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40 votes

What is the logic behind "I am X years old"?

Here's a much closer model: How tall is it? It's 50 metres tall. How long is it? It's two miles long. How long is it? It's 40 minutes long. How old are you? I'm 31 years old. This doesn't work ...
Luke Sawczak's user avatar
34 votes
Accepted

Can things "grow smaller"?

Oxford lists three primary meanings for the word grow. The first two reflect what we often immediately think of when we think about growing: grow (v.) to undergo natural development by increasing ...
J.R.'s user avatar
  • 110k
33 votes

Can things "grow smaller"?

Grow and smaller aren't linked the way you are interpreting it. The sentence is saying that fish that used to reach a certain size in adulthood aren't growing that big in a warmer ocean, they are ...
pboss3010's user avatar
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13 votes
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Correct answer from options: True, false and not given

You are correct and I would say it's a trick question. The passage only talks about lead instruments replaced by guitar in the 1950's, but this does not mean that the guitar was not used at all in ...
Andrew's user avatar
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10 votes

Can things "grow smaller"?

As well as the common usage of grow to increase in size it can also be used to indicate a gradual or progressive change of state for example As night fell it began to grow colder. Having said ...
Chris Johns's user avatar
10 votes

What is the logic behind "I am X years old"?

There is no logic. In fact English used to be a language where you could use either be or have to express specific ages: [I]n Latin we find sum, esse, fui 'be' to express age (see fuit in (19)), ...
Laurel's user avatar
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6 votes

What is the logic behind "I am X years old"?

Note that there is at least one context in which one can have years in English: when they are years of something. (Laurel already brought up another, different sense.) For example, someone can “have ...
Davislor's user avatar
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5 votes
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Help to understand this question from reading comprehension in my GRE textbook

Note that this question might be off-topic here as it is also about logic, though personally I think the question is fine staying on ELL. The question asks Which of the following is an error of ...
Eddie Kal's user avatar
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5 votes

How does "rain/snow/hail won't fall" make sense?

These are easily understood. "Snow won't fall tomorrow" is equivalent to saying "It won't snow tomorrow". Natural languages are not formal languages of logic and there is no ...
James K's user avatar
  • 223k
4 votes
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Does "before Dec 10 midnight" mean "before Dec 09 - 23:59" or "before Dec 10 - 23:59"?

These questions about English dates and times come up very often. Unfortunately, unless the sentence specifies an exact date and time, the correct answer is always going to be, "You have to ask to be ...
Andrew's user avatar
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4 votes

The use of the phrase ‘all but’ in this context

It is correct as written. All the tests came back with negative results showing that there was no infection, save for three alone which came back positive indicating that there was an infection in ...
tchrist's user avatar
  • 8,209
4 votes

Is this a double negation: "doesn't exist for neither X nor Y"

Negatives can be confusing, especially as some other languages do use double negatives for emphasis. To understand what's valid and what's not, it can help to reorder the sentence. A solution does ...
Andy Bonner's user avatar
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4 votes
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Is this a double negation: "doesn't exist for neither X nor Y"

In Standard English, options 1 and 3 are grammatical; option 2 is not. In "standard" dialects of English, neither is only used in affirmative constructions.* You cannot say, "I don't ...
Juhasz's user avatar
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4 votes
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Logical approach to “nobody’s”

Words like "nobody" or "nothing" create negative sentences, even when the verb is positive. So "There is nothing in the box" has the same meaning as "There is not ...
James K's user avatar
  • 223k
4 votes

What is the logic behind "I am X years old"?

This fits a general pattern Rather than being specific to the concept of age, this usage follows a general pattern in English in which adjectives / qualities of a noun are often expressed as 'states ...
Kirt's user avatar
  • 1,872
3 votes

Correct answer from options: True, false and not given

The answer is false. The passage of text talks about the piano or saxophone being the lead instrument, but then says they were "replaced or supplemented by the guitar in the middle to late 1950s." If ...
Anthony Grist's user avatar
3 votes
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Better to do it sooner (rather) than later

"Better sooner than later" is already an abbreviation of the full phrase, so it's more common to use it in an abbreviated sentence where the context is already known: I told him better sooner than ...
Andrew's user avatar
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3 votes
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Cannot understand usage of "buyer" vs "seller" in particular article

A seller has to buy or make what he/she sells to others. If the seller buys his products, he will want to buy them at a lower price than what he sells them to others, the difference being his profit. ...
LawrenceC's user avatar
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3 votes
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Singular Plural

Gene is definitely a countable word, as it says in the dictionary: gene /dʒiːn/ noun [countable] The paragraph says the gene, so it means that there is one gene which is responsible because gene ...
stangdon's user avatar
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3 votes
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Are the references in my articles with disclaimers also my own, logically?

In short, a disclaimer won't stop you getting into trouble. You see these on, for example, director commentary tracks on dvds. If Sony is distributing a movie, then Sony will put a notice saying &...
James K's user avatar
  • 223k
3 votes

Logical understanding of this sentence

The sentence is meant to be humorous. The writer suggests that the dogs walked away because they saw no point in attacking someone who was already hurting themselves or was likely to hurt themselves ...
dubious's user avatar
  • 1,110
3 votes
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"I won't go unless Jack goes" - What's the logical information behind it?

The speaker doesn't actually say that he or she will go if Jack goes. However, someone who says this often means that he or she will go if Jack goes, and that is what listeners often infer. If Jack ...
MarcInManhattan's user avatar
2 votes
Accepted

What is the meaning of "All Police men are not honest"?

Since you mention "syllogism" I'll treat this a sentences in formal logic, rather than natural language. "All policemen are not honest" is equivalent to "The set of policemen is a subset of the set ...
James K's user avatar
  • 223k
2 votes
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What does the phrase "such that" mean in this sentence?

In the context of a mathematical definition, "such that" is a more specific version of "so". In this example: Q has been defined to be any m × l matrix. P has been defined to be an m × n matrix. P ...
Jasper's user avatar
  • 24.3k
2 votes

Are these sentences grammatically and logically correct by using "miss not doing something"?

Your understanding of the word miss is incorrect. I have never seen it mean not to be able to. In this instance it means emotionally notice the loss or absence of. So the phrase, have missed not ...
RichF's user avatar
  • 2,495
2 votes

Cannot understand usage of "buyer" vs "seller" in particular article

I think the problem lies in understanding the meaning of value here. This is betrayed in the OP's statements placed below the excerpt. To value, in this context, refers to estimating worth, not ...
Jim Reynolds's user avatar
  • 9,997
2 votes
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Most/Second most + after

Both sentences are correct, though I would favour the latter. The first one requires a little more thought by the listener because, when parsing the sentence on-the-fly, the after the US clause ...
JavaLatte's user avatar
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2 votes
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Tenses logic understanding

The short answer is "no". The long answer is that "I verb not" was the usual pattern at an earlier stage in the development of the English language, and it survives with auxiliaries (hence "I have ...
rjpond's user avatar
  • 23.1k
2 votes

What is the logic in "more than one + singular noun/verb"?

Start with the simple case: One game was lost. This conforms to standard usage, singular game, singular was. Now we want to say that not only a single game was lost, a likely context being that ...
djna's user avatar
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