Mean

Ju

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I understand there are more than one meanings of "mean". Is the following sentence sensible?

"May is mean because she doesn't share food with her younger sister."

Thanks.
 

tedmc

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I understand there are more than one meanings of "mean". Is the following sentence sensible?

"May is mean because she doesn't share food with her younger sister."

Thanks.

Which meaning do you think is relevant in the sentence?
 
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emsr2d2

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It means May is not willing to share things with others.

The part of the sentence that suggests "May is not willing to share things with others" is "she doesn't share food with her younger sister". I say suggests because it doesn't mean that. She might only refuse to share food with her younger sister. She might share everything else with everyone else.

So let's try again. You said there is more than one definition of the word "mean". You have presumably found those definitions in a dictionary. Which definition of "mean" fits your sentence?

(In answer to your main question, your sentence in post #1 is correct and natural. "Sensible" isn't a word we attach to sentences.)
 

teechar

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I understand there [STRIKE]are[/STRIKE] is more than one meaning [STRIKE]of[/STRIKE] to (the word) "mean".
You could also say:
... "mean" has more than one meaning.
or
... "mean" has several meanings.
 

Ju

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You could also say:
... "mean" has more than one meaning.
or
... "mean" has several meanings.

Dear Teechar,

Why couldn't I use "are" behind "there" because "mean" has more than one meanings.

Thanks.
 

Ju

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The part of the sentence that suggests "May is not willing to share things with others" is "she doesn't share food with her younger sister". I say suggests because it doesn't mean that. She might only refuse to share food with her younger sister. She might share everything else with everyone else.

So let's try again. You said there is more than one definition of the word "mean". You have presumably found those definitions in a dictionary. Which definition of "mean" fits your sentence?

(In answer to your main question, your sentence in post #1 is correct and natural. "Sensible" isn't a word we attach to sentences.)

Shall I use "Does it make sense" instead of "Is it sensible"?

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GoesStation

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Why couldn't I use "are" behind "there" because "mean" has more than one meanings.
Please post the sentence you have in mind.
 

teechar

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Why couldn't I use "are" [STRIKE]behind[/STRIKE] with "there", because "mean" has more than one meaning?
That's a good question. It may not seem (or may not be) logical, but "more than one" always takes a singular verb in such sentences. There's plenty of discussion about that elsewhere on the Internet.
 

teechar

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Shall = would you like me to ...?
Should = Do you think it would be better to ...?
 

Tdol

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By the way, a word that has more than one meaning can sometimes blur a bit and carry a broader sense. You could argue that she is both mean (unwilling to share) and mean (unkind).
 

bubbha

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"mean" in the sense of "miserly" is rare in American English. If an American describes someone as "mean", it probably means "unkind" or "cruel".
 
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