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a mere Hello,everyone !! I have a question of the difference between "mere" and"only",and here has a sentence below: The cultivation of a hobby and new forms of interest is therefore a policy of the first importance to a public man. But this is not a business that can be undertaken in a day or swiftly improvised by a mere command of the will. What's the meaning of" a mere" in this sentence, Thanks in advance : D
Jul 31, 2014 11:33 AM
Answers · 7
Gong, "mere" is not to be confused with "merely". "Mere" has nothing to do with "only"; we should not try to compare them. "Merely" means just or only. Here you could say "by just a simple command of the will", but "only" is not applicable. Gong, two things: 1. The passages you quote are usually quite badly written. Where do you find them? Why do you wish to learn from such poor examples? 2. Words are not bricks. Often we cannot replace one word with another and hope to keep the same meaning. The words used in a dictionary explanation are not meant as direct replacements.
July 31, 2014
mere means "insignificant" here. "a mere command of the will" means "an insignificant command of the will".
July 31, 2014
"Mere" means "simple" here. That's about all there is to it.
July 31, 2014
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