What is the meaning of:

I will not kill you due to your talent.

Does that mean:

  1. [I will not kill you] [due to your talent].
    Because you are talented, I will not kill you.
  2. [I will not] [kill you due to your talent].
    If I kill you, that's not because you are talented.
  • 4
    "Due" in these sentences just means "because of", so it depends on the context. As it is it's ambiguous. Commented Sep 2, 2019 at 10:00
  • It depends how you punctuate I think
    – Gamora
    Commented Sep 2, 2019 at 10:36
  • 1
    #2 is technically feasible, but I think #1 is what most people would assume is being expressed.
    – J.R.
    Commented Sep 2, 2019 at 10:40
  • I can't make any sense out of your option two; nor can I see any reasonable alternative way to interpret this example, no matter what punctuation is added.
    – MikeB
    Commented Sep 2, 2019 at 10:46
  • 3
    @MikeBrockington The first interpretation means I will not kill you, and I won't kill you because you're talented. The second interpretation means I will kill you, but it will be for some reason other than your talent. While the second part of each interpretation is the same, whether or not the person is going to be killed at all is different. (In one scenario, the person dies; in the other, the person lives.) What makes it different in normal speech would be intonation and cadence—which is why punctuation is needed to clarify in written form. Commented Sep 2, 2019 at 14:01


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