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Can “I hit the ball in the cave” mean “I hit the ball while I being in the cave” and “I hit the ball, and the ball went into the cave”?

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    Yes, though the second one would likely be expressed as "I hit the ball into the cave." Jul 17, 2021 at 4:40
  • @GArthurBrown Though, “I hit the ball into the cave” also means “I hit the ball, running into the cave”?
    – user8448
    Jul 17, 2021 at 5:26
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    No, it could not mean that. Jul 17, 2021 at 5:30
  • I find the ELU obsession with vague sentences a little weird. Why don't you rewrite the sentence to make its meaning clear? That's what native writers do. Jul 18, 2021 at 1:54

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It could mean that "I" was in the cave with the ball, or it could mean that "the ball" was in the cave (for example if you shot the ball with gun, the ball might be in the cave, but you are not). Or it could mean that the ball was propelled into the cave by the hit, but this meaning would be better expressed by "into the cave".

It would not be a very common sentence. The word "hit" with the sense of "hit a ball with a bat" would tend to be used with prepositions like "into", "over", "through", which indicate a direction of motion, rather than prepositions like "in" "on", which describe location.

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