Questions tagged [ambiguity]

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

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
0
votes
1answer
15 views

employed 20 workers last week

I am not sure if "to employ" means "to have someone on the payroll" or "to put someone on the payroll." Is it ambiguous? Consider the following sentence: The company ...
0
votes
1answer
30 views

twice I married a French woman

a. Twice, I almost married a French woman. b. I almost married a French woman twice. Do those imply that it was the same woman? Do those imply that I married a French woman once and almost had a ...
0
votes
1answer
25 views

an article he wrote

a. He showed me an article which he wrote last night and which was about whales. Could 'last night' modify 'showed'? Could the sentence mean: Last night he showed me an article which he wrote and ...
0
votes
1answer
76 views

were “the cylindrical wooden fastenings” horizontal or vertical?what does “wrenching asunder” mean?

were "the cylindrical wooden fastenings" horizontal or vertical? how can i imagine it? what does "wrenching asunder" mean? (...)The parts broken were at least five feet removed ...
0
votes
2answers
45 views

Does “it is true” and “is quite customary” refer to “explanation”?

Does "it is true" and "is quite customary" refer to "explanation"? and what does it mean? does it mean the "explanation" is both "true" and "...
0
votes
1answer
20 views

when he was fouled

a. It wasn't only Tom who was furious when he was fouled. I was too. b. Tom wasn't the only one who was furious when he was fouled. I was too. Could those be used if the intended meaning is Tom was ...
0
votes
1answer
84 views

When using “until”, is the time mentioned inclusive or exclusive? [duplicate]

Examples: "I'm going to study until 8PM" Is he going to stop studying at 8PM sharp or 8:01PM? "I'm not going to study until 8PM" Is he going to start studying at 8PM sharp or 8:01PM? "I'm working ...
0
votes
1answer
28 views

what is the meaning of “assert their claims to be considered sane” and “reduced to the limits of ruin”?

what is the meaning of "assert their claims to be considered sane" and "reduced to the limits of ruin"? This has been a long but necessary digression from the account of the early days of ...
0
votes
1answer
39 views

what is the meaning of “lie upon the table” here? does “the belief held by the petitioners” means “the petitioners believed that it was a delusion”?

what is the meaning of "lie upon the table" here? does "the belief held by the petitioners" means "the petitioners believed that it was a delusion"? In April, 1854, the Hon. James Shields presented ...
0
votes
1answer
321 views

on both sides/on the two sides

a. The conflict claimed about two hundred lives on all sides. b. The conflict claimed about two hundred lives on the three sides. Do those mean all in all there were two hundred lives lost or ...
0
votes
1answer
35 views

What is the meaning of “to work part time and summers”?

I want to know the exact meaning of "to work part time and summers". Does this mean someone works part time through the year and works full time in summer? Or does this mean he works part-time only in ...
0
votes
1answer
33 views

Most likely interpretation of parents' “anniversary”?

When someone says it's their parents' anniversary, does "anniversary" by default mean wedding anniversary, or do English speakers by default consider "anniversary" vague, requiring clarification like ...
0
votes
1answer
227 views

she was happy to see her mother

a. She was happy to see her mother. Does this mean a1. She was happy when she saw her mother. a2. She was happy that she'd seen her mother. a3. She was happy that she was going to see her mother. ...
0
votes
1answer
74 views

usage of “his certainty” [closed]

Jacob's long absence intensified his certainty that he should marry Rose. I think there is an ambiguity. For my opinion the expression "his certainty" spoiling the logic. If I'm wrong could you ...
0
votes
1answer
60 views

constraints on “anything but”

Are these examples are all acceptable and illustrative of the same use of anything but? What constraints, if any, are at work? He looked anything but happy. He did anything but watch TV. (= ? ...
0
votes
3answers
74 views

How should an amphibian answer “Do you live in water”? [closed]

As commonly known, amphibians live both in water and on land. Then how should we answer to a YES-NO question that only accepts a boolean answer such as "Does it live in water?" when we are referring ...
0
votes
1answer
281 views

ran all over the hill

a. The deer ran over the hill. b. The deer moved over the hill. c. The deer went over the hill. Can we tell if the deer crossed the hill or if ran/walked about on the hill? ========================...
0
votes
1answer
200 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.
0
votes
1answer
17 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
21 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
68 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
0
votes
1answer
35 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
110 views

Does this sentence make it seem like my grandparents are part of Porbandar?

I have to make the following sentence less ambiguous I stay with my family in a small house in Porbandar which includes my grandparents. My attempt is: I stay with my family which includes my ...
0
votes
1answer
452 views

Question about Harvey's quote

"Nothing that happens on the surface of the sea can alter the calm of its depths" Whenever I see this quote,I always enter into an ambiguity, I tend to interpret that quote with two different ...
0
votes
1answer
659 views

Distinguishing between although and while

What are some circumstances in which "although" and "while" are semantically interchangeable? When are they not?
0
votes
1answer
61 views

meanings of “A of B who” (without comma) and “A of B, who” (with comma)

Q1. If someone says "Bob is a father of a singer who is tall.", can it mean both of the following? Bob is a tall father of a singer. Bob is a father of a tall singer. Q2. If someone says "As a ...
0
votes
1answer
59 views

How can I reformulate “A for B based on C” to make it not ambiguous?

