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I came across the thought of different meaning that can be attributed to sentences if you place adjectives in different positions in it.

So my question is do these sentences really differ somehow?

  1. "The plane did not land on the proper runway"

  2. "The plane did not land on the runway proper"

  3. "The plane did not land on the runway properly"

2 Answers 2

1

The first sentence says the plane landed on the wrong runway.

The second says it chose the right runway but did not quite get it right - perhaps it used what on a highway would be the shoulder.

The third includes the second as a special case. Perhaps the plane landed in the center of the runway but too fast. Here the adverb "properly" modifies "land" and might have been placed right after "land".

0

Proper is an adjective, properly is an adverb.

(1) means that the plane landed on the wrong runway.

(2) is bad English because it uses an adjective where an adverb is required.

(3) means that the plane landed on the runway in the wrong way.

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    As I think Ethan Bolker is alluding to, #2 could be correct if you think of it as "on the runway proper", i.e. "on the runway itself exactly", but I doubt that's what the OP was thinking of.
    – stangdon
    Jan 2, 2022 at 15:00
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    @stangdon - Yes, I was just contemplating making an edit to that effect. Jan 2, 2022 at 15:01
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    @stangdon I too doubt that's what the OP was thinking, but it is proper usage. Jan 2, 2022 at 15:02
  • as I was thinking before asking the question that the number 2 sentence means what @than Bolker said in his answer. I just wanted to confirm. So in this case number 3 sentence equals number 2 in sense, right? Jan 2, 2022 at 21:01
  • the sentence "The plane did not land on the runway proper" is not "a cloed sentence" and leaves room to be added more words to complet it ideia so it could go like: "The plane did not land on the runway proper in landing parameters". sentence number one is a "closed sentence" where its idea is fully conveyned Jan 2, 2022 at 21:44

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