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I am having a problem with understanding the sentence below:

"we will love each and every created being completely to our maximum capacity for love"

What does the word completely from the above sentence emphasize?

Is the above sentence

"(we will love each and every created being completely) to our maximum capacity for love"

OR

"we will love each and every created being (completely to our maximum capacity for love)"

Which grouping is the correct grouping?

Thank you,

  • I don't think there is a correct choice. I think there are good arguments to be made for either. My first impression was the first grouping since it is common for people to want to love every aspect about other people. Hence love them completely . – Em. Jun 9 '16 at 1:14
  • I don't think "(completely to our maximum capacity for love)" makes sense, because the usage of maximum with completely is redundant. – user3169 Jun 9 '16 at 1:21
  • It makes sense in a rhetorical sense, in my opinion, precisely because it is redundant. The author might want to convey some kind of feeling by doing that. – Em. Jun 9 '16 at 1:26
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I would say your first grouping is what the author had in mind.

The prepositional phrase

to our maximum capacity for love

refers to the extent of the love, how "completely".

To say

completely to our maximum capacity

would be repeating yourself since "completely" and "maximum capacity" mean the same thing.

On it's own

We will love each and every created being completely

makes complete sense.

  • 1
    Agree with @peter. When I read the original I thought that it would have benefited from some punctuation. The simple addition of a comma or hyphen would clear the ambiguity – PerryW Jun 9 '16 at 1:34
  • Thank you for your quick answer. So in conclusion, does the sentence "“we will love each and every created being completely to our maximum capacity for love” mean that, for example, if our maximum capacity for love is 100 "units", we will love each and every created being with 100 "units" of love? Thank you once again, – Jin-Dominique Jun 9 '16 at 1:40
  • Metaphorically that is what it means (please don't ask about the literal mathematical implications of dividing 100 units). "maximum capacity for love" = "as much as possible", however much that is. – Peter Jun 9 '16 at 3:54

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