June covered the blanket over the baby.

enter image description here

As in the picture, is the sentence acceptable?

  • I am tempted to downvote if only because you have depicted a transparent universe. I think it is better to ask questions than to make drawings and diagrams. Since your statement is rather unidiomatic, and it is not clear what your drawing is meant to show, it is hard to know what you're trying to say. – Tᴚoɯɐuo Jan 10 '18 at 11:01

No, your sentence is not correct. You cannot use the preposition over with the verb cover because the verb cover already implicitly means that an object is over another object. You can cover an object with another object or you can put an object over another object.

So your sentence can either be:

June covered the baby with the blanket.


June put the blanket over the baby.

Edit: I just realized I was thinking about the question the wrong way. If you mean that there was a blanket over a baby and then June covered the blanket while the baby was underneath the blanket, then yes the sentence is correct. But if you are trying to say that that June put a blanket over the baby then the sentence is incorrect. You are right that it is ambiguous.

  • But, I think that it is the main reason for the problem, that the sentence is very ambiguous, because without the picture, the sentence could be read as June covered the blanket standing on the baby. Is it a good thinking? – GKK Jan 10 '18 at 9:25
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    @EvaristeGalois There is no situation in which the sentence June covered the blanket over the baby is ever grammatically correct so there is really no ambiguity in that sense. What exactly do you mean by June covered the blanket standing on the baby? Do you mean that the baby was on the blanket? – Phil14 Jan 10 '18 at 9:30
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    @Phil14 I think it's worth making the distinction between being grammatically correct and making sense. It is a grammatically correct sentence, but that doesn't mean it makes sense in the same way that "Fish sticks to butter" is both grammatically correct and doesn't make sense. – Neil Jan 10 '18 at 9:54
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    @Neil I just realized that I was thinking about the sentence in only one way and it's also possible for it to mean June covered the blanket that was over the baby. Gah, now I get the question. – Phil14 Jan 10 '18 at 10:03
  • @EvaristeGalois I edited my answer because I misunderstood your question. – Phil14 Jan 10 '18 at 10:09

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