Results 1 to 5 of 5
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
      • Home Country:
      • China
      • Current Location:
      • China

    • Join Date: Dec 2011
    • Posts: 327
    #1

    Do these sentences mean something different from what they seem to?

    These sentences were posted by a person in a English-studying forum (for Chinese learners) and I would like to know if he really got these right or he was being misleading to some degree.

    1.Do you have a family?
     
    He claims that this question doesn't really ask if you have a family or not. Rather, it asks if you have children or not.

      2.It's a good father that knows his son.

    He claims that the meaning of it is actually that "Even the best father doesn't have to know his son very well."

      3.I have no opinion of that sort of man.

    He claims that it means "I don't like that sort of man".

      
      4.I was the youngest son, and the youngest but two.

    He claims that it means "I am the youngest son but I have two little sisters."
      
      5.The picture flattered her.

    He claims that it means "She is photogenic."
     
      6.The machine is in repair。

    He claims that it means "The machine has been repaired"
      
      7.You don't begin to understand what they mean.

    He claims that "don't begin" means "don't....at all"

      8.You cannot give him too much money.

    He claims that it means "No matter how much money you give him, it won't be enough for him."
      
      9.The monk is only not a dead man.

    He claims that it means "Although the monk is alive, he is like dead."
     
      10.You look darker after the holiday.

    He claims that it means "You look healthier after the holiday."
     
      11.As luck would have it, he was caught by the teacher again.

    He claims that it means "Unfortunately, he was caught by the teacher again."

      12.Two is company but three is none.

    Is this an idiom(written correctly)?

      13.They went away as wise as they came.

    He claims that it means "They haven't gained anything."
      
      14.I won’t do it to save my life.

    He claims that it means "I would rather die than do it."
     
      15.Traditionally, Italian presidents have been seen and not heard.

    He claims that it means "Traditionally, Italian presidents only have titles but no real power."

      16.Better late than the late

    He claims that it means " Being late is better than being dead."

      17.Work once and work twice.

    He claims that it means "If you make it one time, you won't have to worry the next time."
     
    Thanks a lot for your patience!!!

  1. Raymott's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Australia
      • Current Location:
      • Australia

    • Join Date: Jun 2008
    • Posts: 24,104
    #2

    Re: Do these sentences mean something different from what they seem to?

    Quote Originally Posted by LeTyan View Post
    These sentences were posted by a person in a English-studying forum (for Chinese learners) and I would like to know if he really got these right or he was being misleading to some degree.

    He claims that it means "If you make it one time, you won't have to worry the next time."
     
    Thanks a lot for your patience!!!
    Some of them are ungrammatical; some are nonsense (the sentences - eg. 4, 9, 12, 17). Some of the explanations are clearly wrong (5, 6, 10). Most of the rest are dubious. There's some truth in 1.
    But really, this isn't a good list to start with. The person who wrote this list is either guessing or lacks understanding. There are plenty of reliable sites on the internet for idioms.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
      • Home Country:
      • China
      • Current Location:
      • China

    • Join Date: Dec 2011
    • Posts: 327
    #3

    Re: Do these sentences mean something different from what they seem to?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gillnetter View Post
    Gil

    Thanks for the clarification!
    Yes I am sure I did copy No.4 correctly. So if it doesn't make sense to you, then mostly likely it just doesn't make sense anyway.
    Now it's clear that most of them are being misleading and I'm quite surprised that this list is actually being circulated very frequently on many Chinese web sites. This is destructive!!!

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
      • Home Country:
      • China
      • Current Location:
      • China

    • Join Date: Dec 2011
    • Posts: 327
    #4

    Re: Do these sentences mean something different from what they seem to?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gillnetter View Post
    Gil
    For "3.I have no opinion of that sort of man.", did you mean "having no opinion" was just having no opinion with no negative conotation(say "I don't like")? Neither good or bad?

    As for "10.You look darker after the holiday.", is it possible that he was refering to the state of being "tanned"? Because it seems that people look darker after they get tanned. Tanning has something to do with health and could that be a possibility?

  2. Raymott's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Australia
      • Current Location:
      • Australia

    • Join Date: Jun 2008
    • Posts: 24,104
    #5

    Re: Do these sentences mean something different from what they seem to?

    Quote Originally Posted by LeTyan View Post
    For "3.I have no opinion of that sort of man.", did you mean "having no opinion" was just having no opinion with no negative conotation(say "I don't like")? Neither good or bad?
    This sentence might have been used in the way suggested in some societies at some time in the past. I'm thinking of a high class woman who is asked her opinion about a certain man who is below her status. The sentence means that she does not form opinions of people who are not in her social class and, therefore, not worth considering. She would be offended if anyone thought she spent any time deciding whether liked or disliked someone so obviously inferior and insignificant to her.
    The meaning now in most cases would be more literal.

    As for "10.You look darker after the holiday.", is it possible that he was refering to the state of being "tanned"? Because it seems that people look darker after they get tanned. Tanning has something to do with health and could that be a possibility?
    Yes, he could have been referring to tanning. But we are considering a sentence, and that's not how it would be phrased. It's wrong to say that this sentence "means" a certain thing if no one ever uses it to mean that.

Similar Threads

  1. [Grammar] Which among these sentences is right?
    By gseran in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 01-Dec-2011, 19:32
  2. [Grammar] 2 sentences
    By maxi223 in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 31-May-2010, 17:23
  3. [General] Please help with these sentences
    By Zoe2008 in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 02-Jul-2008, 17:18
  4. hello sentences
    By asad hussain in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 14-Dec-2006, 06:08
  5. What are loose sentences? Periodic sentences?
    By RonBee in forum General Language Discussions
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 01-Dec-2003, 01:13

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •