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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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Meaning of “respecting” in “no law respecting an establishment of religion”

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably ...
37
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6answers
7k views

What's the meaning of “Ordinary shampoos need not apply!” on a shampoo bottle?

I can't seem to understand this weird sentence I saw as the first sentence on this shampoo bottle Ordinary shampoos need not apply! [...] There seems to be missing a part of the sentence, right? I ...
35
votes
1answer
3k views

What would natives take for “Today is so yesterday”?

I saw this sentence "Today is so yesterday" on a T-shirt one of my American friends wore. My first impression is that the sentence means what's happening today is just repeating what's happening in ...
34
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2answers
5k views

What's the meaning of phrases that include “ship”, “shipping”, when there is a conversation about the heroes of TV series?

I saw such phrase "Fans have been shipping these two for years, and it’s easy to see why. They’re attractive, single, and they’ve got a lot in common..." in this article. What does "shipping" mean in ...
32
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5answers
3k views

How to understand “throwing science at the wall here to see what sticks”?

It's said by Cave Johnson -- an character in Portal2. Full voice line is: "Just a heads up: We're gonna have a superconductor turned up full blast and pointed at you for the duration of this next ...
28
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5answers
9k views

What does “Scary-lookin' fing, inee” mean?

... Harry had never met a vampire, but he had seen pictures of them in his Defence Against the Dark Arts classes, and Black, with his waxy white skin, looked just like one. 'Scary-lookin' fing, ...
27
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3answers
6k views

I don't get this joke “Massive Attack On Pentagon Page 14 News”, can anybody explain me its meaning?

I was reading an article about the first issue published by the satiric magazine 'The Onion' after the 9/11 attacks. One of the headlines of that issue was Massive Attack On Pentagon Page 14 News ...
24
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6answers
9k views

“She dressed like/as an owl.” Which is correct?

She dressed like an owl. She dressed as an owl. "As" or "like"? Which one is more appropriate? My brother said that the second one is correct. He said that first one means "she dressed like an ...
23
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9answers
6k views

How to understand “don't code today what you can't debug tomorrow”?

It's a title of a blog. In my option, I absolutely can debug my code tomorrow which I wrote today. So how to understand that?
21
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3answers
7k views

What does “my name was down for Eton” mean?

My name was down for Eton, you know, I can't tell you how glad I am I came here instead. Of course, Mother was slightly disappointed, but since I made her read Lockhart's books I think she has begun ...
21
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2answers
4k views

“It's them as should be sorry!” grammar

The sentence is from the book Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. I can probably get the meaning of the sentence, but the grammar really confuses me, especially the usage of the word as. I could ...
20
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4answers
3k views

What does the author mean by “What did he there?”

I'm reading Mary Shelley's Frankenstein written in 19th century. I'm not sure whether the sentence I just encountered (bold text below) is a misprint or an example of archaic English and I'm trying to ...
20
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4answers
2k views

Can vehicles sell themselves? Shouldn't it be passive voice?

I read one sentence About 170,000 of those vehicles sell each year in the U.S. It is extracted from: The large vehicle is part truck and part car. Strength and size combined with comfort. ...
20
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3answers
10k views

“Man proposes and God disposes.”

I am curious about the meaning of this sentence: "Man proposes and God disposes." (Mathematical Thought from Ancient to Modern Times, M. Kline, vol. 1, page 181) Whole paragraph is as follows: "...
19
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2answers
3k views

Meaning of “we’ll cut him down as for the border he rides”

Welsh History 101B: My neighbour from England has come across raiding, Slain six of my kinsmen and burned down my hall. It cannot be borne, this offence and injustice: I’ve only killed ...
18
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3answers
3k views

“Jump into the bridge” is troll?

During a one-to-one technical chat with my client, he sent me a meeting link and texted me: Jump into the bridge. Is he trolling me (as there was particular issue that had been left unresolved ...
17
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2answers
3k views

What does 'a hairline crack where the grip meets the graphite shaft on my 3-wood' mean in this English joke?

Guys, I have suspected for some time now that my wife has been cheating on me. I think deep down I just did not want to know the truth, but last night she went out again and I decided to ...
17
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3answers
1k views

Why is the definite article used in “I live in the city”?

Where do you live? -- I live in the city. THE is used when talking about something which is already known to the listener or which has been previously mentioned, introduced, or discussed. But, the ...
16
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4answers
5k views

What is the meaning of “Put a bullet in something”?

I have seen this sentence in a chat between people and I guess when they said "put a bullet" they have used it idiomatically. I am not sure about the meaning though. A : The process is over timing B:...
14
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1answer
2k views

What is the relation between “dark side” and “mic check” in these lyrics?

I just listened to The Hills (Remix) by Eminem. People in the Youtube comment section were saying this line was great. I let you see my dark side, but like a mic check, you got one too. Lyric ...
13
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3answers
2k views

What does “produce” mean here?

The jetties coming out into the river, and a host of ships in the Middle Ages, little wooden ships ferrying produce across from the Continent and back. (Source) The structure of the whole sentence is ...
13
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2answers
11k views

Living by himself vs Living on his own

What is the difference between these sentences below in terms of meaning? He lives by himself. He lives on his own If you ask me, the first sentence connotes that he doesn't have a ...
13
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1answer
6k views

Give me a water. Is this expression possible in conversation?

I know that "water" or "a glass(cup) of water" is the right expression. But I'm wondering. If someone says to you that "Give me a water, please.", what would you think that means?
12
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4answers
3k views

Understanding “Conformity is a virtue, creativity suspect, humor forbidden, and voice mute”

Legal writing, because of the purposes it serves, is necessarily ruled by linear logic, creating a path without diversions, surprises, or reversals. Conformity is a virtue, creativity suspect, ...
12
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5answers
3k views

How to understand: “The owls are nothing next to the rumors that are flying around”?

