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    #1

    Just want to know the meaning of an expression

    Could you please tell me what the meaning of "Taken by itself" is in the following sentence? Thank you.

    "Chief among psychological problems they experience are anxiety depression and work-related stress . Taken by itself , the problem is alarming enough."

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    #2

    Re: Just want to know the meaning of an expression

    Without having more information, "taken by it self" refers to the problem alone, i.e. the problem is alarming enough without having to consider any other aspect.

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    #3

    Exclamation Re: Just want to know the meaning of an expression

    Quote Originally Posted by Deepurple View Post
    Could you please tell me what the meaning of "Taken by itself" is in the following sentence? Thank you.

    "Chief among psychological problems they experience are anxiety depression and work-related stress . Taken by itself , the problem is alarming enough."
    It means: Physiological problems such as anxiety and depression are self supporting. They magnify without any external cause or reason.


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    #4

    Re: Just want to know the meaning of an expression

    Quote Originally Posted by Manas Ranjan Mallick View Post
    It means: Physiological problems such as anxiety and depression are self supporting. They magnify without any external cause or reason.
    Sorry, this is not what it says.

    "Taken by itself" refers to the problem, which is a reference to the problems of depression, anxiety and work-related stress as "chief amongst problems" faced [context not further provided].

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    #5

    Exclamation Re: Just want to know the meaning of an expression

    Quote Originally Posted by Anglika View Post
    Sorry, this is not what it says.

    "Taken by itself" refers to the problem, which is a reference to the problems of depression, anxiety and work-related stress as "chief amongst problems" faced [context not further provided].
    Dear respected Anglica,

    I have given that interpretation after referring to the use of the expression in the preface of the book, “Geometry and the Imagination” by David Hilbert and S. Cohn-Vossen
    An excerpt from that is reproduced below for reference.
    "The various branches of geometry are all interrelated closely and quite often unexpectedly. This shows up in many places in this book. Even so, because of the great diversity of the material treated, it was necessary to make each chapter self contained, and to avoid making the later chapters dependant for their understanding on a complete acquaintance with the earlier ones. We hope that, by making a few minor repetitions, we have rendered each chapter taken by itself – occasionally even an individual section taken by it self – understandable and interesting."

    Could you kindly clarify what the authors mean by using the same expression. This necessary to correct myself.

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    #6

    Re: Just want to know the meaning of an expression

    The context is concerned with stress on teachers. To facilitate your understanding, I would like to quote the entire paragraph here. Thanks again:

    "Meanwhile, the latest Whole Person Education Foundation survey found that three in four primary and secondary school teachers fall below the mental health standards set by the World Health Organisation. Chief among psychological problems they experience are anxiety, depression and work-related stress. Taken by itself, the problem is alarming enough. If the foundation's results are accurate, they demand immediate remedial action from the authorities. But the findings have wider implications. Educational spending is one of the two largest areas of recurrent government spending. Yet, despite years of reform, traditional schooling remains rigid. Learning is often not a joyful activity, but a source of stress, not only for children but often the whole family. It is not unusual for both parents - and sometimes relatives and private tutors too - to work to prepare their child for tests and exams. The negative feedback adds to pressure on teachers and makes them feel unappreciated. This, in turn, produces more ineffective - or simply bad - teachers."

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    #7

    Re: Just want to know the meaning of an expression

    The explanation given by mxreader is correct.

    This problem (of anxiety and depression in teachers) is alarming all by itself. In context, it is even worse, but it does not need that context to be bad.

    In the geometry text, the author means that you can consider each chapter a unit that can stand on its own. You can understand the subject matter of each chapter by reading it alone, even if you have not read the other parts.

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