I have a title "A for B based on C", but it is ambiguous, as either A or B could be based on C. In my case actually A is based on C. How can I reformulate the sentence to make it not ambiguous?
0
votes
2answers
110 views

Ambiguity - 'offence to which the defendant has a complete defence'

Source: p 57, Criminal Law: The Basics, 1 ed (2009), by Herring As already explained, to convict the defendant of constructive manslaughter it must be shown that the defendant committed an ...
0
votes
2answers
56 views

How: accuracy of government statistics would be reduced? - Test 3, Q24, by Mark Shepherd [closed]

Source: p 145, Mastering the National Admissions Test for Law, Mark Shepherd. Lower middle of para 3: ...Added to this, there was the administrative practice in the 1980s and 1990s of re- ...
0
votes
1answer
89 views

Which's suggested in the article? - Test 3, Q22, by Mark Shepherd [closed]

From Mastering the National Admissions Test for Law by Mark Shepherd, page 144, the last two sentences of paragraph two: ...Even before this period, there is evidence that the unemployed ...
0
votes
1answer
128 views

Meaning of 'modal' in modal ‘argument from contingency’

Like most arguments for the existence of God, the cosmological argument exists in several forms; two are discussed here: the temporal, kalam cosmological argument (i.e. the fi rst cause argument), ...
0
votes
2answers
91 views

Broader Sanctions

In this article President Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Friday ratcheted up the threat of economic backlash against Russia, saying they are preparing broader sanctions if Moscow ...
0
votes
0answers
21 views

Ambiguity of ‘I ate food a lot’ [duplicate]

Does I ate food a lot mean ambiguously? I ate a lot of food. I made a lot of chewing, biting or the other action on food.
0
votes
1answer
21 views

It seems ambiguous to me

Q1. What is "invisible earnings"? I can't find out the meaning or example sentence in my dictionary. Is it some 'profits related to mind or spirit'? Q2. My dictionary says "invisible ...
0
votes
0answers
29 views

gave all of us a present

a. Tom gave a present to all of us. b. Tom gave a present to each of us. c. Tom gave a present to every one of us. In which case Tom gave each person a present and in which case He gave one present ...
0
votes
2answers
40 views

Is “Should I…?” appropriate here?

Joseph puts a gun to the man's head, and looks to Angelo. Joseph: Should I shoot him? Joseph is basically asking: Do you want me to kill him? - Is that conveyed through "Should I shoot him?"...
0
votes
0answers
8 views

What does “leading” imply here?

"He was a leading spirit in the conference." Does the statement infer that the subject was leading as if an influential or in a mere literal sense?
0
votes
1answer
11 views

meaning of “not for today only”

I heard, "The store will be having a sale, not for today only" What does "not for today only" mean in this sentence? Does the "only" modify "not for today" or ...
0
votes
0answers
15 views

How should I interpret this ambiguous sentence?

I came across the following ambiguous sentence that I don't know how to interpret: The student completed more than one program from an eligible DLI within 2 years Context: an international student ...
0
votes
0answers
35 views

I sent “ballistic” in official meeting and I am from the middle east!

First I am not a native english speaker Today there was a meeting with the tech hardware department where i work One of that department suggested that I should have another meeting with the title of &...
0
votes
0answers
25 views

there is no question of . .

The noun "question" has two meanings: "doubt" and "possibility." I'd like to know when "There is no question of . . ." has one meaning but not the other.
0
votes
1answer
29 views

“X do not have an alternative” - whether X a thing/situation or a person who makes a descision?

Whether to use a plus sign or an open block for list continuations is up to you. However, since open blocks cannot be nested, it is better to preserve them for those cases where they do not have an ...
0
votes
0answers
20 views

Ambiguity between “you are” and “you would be”

Is it possible in English to create ambiguity between the expressions "you are" and "you would be" as an equivalent of the Italian expressive construct "saresti"? This ...
0
votes
1answer
12 views

Correct future tense of flying

By ear I feel that the answer is "I'm going to fly", but the more I think about it and the more I see "will fly" to Paris as a legitimate option as well, can you guys help me out ...
0
votes
1answer
52 views

“I'm caught by the tail.” (I = a tiger) Does the wordplay work? Is it ambiguous?

"catch/have a tiger by the tail" is an idiom we all know. I'm writing some quotes for a character, who is a tiger. Can the tiger say "I'm caught by the tail"? The sentence somewhat ...
0
votes
0answers
23 views

some confusing expressions with number

When I want to express one of the series in harry potter, which one is better? ex) Third episode is my favorite among whole series. Third episode/ episode three Are all of them can be used? If not, ...
0
votes
1answer
25 views

does “revolving the disc” caused by “attachments” or “sliding the table”? what is the meaning of “follow” here?

does "revolving the disc" caused by "attachments" or "sliding the table"? what is the meaning of "follow" here? Mr. S. B. Brittan, editor of The Spiritual Telegraph, gives the following condensed ...
0
votes
0answers
14 views

isn't efficient as you claimed

a. This device isn't efficient as you claimed. b. This device isn't efficient**,** as you claimed. Which of the above sentences could be used instead of each of the following: Unlike what you ...
0
votes
1answer
27 views

Is there a difference in meanig between “as someone told you to” and “as someone told you”

a. You didn't come home late last night, as your Dad told you to. b. You didn't come home late last night, as your Dad told you. Do these mean: Your Dad told you to come home late last ...
0
votes
0answers
10 views

Is this reported sentence ambiguous?

A: Are you a politician? B: No, I'm not a politician. When we report the B's reply as: B replied negatively that he was not a politician., is the sentence ambiguous - whether B denied the fact ...

1
3 4 5
6
7