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  1. Newbie
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      • Native Language:
      • French
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      • Canada
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    • Join Date: Jul 2014
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    #1

    Contradictory meaning of an English word for a non anglophone

    I wonder if anglophone feel or think the same as a non anglophone about English words with contradictory meaning. I can understand that it takes a context to make sense of certain words but it also seems to me that in French there are few contradictory meaning for a same word or phrasal verbs. So, I would like to have your help about how to approach an English word with multiple meaning. Besides, it seems to me when hearing anglophone lots of time slang meaning of words are predominant, especially for someone who learn English via television and music.

  2. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Contradictory meaning of an English word for a non anglophone

    Context is everything. We have lots of words with multiple meanings so it's important to take the word in the context of the rest of the sentence or the situation.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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    #3

    Re: Contradictory meaning of an English word for a non anglophone

    If you mean words that have opposite meanings like cleave, there aren't that many of them.

  3. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Contradictory meaning of an English word for a non anglophone

    Although there is no agreed-upon approach to counting words in a language, (because of multiple forms of a single word) it is generally believed that English has more words than any other global language. This is mostly due to English being a language that borrows words form many other languages. As a matter of fact, it has been said that English doesn't just borrow words from other languages, it follows other languages down dark alleys, knocks them out, and goes through their pockets looking for words. This endless expansionism has led to many words that have several meanings. As Tdol said, most of these words are not contradictory, they are just different. And there is much slang in English. "Bad" doesn't always mean "undesirable". It can mean "very good". I suspect that this happens in French also, but possibly to a lesser extent.

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