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Questions tagged [meaning]

This tag is for questions which a dictionary cannot answer about what a word means. 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.

9
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3answers
4k views

“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 ...
71
votes
3answers
228k 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 ...
12
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
57
votes
12answers
8k 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/...
21
votes
1answer
24k 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?
6
votes
6answers
10k 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
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 in ...
0
votes
2answers
97 views

How does “would” work in a sentence: The best choice would be…?

In the sentence "the best choice would be...", what does "would" mean in the following sentence? Questioner: Is this sentence correct? 'Finished eating, we went to the zoo'. Answer: I'm ...
13
votes
6answers
180k 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 ...
24
votes
4answers
18k 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
317 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
273 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
3k 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
13k 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 ...
19
votes
6answers
7k 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?
3
votes
1answer
434 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' ?
12
votes
4answers
65k 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?
5
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
11
votes
3answers
33k 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 ...
6
votes
5answers
93k 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?
9
votes
3answers
734 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?
6
votes
6answers
139k 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
9k 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?
5
votes
3answers
436 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
212 views

Is there a rule which may indicate us when to use “BROAD” and when to use “WIDE”?

Could anybody tell me please if there is a rule which may indicate us when to use "BROAD" and when to use "WIDE? 1st example: I know it is correct to say "broad daylight" but is it wrong to say "...
2
votes
6answers
4k views

What is the difference between “home” and “house”?

Can you explain more? I do not know when we can use them in the sentence. Can we use them instead of each other? They have a beautiful home. They have a beautiful house.
21
votes
1answer
32k 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?
2
votes
3answers
5k views

Confusion regarding the meanings of “till” and “until”

Till means upto a certain time limit and until means "till not". Example 1: I can not go till I finish my homework. Example 2: I can not go until I finish my homework. I cannot differentiate ...
1
vote
1answer
605 views

won't instead of using' wouldn't' is possible?

I have asked many questions about "would" both in ELL and ELU. But I still have a question about the use of "would". I have recently asked a question which @Jay also answered. He used "wouldn't" in ...
1
vote
1answer
22 views

Question regarding meaning of “spell out” [closed]

There was an unearthly quality to the atmosphere inside the Frieze New York art fair, like the air in a plane—still but pressurized, with an unsettling hum—when the fiction writer Ottessa Moshfegh ...
-1
votes
3answers
2k views

I bought something two days ago - quick question

I have this question that my brain cannot understand because for me it seems to be very illogical. Please, try to explain this to me. It is both english problem but also my native language problem. ...
9
votes
2answers
6k views

“can have done” structure?

When talking about possibilities in the past, You often use "could have done". "She could have gone to the theatre with him." "He couldn't have done such a thing!" "I could have saved them." "...
41
votes
6answers
28k views

'Ask away' - what does 'away' mean?

“Sir,” said Harry, reminding himself irresistibly of Voldemort, “I wanted to ask you something.” “Ask away, then, my dear boy, ask away. . . .” In this sentence, I don't know what does 'away' ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

How to concisely express 'at many place' similar to somewhere, nowhere and everywhere?

I searched on the Internet and found the opposite of 'somewhere' is 'nowhere.' This confuses me, because I see it like this: The opposite of "everywhere" (at all places) is "nowhere" (at no places). ...
45
votes
4answers
10k views

What is understood if I say “I'm an English teacher”?

What is understood if I say "I'm an English teacher"? "I teach English", or "I'm a teacher coming from England"?
8
votes
6answers
95k 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.
4
votes
1answer
3k views

What is the difference between “Image” and “picture”?

I mean, What kinds of meaning does "image" express, but not "picture"? Furthermore, what kinds of meaning can "picture" express but not "image"?
7
votes
2answers
2k views

Understanding “still” and “yet” usage

A1. I still can't speak English. A2. I can't speak English yet. B1. *I yet can't speak English. B2. *I can't speak English still. As far as I know, A1 and A2 are acceptable English. ...
5
votes
1answer
2k 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 ...
4
votes
5answers
10k 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
8k views

Difference between “such things as” and “things such as”?

I read a lot of English books, and I have noticed that when authors need to list examples of something, they tend to use "such things as" rather than "things such as", although they both sound correct....
8
votes
1answer
1k views

“It has been on the news” vs. “it was on the news”

I'm trying to gain the full understanding of perfect tenses. Are my explanations about the sentence and the difference between using the Present Perfect instead of the Simple Past correct? It has ...
7
votes
2answers
11k views

“To think” idiom

I have this Magic: The Gathering card flavor text: “To think some believe it peaceful to die in one's sleep.” What exactly that “to think” means?
5
votes
4answers
1k views

waiting ON a miracle?

Is this phrase correct? "Smoke and mirrors keep us waiting ON a miracle" ("Let Me Love You" Justin Bieber) looked up in the browser and found out that to WAIT ON is to bring a meal for ...
5
votes
2answers
10k views

a year on: what does it mean?

PLease, dear native English speakers, help me to understand the meaning of the expression "a year on" within the context "The reality is that, a year on, a true 4K standard is still very much a work ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

Are “after” and “until” inclusive or exclusive?

The article is as follows The new area code is scheduled to be put into service next September. From that time until the following July, there will be a "permissive dialing period" when callers can ...
4
votes
4answers
4k views

Meaning of “ain't” in: “…we ain't know what it meant”

What is the meaning of the following line: We ain't know what it meant Putting ain't = aren't doesn't make sense. I'm left with putting ain't = haven't, but have requires the third form of know, ...
4
votes
1answer
4k views

What does “graphic” mean in “a graphic video”? Is it an official term?

Googling "graphic video" revelas that it is something like "video with violence", yet I can't find "graphic video" in a dictionary. Description of "graphic" sometimes give a hint: depicted in a ...
2
votes
3answers
2k views

How to distinguish “two previous” from“previous two”?

a. His two previous books b. His previous two books ............. His 2 latest previous books His 2 previous latest books His previous latest 2 books His latest previous 2 books His previous 2 ...
2
votes
2answers
1k views

What does X is the new Y mean, and why do we say this?

In English, I sometimes hear a phrase like green is the new black. Literally, this makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. What does it mean when someone says X is the new Y, when this makes no sense ...