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186

This is indeed a pun. To make someone something can mean "to create something for someone", as in, I made her a sandwich. But it can also mean "to change someone into some thing or state", as in, I made her angry; Zeus made her (into) a cow. To be one with something is a spiritual expression meaning...something spiritual. When people say they are one with ...


141

There's nothing in the language that requires you to characterize with a noun. You can frame your discourse much less awkwardly with constructions like: My friend Sidney? she'll be there, too ... I have a friend, Sidney, her command of English is amazing ... There's this girl, Sidney, friend of mine from school ... You know my friend Sidney, Ed's ...


112

My female friend is a perfectly acceptable and understandable way of putting it. A slightly more awkward phrasing that I have also heard is My friend, who is a girl....


70

Explanation So, if you look at the statement again, the Dalai Lama asks them to "make him one with everything". So this is indeed a pun. Read one way, it seems as if he is asking the pizza shop to give him spiritual enlightenment. While, in reality, he may be asking for a pizza with every topping. Not a good joke. Although to me that joke is hilarious, it ...


64

In writing this depends on the situation, but you are very likely to be understood as meaning that you are a teacher of English. However, in actual speech it depends entirely on the stress used in the sentence. A teacher of English is referred to as an: 'English teacher Here these two words form a compound noun and are stressed just on the first syllable ...


61

"Free software" as used by the Free Software Foundation is a difficult term to translate into many languages, and they even admit as much. I couldn't find the exact page where they do with a quick look around their web site, but I know I've seen it there. It can mean either software that is offered free of charge, or software which comes with certain ...


46

In written English, you could use girl friend rather than girlfriend. According to Wiktionary, the former means a female friend, whereas the latter means a female partner.


40

It is acceptable to say something like, "My plane/bus was late" or "My company was sold" without sounding as if you own them. It would be considered unnecessary and cumbersome to say, "The plane/bus I was on was late." or "The company I work for was sold." Typically, people will know you don't own any of those things, and if there's any question, people ...


34

It is perfectly ambiguous. If someone says "there are red apples and bottles in that box over there," one may have [red apples + bottles of any color] or [red apples + red bottles]. I don't even know a way to make a distinction with the tone of voice here; if you care to get more specific, you really have to say more words. EDIT: upon further reflection, I ...


32

The way I understand it: "Free as in beer" translates to gratis given or done for nothing; free "Free as in speech" translates to liberty the state of being free within society from oppressive restrictions imposed by authority on one’s behaviour or political views


32

English teacher will widely be understood by native speakers to mean a teacher who teaches English. This is because English is a well-known umbrella term for the subjects taught in English class regarding the English language, like grammar and composition. English English language, composition, and literature as offered as a course of study in ...


28

If you are a male, the phrase "female friend" works. If you are a female, the phrase "girlfriend" is actually acceptable, though somewhat uncommon depending on region. But English speakers tend to be unspecific unless the conversation requires you to specify your friend's gender.


28

I am out of the office until 09/15/2014. My question is, will he be available on the morning of the 15th? Well, pragmatically, if that date lands on a Monday, then I'd think he would be in his office that day. Let's see how the word "until" kinda works. For example, consider: 1) "[The man kept on kicking the bear] until the bear growled." That ...


27

Addressing the more general case, it's important to note that possessive pronouns don't necessarily imply ownership, possession (nor does the Saxon genitive 's, despite what it says in that link). Often, it just implies some kind of relationship, connection. For reasons that aren't clear to me, teaching materials for non-native speakers frequently over-...


22

The sentence 'Time flies like an arrow', with or without context, is very unambiguous to the native speaker. 'Time' is the subject, it metaphorically 'flies' as fast and without stopping 'like an arrow. But the phrase is often accompanied, either before or after, by Fruit flies like a banana. which is word-for-word parallel, but not exactly by part of ...


21

The Stallman sort of “free” software is intended to mean software that it is: unfettered unrestricted unencumbered changeable / hackable / modifiable Opinions vary, but some would also argue that “free” software also means software that is: non-proprietary non-private unpatented / unpatentable In contrast, the sort of “free” software you find available ...


