Self-study: Meaning and opinion
Which of the following sentences is an example of the CORRECT use of the word “meaning”?
- My meaning is that English is easier to learn than French.
- What is the meaning of the word “flabbergasted*”?
If you think sentence number two, “What is the meaning of the word ‘flabbergasted*?’” is an example of the right way to use the word “meaning,” you are correct!
The word “meaning” comes from the verb “to mean” (bedeuten). It therefore doesn’t make sense to use the word “meaning” in example one above. Here is another example of the correct usage:
- What is the meaning of this sentence? I understand the individual words, but I can’t make sense of it.
If you want to say, “Meiner Meinung nach. . .,” try using, “In my opinion. . . .”
You CANNOT say, “ My meaning is. . .”
An opinion is what someone thinks or feels about a specific topic. Here are some examples:
- What is your opinion on the new overtime policy?
- In my opinion, governments should be responsible for providing affordable health care to their citizens.
*In case you are curious, the word “flabbergasted” means “overwhelmed with surprise.”
Now try this quiz: