1 what you say when you are explaining something
this means that/which means that used when saying what the results or effects of what you have just said are:
• Computer technology is constantly being improved. This means that the computer that you have just bought will probably be out of date in only a few months’ time.
• There is a shortage of hospital doctors, which means that patients often have to wait a long time for treatment.
• The bank’s current interest rate is 3.5%. This means that for every £100 you have in your savings account, you will get £3.50 in interest.
STUDY NOTE: Grammar
You use This means that at the beginning of a sentence. You use which means that at the beginning of a clause.
that is used when explaining the meaning of the previous word or phrase, by giving more information:
• The book is about art in the modern period, that is, art since 1900.
• Her son suffers from Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. That is, he finds it difficult to pay attention or stay quiet for more than a short period of time.
ie/i.e. used when explaining the meaning of the previous word or phrase, by giving more information:
• The new law will come into force at the end of next month, ie March 31st.
• There has been a decline in the number of ‘good’ jobs, i.e. ones that are highly skilled and well-paid.
STUDY NOTE: Grammar
ie is the abbreviation for id est, which is Latin for that is.
In formal essay writing, it is usually better to use that is.
in other words/to put it another way used when saying something in a different way, either in order to explain it more clearly, or to emphasize the point that you want to make:
• Average incomes fell, while the incomes of the top 20 percent of the population increased. In other words, the rich got richer.
• In a democracy, the government must be accountable to the people. The people should, in other words, be able to get rid of their rulers through elections.
• Using this software would offer a 15% saving in space. To put it another way, this will mean an extra 12Gb free on an 80Gb disk.
to put it simply used when saying something in a simple way so that the reader can understand what you mean:
• What the treatment aims to do, to put it simply, is to make the skin grow back over the wound.
• A romantic novel should demand a certain level of emotional involvement on the part of the reader. To put it simply, the novel should not just describe a love relationship; it should allow the reader to participate in it.
specifically adverb used when saying exactly what you are referring to, when you are explaining something:
• Several prisoners reported some kind of physical abuse. Specifically, 42 were beaten; eight were roughly handled; and four more were forced to remain standing for hours at a time.
• What we need is a stable economic climate that encourages companies to invest on a long-term basis. More specifically, we need to get rid of the current high taxes on investment income.
2 words meaning to explain something
explain verb [intransitive and transitive] to give someone the information that they need in order to understand something:
• He was the first scientist to explain how the process of evolution works.
• The book begins by explaining the difference between psychology and psychiatry.
• There are a number of theories which seek to explain why (=try to explain why) zebras have stripes.
give/offer/provide an explanation to explain something:
• He attempts to give a simple explanation of his theory.
• It is possible that some recent research by NASA scientists could offer an explanation for this phenomenon.
• They were unable to provide a satisfactory explanation for their behaviour.
set out phrasal verb to explain facts, reasons, plans etc by stating them clearly and in a carefully planned order:
• He sets out his plans for an ideal Roman city in the first volume of his work.
• The document sets out exactly how the money will be spent.
go through phrasal verb to explain all the details about something in the right order, so that someone can understand it:
• She begins her article by going through all the reasons why people have opposed the use of nuclear energy.
outline verb [transitive] to explain the main ideas about something, without giving all the details:
• In his introduction, Piaget outlines the four main stages in a child’s development.
• The purpose of this chapter is to outline the basic principles which form the foundations of the English legal system.
expand on phrasal verb to add more details or information to what has already been said:
• Melville saw the ocean as the source of all life. He expands on this idea in his novel, ‘Moby Dick’.
• The author expands on this theme at length (=writes a lot about it).
clarify verb [transitive] to make something clearer:
• This chapter aims to clarify some of the most important issues in genetics today.
• In his speech the prime minister attempted to clarify his position on economic reform.
منبع : ايستگاه آيلتس