Questions tagged [semantics]

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The correct sense of the word Challenge in context

"It could prove valuable," he told her. "Monetarily?" she challenged. While translating it into my language (Urdu), the word challenged is really challenging. Despite analysing all ...
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nothing and not anything

Are these sentences semantically correct? I don't see anything through these binoculars. I see nothing through these binoculars. A teacher says the second one is wrong because you can't say "...
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Use of two same words repeating immediately

Button, Button is the title of a short story by Richard Mathewson. The title has the same word two times. Is it the use epizeuxis to lay stress like Papa, Papa I want to go to picnic? If not, how will ...
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By road or on road

She always travels by road. Is it correct to use the preposition by here because we use by normally with the means of transportation like She always travels by bus.?
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weak definite or regular definite: At home, we cleaned the windows

[1] At home, we cleaned the windows. What is your reading of this sentence? Regular definite reading; i.e., they cleaned all the windows of their house? Or, weak definite reading; i.e., they cleaned ...
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Distinguishing durative verbs

I've been struggling to distinguish between durative and punctual verbs! What I found as a rule for durative verbs is that they are typically identified when using a continuous tense, but let's ...
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what does "Most of Brisbane's here" mean?

Transcript at this TEDxSydney talk video, at 4:10 You know, I'm from Brisbane, which is a great city to live in.(Applause and shouts from the audience) Yeah! All right! Most of Brisbane's here. That'...
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Construction: "Is also to do."

This is a construction that lingered in the back of my mind for my entire life. But for me "is to do" does not mean "has to do" as in: "Surely this is also to do with ...
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Is there a comma needed in this sentence, and if so, why?

The sentence in question: "I met with a psychologist to see if I was on the autism spectrum but they told me that I was not." Is this a complete sentence: "They told me that I was not.&...
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The present perfect semantics

How could these explanations be understood? McCoard (1978) (and also Sorensen, 1964: 78) takes great pains to disprove that 'He has died' means 'He is dead', a line of reasoning which he qualifies as &...
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Is it fine to use the word "completed" when we talk about an object instead of a process?

I have a small script to back up some of my files. It works completely silently and it doesn't provide any success or error messages, even if something is wrong. The only message window popping up in ...
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1 vote
2 answers
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seen from the helicopter VS seeing from the helicopter

Seen from the helicopter, the cars on the road are as small as insects. We seeing the cars on the road from the helicopter, they are as small as insects. Are both of the sentences grammatically and ...
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How weird it sounds to native ears the phrase " I rather use my phone to watch netflix"

I have heard some natives say "I rather" to express they use one thing more than the other rather than using "rather" to mean "preference". for me saying "I use my ...
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Why is this sentence "I want to tell the answers to my friend" wrong?

Is there any problem about this sentence? English is not my first language and I'm still learning it. About this sentence, I think the problem is in structure or semantics, but i have my doubts. That ...
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Is it OK to create idioms similar to "brothers in arms"?

I know what "Brothers in arms" means. Can I use this idiom to get another idea across like "Brothers in mind/minds" to mean that they think similarly and of the same intellectual ...
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"The perfect cure-free worries scattered mind." [closed]

"The perfect cure-free worries scattered mind." This is a sentence I heard from the video Stress Management Strategies: Ways to Unwind (at 1:23 -- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0fL-pn80s-c)...
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time away from him and all that - supplement? Meaning and analysis?

I came across this today morning: Was it that he wasn’t the only center of attention? That I was busy with my career? It didn’t seem to matter that I was doing it for our family. My efforts to ...
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"How is it what ....?" versus "Is it how what .........?"

I'm confused about the emphasized parts of the following( #1,#2). I wonder if #1 means "If they had really renovated their mills, why are there 103 sick mills now under the Government's control?&...
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"Continual" if something undesirable happens or exists without stopping

If you are describing something undesirable which continues to happen or exist without stopping, it is better to use continual rather than continuous. Life for her was a continual struggle because she ...
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“Pureness of the ocean”

“Pure” should modify words indicating color. https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/pure Then, I wonder, for example, to express pureness of blue of the ocean, “pureness of the ocean” ...
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“Brightness is bright” or “brightness is high”

Can “Brightness is bright” mean brightness is high? I googled it, but I got a little bit of information. In my native language, “brightness is bright” is often used. https://forum.fairphone.com/t/...
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the range of 'the rolls' in 'Please pass the rolls'

Situation: You see several rolls on the table in front of you. You hear, "Please pass the rolls." Could you possibly pass just one roll? In other words, does 'the rolls' mean to range from ...
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Representational state transfer

In computer science REST stands for Representational state transfer. I wonder what does it really means: 1. state transfer in a representational manner or 2. a transfer of a representational state. I'...
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Is this an oxymoron? [closed]

Purchase is a thing that has been bought. Refunded: past participle of “refund.” Is refunded purchase an oxymoron? Similar to: “refunded contributions”
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In possession or in the possession

Do you agree with this interpretation? Jack was found in possession of drugs. (He had drugs) Jack was found in the possession of drugs. (He was obsessed with drugs. Or even, drugs had him.)
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generic (vs general)

I do see that questions about this couple have been posted before (What is the difference between "general" and "generic"?, What is the difference between "general" and &...
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1 answer
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Is ‘happy darkness’ semantically correct?

