The Word Mean
Is it possible that one word can be a verb, a noun and an adjective? I know a couple of words like this exist in English, but in this episode I want to introduce you to one word, the word MEAN. Get ready muchachos, you’ll get plenty of valuable tips in this episode! Episode #60! Whoa! Enjoy :)
Hola amigos, you are listening to English Made Simple, this is episode #60, numero sesenta.
Hmm so that’s how you say sixty in Spanish, numero sesenta! I always get confused with this one and number 70 as well.
Hello hello what’s up? Hola amigos. Qué onda? Welcome to English Made Simple, my name is Milena from englishmadesimple.net, englishmadesimple.net.
How is it hanging, guys? What have you been up to? We have a countdown to Christmas here in Australia. Wow, the time flies really fast… it’s almost end of the year! It’s pretty scary to think about the end of year approaching, lots of things happened in 2016, don’t you think? Some good things, some bad and some sad but mostly good. (The good the bad and the ugly, just like the movie) It’s now time to start making plans for 2017.
So I made an announcement in my last short and sweet episode, To Make An Announcement – by the way the verb to make is an irregular verb, the past tense is made. So I made an announcement in the last episode, and since then I’ve been extremely busy. You will be receiving an email shortly with a link to YouTube channel. So, please be patient.
And now, in today’s episode let’s learn about the Difference between Supposed to and Meant to?
Remember, in the last episode we learnt about To Be Supposed To Do Something… but in today’s episode I want to teach you about another expression called Meant To, that is quite similar to Supposed To. There is a slight difference between these two.
And later, I would also like to tell you more about the word To Mean. This is something you have to know if you want to sound more fluent.
I lot of things to cover in this episode. So let’s start with the first bit.
The difference between supposed to and meant to is very subtle as I said, they are almost synonyms. Other synonyms are intended or expected. Supposed to Meant to.
I will explain this through a couple of examples, I would like to explain this with some examples so hopefully it starts to make sense soon.
Consider the following examples:
1. You were meant to finish your homework. It means you were planning to finish it but you didn’t.
2. You were supposed to finish your homework. It means you should have done it but you didn’t for whatever reason.
I will give you another example:
3. My husband was meant to call me. It means my husband, mi marido, was planning to call me but he didn’t.
4. My husband was supposed to call me. It means my husband should have done it but he didn’t for whatever reason.
There is a slight difference and is often used interchangeably. Ok guys?
Clear as mud? “Más claro que la tinta china” OR “Tan claro como el chocolate” In English we say, clear as mud – mud means barro or cieno or lodo, in Spanish. Mud – it’s what you get after rain. After you combine water and dirt. Dirt and rain produce mud.
Now I’d like to talk to you about the word MEAN.
I think you need to know a little bit more about this word Mean. You will be surprised!
Mean is a wonderful word. It’s one of those words that have multiple meanings. It’s a very versatile word.
It can be a verb, an adjective and a noun. Yup, just to add to the confusion.
To mean, to be mean, the mean and the means.
To mean – significar in Spanish
To be mean – ser pesado, ser mal. – which means to be a bad person, to be an evil person, when you describe somebody.
The mean – la media or el promedio, in other words …the average number, mathematically speaking, for example. What is the average number of employees in your organisation? What is the mean number of employees in your organisation? In your company….
And another one:
Means – la manera, el método, method, the process and so on.
Hopefully you managed to remember all this!
Well, the one we use a lot is the verb, which means (there we go! We just used it now) which means to signify something, to provide meaning, to stand for, to imply. Significar. We use this a lot!
Let’s use the verb To mean as an example:
As a verb:
Do you know what it means? Sabes lo que significa?
What does it mean? Qué significa esto?
Easy peasy japanesey!
Right guys, what you need to know also, is that Mean is an irregular verb, the past tense is meant and participle meant as well.
Example: Yes, that’s what I meant – Eso es lo que estaba pensada or Eso es lo que quería decir – what I wanted to say, that’s what I meant!
Now let’s use it as an adjective. I bet you didn’t know this one! Are you ready guys? Adjectives are words that describe nouns and pronouns, they are words to help us describe something or someone.
We covered this one in previous episodes.
