two roads diverge

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VicNicSor

Banned
Russian
diverge
to start to go in separate directions
The two roads diverge at the entrance to the woods.
(Macmillan English Dictionary)

Do I understand correctly?:
At first, two roads ran parallel. Later, when they reached the woods, one road started to run through the woods in one direction, the other road - in another direction.
:)
 
  • ron1759

    Senior Member
    U.S. - English
    Based on the sentence itself, the way you describe it seems very logical to me! However, I believe that it actually is talking about a single road that forks into two roads at the entrance to the woods.

    This sentence is similar to lines in a famous poem by Robert Frost, called "The Road Not Taken." It ends with these lines:

    Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
    I took the one less traveled by,
    And that has made all the difference.


    It's a metaphor for life and the decisions that one makes along the way.
     

    perpend

    Banned
    American English
    I'm sufficiently confused myself, Vik.

    I think one road can diverge, but of this, I'm not entirely sure.
    Whether two roads can diverge, of that, I'm relatively sure. (= No :))
     

    boozer

    Senior Member
    Bulgarian
    It is strange, really.
    From a purely pragmatic point of view, what Ron says seems logical enough. Google images seem to confirm his words.
    From what the sentence says, it appears that two roads that run parallel to each other suddenly diverge.
    And then, if I wanted to express the idea of a single road splitting into two separate roads, I would probably say 'the road bifurcates'...
     

    VicNicSor

    Banned
    Russian
    This is from Collins
    diverge:
    If one road, path, or route diverges from another, they lead in different directions after starting from the same place. You can also say that roads, paths, or routes diverge.
    It seems it is telling that all the time there were more than one road...
     

    perpend

    Banned
    American English
    I don't know, all paths lead somewhere Vik. Depending on the geography and the country, some roads diverge but come together again, that's why it gets complicated when getting from A to B or from X to Y.

    It may well say that there are numerous ways to get from A to B or from X to Y.
     

    boozer

    Senior Member
    Bulgarian
    Then there is the issue of point of view, I suspect. :) Looking at this from one angle, it may appear that two roads converge to merge into a single one. From another angle it may appear that a single road forks/bifurcates/splits into two separate toads and then they diverge.
     
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