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Thread: literally

  1. #1
    masterding is offline Member
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    Default literally

    Quote from VOA:

    Hugo is an orphan who lives in the shadows of a busy Paris train station, continuing the work his father taught him: keeping the many clocks running on time. The secret message is hidden within a man-shaped machine from his father's cluttered workshop.

    Another orphan, Isabelle, holds the key - literally - to Hugo's automaton, and it leads them on an adventure into the world of the great French film pioneer George Melies.

    Adapted from Brian Selznick's novel "The Secret of Hugo Cabret," the story was personal for director Martin Scorcese who, as a frail young boy, spent long hours in his local cinema.
    What does "literally " mean here ?
    Thanks.

  2. #2
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    Raymott is online now VIP Member
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    Default Re: literally

    Quote Originally Posted by masterding View Post
    Quote from VOA:

    Hugo is an orphan who lives in the shadows of a busy Paris train station, continuing the work his father taught him: keeping the many clocks running on time. The secret message is hidden within a man-shaped machine from his father's cluttered workshop.

    Another orphan, Isabelle, holds the key - literally - to Hugo's automaton, and it leads them on an adventure into the world of the great French film pioneer George Melies.

    Adapted from Brian Selznick's novel "The Secret of Hugo Cabret," the story was personal for director Martin Scorcese who, as a frail young boy, spent long hours in his local cinema.
    What does "literally " mean here ?
    Thanks.
    It means that there is a literal key, a real key that goes into a keyhole in the automaton, and Isabelle has it (or it might be a keycard, but it's some sort of physical key).

  3. #3
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    Barb_D is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: literally

    It means that there is actually a key. It's not a metaphorical key.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  4. #4
    susiedq is offline Member
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    Default Re: literally

    By adding the word "literally" is means that she hold a real key. (probably a reference to the key needed for the winding of the clocks in the shop)

    If the sentence did not have the word literally it would read:

    "Isabelle, holds the key to Hugo's automation . . "

    Then it would mean she is an important person.

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