[Vocabulary] the world that spreads out

hhtt21

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"The world that spreads out before our eyes on a summer's day is one of infinite form and variety."

What does spreads out mean in the above sentence? Does it mean goes through?


Source: Understanding Chemistry by Lawrence P. Lessing.

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GoesStation

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No. It means "is visible".
 

hhtt21

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Could we say "The world that stretch away before our eyes ..." instead of "The world that spread out before our eyes ..."


​Thank you.
 

GoesStation

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Could we say "The world that stretches away before our eyes ..." instead of "The world that spread out before our eyes ..."
It would not be natural. Note my correction.
 

hhtt21

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Let's compare these two very similar sentences but using different verbs.

1. The world that spreads out before our eyes on a summer's day is one of infinite form and variety.
2. Roads, hedges, and cultivated fields stretch away to the horizon.

GoesStation explained that using stretch away in 1 is unnatural but how is using spread out to the horizion in 2?

3. Roads, hedges, and cultivated fields spread out the horizon.

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hhtt21

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3) "Roads, hedges, and cultivated fields spread out all the way to the horizon, as far as the eye can see."

But will not they continue to spread out all the way to the horizon if your eyes are closed? How can the verb spread out be related to the sight?

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GoesStation

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It doesn't say as long as you're looking at the view. "As far as the eye can see" is the distance which is visible to the unaided eye. In the winter I can look out my living-room window and see about 170 meters to the far edge of the field across the street. As far as the eye can see from my window is therefore 170 meters, in the wintertime.
 

hhtt21

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It doesn't say as long as you're looking at the view. "As far as the eye can see" is the distance which is visible to the unaided eye. In the winter I can look out my living-room window and see about 170 meters to the far edge of the field across the street. As far as the eye can see from my window is therefore 170 meters, in the wintertime.

But if you look with binoculars isn't it "as far as the eye can see"? I ask this because you say ​unaided eye.

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Lynxear

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Could we say "The world that stretch away before our eyes ..." instead of "The world that spread out before our eyes ..."


​Thank you.

"The world that spreads out before our eyes on a summer's day is one of infinite form and variety."

There is absolutely nothing to change in your sentence quoted from Understanding Chemistry by Lawrence P. Lessing. However, as a chemist, I find it a curious quote for a Chemistry book.

"that spreads out before our eyes" is a fairly common expression to communicate a feeling that you can see everything in front of you. Imagine that you are top of a mountain and can see everywhere around you. That is the feeling this author is trying to convey to the reader.
 
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