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read between the lines

Meaning: When you read between the lines you try to understand what someone implies, but doesn't openly state, when they say or write something.

For example:

  • I got a letter from Robyn and she isn't happy. She didn't say anything but I could tell by reading between the lines that something's wrong.

  • A good writer doesn't tell the reader everything directly but leaves it up to the reader to figure things out for themselves by reading between the lines.

Origin: Probably derived from a form of cryptography in which secret information was conveyed by writing it in invisible ink between the lines of a text.

Quick Quiz:

If you read between the lines, you will
  1. know what the writer really thinks
  2. be able to read a lot quicker
  3. make up the story for yourself

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