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Questions tagged [attachment-ambiguity]

For questions about sentences have two different interpretations depending on which part of the sentence is modified by a different part. An example is "Police kill man with a knife." It could mean that the man who was killed had a knife, or that the police used a knife to kill a man.

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5answers
8k views

Who is frowning in the sentence “Daisy looked at Tom frowning”?

I read this sentence from The Great Gatsby: “Plenty of gas,” said Tom boisterously. He looked at the gauge. “And if it runs out I can stop at a drug-store. You can buy anything at a drug-store ...
-1
votes
1answer
40 views

I saw a man in the room

I saw a man in the room. I saw the man in the room. 1a. I saw a man who was in the room. There were five people in the room, for example. I saw one man who was in the room. In this case, 'in the room'...
2
votes
2answers
15 views

How to interpret when there is two adjectives in front & end

Necessary Employees and Persons Authorized Does it mean "(necessary employees) and (persons authorized)" or "necessary (employees and persons) who are authorized"?
2
votes
3answers
74 views

“the Book, the Qur'an, is without a doubt revealed from Allah.” What is the meaning of this sentence?

The Book, the Qur'an, is without a doubt revealed from Allah. It can be understood in two ways: There's no doubt that Quran is from Allah. Quran doesn't contain any doubt and is revealed from Allah. ...
3
votes
2answers
226 views

There was a farmer had a dog, but which one was named Bingo?

There was a farmer had a dog, and Bingo was his name-o. From these words alone (so, without appealing to different versions, translations, likelihoods of names, etc.), is there some way to decide ...
0
votes
1answer
48 views

location - returned from where?

Consider the following sentences. If John had come from Boston, was it the place Peter arrived at, or the place Peter came from? Peter returned from where John had come. Peter returned whence ...
0
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1answer
48 views

Who does 'who' refer to?

Tom plays basketball daily unlike Sam, who is a very busy man Is the above sentence correct? So 'who' always relates to 'Sam' or the nearest noun (& not Tom)?
4
votes
1answer
59 views

Fix ambiguity in “You're Not Obligated to Work Until You're 30”

The sentence in the title has two, almost contradicting interpretations. (1) that you are not obligated to do the task "work until you're 30", or (2) you are not obligated to do the task "work" until ...
3
votes
4answers
171 views

I watched them playing with my basketball

The sentence I want to talk about is: "I watched them playing with my basketball" Don't these kind of sentences have two meanings? Doesn't this sentence mean either "I watched them while they ...
0
votes
2answers
33 views

To solve a complex problem, there is always a simple way which everyone can understand

The sentence is: To solve a complex problem, there is always a simple way which everyone can understand. Do you think that this sentence is grammatically OK? Why I am asking it is because I would ...
3
votes
2answers
154 views

A saw B walking down the street - Who was walking?

Please explain how to know the meaning of this sentence: Amy saw her brother walking on the street. Does that mean: (1) Amy was walking on the street and saw her brother. (2) Her brother was ...
3
votes
2answers
372 views

The Chrome Web Store does not allow extensions to download from YouTube

The Chrome Web Store (i.e. Google) does not allow extensions to download from YouTube. This message appeared when I tried to download video clips from YouTube. I can understand what this says, but ...
1
vote
1answer
58 views

Only one person lives between John and Dany, who likes apple

Only one person lives between John and Dany, who likes apple. In previous sentence, who likes apple? 2) Joe lives immediately above Kyle, who lives on an odd numbered floor ? I mean I'm not able to ...
4
votes
1answer
413 views

What is the subject of this sentence to which the complement is related?

In this sentence, what is the subject to which the subject-complement is referring to? This instruction provides the rules for sharing information originated by the Purchasing Department. Are we ...
1
vote
1answer
39 views

Use of 'or' before last item in series of items

For a particular job, the mandatory educational requirement was: A degree with Zoology, Chemistry or Biochemistry as one of the subjects. Does this sentence mean the requirement is "Zoology + ...
4
votes
3answers
76 views

“It offers evidence, (?) of the nonexistence of free will, which you didn't believe existed”

Are either of these two variants of this sentence grammatically correct? It offers evidence of the nonexistence of free will, which you didn't believe existed vs It offers evidence, of the ...
3
votes
1answer
80 views

What does the “that” refer to?

You use 'of' to combine two nouns when the first noun identifies the feature of the second noun that you want to talk about. I am not sure what "I" want to talk about in the sentence. Talking about "...
2
votes
2answers
701 views

What is breaking on the shore? The sea foam or the waves?

What is breaking on the shore? The sea foam or the waves? We watched the sea foam made by the waves breaking on the shore.
1
vote
3answers
142 views

the differences between the adjective clause

Please explain to me the differences between these two sentences: a) The sales girl whom we met at junction square is patient. b) The sales girl at junction square whom we met is patient.
5
votes
4answers
622 views

Am I to use like or unlike here?

He is not fond of sweets, like his brother. He is not fond of sweets, unlike his brother. My situation is: His brother is fond of sweets but he is not. To make this sense, which one from the pair ...
5
votes
5answers
169 views

A question regarding a modifying clause

The subjunctive mood is the verb form used to express a wish, a suggestion, a command, or a condition that is contrary to fact.(cited from http://www.grammar-monster.com/glossary/subjunctive_mood.htm) ...
1
vote
2answers
447 views

adjective applied to several noun

How appropriate is in English the use of a single adjective to modify several nouns? Example 1: Can we say: different places and orientations instead of different places and different orientations? ...
4
votes
3answers
1k views

John threw Mama from the train a kiss

"John threw Mama from the train a kiss." This statement is used as an example of poor syntax. It sounds as if John threw Mama off the train, followed by a kiss. How would one arrange this statement ...
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3answers
2k views

Prepositional phrase modifies another prepositional phrase? Or both modify the verb?

Consider: Smoke hung in the air above the city. I see lots of sentences containing the structure of "verbal phrase + prepositional phrase + prepositional phrase" like the example above. I just do ...
4
votes
2answers
119 views

what's the structure of the following sentence?

Hair production is the result of the cells of the hair follicle depositing layer after layer of protein into this tubular space. Can anyone help me parse the above sentence? Is "depositing layer ...