General Writing and Grammar Help/The meaning.

Advertisement


Question
Dear Ted,

Thank you for your prompt reply each time!

I read of a sentence:

These oranges are so small. There are seven or eight to the pound.

Is the last sentence correct? What does it mean?

Thank you again!

Best Wishes,

Walden

Answer
Dear Walden:

I am back after my month-long absence for surgeries.  I always welcome your questions.

*****

These oranges are so small. There are seven or eight to the pound.

Is the last sentence correct? What does it mean?

**** It is correct, and it is an idiomatic expression that is not used worldwide.  What it means is that the oranges are very, very small.  It would take seven or eight of them to add up to one pound.

I bought TWO oranges at the supermarket yesterday, and they weighed more an 1 and 1/2 pounds. My oranges were large.  Eight oranges of the size I bought would weigh about 6 pounds.

Ted

General Writing and Grammar Help

All Answers


Answers by Expert:


Ask Experts

Volunteer


Ted Nesbitt

Expertise

I am the bibliographic instruction and reference librarian at a public college. Some members of the English department recommend me to their students. I offer assistance in grammar, punctuation, sentence structure, and paragraph development. My master`s thesis concerns William Faulkner`s tragic novels. I formerly taught advanced placement English at two schools in the Philadelphia area.

Experience

I have been one of the highest-ranked volunteers in this category for more than a decade.

Education/Credentials
B. A. and M. A in English; MSIS in Library & Information Sciences; graduate study in philosophy

©2016 About.com. All rights reserved.