Questions tagged [ambiguity]

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

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Understanding the CC-BY-ND summary

In the CC-BY-ND human readable summary, there is the sentence Attribution — You must give appropriate credit, provide a link to the license , and indicate if changes were made. You may do so in any ...
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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 ...
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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?
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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 ...
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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- ...
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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 ...
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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), ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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“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 ...
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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, ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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25 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 ...
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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 ...
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“did you attend” or “were you able to attend”, when to use which?

This post is derived from another one/. They might need to merge. Let's say Michael had mentioned that he were trying to reschedule another appointment in order to attend a meeting yesterday. I ...
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trace the route

Is "trace the route" in the following ambiguous between a finger-moving action and actual driving, walking, or otherwise moving along a route in the real world? John traced the route on the map. I'...
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There's no question of something

The banks have made it clear that there's no question of customers losing their credit status in light of the recent mortgage rate scandal. According to the dictionary: there's no question of (...
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2answers
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What to say when we put the dishes on the table for people to eat after cooking?

OK, after cooking food, we have to put the dishes on the table for people to eat. set 1 /set/ verb (past tense and past participle set, present participle setting) 1 PUT [...
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Sentence structure ambiguity

I lower myself to show humbleness. I lower myself, in order to show my humbleness. To lower oneself is a way of showing humbleness, and I lower myself. I don't lower myself to show humbleness. I ...
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Is “should be” talking about the past or the present or the future?

Not sure who’s working but this should be resolved. Does that should be resolved part mean (1) that it has already been resolved in the past, or (2) that he is expecting or needing it to be resolved ...
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25 views

It position in sentence

How to recognize which subject or object "it" is referring to in the following sentence: The Pump gives 10 bar pressure to the Machine and it will give good production. Here how can we identify ...
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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....
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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 ...
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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 ...
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348 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 ...
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are there two meaning?

Other studies, including in the United States, have shown this same pattern, with girls who begin developing earlier than their peers vulnerable to depression in adolescence. Without context, are ...
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2answers
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Distinguishing between subject and object of sentence when the clause seems ambiguous

Looking past the literal meaning of the sentence; I'm struggling to identify which is the true subject and object in the following sentence. "The mother beats up her daughter because she was drunk." ...
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Conflicting feedback on my paraphrase: “on the grounds that X should be shared with Y” = “so that X [would/could] be shared with Y”

This is not a question about the meaning of "could" and "would". This is a question about which word fits the context. I got conflicting remarks on my paraphrase of a few sentences. I am not sure ...
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Confusion in pronoun

What is the best way to avoid confusion of pronouns? For example, see the following sentence: When Anne’s grandmother died she lit an extra candle for her on her birthday. Here it is very ...
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272 views

Using the word “sad” after a noun

On Collins dictionary, one of the meanings of "sad" is: "If you describe someone as sad, you do not have any respect for them and think their behavior or ideas are ridiculous.", and it says that it is ...
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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. ...
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4answers
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How do you make a sentence like 'I saw the bird singing.' unambiguous?

There is a sentence, I saw the bird singing. I think the sentence above can have two meaning. First meaning is ' I saw the singing bird.' Second meaning is ' I saw the bird while I am singing.' ...
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2answers
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What does '‘end of the Eastern Bloc’ suggest? - Test 3, Q21, p 143

The 95 Theses were written in 1517 and by 1521 [Martin] Luther had developed these ideas and burned the Book of Canon Law and the Papal Bull Exsurge Dominie. Four years in the C20 would be considered ...
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About “AND” Which one is correct? And Why?

How can I understand the sentence below? My best friend and my father’s father both come from Wales. Which one of these is correct? And Why? A. My best friend and my father's father (...
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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 ...
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1answer
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“Deviate” Meanings [closed]

I have a question about the usage of the verb "deviate". According to dictionaries, "deviate from" means: "to do something different from what is usual or expected" "to be something different ...
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2answers
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what is the meaning of “Smiling upon”?

what is the meaning of "Smiling upon"? Mr. Somes said: "Mr. President, would it be improper for me to inquire whether there has been any pressure brought to bear upon you to defer the enforcement of ...
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How do you interpret something like “racism and crime justification”

Does it mean The justification of both racism and crime? Racism and the justification of crime? Depends on the context? Depends on the punctuation? (Please explain)
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does “town” and “city” are the same place in this context?

does "town" and "city" are the same place in this context? i mean. does the "city" refers to the mentioned "town"? This drives him to the consideration of whether these things may not be ...
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1answer
26 views

How to describe a noun standing before the last word with 'which'?

I have a sentence: "I lived in the southern city of Kazakhstan, which is surrounded by mountains." In this sentence, it looks like that is Kazakhstan is surrounded by mountains. However, I wanted to ...
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aside from his financial situation

a. Aside from his financial situation, he has a lot to be grateful for. b. Aside from his financial situation, he has a lot of other things to be grateful for. c. Aside from his financial ...
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Which meaning of 'incident to' ? - 1932 US

Source: Powell v Alabama (1932) It is true that great and inexcusable delay in the enforcement of our criminal law is one of the grave evils of our time. Continuances are frequently granted for ...
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Why does Crookes want to “avoid inquiry” despite “pursuit of truth”?

Why does Crookes want to "avoid inquiry" despite "pursuit of truth"? It's a bit confusing. He writes: "It argues ill for the boasted freedom of opinion among scientific men that they have so ...
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2answers
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What does 'we are bid to' mean?

Source: p 116, Introducing Philosophy for Canadians: A Text with Integrated Readings (2011 1 ed) by Solomon, McDermid. Primary Source: p 110, Method in Theology, Volume 12 (1972) by Bernard J. F. ...

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