A trip means a journey to a place and back again, especially a short one for pleasure or a particular purpose

When does the beginning and the end of the trip start to happen?

Read this "Some children were going on a trip to a candy factory. They sang at the beginning of the trip. A worker gave them some chocolate at the end of the trip".

Does "They sang at the beginning of the trip." imply they were singin while they were on the bus which was going to the factory?

Or Does it mean the children sang right after they got off the bus and arrived at the factory?

Does "A worker gave them some chocolate at the end of the trip" imply they were about to leave the the factory when the man gave them chocolate?

Or Does it imply the children got the chocolate when they got off the bus and arrived home?

  • 2
    Common sense suggests that it was a worker at the factory who gave out the chocolate. I would have said 'at the end of the visit/tour'. Who wrote this? Commented Apr 15 at 15:40
  • 3
    As @KateBunting says, the answers to both questions are down to common sense, not syntax. Commented Apr 15 at 15:45
  • ...common sense would normally imply that "the beginning" of any such trip starts at or before the point when the children are on the bus. But whereas common sense would suggest the end of the trip occurs at or after the time when the bus gets back to wherever it started from, it seems unlikely a worker would be there to give them chocolate (assuming that's a worker from the candy factory). I think this question is deliberately constructed to try and force a "paradox" here. Commented Apr 15 at 15:51
  • Perhaps a more useful question to ask here is: "Why does the example start with Some children were going on a trip...? Why isn't it Some children went on a trip...?" Commented Apr 15 at 16:10
  • 1
    That makes no sense to me. I've never seen a Bible that started with In the beginning God was creating the heavens and the earth... to "justify" continuing the narrative. Commented Apr 15 at 16:44

1 Answer 1


The phrases "beginning of a trip" and "end of a trip" are not rigidly defined in English. You have to look at the context and apply common sense. "Beginning of a trip" could mean anything from when you first started planning it to when you arrived. Or more realistically, in a case like this where you are talking about a school trip, it could mean when the child left home, when the teacher told the children to head out to the bus, when they got on the bus, when the bus began to move, when they left school property, or many other points.

The part about getting chocolate, logically I would think that meant that someone at the factory gave out chocolate at the end of the tour. But it's hard to say. Maybe the factory gave the teacher a bag of chocolate and she gave it out to the children when they returned to the school. Etc. You could debate these things endlessly. Unless the writer spells it out for you. If it matters, the writer should tell you. If they don't, that's bad writing.

Not to say that people don't make that kind of mistake in communication all the time. I mean, having some idea in their head, but not clearly stating it when they write it down or tell someone. For example, my wife and I had a very confusing conversation a few days ago. We were at a very large mall and my wife said, "I'm going to note some landmarks so we can find it again." I asked, "Find what?" She proceeded to explain to me that by "landmarks" she meant other stores or notable features that could help us find "it". I said, "Yes, I understand what you mean by 'landmarks'. But to find what?" She replied in exasperation, "The place!" I asked, "WHAT place?" More exasperated still, she exclaimed, "The place where we were!" We eventually worked it out. I thought it was funny -- though I suppose this is the sort of conversation that could lead to an argument with both people angry. In her mind, she knew exactly what place she was talking about. But I had no clue. We had a total communication breakdown.

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