What do you mean?

Adjectives
11th November 2018
Can you hear me?
9th July 2020

What do you mean?

I mentioned in the blog on adjectives about the importance of thinking about good use of adjectives in sentences before using them. Here I want to highlight how easily misunderstandings can occur simply because what the listener heard and understood was not what the speaker said and meant.

When I first got to Germany, I realised the expression ‘halb vier’, was different to what I understood as ‘half four’.  I understood it to be literally translated as half past four or four thirty, but it actually means half past three or three thirty.

I learned to tell the difference after a couple of late arrivals for appointments with friends.  Until this bit of language learning really sank in, I would always check with the other person and ask them whether it was ‘my half four’ or ‘their half four’.

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