Language tip of the week: meanPosted by Kati Sule on January 04, 2013
In this weekly post, we bring more useful content from the Macmillan Dictionary to English language learners. These tips are based on areas of English which learners often find difficult, e.g. spelling, grammar, collocation, synonyms, etc.
This week some advice about the verb mean:
When you want to say what something involves or what its result is, use the verb mean followed by the -ing form. Don’t use an infinitive:
✗ Being tolerant
means not to beprejudiced.
✓ Being tolerant means not being prejudiced.
✗ Reversing these changes
would mean to challengethe power of the government.
✓ Reversing these changes would mean challenging the power of the government.
Use mean with an infinitive when you want to say that someone intends to do something:
They intend to pour cash into the health service, but they also mean to reform it.
In this sense, mean is often used in the passive:
Taking children into care is meant to be in the interests of the children, not the state.
More language tips
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hi thanks alot for your great site.please help me to improve my english and i also have a problem in making sentence and make a question but my vocab is soso good.