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In a broad sense

Discussion in 'English Only' started by angel8848, May 11, 2008.

  1. angel8848

    angel8848 Senior Member

    Hong Kong
    Cantonese
    How do I apply it? Is it correct to describe something that is so broad that it is not easy to talk about or define?

    For example, talking about culture in a broad sense is quite difficult for us since we are not up to that level.

    I'd highly appreciate it if you could explain to me.
     
  2. Nunty

    Nunty Modified

    Jerusalem
    Hebrew-US English (bilingual)
    Here's an example:

    Are politicians motivated by power? In a broad sense that may be true since a person who is utterly indifferent to power would not make the effort to become one; however, there are many other factors to be considereda s well.
     
  3. LouisaB Senior Member

    English, UK
    Hello, angel8848, and welcome to Word Reference!

    'Broadly speaking' can be used to mean 'speaking generally, without detail or unusual exceptions' - eg 'Broadly speaking, you're more likely to come across this kind of behaviour in the UK as opposed to Latvia'.

    'In a broad sense' is similar, but it applies more to the meaning of what you're saying than its specific facts - eg 'In a broad sense, this is English behaviour rather than Latvian'.

    'In a broad sense' means any terms you're using (eg in this case 'behaviour', 'English', and 'Latvian') need to be interpreted with the greatest possible latitude rather than in their most narrow, literal meaning.

    Nun-Translator's example is (as usual) perfect. Normally the 'other factors' would be taken into consideration, but when you speak 'in a broad sense' that is not necessary.

    Louisa
     
  4. angel8848

    angel8848 Senior Member

    Hong Kong
    Cantonese
    Thanks so much for your explanation
     

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