20

Probably the easiest and simplest way is to just call her your friend and refer to her with a female pronoun. For example, "My friend Sidney is helping me move. She'll be here in an hour." "Female friend" or "girl friend" is grammatically correct, but it calls a lot more attention to gender, which can be awkward. (If you talk about your male friends as "...


20

This is the sort of ambiguity in language that is often used as the basis of a joke. Indeed one of your examples is very similar to a joke in a book I have on the shelf: Couple meets at a party. She: "So what do you do?" He: "I'm a painter." She: "Oh really? Do you do any nude painting?" He: "Well, sometimes, but usually I wear a smock." Similarly, ...


19

You can make the sentence less ambiguous by expressing the intended concept more explicitly. For example: It's a sphere inside a cube, with the cube representing the parent shape of the sphere. or It's a sphere inside a cube, where the cube represents the parent shape of the sphere.


18

You're absolutely correct that the sentence has two nearly opposite possible meanings: I'm not doing that, and the reason I'm not doing that is because I hate you. I am doing that, but the reason I'm doing it is not because I hate you. In general, I think the meaning would be clear from context, since you'd either be doing "that" or not, and that would ...


18

In this same case, he might just as well have said “exactly”, “you got it”, or “case in point”. Saying any of these–including “there you go” as a flat interjection–is a way to point out the similarity of something said before to what was said just now, especially when the latter is a specific example or proof of the former. If he wanted to spell out his ...


16

Possessives -- words like "my" or "our", or use of apostrophe-s -- do not necessarily indicate ownership. They just indicate a close relationship. No fluent speaker assumes that it means ownership. If you say "my boots", yes, you probably mean that you own them. But it's quite common to say, for example, "my country", and no one takes that to mean that you ...


15

Time flies like an arrow. is an old idiom that means time passes quickly, subjectively. Hurry up with your life because it will end before you notice. Now the pun and the problem: Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana. No, there are no insects named "time flies". But there are very common insects called Fruit flies. The tiny insects appear ...


15

There is no ambiguity. In a present-tense narrative, it could be passive "He marries, he dies, he is buried" but in any other context, it is adjectival. He is buried is a copular sentence, where "buried", an adjective, is the complement of the copula "is". You can call it a participial adjective if you like, as it originates as a participle: I'm not ...


14

You might say "my friend <her name>", if her name is unambiguously female. That avoids the problem without being specific about her gender.


14

It can be read as: can you make me one pizza with every topping on it. Or: can you give me a spiritual connection with everything within the universe. Being "one" with something means that you are connected to it in a spiritual sense. Can you make me "one" with "everything". The dalai lama is an extremely spiritual public figure, who has made a life ...


14

The misunderstanding is not about "do" versus "are". Instead, it is caused by the word "like". It can be either verb or adjective, but also may serve an adverb: I like chocolate - here, like is a verb. It answers the question "what to do?" and its meaning is "to enjoy", "to sympathize" or "to prefer". I am a programmer, like my brother - here like is ...


14

Gas to refer to gasoline, I believe is an U.S.-ism. In Canada, gasoline is called "petrol" (short for "petroleum"), and "gas" is reserved for, well, gas, and not liquids. In the U.S., where gasoline is typically shortened to "gas", context is usually necessary to determine to which gas one is referring. When disambiguation is necessary, one would ...


14

According to qz.com: Most cesses are ineffective, expensive, rarely serve the purpose they were levied for, and, generate insignificant amounts in revenue. The salt cess is one such example, generating Rs3.3 crore in the last financial year. The cost of collection was Rs1.5 crore. If we convert those numbers to US dollars for comparison, we get $538,000 ...


13

As is used to mean because, but it is also used when two events happen at the same time. In "I must stop now as I have to go out." it means because, but in "She watched him as the train passed close to his house." it doesn't mean because. As for the sentences you used as examples, both are correct.


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