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  1. englishhobby's Avatar
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    #1

    a fine text, a fine flat

    If a teacher says: "It's a fine text", what would a native speaker think he/she means?
    If somebody says about a flat: "It's a fine flat/apartment", what would a native speaker think he/she means?

    What exactly would the word fine mean in each of the above examples?
    Last edited by englishhobby; 20-Jan-2015 at 11:05.
    If I were a native speaker of English, I would never shut up. :-)

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    #2

    Re: a fine text, a fine flat

    Fine text is printed words that are small, thin and barely noticeable

    Fine flat/apartment is an accomodation that is of a high quality.

    not a teacher

  2. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: a fine text, a fine flat

    In both cases, I would consider it to be "superior in quality".

  3. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: a fine text, a fine flat

    "Text" can refer to a written work.

  4. The Maltese Falcon's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: a fine text, a fine flat

    'Fine' is kind of a funny word because depending on the context it can either mean 'very good' or else just 'sufficient'.

    Take for example this conversation:

    "Sorry I can't pay the rent today, would Friday be OK?"
    "Yes Friday is fine."


    Here 'fine' communicates that paying the rent late is OK.

    On the other hand, 'fine' can also mean something of high quality. For example art that is seen to possess a very high quality is called 'fine art'.
    Take for example this sentence:

    "He is a very fine guitar player." would mean that the guitar player possess great skill, but "He is fine on the guitar." would mean that he was OK but not excellent.

    In answer to your question, "It's a fine text" to me would mean that the teacher thought that it was very good, as opposed to "The text is fine." which would mean that the teacher thought the text was just sufficient.

    Same goes for "It's a fine flat." which would mean the flat is of high quality, whereas "The flat is fine" would mean that the flat is just OK.

    I hope this helps!
    TMF

  5. englishhobby's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: a fine text, a fine flat

    Quote Originally Posted by The Maltese Falcon View Post
    'Fine' is kind of a funny word because depending on the context it can either mean 'very good' or else just 'sufficient'.

    TMF
    So the word order and the place of the word fine in a sentence matter. If I am a teacher and I need a text not superior in quality, but just suitable for using in class (because it contains the vocabulary or grammar structures I need to practice with the students), will it make any difference if I say "It's a fine text" or "This text is fine"? Keeping in mind what has been said in this thread, I can only say "This text is fine" in the described situation, right?

    Last edited by englishhobby; 20-Jan-2015 at 12:16.
    If I were a native speaker of English, I would never shut up. :-)

  6. The Maltese Falcon's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: a fine text, a fine flat

    Yes the word placement matters in a sentence.

    Fine before the noun = superior quality
    Fine after = sufficient

    "It's a fine boat" = A very good boat.
    "The boat is fine" = The boat is OK.

    If you are having trouble understanding when to use it correctly, I would advise using simpler words like 'good' or 'excellent', especially in a class where it may confuse students.

    TMF

  7. englishhobby's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: a fine text, a fine flat

    Quote Originally Posted by The Maltese Falcon View Post
    Yes the word placement matters in a sentence.

    If you are having trouble understanding when to use it correctly, I would advise using simpler words like 'good' or 'excellent', especially in a class where it may confuse students.

    TMF
    I'd better use my improved understanding of fine to explain it to my students. Thank you for your help.
    If I were a native speaker of English, I would never shut up. :-)

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