Professor McGonagall shot a sharp look at Dumbledore and said, "The owls are nothing next to the rumors that are flying around. You know what everyone's saying? About why he's disappeared? About what ...
12
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4answers
7k views

Difference between “having time to myself” and “having time for myself”

I do not have much time to myself. I do not have much time for myself. Do these sentences have different meanings because of the prepositions TO and FOR? If there is, then what? Thank you for ...
12
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2answers
51k views

This is a good news. This is good news

This is a good news. This is good news. Which one is correct? Clarify the difference
12
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5answers
13k 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?
12
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3answers
2k views

What does “pie” mean in the following sentence?

I once saw a sentence: I will go to a restaurant for pie. Native speakers didn't correct this sentence. I don't know why. I would say "I will go to a restaurant to eat a pie". But maybe that ...
12
votes
1answer
2k views

What does “keeping someone in shoe leather” mean?

In the following sentence: Unless your work is pro-bono, you should make sure that your customers keep you in shoe leather. What does "keeping someone in shoe leather" mean?
11
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6answers
3k views

What does “ground” mean in this sentence? And what is the sentence saying?

I am not sure about the meaning of the verb ground in this sentence from an online article. Accessories were kept polished and stylish with taupe suede Manolo Blahniks grounding the look and simple ...
11
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5answers
1k views

Help to understand the usage of “after” in “Nothing you need to get a chain saw after yet”

Wareheim said so far the wind has only knocked down branches and limbs small enough to be carried. "Nothing you need to get a chain saw after yet," he said by phone. As I understand, the sentence is ...
11
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3answers
6k views

What does “I saw him wash the car” mean?

What does this sentence mean? I saw him wash the car Does it mean "I saw him when he was washing the car"?
11
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2answers
1k views

How do native speakers say condolences to someone else (especially in AmE)?

In my mother language, when someone dies, friends and family usually try to say their condolences to everyone who is suffering from that loss. What we say is as follows: I say condolences to you. ...
11
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2answers
466k views

“It was pleasure to meet you” vs “It was pleasure meeting you”

I met somebody for the first time two days ago and the next day he sent a message on Facebook in which he said, "Thank you" and I replied "You're welcome! It was pleasure to meet you." Although it is ...
11
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2answers
548 views

Success is a number/numbers game

Success is a number/numbers game. I was going through a novel where I found this sentence using numbers but success is a single entity that is singular. How can we use plural (numbers) here?
10
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2answers
2k views

What does Ambrose Bierce's definition of “eulogy” mean?

I'm trying to understand this quotation: Eulogy, n.: Praise of a person who has either the advantages of wealth and power, or the consideration to be dead. Ambrose Bierce (1842-1914) I'm not ...
9
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4answers
3k views

What does it mean to give somebody “a less than favorable review”?

It feels awkward to give a famous author a less than favorable review.
9
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2answers
3k views

How to understand “Ron had gone a nasty greenish colour”?

Ron had gone a nasty greenish colour, his eyes fixed on the house. The other three wheeled around. Ron had gone a nasty greenish colour because her mother would give them a hard time. My question ...
9
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4answers
26k views

Meaning of 'Where do you go to school?'

When someone asks me, where do you go to school, are they asking for the address of the school that I attend?
9
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4answers
2k views

How many are “a couple of twin brothers”?

From "The Walking Dead", season 05 / episode 09: Still got a mom and a couple of twin brothers. I know that it means that in total there are 3 people: the author of the sentence and his two ...
9
votes
1answer
2k views

What does it mean to be saddled with debt?

I was reading this article talking about costs of marriage in Egypt when I read thise sentence in the end of the article: but try being happy in the aftermath when you’re saddled with debt. I used ...
9
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2answers
49k views

Difference between “trust”, “trust in”, and “trust on”

I don't know the exact meaning of these sentences. I trust you. I trust in you. I trust on you. I have heard all these sentences. But usually use the 2nd one whenever I need to say it to ...
8
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5answers
2k views

Some equivalents for “saving face”

Suppose a a woman has a very impolite, naughty and bad-tempered child; once a number of relatives come by to their house as guests. Before their arrival, mother speaks to her child. She wants to ...
8
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5answers
3k views

What is the meaning of ''cry oneself"?

I came across this phrase/these words while reading a novel. What does it mean? Like If I say : I cried myself. I wanted to cry myself. Does it mean crying over oneself? I mean crying over ...
8
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3answers
1k views

What can “little silver jet” mean in this sentence, as something that interested a baby when it “fell to the ground”?

The sentence I'm talking about (in bold), along with relevant context: She was eight years old and small for her age, and the baby brother she carried on her left hip was large and plump [...] He ...
8
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3answers
1k views

“I'd like to have something to drink” vs “I'd like to drink something”

What differences in meaning between this: I'd like to have something to drink. and this: I'd like to drink something. I'm listening English audio course, and there are used "to have something ...
8
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2answers
582 views

in his ears hammered still the harsh notes – how can ears hammer harsh notes?

While I read the novel 'Rain', one sentence looks awkward to me. the sentence is below in his ears hammered still the harsh notes of the mechanical piano I think it means that he heard the harsh ...
8
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1answer
13k views

What is the meaning of this famous Groucho Marx joke?

Can anyone interpret the meaning of this quote: One morning I shot an elephant in my pajamas. How he got into my pajamas I’ll never know. This famous Groucho Marx joke has many explanations given ...
8
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2answers
5k views

“Holla at your girl” meaning

What does "holla at your girl" mean exactly? and what is the difference between that and "holla at your boy"? Does it depend on the gender of the speaker? Also, how is "holla" pronounced? It was ...