What does “areas” refer to?

Then the lumps of clay are placed on a metal grid in order to break up the big chunks of clay into much smaller areas, which fall through the metal grid onto a roller, whose motion further segregates the bits of clay.

  • What does areas here refer to?
    What does this word denote here since its basic meaning doesn’t seem to fit the context given.

  • What other word could have been used in its place?


The text (and by implication, the source website) is poor quality.

Someone asked exactly this same question on wordreference.com, where “Senior Member” Copyright responded…

I would say that “lumps” become “pieces” when they are broken up. Not “areas.” I wouldn’t memorize this for use with the general public.

(I assume by this he means the specific example sentence, but I would avoid the entire website.)

I can’t really add much to that apart from to say that I don’t think any native speaker would use areas there, since lumps and chunks are three-dimensional, but areas are by definition two-dimensional.

The most “natural” word to use in this context is probably pieces. Of the four “synonyms” lumps, chunks, bits, pieces, the first two often imply “large”, and the second two often imply “small”.

Source : Link , Question Author : Cavid Hummatov , Answer Author : FumbleFingers

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