Jacob's long absence intensified his certainty that he should marry Rose.

I think there is an ambiguity. For my opinion the expression "his certainty" spoiling the logic. If I'm wrong could you clarify the meaning.

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  • 1
    Could you explain what ambiguity you see here? – StoneyB Sep 5 '18 at 22:13
  • Can't you intensify certainty in Italian? – Lambie Sep 5 '18 at 22:21
  • The sentence starts with a negative impression so it should end up with a negative conclusion. But at first glance, the expression "intensified his certainty that he should marry Rose." seems willingness for marriage for a non-native speaker like me. But there should be an negative conclusion about willingness for marriage. Am I wrong? – inninaro Sep 5 '18 at 22:41
  • What do you mean, the sentence "starts with a negative impression"? It's fundamentally a very simple subject-verb-object sentence: his long absence did something. What is "negative" about that? – stangdon Sep 5 '18 at 23:48
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    You're making making an assumption about the meaning behind the sentence. Perhaps Jacob thinks that long absences are good for marriages. Or perhaps he realized from his long absence that he didn't want to be absent from Rose again. In either case, without further context, there is no way to know why the long absence caused him to want to marry Rose. But there's certainly nothing ungrammatical about the sentence. – Jason Bassford Sep 6 '18 at 0:51

There is an expression

Absence makes the heart grow fonder.

Which means while two people are separated, their longing for each other increases.

Your example is playing on this theme. The longer Jacob is away from Rose, the more he feels he must be with her.

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