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Questions tagged [sentence-meaning]

Use this tag for questions about meanings of whole sentences rather than phrases.

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What happened to you? [on hold]

My husband is from Peru and is an intermediate English speaker. When he gets frustrated with me (an American) he say's, "What happened to you?" As a fluent English speaker and American citizen, I ...
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The meaning of “as much as” in this sentence

As much as the weaponry it produced as one of the “arsenals of the United Nations,” the TVA itself was potent propaganda, an authoritative, living symbol of how a liberal world could be constructed ...
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He's laying it down?

What's the meaning of: He is laying it down! I'm watching a MSNBC commentary about Syria war and @3:38, which the host is astonished by a truth being told by a guest and said this sentence, so ...
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The grammatical role of “rich” in the following sentence

What is the grammatical role of "rich" in the following sentence and what does mean it? (also why it uses the comma?) In the Pacific Northwest, the high level of precipitation ensures rich, green ...
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How to understand “what she had to say” in this context?

Some people, like Neville, had paid up just to stop Hermione from glowering at them. A few seemed mildly interested in what she had to say, but were reluctant to take a more active role in campaigning....
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What does it mean by “clean up its act by pleading poverty”?

"In the past India has explained its failure to clean up its act by pleading poverty, noting that richer countries were once just as dirty and that its output of filth per person still lags far behind ...
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What does 'standby' mean in this context?

Harry and Ron took their copies of Unfogging the Future back down to the common room, found a table, and set to work on their predictions for the coming month. An hour later, they had made very little ...
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1answer
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What does “bent in upon its body” mean?

At once, the spider's leg bent in upon its body; it rolled over and began to twitch horribly, rocking from side to side. I don't understand the phrase "bent in upon". I can't picture what it would ...
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2answers
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Comparing two things in one sentence

We have three shapes in my study. We called them trees. The class of Tree 1 is larger than the class of tree 2 and tree 3. Also, the shape of tree 1 contains the shapes of both tree 2 and tree 3. I ...
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Help to understand this sentence “Harry grinned into his pillow, …”

Harry rolled over in bed, a series of dazzling new pictures forming in his mind's eye….He had hoodwinked the impartial judge into believing he was seventeen.…he had become Hogwarts champion…he was ...
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1answer
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Does “but” and “however” make different meaning in the sentence

I would like to write a sentence, where I would like to use however or but. I would like to know do they make different meaning in the sentence. The traditional models exist but they may be ...
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What does “across” mean here?

... but at last the sailors on Bering's ship saw mountains a short distance across the sea. This proved that North America and Asia were two separate continents. I am wondering how does what the ...
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What does “argue” mean in this context?

In a sentence with the structure A argues that S1 because S2.,say: The theory argues that children are fatter nowadays because they are less active than they used to be. does A provide supports ...
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what does “rage at nature” mean in the sentence?

What is the synonym of "nature" in the following sentence? Is it referring to "the nature", the natural environment, or "the world" in general?? I raged at God, at nature, at whatever fate had ...
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1answer
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Named after vs. took its name from

Let's say there is a hospital in your town, regarding its name, you say: This hospital is named after one of the heroes of this country, Nelson. (Don't focus on the name "Nelson") Vs. This ...
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Your sweat soaking throught the floor

What does "your sweat soaking through the floor" mean? Does the "sweat" there passes through the floor? Shouldn't it be "sweat soaking on the floor"? Source: The Greatest Showman *the lyrics is ...
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1answer
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Have you been scared vs. were you ever scared

Let's say someone has asked you about gun-related crime. It goes like this: Were you ever scared of gun crime in the world? Vs. Have you been scared of gun crime in the world? What is the ...
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What does “to build upon a previous example” mean?

Ex. 1: To build upon a previous example, the novel question “are you feeling okay?” might evoke the same “yes” response due to the similarity of the questions. [Source] Ex. 2: To build ...
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How to understand “Like we'd say anything else surrounded by that lot” in this context

"Ah, why shouldn't we show our colors?" said Mrs. Finnigan. "You should see what the Bulgarians have got dangling all over their tents. You'll be supporting Ireland, of course?" she added, eyeing ...
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I haven't already covered vs. I haven't covered yet

What is the difference between these two pertaining an activity that is not covered or already covered. I believe I haven't already covered this global warming topic. (Teacher) Vs. I believe I ...
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What's “Meant a fair old bit of paperwork” supposed to mean in this context?

"The Department of Magical Transportation had to fine a couple of people the other day for Apparating without a license. It's not easy, Apparition, and when it's not done property it can lead to nasty ...
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1answer
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What does “We’re away from next week for the rest of the year, and then for a month” mean?

Just a very quick note – we’re away from next week for the rest of the year, and then for a month soon after we get back, so utterly completely submerged in getting organised and working through ...
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“That's if they're coming at all” meaning?

"Maybe they think they'll get invited to dinner if they're late." (said Aunt Petunia) "Well, they most certainly won't be," said Uncle Vernon, and Harry heard him stand up and start pacing the ...
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Help to understand “that far from needing extra nourishment” in this sentence

The school nurse had seen what Aunt Petunia's eyes -- so sharp when it came to spotting fingerprints on her gleaming walls, and in observing the comings and goings of the neighbors -- simply refused ...
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Help to understand: “it wasn't as though they were ever any help to him awake”

Asleep was the way Harry liked the Dursleys best; it wasn't as though they were ever any help to him awake. I have a bit hard time to understand the second part of the sentence, especially "it wasn'...
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What does “while all along” mean? (comparing to “while”)

Catch Me If You Can is about someone who convinces everyone that he can really fly a plane while all along he's just a teenager. My question is: What is the difference between "while he's just a ...
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What does “he had a nasty look about him” mean?

