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Thread: out the door

  1. #1
    unpakwon is offline Senior Member
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    out the door

    Please make the following in bold clear for me.

    1. Steve knew that milestones keep people reaching---the software for the screen display has to be working by the fifteenth... 75,000 units need to be out the door by the twenty-first. Achieving each milestone was a time to pause and celebrate.

    Would you please find an alternative word to "working"? Is it saying "function well"? And does "out the door" here mean "the manufacture of 75,000 units should be completed" by 21st?

    2. Steve thinks regularly about how to build enthusiasm. He's got a natural talent for it but also makes a point of observing others who have this ability. Exactly what do they say? What is their manner? How do they tell if the other person is listening to what they're saying?

    Could I replace "tell" in the above with "know"?

    Thank you.

  2. #2
    Rover_KE is offline Moderator
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    Re: out the door

    1. Yes - 'working' means 'functioning', or, idiomatically 'up and running'.

    The units should not only be completed, but dispatched by 21st.

    2. Not quite. 'Tell if' in this sense means 'spot the signs that' - eg by their body language or by their display of keen interest.

    Rover

  3. #3
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    Khosro is offline Senior Member
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    Re: out the door

    Quote Originally Posted by unpakwon View Post

    How do they tell if the other person is listening to what they're saying?

    Could I replace "tell" in the above with "know"?
    I learn English and at the same time I teach English.
    -------------------------------------------------

    My answer is no. Look:

    1-"How do you know my name?"
    (To know: to have learned or found out about something)

    2-"He's lying. I can always tell"
    (To tell: to recognize something as a result of knowledge, exprience, or evidence).


    See? Sentence 1 is about information, information you already have or gained. Sentence 2 is not about information you already have or gained. But it is about exprience and as Rover mentioned with "spot the signs that" it is about signs, not information.

    Furthermore, note that it says "tell if" and not just "tell". If you want to replace "tell if" with some other verb perhaps you can use "recognize".

    Thank you for this usefull question. "Tell" in this sense is a very usefull and we'd better not to replace it with any other word.

  4. #4
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    Re: out the door

    Quote Originally Posted by Khosro View Post
    Furthermore, note that it says "tell if" and not just "tell".
    In a sense we are dealing with an indirect question here, so we can also use 'whether' or a wh-word:

    How do they tell if/whether the other person is listening to what they're saying?
    Can you tell from his accent where he comes from?
    The pathologist coudn't tell when/how they died.

  5. #5
    unpakwon is offline Senior Member
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    Re: out the door

    I see.

    Thank you all for the kind explanation.

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