty retreat back to the female. Well, it wandered back as quickly as ...
Michael Rybkin's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
1k views

X feet long/high versus (a/an) x-foot [noun]

Why in this picture are the length and height of a plane given as x feet long and y feet high but the wingspan is described as a z-foot wingspan? Are they the same units? How can I choose which one ...
Max Jacobi's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
171 views

Time Expressions with "in"

I have seen some examples about using "in" with time expressions. They give some examples as shown below: I will leave for vacation in a month. (Exactly one month from now I will go on vacation.) ...
Talha Özden's user avatar
  • 1,806
97 votes
11 answers
357k views

What is the difference between “nope” and “no”?

What is the difference caused by using “nope” instead of ”no”? Is it used because “nope” sounds better and not straight like “no”? In some situations, it feels like nope is better to use than no even ...
Zterio's user avatar
  • 1,081
21 votes
1 answer
51k views

What does "I have straight A's." mean?

In this video of Hillary Clinton, at 15s, the child said "I have straight A's.". What does "straight A's" mean?
Leon's user avatar
  • 499
18 votes
4 answers
62k views

What is the difference between “within” and “inside”?

Here is the definition of the word within from Oxford Dictionary: inside (something) So does that mean the two words have no difference, and can be used exchangingly? Is there any connotation that ...
Aldi Unanto's user avatar
16 votes
6 answers
218k views

What is the difference between a company, organisation, industry, firm, corporation and business?

A company is any form of business whether it is small or large. Generally the term "company" indicates a particular kind of business dealing in a specific product. An organisation is the ...
Premraj's user avatar
  • 453
15 votes
2 answers
30k views

"Be yet to do" vs "have yet to do"

This theory has yet to be proven. This theory is yet to be proven. This is yet to be done. This has yet to be done. I have yet to spend summer in the mountains. I am yet to spend summer in the ...
user1677's user avatar
  • 463
15 votes
4 answers
119k views

"What does she look like?" vs. "How does she look like?"

I have heard "What does she look like" said a lot and sometimes "How does she look like?". Is there any difference between them, if yes What is the difference between them?
Masoud Mohammadi's user avatar
13 votes
3 answers
68k views

'Thank you for taking your time writing' or 'Thank you for taking your time to write' ?

A person gave me an answer on English.SE and I commented: Thank you for taking your time writing this wonderful answer! Now, looking at the sentence in retrospect, even though I am not a native ...
Michael Smith's user avatar
13 votes
7 answers
186k views

What is the difference between "I am done" and "I am through"?

What is the difference between when we say "I am done" and "I am through"? Please give examples to make the difference clear.
chanzerre's user avatar
  • 243
11 votes
4 answers
3k views

Meaning and usage of ain't

Sometimes I encounter ain't, but I really don't know how to translate it properly. What does ain't stand for? If I really wanted to use it, in which contexts would you say it's acceptable using it?
haunted85's user avatar
  • 1,029
11 votes
6 answers
29k views

What's the meaning of "wired"?

I often hear some people say that "I'm wired differently from other people" or "My brain is differently wired" but I don't understand what "wired" really means. Here are several definitions of the ...
Abecedarian's user avatar
8 votes
3 answers
1k views

Adjective, if adjective: eg "pointed, if fatherly"

They were pointed, if fatherly, remarks that echoed the themes he has stressed in his papacy but ones that resonated all the more in a newly renovated cathedral surrounded by the luxurious shops of ...
InfimumMaximum's user avatar
8 votes
1 answer
3k views

Difference between gerunds and nouns ending in -tion

As we know, gerunds have the same function as nouns and can be substitute in noun phrases. Additionally as far as I know, meaning of them would be the act of doing that verb. (I don't know whether ...
frogatto's user avatar
  • 439
6 votes
2 answers
18k views

Having, holding, giving, and throwing parties

What is the difference between "hold a party", "have a party", "give a party" and "throw a party"? Is there any difference in meaning? Can we use them interchangeably? Could you provide some ...
FNH's user avatar
  • 797
6 votes
2 answers
149k views

'Have just finished' vs. 'Just finished': What is the difference?

I have just finished my homework. I just finished my homework. I think there must be a difference in meaning. Could anyone tell me the difference in meaning sentence 1 and sentence 2?
박용현's user avatar
  • 3,329
5 votes
4 answers
123k 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 ...
Prabu's user avatar
  • 89
5 votes
5 answers
28k views

"Going to" vs. "going to go to"

What is the difference between the meanings of the following sentences? If I were going to Rome next week, I would be trying to find accommodation. If I were going to go to Rome next week, I ...
yubraj's user avatar
  • 2,838
5 votes
1 answer
367 views

persons vs people

I always thought persons was wrong.But recently, I came across this word "persons" in some book. Is it correct? If it is, when would you use persons and when would you use people?
user1763032's user avatar
4 votes
3 answers
2k views

"going to do" vs. "going to be doing"

Note: this post is different to "going to be doing" vs "going to do", which just cites part from somewhere else, without any further analysis and thinking. Furthermore, none of the ...
JJJohn's user avatar
  • 1,223
4 votes
4 answers
13k views

The usage of the word pretty is "pretty" confusing

I am aware that there are plenty of threads on intensifiers(very, rather, pretty, quite, fairly, etc.), both on this site and on the web, because of their ambiguity in terms of meaning. What I have ...
Mrt's user avatar
  • 11k
4 votes
3 answers
606 views

"Would have" in texts describing history

I have noted that in books/articles dealing with history, "would have" is often used. E.g.: Many of the tools used by Woodland people would have been familiar to their Archaic ancestors. ...
John V's user avatar
  • 1,655

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