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    #1

    mean / meant

    this is definition in online dictionary:
    If you mean to do something, you intend or plan to do it.


    I mean to arrive at hom before 5:00. If I turn mean into meant, the meaning of the sentence become I thought I would have arrived at home, but I could not. Mybe I need to work overtime.
    If I use past tense, its meanings have a implication that the thing I intend to do didn't happen. Right??



    If I am right, "is meant to do something" and "was meant to do someting" have the same difference.
    You is meant to wash your hands before dinner. (someone's advice to you. only a advice. he/ she reminds you to do the thing you should do )
    You was meant to wash your hands before dinner. (the sentence implies that you don't do the thing you should do, or you forget it)

    Right??

  1. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: mean / meant

    Quote Originally Posted by Soox View Post
    This is definition in an online dictionary:

    If you mean to do something, you intend or plan to do it.


    I mean to arrive at home before 5:00. If I turn mean into meant, the meaning of the sentence becomes "I thought I would have arrived at home, but I could not didn't." Maybe I needed to work overtime.
    If I use the past tense, does its meanings have a implication imply that the thing I intended to do didn't happen? Right?
    Effectively, yes. If you simply said "I meant to arrive home at 5pm" then most people would assume that for some reason you were either early or late. However, you can say "I meant to arrive home at 5pm and I did!" with a triumphant smile proving that you are entirely capable of achieving the time you aimed for.


    If I am right, "is/are meant to do something" and "was/were meant to do someting" have the same difference.
    You is are meant to wash your hands before dinner. (Someone's advice to you but only a advice. He/she reminds you to do the thing you should do.)
    It's not necessarily advice. It's just a statement of generally accepted fact - that it is a good idea to wash your hands before dinner. It could also be worded "One is meant to wash one's hands before dinner".

    You was were meant to wash your hands before dinner. (The sentence implies that you don't didn't do the thing you should should have done, or you forgot it.)
    With this example, the likelihood is that you didn't wash your hands. The person might say "Your hands are very dirty. You were meant to wash them before dinner".
    However, an equally valid question would be "You were meant to wash your hands before dinner. Did you do it?" and you might say "Yes, I did".

    Am I right?
    Please see my comments and corrections above in red.
    Last edited by emsr2d2; 12-Jul-2013 at 07:55.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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    #3

    Re: mean / meant

    I grateful you corrected my all mistakes, and taught me how to use the phrase.
    I think that the phrase confused me mostly because I don't know what the difference is between the present tense and the past tense.
    As you see, I often make silly mistakes. I'm very ashamed. I have puzzled over how to choose correctly the tense since I start learning English.

    Could I post the articles I write on this forum so that it could be correct?

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    #4

    Re: mean / meant

    I'm chinese boy. my native language don't hardly involve in some problems about the tense. So, correctly using tense in writing is difficult for me. I hope my mistakes could be pointed out.

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