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Frappetta

Senior Member
Italian
Hello,
this is a documentary about ants and I can't understand the meaning of 'heads up' in the following sentence:

'The ant goes inside another nest. After a while, she comes out and heads up.'

(After that the other ants move and go from one leaf to another reaching the neighboring tree.)

I found that "heads [something] up" means to lead something, but in this case there isn't any something expressed, so I'm quite confused.
 
Last edited:
  • Copyright

    Senior Member
    American English
    Based on what you've said, it sounds odd. I can see "She comes out of the nest and heads up the nearest tree," for example.

    It helps to remember that documentary speakers are often speaking without a fixed script, so perhaps that explains it.
     

    GreenWhiteBlue

    Senior Member
    USA - English
    One possible meaning is that she proceeds (= heads) to a higher position, or upward (= up.)

    You should also note that despite the impression given by materials used by learners, native English speakers never, ever use the abbreviation "sth" to mean "something", and that most native speakers would probably have no idea what these letters were supposed to mean. If you want to be understood by native speakers, you should never use the abbreviation "sth", and should always spell out the full word "something."
     

    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    I'm with GreenWhiteBlue on this. "Up" means a higher level.

    Here is an image of a ant colony "nest", if that is what it is called:

     

    Frappetta

    Senior Member
    Italian
    Thank you very much!

    You should also note that despite the impression given by materials used by learners, native English speakers never, ever use the abbreviation "sth" to mean "something", and that most native speakers would probably have no idea what these letters were supposed to mean. If you want to be understood by native speakers, you should never use the abbreviation "sth", and should always spell out the full word "something."
    Sorry, I didn't know that. I immediately edit the message ;)
     
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