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    #1

    Smile Make that two digits

    Hello. Would you please tell me what the underlined sentence means in this context below?
    It seems to be a easy sentence, but I can't quite follow. Please help. Thank you.

    (These sentences are from a children's book. A boy and Dr. Thagoras are talking about a robot, Cypher, an interective exhibit in a math museum.)
    --- "Cyper must know a zillion numbers," I said.
    Dr. Thagoras laughed. "Actually, he only knows two numbers. Make that two digits. But that's all he needs.
    Cypher's memory is nothing but switches."

  1. charliedeut's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Make that two digits

    I guess it refers to 0 and 1, which are the base for binary code. I'm unsure as to the exact meaning of the phrase in there.
    Please be aware that I'm neither a native English speaker nor a teacher.

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    #3

    Re: Make that two digits

    Thank you. Like you said, I understand "that two digits" means 0 and 1. Then "Make that two digits." could mean "They are 0 and 1" in the context?

  2. Raymott's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Make that two digits

    Quote Originally Posted by frindle View Post
    Hello. Would you please tell me what the underlined sentence means in this context below?
    It seems to be a easy sentence, but I can't quite follow. Please help. Thank you.

    (These sentences are from a children's book. A boy and Dr. Thagoras are talking about a robot, Cypher, an interective exhibit in a math museum.)
    --- "Cyper must know a zillion numbers," I said.
    Dr. Thagoras laughed. "Actually, he only knows two numbers. Make that two digits. But that's all he needs.
    Cypher's memory is nothing but switches."
    "Make that two digits" means, "Instead of 'numbers', I should have said 'digits'". I guess that Dr. Thagoras is making the distinction that Cyper doesn't even know 0 and 1 as being numbers, but simply as digits. As numbers, for example, 1 is more than 0, 1 is zero plus one, etc. Cyper knows them merely as two separate symbols. Any numerical relation between them is unknown by Cyper.

    Here's another example:

    A: I spent time with my friends from work yesterday.
    B: Are they really your friends?
    A: Well, make that 'acquaintances'.

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    #5

    Re: Make that two digits

    'Make that two digits' is a way to correct a possible misunderstanding.

    'Two numbers' could mean 67 and 495; 'two digits' only means two single figure numbers.

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