acre: a unit for measuring area/a very large amount of something

baab

Senior Member
Vietnamese
Luray Caverns in northern Virginia contain acres of colorful rock formations illuminated by electric lights.

I wonder what is the meaning of "acre" here. Here is two definitions that I am confused.

1. a unit for measuring area, equal to 4047 square metres or 4840 square yards
2.
a very large amount of something
 
  • Parla

    Member Emeritus
    English - US
    I'm afraid I disagree with Beryl. An acre is a unit of measure, specifically 43,560 square feet or 4047 square meters. When it's used to describe a natural area, I expect that to apply. If it's stated that the caverns contain acres of these rock formations, I'd expect that the area covered by the rocks covers more than one acre.

    In my opinion, the figurative use of "great quantities" or "a great expanse" is fine if you're not referring to land or another natural formation: I looked out at the demonstration in the huge plaza and saw acres of placards and flags.

    P.S.: "Sth" is not an English word; I imagine a moderator will correct your thread title.
     

    baab

    Senior Member
    Vietnamese
    Thanks, that is interesting.
    . When it's used to describe a natural area, I expect that to apply. If it's stated that the caverns contain acres of these rock formations, I'd expect that the area covered by the rocks covers more than one acre.
    That makes sense.
    However, "a very large amount of something" can also mean "more than one acre", right? "a very large amount of something" doesn't give the upper limit while acres does.
    Am I correct?

    P.S.: I tried to write it in full form but there is a limit in the number of characters in title and I had to write "sth".



     

    Copyright

    Senior Member
    American English
    However, "a very large amount of something" can also mean "more than one acre", right? "a very large amount of something" doesn't give the upper limit while acres does.
    Am I correct?

    "A very large amount of something" does not mean "more than one acre" -- the two expressions are not compatible, in my opinion. "Something" is general, while "acre/acres" is specific.

    And "acres of" does not imply any sort of upper limit, although there may be a limit to what we use the term acres for -- I don't think we we would use in terms of the solar system, for example.
     
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