Questions tagged [ambiguity]

This tag is for questions about the multiple meanings of a word, or phrase.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
2
votes
2answers
73 views

Book Title Meaning

So if a book's title is "I love you,Nora Jane" What does it mean? Does it mean that Nora Jane is saying she loves him or the boy is saying he loves her.What about the ','(comma) that comes. Doesn't ...
1
vote
2answers
368 views

Does “I got offered a job in New York.” mean the job is in New York, or I was in New York when it was offered?

I got offered a job in New York. Does this sentence mean: "I got offered a job to work in New York" Or "I got offered a job when I was in New York"? Can this sentence carry both of these meanings by ...
0
votes
2answers
14k views

How to interpret the sentence - “A Mother beats up her daughter because she was drunk”? [closed]

"A Mother beats up her daughter because she was drunk" So, who was drunk? Mother, or Daughter? Please tell me how to interpret the sentence. Also, If the mother was drunk how would I write a ...
0
votes
1answer
39 views

ambiguity- one or more purchases?

If I have bought two products in a single online transaction, have I made one or two purchases? I'd appreciate your help.
1
vote
4answers
80 views

They're closing their shop

We were shopping at the mall. It's late and all the shops were starting to close. "They're closing." "They're closing their shop." Will the second sentence mean the shop is bankrupt?
1
vote
1answer
29 views

How do the two examples the author gives support his view about amphiboly?

This is an excerpt from a piece of text talking about ambiguity: Misuse of the word which, or its omission for brevity, both produce many classic examples of amphiboly. (“On the claim form I have ...
0
votes
1answer
27 views

any of the assignments

a. If you haven't done any of the assignments, I can give you extra time to do them. Can this sentence mean two things? If you have done none of the assignments, I can give you extra time to do them....
0
votes
1answer
52 views

Default meaning of “Korean” (without North/South)

A user sent me an e-mail stating that he/she is Korean, without further details about which Korea. In English, is it the default that Korean means from South Korea? Is it always the case? For extra ...
0
votes
1answer
13 views

Interpretation ambiguity

While reading the article, I am quite confused about the part bolded "whether fallen or not". I believe there might be two possible answers: 1: I did not stop to think whether the whirring cicadas ...
0
votes
1answer
19 views

a high turnover (rate)

The word turnover at least has two meanings in the dictionary. Without context, is the following sentence ambiguous? The company has a high turnover. Supposing it's ambiguous, if the word rate is ...
2
votes
1answer
59 views

Is the sentence below ambiguous?

I have two sentence: Diurnal fluctuation of temperature exists at the downstream location in River A. Diurnal fluctuations of temperature exists at a location in River B. I combine them into one ...
1
vote
1answer
622 views

think I can do anything

a. I don't think I can do anything you want. Can't this sentence mean two things? a1. I think I can't do anything you want. a2. I don't think I can't do just anything you want. b. You're mistaken ...
0
votes
0answers
945 views

Ambiguity in “Didn’t do it on purpose”

I was thinking, couldn’t “I didn’t do it on purpose” take on two meanings or be interpreted two ways? 1) The act was unintentional, I did not mean for it to happen. 2) I specifically chose not to do ...
0
votes
1answer
26 views

How does this use of “and” differentiate between objects and their properties? [duplicate]

what is the meaning of this sentence: "Gold and silver ornaments are precious." Does it mean that: 'ornaments made of gold and ornaments made of silver are precious' I mean does it refer to two ...
1
vote
2answers
25 views

How to interpret “5 weeks into my degree”?

I was wondering whether it meant: I started my degree 5 weeks ago I finished my degree 5 weeks ago (I found this in an online dictionary) I will be finishing my degree in 5 weeks
0
votes
3answers
120 views

“12-year-old boy changes his mind just two years later” — how old was he at that moment?

