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      • Native Language:
      • Korean
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      • Europe
      • Current Location:
      • UK

    • Join Date: Feb 2008
    • Posts: 49
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    personal relationship

    I do not understand the meaning of the sentence.

    Using sophisticated market research, programmers and advertisers sort of paint a picture of life centered on material possessions. This kind of life may look glamorous and desirable, but it's all at the expense of personal relationship.

    I can't understand the sentence ' it's all at the expense of personal relationship.'

    • Join Date: May 2008
    • Posts: 810
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    Re: personal relationship

    expense: "A loss for the sake of something gained; a sacrifice"

    So if we take into account this above description, the original sentence can be explained as the idea of people suffering a loss (personal relationships) for sake of something gained (material possesions).

    It is suggesting that some people are so concerned with material possesions that their relationships with other people (friends, family, etc) weaken and become less important by comparision.

    I'm not a qualified teacher.

    • Join Date: May 2008
    • Posts: 80
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    Re: personal relationship

    from the Newbury Dictionary:

    at the expense of:
    causing a loss to, harming, hurting: He succeeded in business at the expense of his personal life.
    He succeeded in business, but his personal life suffered/was harmed (because he didn't have time to pay attention to the people/things in his life outside of work).

    at s.o.'s expense: with harm, suffering, or cost to s.o.: He got the praise at her expense, because she did most of the work.
    = She did most of the work, so she suffered/was harmed when he got the praise (instead of her).

    A life based on material possessions (on materialism) is at the expense of personal relationships. =
    Your personal relationships will suffer/will be hurt (harmed) if you base your life on material possessions.

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