how to use 'This means to...'


According to a recent study,the average employee spends almost seven minutes per day handling an average of 13 spam messages. This ___ to major corporate losses. The annual cost of spam has reached $9 billion for US corporations alone.

(A)interprets (B)expresses ©means (D)translates

The answer is ©.

I wonder may I choose (A) or (B)?
Thanks in advance.

Maggie :o

Maggie, I don’t think that answer C is right. “This means to major corporate losses,” doesn’t make any sense. The problem is the preposition “to”, which in this case should not follow the verb “means”.

The correct sentence would be, “This means major corporate losses,” (without “to”), or “This translates to major corporate losses.”

As long as the preposition “to” is there, only D could be correct. The word “translates” works in that sentence, because one meaning of “translate” is to move from one place or condition to another. “Expresses” and “interprets” can’t have this meaning.

Again, as long as the preposition “to” is in that sentence, C is the wrong answer. I think your book has a misprint in it.

Hi, Jamie

From what you wrote I can see that translate to something has a sense of to mean something, to lead to something, right?

Could you tell me if it is a usual combination? Does it sound natural if I say good education translates to big salary ?


It’s not something the average person says every day, but it’s not unusual.

to a big salary

Yes, it’s perfectly normal.


Thanks for help. I would check the answer out again.


Hi Maggie

I agree with Jamie 100%. With the preposition ‘to’ in the sentence, C is not correct and only D is possible.


Thanks for help again. Non-native speakers talk wrong English and they don’t know themselves,even if they are English teachers. Actually the answer is given by one Taiwanese English teacher. That’s why I prefer to study the articles which are written by native speakers. I am thinking of that how can we improve our English that we constantly absorb wrong English without knowing ourselves.