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one small piece of a bigger puzzle

Discussion in 'English Only' started by easychen, Sep 27, 2011.

  1. easychen Senior Member

    Chinese
    Hi,

    Absent context, would "one small piece" in the phrase "one small piece of a bigger puzzle" imply something very important or something trivial?

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. Copyright

    Copyright Senior Member

    Penang
    American English
    We don't do "absent context" because in this case it could mean either one.
     
  3. easychen Senior Member

    Chinese
    Here's a quote from an article "Rise of the planet of the apes review":
    Meanwhile at the lab, production of the drug has continued, a new strain has been created and Caesar’s life becomes one small piece of a bigger puzzle that leads to (spoilers) the apes rising up.
    For more see here.

    Another quote from an article "Grapefruit linked to breast cancer":

    But the researchers and other experts said more research was still needed. While all this is interesting, I'm sure this is only one small piece of a bigger puzzle that shows us how our diet affects our health.
    For more see here.
     
  4. Copyright

    Copyright Senior Member

    Penang
    American English
    Thanks for the quotes.
     
  5. easychen Senior Member

    Chinese
    So, do you think the usage of the phrase in those two quotes is the same?
     
  6. Copyright

    Copyright Senior Member

    Penang
    American English
    Yes, I think they're both small pieces of a larger puzzle (which, of course, it says). I think from the context you write, you determine the importance of any particular piece of a puzzle -- meaning that you have to write in that slant yourself if you'd like to accent its importance.
     

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