Number one for English language teachers

Your English: Word grammar: deep

Type: Article

We feel a deep gratitude to Tim Bowen as he takes a deep dive into the word deep.

In addition to its main adjectival meaning of ‘a long way from the top or surface’, deep can also be used to refer to emotions in the sense of strong, as in ‘a feeling of deep gratitude’ and to dark, strong colours, as in ‘a beautiful deep green’.  

A deep sleep is one that you do not wake up easily from, while a deep conversation is one that involves very serious thoughts, ideas or feelings, as in ‘We had a deep conversation about love and death’.  

If you are deep in something, you are completely involved in it so that you do not notice things happening around you, as in ‘he was deep in thought and completely oblivious to all the noise around him’.  

deep dive is an expression used to mean look into in detail, as in, ’Let’s take a deep dive into the issues raised in the meeting yesterday.’

As an adverb, deep can also mean ‘a long way down’, as in ‘deep below the ocean’s surface’, or it can mean ‘a long way into something’, as in ‘They continued deep into the forest’.  

If people are two deep, three deep etc, they are standing in rows behind each other, as in ‘People were standing three deep at the side of the road as the President’s motorcade swept past’. 

If you know or feel something deep down, you know or feel it, even if you pretend that you do not, as in ‘Deep down I knew that she was right’. 

If a feeling or emotion runs deep, it is very strong or difficult to change, as in ‘The rivalry between the two clubs still runs deep’. 

The noun form of deep is sometimes used to refer to the sea, as in ‘Satellite images are beginning to reveal some of the secrets of the deep’.

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