Site Search:
 

Banner

Teacher Discussion Forums Forum Index Teacher Discussion Forums
"The Internet's Meeting Place for ESL/EFL Students and Teachers from Around the World!"
 
 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 

In a word...

 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Teacher Discussion Forums Forum Index -> Adult Education
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
pengyou



Joined: 14 Oct 2007
Posts: 24

PostPosted: Tue Sep 22, 2009 9:53 am    Post subject: In a word... Reply with quote

Maybe I am loosing it but my Chinese uni students often use an expression like "in a word, I want to become the best person I can be". I always thought...that when you use the expression "in a word" you should follow it up with a one word summary, like "in a word, the performance was fabulous". Am I right?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
fluffyhamster



Joined: 26 Oct 2004
Posts: 2993
Location: UK > China > Japan > UK again

PostPosted: Tue Sep 22, 2009 1:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Student: Can I use "in a word" to lead into a phrase like "I want to become the best person I can be"?

Foreign Teacher: In a word, no!

Smile
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
pengyou



Joined: 14 Oct 2007
Posts: 24

PostPosted: Thu Sep 24, 2009 2:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In a word, you are great!!! Wink
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Heath



Joined: 18 Aug 2009
Posts: 108

PostPosted: Sun Sep 27, 2009 9:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

in a word
said when you are going to give your opinion about something quickly and directly
In a word, she's lying.

dictionary.cambridge.org



It's an idiomatic expression. For example, when someone says "just a moment/minute" we don't count down the seconds until exactly a minute is up (and how do you even count a 'moment'). To me, 'in a word' is more about that directness than about the number of words I use. I can definitely picture myself saying something like, "In a word, I just don't feel like going".
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
fluffyhamster



Joined: 26 Oct 2004
Posts: 2993
Location: UK > China > Japan > UK again

PostPosted: Mon Sep 28, 2009 7:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Surely there is a discernible difference between what is more or less a one-word message (and could be stressed as such - see the word in bold in each of the sentences in the first set), and longer phrases (see the italicized parts of the second set of sentences).

In a word, no!
In a word, she's lying.
In a word, you are great!
In a word, the performance was fabulous.

In a word, I just don't feel like going.
In a word, I want to become the best person I can be.

I wonder if languages that don't need to express grammatical subjects, auxiliaries etc as much have a phrase similar to 'In a word'.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Teacher Discussion Forums Forum Index -> Adult Education All times are GMT
Page 1 of 1

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


Teachers College, Columbia University: Train to Teach English Here or Abroad
SIT

This page is maintained by the one and only Dave Sperling.
Contact Dave's ESL Cafe
Copyright © 2011 Dave Sperling. All Rights Reserved.

Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2002 phpBB Group