I've encountered an article from The Independent: 12-year-old boy who transitioned to female changes his mind just two years later Isn't it ambiguous, how old was he at that moment? Was he 12 when ...
1
vote
1answer
171 views

'like' or 'as' is ambiguous to me

Is it possible for native speakers to tell in what way the 'like' is saying things are the same, without the knowledge about the said content? It says: There is no special preposition in English ...
1
vote
1answer
413 views

True False NotGiven questions

I have a some True False NotGiven questions that I had a hard time figuring the answers. In this sort of question, we must read a passage and then choose whether some information is true, false, or ...
0
votes
2answers
225 views

Can “on VERBing” be ambiguous?

SOURCE Oxford Learner's dictionary says, in its definition of on: 5 immediately after something On arriving home I discovered they had gone. There was a letter waiting for him on his return. ...
1
vote
1answer
3k views

I haven't eaten since yesterday

Is "I haven't eaten since yesterday" ambiguous? Does it mean I haven't eaten from yesterday until now (i.e. I didn't eat anything yesterday and I haven't eaten anything ever since), or I haven't ...
1
vote
2answers
775 views

Meaning of “would have had”?

I saw an ad regarding a job opportunity, where the following line was written: Typically, you would have had 3+years of experience building software products. Does it mean that the candidate ...
6
votes
1answer
336 views

How to use “since” to imply “from the time that”, not “because of”? Can tense itself have a role?

Consider: Since he left the group, we have worked harder to cover his absence. Since he left the group, we work harder to cover his absence. Since he left the group, we worked harder to ...
1
vote
2answers
53 views

Repeated continuous action using simple present or present continuous

What is the difference between the meaning of the following two sentences. (One is simple present and the other is continuous present). He works every Saturday. He is working every Saturday.
3
votes
2answers
4k views

“The best outcome for Spain…” Is there any ambiguity as to the meaning of this phrase?

Consider this sentence: "The best outcome for Spain would be to permit the referendum, and for Catalan voters to reject independence" (Source, In the last paragraph) Would this mean that the best ...
0
votes
1answer
51 views

Degree of horror for several verbs

Could someone please sort the level of each of these verbs in the degree of horror? appal, dismay, horrify, shock, startle
10
votes
1answer
93 views

Why isn't there an article in “separated by empty space”?

Matter is composed of atoms separated by empty space through which the atoms move... Why isn't there an article before the words "empty space"?
2
votes
1answer
69 views

Why is the prefix repeated in brackets in the word “((meta-)meta-)meta-design”?

While reading an article about web design, I came across the following phrase — "((meta-)meta-)meta-design systems". I'm well aware what meta-design is, but have problems understanding the usage of "(...
1
vote
1answer
24 views

talked to him in a bad mood

a. Have you ever talked to John in a bad mood? b. Have you ever talked to him in a bad mood? Can we tell who is in a bad mood, you or John/him?
1
vote
2answers
48 views

the painting in the living room

a. He painted the painting in the living room. Does this mean a1. In the living room, he painted that painting. Maybe it is somewhere else now. or a2. He painted the painting that is in the living ...
3
votes
3answers
355 views

Is it necessary for “which” to indicate the word before it?

1) Puche restored IGF-I circulating levels, which normally decline in serum with age, in aging rats. 2) Puche restored IGF-I circulating levels in aging rats, which normally decline in serum ...
4
votes
2answers
508 views

Do you count the current one?

For example, if I had 3 girlfriends before, and now I have 4th one that I am dating and somebody would ask: How many girlfriends did you have / have you gotten? Would it be correct to count in the ...
2
votes
2answers
1k views

How to avoid ambiguity in the sentence“This is a little used car”?

Here’s a sentence which is open to two interpretations and therefore can’t be grammatical: “This is a little used car”. To avoid the ambiguity of the meaning, would it be enough just to insert a ...
5
votes
2answers
707 views

What is the role of “the” in “She does homework in the evening”?

This is from an English textbook for children (private pdf file, so I cannot share the link). A: What does Carley do in the evening? B: She does homework in the evening. What is the role of "...
1
vote
1answer
34 views

Yeti with a microphone

We started interviewing a Yeti with a microphone. How do we ensure that we mean the picture on the right and not on the left? And how would we describe this one? Edit, from the comments: ...
1
vote
1answer
73 views

How do I identify whether the word “quite” is used in the sense of completely or partly?

