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Find the fine line between these garden terms

1. As you plan your summer garden, do you remember, recall, or recollect last year's flowers?

2. Does a seed packet hold or contain seeds?

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3. If your spade can finally penetrate the earth, can you surmise or infer that spring has arrived?

4. Is the new growth every year a mystery or a puzzle to humans?

5. Do your flower beds have borders or edges?

ANSWERS

(1) Since last season was less than a year away, it probably does not take a lot of effort to bring it to mind; therefore, you'd 'remember' it. To 'recall' suggests an effort, and to 'recollect' means that something is lost or scattered and its memory hazy; (2) A seed packet 'holds' seeds. Both 'hold' and 'contain' imply the presence of a substance within something. But 'hold' also suggests the permanent function of containing or keeping. There's a slight difference between a can that 'contains' a quart and one that 'holds' a quart; (3) You can 'infer,' which implies arriving at a conclusion by reasoning based on evidence. If the evidence is slight and suggests the influence of imagination or suspicion, then you'd 'surmise.' Loose earth is hard evidence of a change of season; (4) The phenomenon of new life every spring is a 'mystery to humans, meaning that it cannot be fully understood by reason. A 'puzzle' applies to an enigma or problem that challenges ingenuity for its solution; (5) They have 'borders,' or parts of a surface that mark its boundary line. A magazine cover may have a colorful border. A flower garden may have a ground cover that acts as a border to separate garden and lawn. An 'edge' is the terminal line made by two converging surfaces, as you'd have on a box or a table.

SOURCES: Merriam-Webster's Guide to Synonyms, The Random House Dictionary, Webster's Dictionary, The World Book Dictionary.


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