a. On three occasions, three firemen came to our bar.

b. Three times, three firemen came to our bar.

c. Three firemen came to our bar on three occasions.

d. Three firemen came to our bar three times.

In which cases:

  1. we are sure that three firemen came together every time

  2. it is possible that one came on each occasion. Three fireman in all and three occasions in all. One fireman on every occasion

  3. We know that there were three firemen in all and each came three times, but they might on some occasions have come together or two of them might have come together on some occasions etc.

  • 1
    I would interpret all four sentences as #1. (They may have driven in separate trucks, but all were on site before the incident was over.) – J.R. Nov 30 '18 at 11:32

I would interpret it as 3 fireman coming in each situation. If we wanted to imply otherwise then it could be phrased like...

In total, 3 fireman came out over 3 separate occasions.

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