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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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“How could it hurt?”. Does this sentence have any special meaning other than what it says?

I have been watching a good British drama (Downtown abbey) and this sentence is from that drama. It is from a dialogue between a servant who is waiting for his dismissal and the head of the servants(...
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35 views

What is the meaning of “external recognition in quantity”?

No wonder that the culture descended to ostentatious displays of wealth, or in the parlance of Marx and Veblen, to commodity fetishism and conspicuous consumption. For a writer or an artist, in fact, ...
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“What is the work you can't not do”, is this can cause different understanding?

I mean different understanding about "What is the work you can't not do". a. what's the work you deeply wanted? or b. is there a work (maybe you're doing) you must to do? What's the difference ...
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31 views

Does the word “otherwise” disregard the sentence before it or include it?

I filled out a form for permission to use a branding logo. The reply I received was something like the following: "You may use the icon only if it (does a specific something A). Otherwise, as a ...
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12 views

What's the meaning of elements in this sentence? [closed]

“I appreciate your having battled the elements to come here and tell us so.” What's the meaning of elements?
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57 views

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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1answer
35 views

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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38 views

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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34 views

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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21 views

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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51 views

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
23 views

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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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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56 views

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
29 views

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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1answer
36 views

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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1answer
15 views

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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30 views

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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56 views

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
28 views

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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2answers
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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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2answers
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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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3answers
885 views

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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1answer
81 views

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
63 views

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
57 views

“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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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
56 views

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
39 views

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
33 views

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
50 views

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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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
42 views

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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2answers
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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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“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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71 views

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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1answer
22 views

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
38 views

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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1answer
42 views

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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1answer
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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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2answers
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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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1answer
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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 ...