English as a Second Language/Sentences



Please explain what this sentence mean

He braved his father's displeasure by marring the girl.

Is this sentence correct?

Like the sun, truth will show however the clouds cover it. (or,in other words, the truth is like the sun; it will show however the clouds cover it.)

Best regards,
Antoine Ghannoum

ANSWER: Dear Antoine,

"He braved his father's displeasure by marrying the girl."

'Brave' here means 'dare or defy   ⇒ "to brave the odds", to confront with resolution or courage   ⇒ "to brave the storm"' (Macmillan Dictionary). Even though he knew his father would be displeased if he married the girl, he was brave enough to go through with the marriage.

"Like the sun, truth will show however the clouds cover it."

This sentence is not entirely natural; clouds cover the sun, but not truth. Also, the sun does not really 'show' when clouds cover it. We need to say something like "Like the sun, which clouds cannot hide for ever, truth will always reveal itself / be revealed in time" or "Just as clouds cannot hide the sun for ever, so nothing can hide the truth for ever".



---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Sentence (1) so the meaning is that the father refused the marriage but he (the son) defied/confronted his father bravely and married the girl. Right?

Sentence (2) you are right the colours cannot cover the truth, but cannot we say "the clouds cover the truth" figuratively?

Dear Antoine,

In sentence 1, there is no evidence that the father refused to allow the marriage. We know only that the idea of the marriage displeased him. There is no evidence that the son confronted the father - he may have got married in secret without telling his father -but he certainly defied his father's wishes.

In sentence 2, something can hide the truth as clouds hide the sun, but i don't see how the clouds cover the truth, even figuratively.

By the way, pressure of work has meant that I am resigning from this site, so I shall not be able to assist you any more. I have enjoyed our conversations, and am sorry to see them end, but I have no choice. I shall still be answering questions in the public forums at usingenglish.com. but that's all I can manage.

With very best wishes,


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Jed Webb


I can assist with questions about English grammar (syntax, morphology, pronunciation and spelling)from learners taking such examinations as TOEFL, IELTS, FCE and CAE and other internationally recognised tests.


I have over forty years of experience in the teaching of modern languages, twenty-four of them in the Teaching of English as a Second Language. I have been an examiner for FCE, BEC and IELTS examinations, and a teacher trainer on courses leading to the Trinity College Certificate in TESOL.

The Philological Society The International Phonetic Association The College of Teachers The International Association of Teachers of EFL The Royal Society of Arts (Fellow)

British Journal of Language Teaching, Vol XIX Nos I and II Education Today, Vol 41, Nos 1 and 3 Co-Author: Nix and Webb (1984) 'Creative English', Bad Homburg: Verlag Gehlen Contributor: Nix and Riederer (1973), 'Bottoms Up', Bad Homburg: Verlag Gehlen Rosenau and Nix, (1979), 'Look it up', Bad Homburg: Verlag Gehlen Nix and Ringholz, 'English in Projects', Bad Homburg: Verlag Gehlen

BA (English), University of Durham. Qualified Teacher Status, UK Department of Education and Science Further and Adult Education Teacher's Certificate, City and Guilds of London Institute ACP(TESOL), College of Preceptors Dip TESOL, Trinity College, London Dip Ed (ELT), Exeter University ACP (Management Studies in Education), College of Teachers Certificate of Proficiency in the Phonetics of English, International Phonetic Association

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