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    #1

    groundwork for an international conference.

    Hi,

    What does this sentence mean?


    He laid the groundwork for an international conference.


    Thanks a lot

  1. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: groundwork for an international conference.

    Quote Originally Posted by Silverobama View Post
    Hi,

    What does this sentence mean?


    He laid the groundwork for an international conference.


    Thanks a lot
    It doesn't mean anything.
    "to do the groundwork..." or "to lay the foundations..." are expressions originating in the building/construction industry. "He did the groundwork for..." means he carried out the preparations for an international conference.

  2. 5jj's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: groundwork for an international conference.

    Quote Originally Posted by bhaisahab View Post
    It doesn't mean anything.
    "to do the groundwork..." or "to lay the foundations..." are expressions originating in the building/construction industry. "He did the groundwork for..." means he carried out the preparations for an international conference.
    I agree with you, but the OALD disagrees with both of us. The only example given there is: Officials are laying the groundwork for a summit conference of world leaders..

  3. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: groundwork for an international conference.

    Quote Originally Posted by fivejedjon View Post
    I agree with you, but the OALD disagrees with both of us. The only example given there is: Officials are laying the groundwork for a summit conference of world leaders..
    What are they teaching people? How exactly does one "lay groundwork"?

  4. probus's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: groundwork for an international conference.

    I think it is rather commonly used metaphorically in the sense of prepare for or prepare the way for.

    Here is a recent example from a prominent British newspaper.

    Budget 2011: How the Chancellor can lay the groundwork for growth - Telegraph

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    #6

    Re: groundwork for an international conference.

    So here in my original sentence, it means:

    He prepared the way for an international conference.

    Am I right?

  5. probus's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: groundwork for an international conference.

    There does not seem to be any real disagreement here. We have all admitted the meaning "to prepare for" so I don't understand why there can be any continuing controversy. You are right.
    Last edited by probus; 11-Mar-2011 at 06:32.

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