Here is a tip, if you are preparing for English exams, for job interviews or just meeting new friends it will be really helpful to know as many adjectives as possible so that you are able to describe yourself or a place or a device or a friend or a person and so on. It’s necessary to know different types of adjectives for a fluent conversation. On a side note, by the way, I am preparing a quick checklist for you to help you with this. Because I only have two hands, I will try and make it available as soon as humanly possible.
Keep listening guys! More exciting stuff is coming your way.
Now back to mean as an adjective. I get distracted so easily ha!
Now, this is the one that really had me puzzled the first time I heard it. One of my friends said to me: Milena, don’t be mean!
Don’t be mean! What? What do you mean by that – don’t be mean! My husband often tells me not to be mean. Milena don’t be mean, be nice. Milena don’t be a biaaaatch, be nice! Haha ok that’s a bit extreme! It just means don’t be inconsiderate and selfish. Don’t be a biatch!
Another example as an adjective, I am going to use an evil character from the Spanish soap opera – Grand Hotel – as an example, soap opera means Spanish telenovele, it’s just TV series.
Here we go:
Diego is really mean to Alicia. He is vicious, he wants to hurt her, he also does terrible things he is just an evil man in general. Diego is really mean to Alicia.
For an English learner such as yourselves this one as the adjective will really catch you off guard when you first hear it, because you’ve only come across it as a verb…. You know when something means something.
It is very common for English speakers to use mean as an adjective. When you describe someone who is not a really nice person. When somebody is mean, when someone is being mean.
In colloquial English, you can also use mean as slang,
For example: My brother drives a really mean car. It means a really cool car. You can also say it like, wow, that’s a mean looking car.
My Mum makes a really mean pasta. Delicious pasta. Really good pasta.
Just a quick disclaimer here, please don’t use slang when you do your exams, just a tip for those listeners who are going to sit exams in the near future. Don’t use slang words.
Alrighty guys, let’s continue, shall we?
What other words can we form using the word mean?
We often hear philosophical questions such as: What is the meaning of life?
I say to my husband, when I see dirty dishes in the sink – what is the meaning of this mess? Can you please clean up? Why did you make this mess? What is the meaning of this mess in the kitchen? What is the meaning of this nonsense?
Oh I see, now I know why he calls me a meanie. I am such a meanie. An inconsiderate, foul-mouthed meanie.
Enough of this gibberish.
Another word guy: meaningful – one word – when something is meaningful it is significant, relevant or important – in Spanish significativo or to be significant if you are a non-Spanish speaker.
The opposite of meaningful is meaningless – one word, again meaningless which means without a meaning, illogical, senseless, foolish, having no purpose or reason, pointless, without a meaning.
Example: A meaningless relationship. A relationship with no purpose. A boy and a girl can be in a meaningless relationship.
I want to give you one more example of using the word mean.
Consider the following expression, here is an expression in English:
The end justifies the means. In Spanish it is: El fin justifica los medios.
(According to weon inteligente or the dictionary online, this means: wrong or unfair methods may be used if the overall goal is good.) The means in this case means el método.
Are we clear as mud? The end justifies the means.
Excellent! Well done guys!
We are approaching the end muchachos y muchachas!
Thank you for listening to English Made Simple, episode #60. You’ve been hanging out with Milena Chilena, that’s what my friend calls me, even though I am not from Chile, she thinks it was a clever thing to say, Milena chilena haha whatever I like to say Milena weona.
In this episode we’ve learnt that there is not a big difference between Supposed to and Meant to – we learnt that there is a minor difference there, not a big difference – it’s mostly to do with intention and planning.
If you have to, listen to this epsode again!
We learnt about the word Mean. If you want to sound more fluent, then it’s important to know this word and different ways of using it. Here is a question for you to practise? Do you know someone in your life who is a mean person? We have all come across one at some stage in our lives: It could be your boss – el jefe – or your significant other like in my case haha I am a meanie.
Hey just FYI – the next short and sweet may be a day late, I am attending a few Christmas parties/fiestas so just letting you know in advance! Don’t worry it will come out soon!
All transcriptions are available on my website, englishmadesimple.net – go and check it out! If you have any questions, please send me a message and let me know!
It’s been a pleasure as always! Fué un placer. See you on the flipside amigos! Have a great one!