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According to Gwangjin Police Station, the 19-year-old Kim, an employee of a company that Seoul Metro had subcontracted for door maintenance, had been repairing the platform screen door at Guui Station on Saturday evening.

He was working by himself, with neither supervisor nor any signboard to notify approaching train operators.

The authorities have examined surveillance camera recordings and are set to summon related officials for questioning. The probe will be jointly handled by the Ministry of Employment and Labor’s special judicial police and the Korea Occupational Safety and Health Agency.

Is it possible to replace "to notify" with "notifying" in the sentence? and if it possible to do that, is meaning changed after that?

  • Could add sentences before and after that sentence above? Right now it can have 2 meanings (that im aware of) – politicallycorrect May 29 '16 at 9:32
  • yes i did, but i wonder also your 2 meanings – inches May 29 '16 at 10:04
  • This seems to have already been answered very well. With only the bolded sentence i assumed: It was either: his job to notify the trains, however he couldn't do that because of the lack of a supervisor or the signboard or he was working on something (like on the tracks) but because there was no supervisor or signboard the train operators would not be notified – politicallycorrect May 29 '16 at 11:19
  • Do this sentence have ambiguity? can we confuse who or what to notify approaching train operators? so when his job to notify, there are no supervisor or signboard but i think he still would do his job. doesn't it? – inches May 29 '16 at 12:05
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Yes, you can replace it, but indeed the meaning will slightly change.

He was working by himself, with neither supervisor nor any signboard to notify approaching train operators.

This means that the reason or function of the supervisor or signboard would have been to notify approaching train operators of the fact that someone was working there. Even if no trains would have approached, signboard could have been there in order to notify them.

He was working by himself, with neither supervisor nor any signboard notifying approaching train operators.

Now the sentence describes the action of the supervisor or signboards. Even if the signboard would have been placed there for another reason, they were effectively notifying approaching operators (if the signs would haven been present).

Normally, we put warning signs somewhere with a certain goal. To notify would therefore be the common way to phrase the given sentence. If whatever the warning signs did was different from what we would put them up for, this could be indicated by describing their action:

Although warning signs had been put up to notify approaching train operators, they actually contributed to the dangerous situation by confusing the operators.

  • @JavaLatte thanks, I removed it :) (You would have been welcome to do so yourself as well, of course :) ) – oerkelens May 29 '16 at 16:27

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