English: subtext

Tutoring English, you know it has its own terms. The tutor brings up subtext.

Subtext refers to the point the author intends to convey to the reader. It’s not the literal meaning, necessarily, but rather the true meaning. A quick example follows:

A sign hung on the wall: Non-members please have papers ready.

The subtext of the sentence above is that non-members will face more hassle than members.


Barber, Katherine et al (editors). Oxford Canadian Dictionary of Current English. Don Mills: Oxford University Press, 2005.

Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.

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