Results 1 to 8 of 8
  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    172
    Post Thanks / Like

    Talking 'in the sense that'

    The phrase 'in the sense that' is widely used in writing, yet I cannot find a explanation for this phrase in dictionaries. Is it correct to understand this as equivalent to 'which means'? That's only my guess.

    It is a closed society in the sense that they've not been exposed to many things.

    =

    It is a closed society, which means that they've not been exposed to many things.


    It's voluntary in the sense that the federal government will not require anyone to take the test

    =

    It's voluntary, which means that the federal goverment will not require anyone to take the test.

    Is it right?


    I'm not so sure.Would anyone help me? Any reply would be appreciated.
    Last edited by peteryoung; 23-Jun-2005 at 12:51.

  2. #2
    Mister Micawber's Avatar
    Mister Micawber is offline Key Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • Japan
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Posts
    1,855
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: 'in the sense that'

    .
    Perhaps not 'which means', but 'and one meaning/aspect which I wish to indicate is'.

    .

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    172
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: 'in the sense that'

    Thanks, Micawber. I really appreciate this. But do you mean that the part following 'in the sense that' serves as an evidence/example supporting the point made before 'in the sense that'?

    My understanding:
    It is a closed society in the sense that they've not been exposed to many things.
    =
    It is a closed society. It is closed in part because they've not been exposed to many things.

    I don't know if my understanding is wrong. Thank you. :)

  4. #4
    Mister Micawber's Avatar
    Mister Micawber is offline Key Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • Japan
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Posts
    1,855
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: 'in the sense that'

    .
    In using the phrase, the speaker is intending to narrow down the broader topic aforementioned into a narrower aspect which s/he wishes to speak of or point out.

    In your example, 'a closed society' has many aspects-- restricted admission of new members, rigid cultural mores, limited access to the outside, a tendency toward traditionalism, etc. The speaker, after using the words 'a closed society', wishes to limit his/her comments to the 'limited-access-to-the-outside' aspect of it. The speaker is not necessarily defining 'a closed society'; he is limiting the discussion to one sense of the more general topic.

    Is that any clearer? (I hope!)

    .

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    172
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: 'in the sense that'

    Thanks, I get it. :)

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    172
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: 'in the sense that'

    Excuse me. May I ask another favor? :) How would you paraphrase the sentence
    "It is a closed society in the sense that they've not been exposed to many things."?

    Thanks

  7. #7
    Mister Micawber's Avatar
    Mister Micawber is offline Key Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • Japan
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Posts
    1,855
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: 'in the sense that'

    .
    They have not been exposed to many things in the outside world, and in that way they are a 'closed society'.

    .

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    172
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: 'in the sense that'

    Thank you very, very much

Similar Threads

  1. in which sense?
    By ripley in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 07-Feb-2005, 02:02
  2. sense
    By navi in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 16-Dec-2004, 04:28
  3. Does "former teachers" make sense?
    By Joe in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 23-Nov-2004, 12:52
  4. Sense and Sensitive
    By Lenka in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 13
    Last Post: 08-Oct-2004, 19:34
  5. Replies: 5
    Last Post: 28-May-2004, 02:10

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •