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I came across the sentence:

Those who can listen to my lectures in person.

Does "in person" mean

  1. Those who can attend in my lectures in person, and listen to me.

or it means

  1. Those who can attend in my lecture, and listen to my lectures that I talk in person.
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  • How about "those who can physically attend my lectures" ?
    – nodakai
    Mar 28, 2016 at 2:37

2 Answers 2

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You are asking about whether in person refers to the lecturer's presence or the listener's presence.

The phrase "those who can listen to my lectures in person" refers to the presence of the listener. It refers to the people who are able to attend the lecture by being present physically. It would be a little odd if the lecturer wasn't there also, but the phrase might work if the students gathered in a single lecture room to listen to a telecast of the lecture. Even then, it still refers to the students' presence.

If you wanted stress the lecturer's presence, you can say, "those who can listen to the lectures I deliver in person".

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The word in person as per Dictionary means:

in the flesh; without involving anyone else

Since the statement

Those who can listen to my lectures in person.

is actually questioning the people/audience who can attend the lecture, the correct answer would be 1. The statement may seem questionable because of lack of punctuation. Had it been

Those, who can listen to my lectures, in person.

It would have been much clearer.

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  • It should be noted that, any more, the phrase can include people who are "telepresent" vs being "in the flesh".
    – Hot Licks
    Mar 27, 2016 at 13:49

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