Is ‘happy darkness’ semantically correct? It means a dark thing is happy, so darkness is happy. dark shape, dark feeling, dark taste, etc. I asked this question because I cannot understand ‘hot summer’...
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1 answer
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I wonder if there are some typos in this sentence: Ashely had pushed her past her patience pique

While reading a book I encountered the sentence I don't understand. Please give me some advice. Situation: During a class, a student, Ashley Bonny is caught being lackadaisical when she should pay ...
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have+to go or have to go

I have to go now. I have to leave now. I have to study Englsih. Can I stop after "have" for a moment? I have (a few seconds later like 2~3 and continue to say) to go now. Or Do I have to ...
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the whole is wide in one part?

Bicycles are parked where the sidewalk is wide. The sidewalk is wide here. If I want to say bicycles are parked on the wide part of the sidewalk or this part of the sidewalk is wide, are they ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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It was one of a few houses (that were) (fully) built?

It was one of a few houses (that were) (fully) built. I want to say that the house was done, does just built mean that or should it be fully built ? and is that were necessary or optional?
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1 answer
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What does "Therapist and client relationship" mean?

What does "therapist and client relationship" mean? And is there a short description for it or synonym? B:‘’My mother mentioned you, often.’’ A: ‘’Strange, she never mentioned you to ...
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"Right" Answers in the IELTS Reading Section

Friends, My concerns are about the suggested answers of the Reading section in the Official IELTS 14 Practice book. I'm providing the context, question(s) in concern and it's official answer. the ...
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Case that is philosophically right or wrong, but semantically wrong

If we see that there is a red apple, but someone says 'we see that there is a red apple, but it's green.' Then, is it semantically wrong?
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1 answer
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Subtle impatience with "would"?

In her work, Sabine forgot to check the validity of some figures. Robert, one of her colleagues reviewing her work before approving it, wrote in his remarks: "Wouldn't we need to check the ...
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1 answer
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How do I know when to use the perfect infinitive and simple infinitive?

Most of the time they have the same meaning as in: It was stupid of me to say anything on Twitter It was stupid of me to have said anything on Twitter Luis deserved to earn that promotion Luis ...
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1 answer
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Using "the" with past participle but not with the present participle

I am currently working on a book review of verb presentation in two texts. I am contemplating the nominal function of present participles. Of course, we know that a present participle is called a ...
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1 answer
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Is this sentence a contradiction in terms?

The sentence is "The amendment has the effect of disqualifying the unqualified" Is it accurate to call the amendment a contradiction in terms?
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What is the semantic difference between everybody and anybody in `doing` context?

Please explain what should I choose for what context in the following examples: it lets everybody do whatever they want it lets anybody do whatever they want What is the semantic difference?
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“high-tech hubris”

For office innovators, the unrealized dream of the ‘paperless’ office is a classic example of high-tech hubris. Today’s office drone is drowning in more paper than ever before. Then the “high-tech ...
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Looking to name a specific semantic relation

When one makes a choice, he is faced with some alternatives: "go by car" or "go by bus"; "prefer sightseeing" or "go shopping", "buy a house" or "...
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1 answer
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What is the difference between "criteria of" and "criteria for"?

The criteria of 'dog-ness' are the following... The criteria for an animal to be a dog are the following... Are both phrases correct and, if so, what's the difference between them? Are 'of' and 'for' ...
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usage: scarcely any

In the following sentences, the use of "any" seems correct in the first sentence but incorrect in the second. Do you know why? Scarcely any space occupied by John is clean. The porky fellow ...
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Can 'hardly' convey two opposite meanings based on its location in a sentence?

Is there a semantic difference between these two sentences? I defended the case quite hardly. vs. I hardly defended the case. For my understanding, these two sentences have an opposite ...
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7 votes
9 answers
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Is redundant logic ungrammatical?

For example: COVID-19 plagued New York City and its many theaters. I am wondering if "and its many theaters" makes sense, because it's included in "New York City". Is this allowed in English? ...
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Whether this sentence is grammatically and semantically correct? [closed]

Indian constitution is not as flexible and rigid as British constitution and American constitution respectively.
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meaning: may well V

In the following exchange, "you may well ask" is used after a question has been asked. ‘What’s all the noise?’ ‘You may well ask.’ But I'm wondering whether "may well V" is normally used after the ...
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Why is "was" here? HTML5 was the fifth and last major version of HTML

HTML5 was the fifth and last major version of HTML that is a World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) recommendation. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HTML5 Why is it "HTML5 was" instead of "HTML5 is"? What ...
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What class are you studying?

It is a tendency among teachers of English in India to ask and teach sentences of this kind in the class. What class are you studying? Inwhich class are you studying? ...
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I thought/ didn't think you were/ not coming

We usually say : I don't think he will pass. Not I think he will not pass. I didn't think he was coming. But not I thought you were not coming. I know that it is called ...
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