Place two candles by your side.

Does it mean one on either side, and another on another side?

Or does it mean something else?

  • I (native speaker) would take it to mean both candles on one side. If they say "Place two candles by your sides" (plural), that would mean one on each side – A. Galloway Jul 25 '17 at 18:02
  • It's ambiguous. If you want to know exactly what is meant, you have to ask for clarification. Yes, my best guess is that it means one on each side, but I could be wrong. – Andrew Jul 25 '17 at 18:40
  • @A.Galloway hrm...no. "...by your sides" would be taken to address more than one person's sides. To express placing one candle on each side, we would say something like: "Place one candle on either side of you". – P. E. Dant Jul 25 '17 at 18:41
  • It would be taken to mean that both candles are on the same side. – P. E. Dant Jul 25 '17 at 18:42
  • I don't see any ambiguity at all. It's the same side. Sounds like the person is lying down..... – Lambie Jul 25 '17 at 21:53

Without further context. it's ambiguous. I'd assume the speaker probably meant to place both on the same side. If he meant two different sides, he'd probably say, "Place one candle on either side of yourself".

  • Complete sentence was place two candles on your both sides. But that would mean 4 candles 😑. While in the apparatus there are 2 candles – user55625 Jul 27 '17 at 15:07

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