block

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Haroon

Senior Member
Arabic-Egypt
Dear all

I could not decide what " block" here means?

Context: a question directed to someone suffering from a chest pain or tightness.

could you walk a block or two on level ground?
and:
Walking more than a block at a brisk pace.


Thanks in advance!
 
  • إسكندراني

    Senior Member
    عربي (مصر)ـ | en (gb)
    It's not defined; it's slang. It should never be used in legal documents or surveys.
    In your sentence it means something like:
    تعرف تمسي مسافة شارعين؟
    In Alexandria our slang unit of distance is محطة ترام so we would say تعرف تمشي محطة ترام؟ - but a block is obviously a lot less (maybe a fifth of the distance).
     

    Finland

    Senior Member
    finnois
    Hello!

    It's not defined; it's slang. It should never be used in legal documents or surveys.
    In your sentence it means something like:
    تعرف تمسي مسافة شارعين؟
    Just my two cents although I don't have a suggested translation: in my opinion, "block" in this sense is not at all slang. It's a perfectly normal word that can be used in any context, even a formal one. However, the size of a block varies, so it is not a very precise expression. It is used because it gives people a concrete idea of a certain distance. A normal healthy person has no trouble walking a couple of blocks even at a brisk pace.

    HTH
    S
     

    clevermizo

    Senior Member
    English (USA), Spanish
    Blocks in some larger cities are often of similar size, though certainly not uniform. It's not slang. It refers to the length of street between two cross-streets. It is usually a more meaningful concept in larger cities where blocks are used to measure distances in common speech. ("Oh, that stores is 5 blocks east of here, etc."). In smaller towns it's less of a concept.
     
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