3

Sentence with "future problems"

Mahatama Gandhi didn't solve

  1. all the future problems but he did solve problems
  2. all future problems but he did solve problems
  3. all the future problems but he did solve the problems

of his own age.

Sentence with "problems of future"

Mahatama Gandhi didn't solve

  1. all the problems of future but he did solve the problems
  2. all problems of future but he did solve problems
  3. all the problems of future but he did solve problems
  4. all the problems of the future but he did solve problems

of his own age.

Considering formal English usage which of the above sentences is correct ? I searched for the above sentence in google books and found various versions so couldn't get a clear idea which one is correct.

2
  • Version 2 is the one that sounds most natural.
    – Robusto
    Jul 12, 2017 at 11:44
  • Since he didn't solve all of the problems, instead of "solve the problems" you should use "solve some of the problems" or "solve the current problems" or such.
    – user3169
    Jul 12, 2017 at 21:26

1 Answer 1

2

Mahatama Gandhi didn't solve all the problems of the future but he did solve problems of his own age.

This is what I feel is the most appropriate with respect to actual meaning. Here is what the above sentence means

Mahatma Gandhi solved some problems They were problems of his own age Maybe he also solved some problems of the future But he did not solve all the problems of the future

REASONING:

  1. We do not know if he solved all the problems of his age. The article "the" is used to refer to something we have prior knowledge about. If I said "I know about the problems in your life", means I know about all the problems, whereas saying "I know about problems in your life" means I know about some for sure. I may or may not know them all, but I know at least one.

  2. I also referred to "the" future because we know about the existence of the word future, its meaning and also know that anything happening one second from when you have finished reading this comment is something that would happen in the future, with respect to the state of you when you began reading this comment.

Note: Mahatma Gandhi may have known about the problems. But the discussion here is about the sentence which talks about the act of solving the problems, and he did not solve them all, which is why it is more appropriate to say that he solved some problems of his own age, or in short "he did solve problems of his own age "

5
  • Why you used article 'the' in first instance of mentioning problems ( of future) but didn't use it with second instance of mentioning problems (of his age) ?
    – user212388
    Jul 12, 2017 at 12:11
  • I said so, because we do not know if he solved all the problems of his age. The article "the" is used to refer to something we have prior knowledge about. If I said "I know about the problems in your life", means I know about all the problems, whereas saying "I know about problems in your life" means I know about some for sure. I may or may not know them all, but I know at least one. Jul 12, 2017 at 12:14
  • I also referred to "the" future because we know about the existence of the word future, its meaning and also know that anything happening one second from when you have finished reading this comment is something that would happen in the future, with respect to the state of you when you began reading this comment. Jul 12, 2017 at 12:16
  • Going by this it seems more appropriate to use article 'the' with second 'problem' (of his age) instead of first one because Mahatama Gandhi didn't know about problems of future ( in fact no one knows what lies ahead in future) thats why he couldnt solve them but he must have know about problems of his own age ( because he has solved them so its obvious)
    – user212388
    Jul 12, 2017 at 12:19
  • True, He may have known about them. But the discussion here is about the sentence which talks about the act of solving the problems, and he did not solve them all, which is why it is more appropriate to say that he solved some problems of his own age, or in short "he did solve problems of his own age " Jul 12, 2017 at 12:29

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