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Thread: bite

  1. #1
    jiang is offline Key Member
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    Default bite

    Dear teachers,


    He tried to smell it, and then caught some on his tongue. It bit like fire.
    I guess the meaning of "bit" is "to taste" or "to feel". But I can't find the definition in the dictionaries.

    Could you please explain the meaning of "bit"?

    Looking forward to hearing from you.
    Thank you in advance.

    Jiang

  2. #2
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    Default Re: bite

    Quote Originally Posted by jiang View Post
    Dear teachers,


    He tried to smell it, and then caught some on his tongue. It bit like fire.
    I guess the meaning of "bit" is "to taste" or "to feel". But I can't find the definition in the dictionaries.

    Could you please explain the meaning of "bit"?

    Looking forward to hearing from you.
    Thank you in advance.

    Jiang
    Did you look up "bite"? It is usually better to look up the base verb to get the most complete information. ('Bit' is the past tense of 'bite')
    There is one primary meaning of 'bite' and it's not 'taste' or 'feel'. Your example is a metaphorical usage of the primary meaning.

  3. #3
    jiang is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: bite

    Hi Raymott,

    Thank you very much for your help. I consulted 'bite' in Longman Dictionary online.

    1. use your teeth to cut, to injure someone by making a hole in their skincrush, or chew something
    2. to injure someone by making a hole in their skin
    3. if an object bites into a surface, it presses firmly into it and does not move or slip
    4. to start to have an unpleasant effect
    5. if a fish bites, it takes food from a hook and so gets caught

    The closest meaning is No.4. But the example is:The new tobacco taxes have begun to bite.

    Looking forward to hearing from you.
    Thank you in advance.

    Jiang


  4. #4
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    Default Re: bite

    Quote Originally Posted by jiang View Post
    Hi Raymott,

    Thank you very much for your help. I consulted 'bite' in Longman Dictionary online.

    1. use your teeth to cut, to injure someone by making a hole in their skincrush, or chew something
    2. to injure someone by making a hole in their skin
    3. if an object bites into a surface, it presses firmly into it and does not move or slip
    4. to start to have an unpleasant effect
    5. if a fish bites, it takes food from a hook and so gets caught

    The closest meaning is No.4. But the example is:The new tobacco taxes have begun to bite.

    Looking forward to hearing from you.
    Thank you in advance.

    Jiang
    Yes, I was referring to 1. as the primary meaning of bite. And your original example would be a metaphoric use of 1. with connotations of 3, 4.

  5. #5
    jiang is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: bite

    Hi Raymott,

    Thank you very much for your explanation.
    This is something very interesting. I have been reading a book which discusses "connotation". As far as I understand it it means something that is not described in a dictionary. If 3 and 4 are 'connotation ' that means 'connotation' can be found in the dictionaries. Is that right? The thing is how can we know it is connotation?

    Looking forward to hearing from you.
    Thank you in advance.

    Jiang

  6. #6
    Raymott's Avatar
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    Default Re: bite

    Quote Originally Posted by jiang View Post
    Hi Raymott,

    Thank you very much for your explanation.
    This is something very interesting. I have been reading a book which discusses "connotation". As far as I understand it it means something that is not described in a dictionary. If 3 and 4 are 'connotation ' that means 'connotation' can be found in the dictionaries. Is that right? The thing is how can we know it is connotation?

    Looking forward to hearing from you.
    Thank you in advance.

    Jiang
    Well, yes, I used "connotation" in a broad sense. Sorry for having confused you.
    The problem with that definition of connotation is that, if a connotation of a certain word becomes strong enough, it will eventually find its way into a dictionary. Does it stop being a connotation then?

    Imagine this conversation from the early 1900s:
    A: We'll have a gay time at the party.
    B: Don't say that. "Gay" has connotations of homosexuality.
    A: No, that's not possible. "Homosexual" is now entered in the dictionaries as one meaning of "gay", so it cannot possibly be a connotation.

  7. #7
    jiang is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: bite

    Hi Raymott,

    Thank you very much for your explanation.
    I think connotation is very interesting especially when the same word leads to different connotations.

    Jiang

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