Expressions used in Everyday Spoken English in Social and Professional contexts

read between the lines

read between the lines
1) to pick up on subtext or a meaning that is not explicit
  • How to MemorizePopularity MediumProfessional MediumSocial
    • reading between the lines, I could tell he wasn't happy
  • Analysis
    To 'read between the lines' means to pick up on subtext or a meaning that is not explicitly stated or revealed. When you read between the lines you use the information available, tone of voice or context to draw conclusions that are not obvious or communicated directly.
  • Social Examples (Basic)
    1. If you read between the lines you can tell their marriage isn't a happy one.
    2. Reading between the lines, I get the impression he could do with more help at home.
  • Professional Examples (Basic)
    1. Reading between the lines in this report, I can tell that our accuracy needs to improve hugely to save on costs.
    2. This client can be very guarded, so you will need to read between the lines to find out what they really want.
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