I’ll never forget my sixth grade teacher, Mrs. Jensen. She was very mean to all of the students. Well, looking back now, I would say she was strict, but at the time we all thought she was mean. Maybe when I was twelve I didn’t understand what strict means. I mean, I was probably too young to appreciate her strong discipline.
The word mean has a few different definitions and uses. Do you know how to use this word? Take a look at the paragraph above and then check out today’s lesson:
Mean, as a verb, is used to show the relationship between a word (or phrase) and it’s definition:
- “Organic” means something natural
- “Lift” means “elevator” in British English
- Maybe when I was twelve I didn’t understand what strict means.
- What does that symbol mean?
Mean is also used to check understanding:
- Do you know what I mean?
Important! When you want to know the definition of a word, you can ask:
- What does “organic” mean? Not, What means “organic”?
Mean, as an adjective, means unkind, unfair, or aggressive (usually for animals)
- She was very mean to all of the students.
- Jack was a mean pirate, everyone was afraid of him
- That is a mean dog. Don’t get too close.
In casual conversation and slang, mean is used to mean skillful or great:
- That dancer does a mean tango. She dances the tango very well
- My mom cooks a mean pasta sauce. Her sauce is very delicious.
I don’t want to be mean, but I have to stop now (^0^). Do you know what I mean? Thanks for studying today and see you next time!
The last meaning of “mean” that you wrote in your lesson is new for me. When I noticed your Quiz ” She cooks a mean chicken soup”, I guess she failed to cook, so her soup was terrible. But, it’s opposite. It’s interesting. When I hear “mean”, I have to be careful which meaning is used.