I've found that word "quite" is used sometimes in the sense of "greatest extent" (or say absolute or complete sense) and sometimes "moderate extent" (or say somewhat or little sense) and taking the ...
1
vote
3answers
137 views

How to use a personal pronoun where there could be multiple antecedents?

When we say that, Petter will give a book to Hari and he will come Dubai tomorrow. Does the pronoun he refer to Petter or Hari?
2
votes
1answer
83 views

“Hiding in a wardrobe, I have finally found you!” - Who exactly is hiding in a wardrobe?

You can either think about this way: Someone was hiding in a wardrobe and you found them. Here "hinding in a wardrobe" is used to emphasize our disbelief that this particular person was hiding in ...
2
votes
1answer
84 views

Scopal Ambiguity that arises from 'one of our…'

Before you read on, I just want to let you know that this question is one that relates to the balance of logic and grammar. So I know that are multiple ways to describe a first-cousin relationship. I ...
0
votes
0answers
188 views

Meaning of “He saved two people on two occasions”

a. He saved someone on four occasions. Does that mean he saved the same person four times? b. He saved two people twice. c. He saved two people on two occasions. In (b) and (c) did he save four ...
0
votes
1answer
33 views

thinking about a robot for/to

Are these sentences correct: 1) I am thinking about a car for driving to work. 2) I am thinking about a car to drive to work in. 3) I am thinking about a robot for cleaning the house. 4) I am ...
1
vote
2answers
91 views

What does appointed mean in this sentence?

Tiwari, Rai appointed BJP’s Delhi and Bihar unit presidents From: "Tiwari, Rai appointed BJP’s Delhi and Bihar unit presidents" - The Hindu Here what I didn't understand is Tiwari,Rai appointed ...
0
votes
0answers
332 views

ambiguity of “for”

I know "for" may have different meaning in different context. I'll cook the dinner for you. This sentence can be understood as 1) I'll cook the dinner for you to enjoy it. "you" is the ...
7
votes
2answers
2k views

The ambiguous “he is buried”

In a sentence taken from the Oxford Dictionary: ‘The inscription on his tombstone in Groombridge Church, where he is buried alongside his three children, bears his original name and no reference to ...
2
votes
2answers
223 views

Why did the author use “One of them” instead of “each one of them” in this sentence?

The scenario is the protagonist in this novel had been experimenting a theory her colleague have had told her (is the tense correct?) that eye contact with another person for more than six seconds ...
1
vote
1answer
50 views

commas in conjunction with a prepositional phrase (with…)

a. In the photo you see her with Dave standing on a rock. b. In the photo you see her, with Dave standing on a rock. c. In the photo you see her, with Dave, standing on a rock. In which of ...
3
votes
2answers
474 views

“What is the age of marriage in your culture?”

Some time ago, I had an IELTS exam and my examiner asked me: What is the age of marriage in your culture? I thought he simply is mentioning the culture that I grow up with so I said: It varies ...
1
vote
2answers
76 views

Confirming something and at the same time expressing your previous lack of knowledge

Someone informs me: I think it's going to rain. I check the weather Service and I find the forecast includes rain. I want to share this additional information with the person who informed me. I ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

Are “after” and “until” inclusive or exclusive?

The article is as follows The new area code is scheduled to be put into service next September. From that time until the following July, there will be a "permissive dialing period" when callers can ...
-1
votes
1answer
110 views

Best way to ask if a person lacks a criminal record in a form on a website

I have a website and there's an online form to be filled out by people who visit the site. I want to make sure that a certain person lacks a criminal record (that he hasn't one). So I put this: Lack ...
46
votes
4answers
11k views

What is understood if I say “I'm an English teacher”?

What is understood if I say "I'm an English teacher"? "I teach English", or "I'm a teacher coming from England"?