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5 votes

Having problem understanding a sentence

Yes, both refer to the same student. When there is ambiguity about who you mean, and you don't want to use names, you will usually use the same noun to describe that person. Here "the student" ...
Andrew's user avatar
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4 votes

What's the rule governing the use of an indefinite article with a noun?

This use of an is a mannerism, a stylistic tool, a flourish of the language, used here to strengthen the satirical meaning of the simile - after all, it's not to be taken literally (learning being a ...
SF.'s user avatar
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4 votes
Accepted

What does "if the children breed with the children" mean?

I'm assuming this is based of Shelly's novel "Frankenstein." Victor is gloating about how he can create living people. William is trying to get Victor to think about the consequences. First, Victor ...
Binyomin's user avatar
  • 260
3 votes
Accepted

Why do people use phrases like "scan to" and "scan into"?

Time was, some decades ago, people would say "Do an Internet search for ..." Then everyone started using Google and to google something became a common expression that means the exact same thing. ...
Andrew's user avatar
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3 votes

Is my interpretation of this paragraph from a horror short story by Arthur C. Doyle right?

You've been given a couple of good answers. I'll take a crack at #4 where you said you were "clueless". Yet when we think how narrow and how devious this path of Nature is, how dimly we can ...
TimR's user avatar
  • 128k
3 votes

"you can" vs "you cannot" How to understanding? What is difference?

"You can accept your own answer in two days" means "in two days' time, you will be able to accept your own answer". "You cannot accept your own answer in two days" means "in two days' time, you will ...
Darael's user avatar
  • 1,021
3 votes
Accepted

"you can" vs "you cannot" How to understanding? What is difference?

Prepositions are tricky.  You can accept your own answer in two days.  You can accept your own answer at the passing of two days.  The first sentence here is natural and ...
Gary Botnovcan's user avatar
3 votes

sentence fragment to be improved

"accompany me to my office." is an implied quote suggested earlier by "tell us". It could be made explicit by writing: Sometimes, when we ran out of time and did not have space for any further ...
David Siegel's user avatar
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3 votes
Accepted

Understanding "pallias"

Maybe some letters are lost? From Oxford ALD: palliasse pal·li·asse [palliasse palliasses] BrE [ˈpæliæs] NAmE [pælˈjæs] noun a cloth bag filled with straw, used for sleeping on Syn: ...
sayfriend's user avatar
  • 526
3 votes
Accepted

Do I correctly understand difference between 'could hardly [v]' and 'hardly [v2]'

He spoke very quickly, so I could hardly understand him. MEANS He spoke very quicly so I was almost not able to understand him. VERSUS He spoke very quickly, so I hardly understood him. The sentence ...
Lambie's user avatar
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3 votes
Accepted

something 'does' get picked up. what is 'does' for

In this context, saying, "The tank does get picked up," is generally equivalent to "the tank gets picked up" or "the tank is picked up" but gives a distinct emphasis on ...
Mama Bear to 4's user avatar
2 votes
Accepted

What this person is saying in "American English" accent?

1:02 we believe human beings simply can't understand each other 0:02 the two of us are both seeking the very same thing
devfric's user avatar
  • 136
2 votes
Accepted

Having problem understanding a sentence

The answer to question 1 is yes, and the answer to question 2 is that your first interpretation is perfectly correct: the student has done something bad in verbally harassing his roommate, but it is ...
hunter's user avatar
  • 5,980
2 votes
Accepted

How to understand the word "free" in this sentence: "a geyser of death blasting mole bodies free of the planet"?

The structure is like this: [a geyser (of death)] [blasting [mole bodies] [free of the planet]] The participle "blasting" modifies "geyser" (or the whole noun phrase "geyser of death"), not "death" ...
sumelic's user avatar
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2 votes

How do I identify whether the word "quite" is used in the sense of completely or partly?

