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    #1

    mean examine and inspect/mean examine or inspect (use of and/or in English)

    I am confusing use of "and" and "or" in English. I think this is not very easy topic. Here is an example that include my doubts.

    1. Does "to study" in the sentence mean examine and inspect?

    2. Does "to study" in the sentence mean (either) examine or inspect?

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    #2

    Re: mean examine and inspect/mean examine or inspect (use of and/or in English)

    These two words are very different, logically, so I'm not sure what you're confused about. Your examples don't really help us know what you mean.

    I'm assuming that you made up these two examples, so you can tell us what you meant when you wrote them.

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    #3

    Re: mean examine and inspect/mean examine or inspect (use of and/or in English)

    Quote Originally Posted by jutfrank View Post
    These two words are very different, logically, so I'm not sure what you're confused about. Your examples don't really help us know what you mean.

    I'm assuming that you made up these two examples, so you can tell us what you meant when you wrote them.
    First, I consider the word study can mean "examine" in some contexes. Then I consider the word study can mean "inspect" in some contexes. Then I consider "examine" can mean "inspect" in some contexes. So if "examine" mean "to inspect" in some contexts, and if "to study" mean one of them. Then how do we say this:


    1. Does "to study" in the sentence mean examine and inspect?

    2. Does "to study" in the sentence mean (either) examine or inspect?

    With the help of mathematics, considering Study=examine=inspect.


    1. Does "to study" in the sentence mean examine and inspect?

    2. Does "to study" in the sentence mean (either) examine or inspect?
    Thank you.

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    #4

    Re: mean examine and inspect/mean examine or inspect (use of and/or in English)

    Whew! This is hard to untangle.

    Quote Originally Posted by hhtt21 View Post
    First, I consider the word study can mean "examine" in some contexes. Then I consider the word study can mean "inspect" in some contexes.
    Okay. You're therefore implying that examine and inspect have different meanings. Right? I wonder what you consider the difference to be.

    Then I consider "examine" can mean "inspect" in some contexes.
    Wait—I just thought you said they have different meanings.

    So if "examine" mean "to inspect" in some contexts, and if "to study" mean one of them. Then how do we say this:
    I'm quite sure that doesn't make sense. I can't understand what you're saying.

    1. Does "to study" in the sentence mean examine and inspect?

    That doesn't make sense. A word can't mean two things at the same time. (Except in rare cases where there is a double meaning.) Remember that the word and connects two thing inclusively.

    2. Does "to study" in the sentence mean (either) examine or inspect?


    This is correct as a logical statement, but doesn't make much sense unless you're implying which of the words examine or inspect is the closest meaning to the meaning of the word study, in which case the word either is misplaced. If so, that's really a not a good question to ask.

    If you do not use the word either in this question, an answer could be: It means 'examine'.
    If you do use the word either in this question, you have a yes/no question where the answer must be 'yes' or 'no'.

    With the help of mathematics, considering Study=examine=inspect.
    I have no idea what you're saying here.


    It seems to me you're terribly confused about two completely different matters here. The first thing is the nature of the meaning of words. The second thing is the logic of the conjunction words and and or.

    Look:

    Would you like fish and chips?

    I'm asking if you want two out of a possible two things. If you say yes, you'll get two things.

    Would you like fish or chips?

    I'm asking which one thing you want. You can have only one out of two things.

    This is very simple logic.
    Last edited by jutfrank; 11-Jan-2020 at 01:13.

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    #5

    Re: mean examine and inspect/mean examine or inspect (use of and/or in English)

    To simply things, I will create a much clear example.

    Say A, B and C are numbers. Let's say A equals B, and B equals C. So which of these sentences are proper?

    1. A equals B and C.

    2. A equals B or C.
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    #6

    Re: mean examine and inspect/mean examine or inspect (use of and/or in English)

    You're thinking in terms of mathematics, not English.

    I suppose you're talking about different ways of expressing the same number, because if they're different numbers, they can't 'equal' each other.

    You can write it like this:

    A = B = C

    You'd read it as A equals B equals C.

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    #7

    Re: mean examine and inspect/mean examine or inspect (use of and/or in English)

    Let me go ahead please. Now I thought another example.

    3. "Alien" means "foreigner" and "a creature living in or coming from space."

    4. "Alien" means "foreigner" or "a creature living in or coming from space."
    Thank you.

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    #8

    Re: mean examine and inspect/mean examine or inspect (use of and/or in English)

    Quote Originally Posted by hhtt21 View Post
    3. "Alien" means "foreigner" and "a creature living in or coming from space."

    4. "Alien" means "foreigner" or "a creature living in or coming from space."
    Both are correct. It means both things, depending on context. Depending on context, it can mean one or the other.
    Last edited by GoesStation; 12-Jan-2020 at 21:48. Reason: Add emphasis.
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    #9

    Re: mean examine and inspect/mean examine or inspect (use of and/or in English)

    I think I've finally worked out what this thread is about! It gets to different kinds of meaning.

    If you're thinking about a word out of context—for example, you're looking at a dictionary entry—you can say that it has multiple meanings. You can say that a word means X and Y. You're saying something about the general meaning and use of the word, as it is detached from any context.

    But if you're looking at a word in use in a sentence, it (usually) has only one meaning. So if a word in a sentence means X, it cannot mean Y. You're saying something about the specific meaning and use of a word as it is in context.

    Let me say that again: If a word is in a sentence, it can mean only one thing but if it is not in a sentence, it can mean many things.

    Those are two very different ways of understanding meaning.
    Last edited by jutfrank; 12-Jan-2020 at 23:05.

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