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a. If you examine enough of our lawyers' files, you'll get a pretty good idea of how the legal system works.

b. If you examine enough lawyers' files, you'll get a pretty good idea of how the legal system works.

In the above sentences does 'enough' modify 'lawyers' or 'files'?

  1. The files of a sufficient number of lawyers

or

  1. A sufficient number of files belonging to lawyers
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    I'd say it was ambiguous. Commented Dec 14, 2020 at 9:44

1 Answer 1

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The word "lawyers'" qualifies the word "files", that is, it indicates which files to examine. We know that multiple lawyers are meant, from it being "lawyers'" and not "lawyer's". The sentence speaks of examining files, not lawyers, and so the 'sufficient number' spoken of is likewise files and not lawyers. If the speaker really wants to make it clear that it is the lawyers for which one must examine sufficient numbers, he needs to change the sentence(s) to emphasize that.

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