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  1. #11
    emsr2d2's Avatar
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    Re: Help understanding the word "CONTAIN" in certain usages

    You're right. I slightly misread what you wrote about "embrace" etc so I apologise if I confused you even more!
    Remember - correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing make posts much easier to read.

  2. #12
    alkaspeltzar is offline Member
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    Re: Help understanding the word "CONTAIN" in certain usages

    I am still confused

    I know contain means to hold in a volume or area.
    But how does it work in this example " the list contains the groceries".....there are no physical groceries CONTAINED there, only listed, so what is it that they mean or how is this word being used? Do they mean the groceries are more less expressed, included...one defintion is contain means to 'have as contents, what is spoken or written about" Is this true, how would this be defined?

    I am just confused, please help, thankyou

  3. #13
    bhaisahab's Avatar
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    Re: Help understanding the word "CONTAIN" in certain usages

    Quote Originally Posted by alkaspeltzar View Post
    I am still confused

    I know contain means to hold in a volume or area.
    But how does it work in this example " the list contains the groceries".....there are no physical groceries CONTAINED there, only listed, so what is it that they mean or how is this word being used? Do they mean the groceries are more less expressed, included...one defintion is contain means to 'have as contents, what is spoken or written about" Is this true, how would this be defined?

    I am just confused, please help, thankyou
    That's not a good example. It's not natural to say "this list contains the groceries", I can't imagine a native speaker saying it.

  4. #14
    alkaspeltzar is offline Member
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    Re: Help understanding the word "CONTAIN" in certain usages

    Quote Originally Posted by bhaisahab View Post
    That's not a good example. It's not natural to say "this list contains the groceries", I can't imagine a native speaker saying it.
    True, i don't disagree, but people do say things like this.

    I work in the engineering field and people say things like this "Look at table #1, it contains the weights for the bolts...."

    Again, the table is LISTING the weights and showing, yet they chose the word contain, why? Are they just fudging the meaning and people get what they are saying, that the wieghts are involved and shown by the table, hence look for them there?

    Just trying to understand where there thinking is at and why people would use this usage.

    Thanks

  5. #15
    emsr2d2's Avatar
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    Re: Help understanding the word "CONTAIN" in certain usages

    If someone said to me "Go and look at that list. It contains the prices and sizes you need" (or similar) I would have no problem with it or any difficulty understanding it. I don't consider there to be any "fudging of meaning" going on.
    Remember - correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing make posts much easier to read.

  6. #16
    alkaspeltzar is offline Member
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    Re: Help understanding the word "CONTAIN" in certain usages

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    If someone said to me "Go and look at that list. It contains the prices and sizes you need" (or similar) I would have no problem with it or any difficulty understanding it. I don't consider there to be any "fudging of meaning" going on.
    Can you explain why it is not fudging? Seems like I am asking a question everyone gets but no one will answer. If you look at the definition, contain has to do with physically containing things. I dont see how a list holds a price or sizes.

    Seems to me people in this examples would really be meaning the list refers to the prices and sizes, so 'contain" would not be the best word choice.

    Can someone explain what I am missing? Thank you

  7. #17
    5jj's Avatar
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    Re: Help understanding the word "CONTAIN" in certain usages

    Quote Originally Posted by alkaspeltzar View Post
    Can someone explain what I am missing? Thank you
    What you are missing is:
    1. People do not normally speak of lists containing people. It's not very natural, as bhai said way back in post #4.
    2. Even if some people have said it, it does not mean that they are thinking of a list physically containing people. If you look at transcripts of natural informal conversations, you will hardly find a single complete sentence that stands up to detailed analysis. People are attempting in informal conversation to convey messages, not to construct immaculate sentences in which every word is the ideal one and every fine point of grammar is observed.

  8. #18
    alkaspeltzar is offline Member
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    Re: Help understanding the word "CONTAIN" in certain usages

    Okay, 5ij, that makes AWESOME SENSE< That is all I wanted to know. I wanted to know if in my examples, they were stretching the meaning to help convey the message. Now I see that is true.

    So I agree when someone says "see the list for grocieries, they are contained in it" I know what they mean, but also now i know what they say doesnt have to be PERFECT. We speak and write clearly enough so our meanings are understood. As are in my examples. Thank you soo much for putting my mind at ease.

    Finally, this also makes sense why the word "contain" is defined as holding something physical and more abstractly within different examples. This would be a case of it.

    Thanks again all:Sorry for being blunt, i was just getting frustrated but I appreciate all your help!

    Alkaspeltzar

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