"I always thought he had a nasty look about him,..." I don't know what "about him" is doing in this sentence. I feel "he had a nasty look" is fairly enough. What additional information does "about ...
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1answer
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What does “Never wanted to mix, he didn't” mean in this context?

... There was a rush to buy the cook drinks and hear more details(about Frank). "Always thought he was odd," she told the eagerly listening villagers, after her fourth sherry. "Unfriendly, like. ...
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1answer
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“This all happened”, in here, what's the meaning of “all”?

"This all happens in the middle of winter." What's the meaning of "all" in this sentence? The above is a part of a synopsis of "Fargo" movie. And I've heard a lot "it all happened...", "this all ...
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1answer
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What's the meaning of “where” in this sentence?

"That's the one(=DVD) where this man, a car salesman, hires two criminals to kidnap his wife to get money from her rich father." The above introduces the DVD 'Fargo'. What I couldn't understand is, ...
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1answer
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Does “He might be getting ruder” make sense?

When my son acts up to me, I see it in two ways. First, "did I do something wrong with him?" and the other is that he might be getting ruder. I'm not sure "he might be getting ruder" makes sense. ...
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1answer
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What does “Ron's face was set” mean?

Black conjured heavy manacles from thin air; soon Pettigrew was upright again, left arm chained to Lupin's right, right arm to Ron's left. Ron's face was set. He seemed to have taken Scabbers's true ...
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1answer
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How to understand “What little color there was in Black's face left it.”

"Up to the castle?" said Snape silkily. "I don't think we need to go that far. All I have to do is call the dementors once we get out of the Willow. They'll be very pleased to see you, Black... ...
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1answer
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How to understand “not even” in this sentence?

"I've told the headmaster again and again that you're helping your old friend Black into the castle, Lupin, and here's the proof. Not even I dreamed you would have the nerve to use this old place as ...
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1answer
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How to understand “that was my friends' nickname for me” in this sentence?

I'm Moony -- that was my friends' nickname for me at school. The sentence confuses me. Is 'Moony' the nickname of his friends or his? I interpret it as: "his friends gave him the nickname Moony" or "...
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2answers
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15 businesses you can start FOR cheap

15 businesses you can start FOR cheap. I know this by context BUT if there is a chance when I have to use FOR that way, I am not sure I can do that. If I'm correct the sentence means: 15 businesses ...
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1answer
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What does “You just better had” mean in this context?

"Harry, you'd better beat him in the Quidditch final!" Hermione said shrilly. "You just better had, because I can't stand it if Slytherin wins!" I don't quite understand "You just better had" in this ...
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Sentence meaning and whether the word “derived” is used right here

He derived from the letter that his lover had killed herself. Can we use derive this way? Is the sentence grammatically correct and conveys the meaning that the speaker, after reading a letter, ...
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Advantages vs Benefits

Could anyone tell me the difference between benefits and advantages in the sentence below? I've chosen an answer as "advantages", but the answer is "benefits". I thought both have the same meaning... ...
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“one does not parade the fact that one is All-Knowing” meaning?

But one does not parade the fact that one is All-Knowing. I frequently act as though I am not possessed of the Inner Eye, so as not to make others nervous. I'm not sure if I have gotten the meaning ...
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2answers
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What does “they named him godfather to Harry” mean in this context?

'Of course they were,' said Fudge. 'Potter trusted Black beyond all his other friends. Nothing changed when they left school. Black was best man when James married Lily. Then they named him godfather ...
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I want to ask about the possessive case

The sales department is looking for an experienced sales representative "whose" expertise will bring a significant rise. In that sentence, why there is "whose"? They want to hire someone? Or they ...
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1answer
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It is not one rather than the other. [closed]

It is not one rather than the other. Q: Could you tell me what this mean? I can't translate/understand it at all.
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1answer
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what is the meaning of “ timber claims”?

On the prairie, the wind blew. But in the mountains, there was rain. When we stopped at little timber claims along the way, the homesteaders said it had rained all summer. Crops among the blackened ...
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1answer
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What does “scratched himself in the mirror” mean?

One day Freddie Mercury met Sid Vicious and then Freddie was telling about the meeting: He had all these marks on him, so I asked if he had scratched himself in the mirror, and he hated the fact ...
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Why 'was' used instead of 'were' in this sentence

Was he imagining it, or were Snape's eyes flickering towards Lupin more often than was natural? As I understand, the sentence is saying: were Snape's eyes flickering towards Lupin more often than ...
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Interpretation of “find packages tell people add your application” [closed]

https://youtu.be/x03fjb2VlGY?t=83 This video's subtitle says you can find packages tell people add your application by browsing the NPM website I guess this sentence means: You can find ...
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What does “does anything penetrate that thick skull of yours” mean?

'Orange. Tell me, boy, does anything penetrate that thick skull of yours? Didn't you hear me say, quite clearly, that only one rat spleen was needed? ...' As I know, "thick skull" means "slow to ...
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“Brexit:What just happened?” Does it emphasize “a suprising situation” or does it emphasize “an event that happened a short time ago”?

Today I have seen a sentence on CNN web site which reads ""Brexit:What just happened?". The news text is about two British ministers resigning due to Brexit issues. This resignations are unexpected ...
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It can't have been John vs. it couldn't be John

Let's say John is out of the country for a holiday. Then, Martha is claiming that she saw John this morning to Paul. Then Paul said: It can't have been John you saw this morning, he's out of the ...