When used with an adjective or adjectival phrase It means somewhat or to a degree when the adjective has gradual variability It is quite warm It is quite expensive It means completely or to the ...
Chris M's user avatar
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2 votes
Accepted

Understanding "to be"

Think of "to be" in this context as short for "to become". In the first example, the argument will become proven true. In the second example, the argument will become proven wrong. The statements ...
fixer1234's user avatar
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2 votes
Accepted

How to use the verb "to be" correct in its infinitive form?

In this case, you use the to-infinitive because of the preceding verb "continue." The forms "is, am, are, was and were" are classified as "finite" forms of the verb. In general, finite forms cannot ...
sumelic's user avatar
  • 7,292
2 votes
Accepted

I can't understand this sentence

Let's look at the pieces: "to pick up" = "to buy" So "I could have picked up" is the same as "I could have bought." "Next to nothing" = "very little money" So "I bought [those] for next to ...
Andrew's user avatar
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2 votes
Accepted

Circular Permutation Confusion

It means that you have to find the number of arrangements in which you can sit the seven men in such a way that in each arrangement each man has unique neighbours every time. If in the first ...
Phil14's user avatar
  • 687
2 votes

Sentence meaning in context

In this case, criticism is an uncounted noun; it refers to the act or process of criticism, rather than to a specific objection to the argument. It could also be phrased "Most vulnerable to attack" in ...
Werrf's user avatar
  • 5,610
2 votes
Accepted

How to tell someone "you don't understand my mean" politely in English?

It's best to suggest that you yourself are responsible for the miscommunication in that situation. That's usually the politest way to go about it. Maybe I didn't make my meaning clear. or, a shade ...
Robusto's user avatar
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2 votes
Accepted

How to easily read not simple English?

For reading academic and technical studies it is probably more important to be intimately familiar with the subject matter than to have mastered the subtleties of English expression. When you are ...
StoneyB on hiatus's user avatar
2 votes

Why do people use phrases like "scan to" and "scan into"?

SUPPLEMENTAL to ANDREW's ANSWER: At one time (and on the scale of my life it wasn't very long ago) a direction like "Scan it and make it into a .pdf" would have made sense, because that really was ...
2 votes

Is my interpretation of this paragraph from a horror short story by Arthur C. Doyle right?

You have understood the general meaning of most of this quite dense writing. I'll elaborate more on them: You say "hard to understand". I more feel that we cannot understand because we are not in the ...
djna's user avatar
  • 7,608
2 votes
Accepted

Passage understanding

If there is such a substance, that substance must be an alloy of niobium and germanium. This is saying that (at least according to current knowledge of the materials) only an alloy of Nb and Ge could ...
Jeff Zeitlin's user avatar
  • 4,791
2 votes

Is "can be viewed using many different devices" correct? Is it missing a word?

Web pages can be viewed. How can they be viewed? They can be viewed using many different devices. Many different devices may be used to view web pages.
StoneyB on hiatus's user avatar
2 votes
Accepted

"purely out of"

First, when we talk about brand loyalty we mean that a consumer is loyal to a brand, not that the brand is loyal to the consumer. For example, some people who smoke Marlboro's smoke that brand because ...
The Photon's user avatar
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2 votes
Accepted

"Unwelcome liberty", "taken with"

"Taking liberties" is an idiom. It means to behave in an unduly familiar or easy manner towards someone or something, or to treat something freely, without strict faithfulness to the facts or to an ...
Billy Kerr's user avatar
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2 votes
Accepted

Meaning of “very confined"

The tweet means that the fire was confined to a small area of the building, likely implying that little damage was done to the building's structure and the units surrounding where the fire started. ...
Catija's user avatar
  • 25.4k
2 votes

How to quickly understand mutliple continuous parenthetical phrases?

A quick way to understand it would be to try and read it without the parenthetical statements. After all, parenthesis are supposed to contain only supplementary information or clarifications. You ...
Astralbee's user avatar
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