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Thread: flat

  1. Junior Member
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    #1

    flat

    Is a "flat surface" the same thing as a "plane surface"?
    Do the expressions "Lay it down flat" and "Lay it down so it is horizontal" mean the same thing?
    Must a flat surface be also level?
    I need native speakers' help.

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    #2

    Re: flat

    1. It can be, depending on the context.
    2. Usually.
    3. Not necessarily. A sloping surface can be flat.
    "Flat" can have different connotations. People who believe in a Flat Earth don't deny that there are mountains and valleys. A "flat-chested woman" doesn't have a planar, level, or horizontal chest. A flat-screen TV is not horizontal.
    You need context.

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    #3

    Re: flat

    And something that's level is not always flat (e.g., the surface of a sufficiently large body of water).
    Translator, editor and TESOL certificate holder, but not a teacher. Native speaker of American English (West Coast)

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    #4

    Re: flat

    Quote Originally Posted by bubbha View Post
    And something that's level is not always flat (e.g., the surface of a sufficiently large body of water).
    Did you mean that something that's not sloping is not always flat?
    I need native speakers' help.

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    #5

    Re: flat

    Quote Originally Posted by sitifan View Post
    Did you mean that something that's not sloping is not always flat?
    Yes, a surface that appears flat on a macro scale may be uneven on a micro scale.
    I am not a teacher or a native speaker.

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    #6

    Re: flat

    You could have a flat machined surface, yet it could be not level. Flat is with respect to itself; level with respect to the earth.

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