# Thread: Can someone define this sentence for me?

1. ## Can someone define this sentence for me?

On December 26, 2004, the fourth largest tsunami since 1990 occured in the Indian ocean....

In this sentence,what does "the fourth largest tsunami since 1990" means? Does it refer that all tsunamis since 1990, this one is placed in the fourth place? Or is it that there has been quite a few large tsunamis, and this is the fourth one?

TKS!

2. ## Re: Can someone define this sentence for me?

Originally Posted by bellech
On December 26, 2004, the fourth largest tsunami since 1990 occured in the Indian ocean....

In this sentence,what does "the fourth largest tsunami since 1990" means? Does it refer that all tsunamis since 1990, this one is placed in the fourth place? Or is it that there has been quite a few large tsunamis, and this is the fourth one?
TKS!
Aren't they the same question? And... I think one should say 'yes' to both of them.

3. ## Re: Can someone define this sentence for me?

I think I understand that you mean, 'not counting the small tsunamis, just taking the ones we consider 'large' (the really significant/important/life-threatening ones) and putting those in order...

...but no. It means, 'considering all tsunamis since 1990, and ranking them from large to small (largest to smallest), then starting at the top, this is the fourth largest.

The end result is the same, because the tsunamis are being ranked from largest to smallest.
For your question to be answered 'yes', then someone would have had to have said, 'any tsunami less that a force 5 we won't bother to rank; let's just rank the big ones, the ones over force 5' (or however tsunamis are measured) - now, how does this tsunami rank? Ah - fourth largest (of the large ones).

Can you see that even if all the tsunamis had been considered, then the fourth largest remains the fourth largest? 'largest' just indicates which end of the ranking system you are starting from - the top, and largest tsunamis, or the bottom, starting from the smallest of all the tsunamis.

4. ## Re: Can someone define this sentence for me?

As simple as I can make it, there have only been three larger sunamis since 1990.
B.

5. ## Re: Can someone define this sentence for me?

As simple as I can make it, there have only been three larger sunamis since 1990.

...larger than (compared with) the 1990 tsunami.
BUT - the question asks 'the fourth largest tsunami since 1990' - and just taking the tsunamis 1991+, and ranking those...where does that leave us? Of those tsunamis, this is the fourth largest.

6. ## Re: Can someone define this sentence for me?

"1900 to 1990 (inclusive) vs. Jan. 1st 1991 to Sept. 6th 2008 (inclusive)" is how I read the initial statement. That would mean that there were only three larger in the interim.
B.

7. ## Re: Can someone define this sentence for me?

vs. Jan. 1st 1991 to Sept. 6th 2008 (inclusive)" is how I read the initial statement.

Interesting point.
1. Problem is, each and every historical statement such as the original sentence would need a date stamp to say when it was written.
To clarify: if I write today - At the Berlin Olympics, Jessie Johnson became America's greatest Olympian since the inception of the modern Olympic Games.
Where does that leave Thorpe?
2. "...when her husband died. Since then..."
We would take that to mean, since the instant/moment of his death.
Similarly, "...since 1 p.m." would not be taken to mean, 2 p.m. onwards, but 1.00.00 p.m. and onwards - since one o'clock struck. (Compare 'since 1990' means 1991 onwards)
Simiarly:
Since 1990 would indicate one second after the midnight of Dec 31st 1989.

8. ## Re: Can someone define this sentence for me?

"the fourth tsunami since 1990" - since 1990 there have been only four tsunamis and this is the fourth one.

"the fourth largest tsunami since 1990" - since 1990 there have been many tsunamis and this one is the fourth among the biggest ones"

just a student.

9. ## Re: Can someone define this sentence for me?

Originally Posted by bellech
On December 26, 2004, the fourth largest tsunami since 1990 occured in the Indian ocean....

In this sentence,what does "the fourth largest tsunami since 1990" means? Does it refer that all tsunamis since 1990, this one is placed in the fourth place? Or is it that there has been quite a few large tsunamis, and this is the fourth one?

TKS!
I'd say poorboy has it down pat. There have only been 3 larger tsunamis since 1990. The rest is just a lot of wind

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