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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24 views

What does the expression “shared drive on one of the servers that we’d put high scores on” mean here? [closed]

Here is a sentence: I remember that we had this shared drive on one of the servers that we’d put high scores on. It is not clear to me if the scores were put on the drive or the server. The speaker ...
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2answers
38 views

What are the interpretations of this sentence form?

Consider these sentences: I like movies that are not long and boring. I like dishes that are not sweet and flavorful He is not humble and arrogant. According to chapter-7 of forall x: Calgary An ...
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1answer
40 views

Does the sentence “the computer on the desk broken by my little sister is mine.” have two meanings?

This is the main sentence, "The computer on the desk broken by my little sister is mine." Does it theoretically have two meanings? What is broken by my little sister is the computer, or the ...
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1answer
32 views

having a heart problem in Germany

a. Any company that has at least two production plants in Germany should be informed. b. Any company with at least two production plants in Germany should be informed. The normal interpretation would ...
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1answer
15 views

Proper usage of “having given birth” in this sentence

Recently, I came across a question that asks whether a given sentence is correct. If not, we're required to select an option that corrects the error. Question: Having given birth to six kittens, my ...
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3answers
1k views

Does “The man saw the woman who is bringing the telescope” mean the woman is bringing the telescope?

The man saw the woman who is bringing the telescope. If "who" is with the woman, does this always mean the woman is being referred to, or it can also refer to the man, even though the "...
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1answer
114 views

The singer was accompanied by her sister on the piano?

The original sentence is: "The singer was accompanied on the piano by her sister. But what if I say: "The singer was accompanied by her sister on the piano". Does it sound odd?
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1answer
54 views

What does this pronoun indicate in the below passage? “Nonsense and silliness”? or “kids”? or “adults”?

What does "they" indicate in the below passage? "Nonsense and silliness"? or "kids"? or "adults"? By any chance, if "they" means "adults", ...
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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 ...
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6answers
3k views

Sentences containing “refused to close his bar because”

a. He refused to close his bar because of the pandemic. b. He refused to close his bar because there was a pandemic. Are the above sentences grammatically correct, and do they make sense? The intended ...
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1answer
68 views

Is “A pointer is returned to an automatic variable” correct and unambiguous about what is “returned”?

I found this sentence in a book. A pointer is returned to an automatic variable in a previous function call (discussed in the section “Pointers to Local Data” on page 66). Based on the context, I ...
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1answer
47 views

modificational scope of “two years ago”

In the following sentence, does the "two years ago" describe the time of buying or reading the book? I bought the book which I had read two years ago and which had the author's autograph. ...
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1answer
69 views

Who is pissed off here?

Jack walks up to the girl at the bar and starts flirting, but the girl just looks at him weirdly and walks away. Enjoying this, Ethan grins at Jack, pissing him off. My question is about the last ...
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1answer
42 views

Possible ambiguity in “In addition to the 3 main reasons, there is a 4th reason that has not been widely cited”

I am wondering if my sentence is ambiguous. In addition to the three main arguments, there is a fourth argument that, although important, has not been widely cited. The "three main arguments" are ...
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1answer
9 views

the English led by general Smith

a. They were fighting the English led by general Smith. b. They were fighting the English under the leadership of general Smith. c. They were fighting the English**,** led by general Smith. d. They ...
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2answers
228 views

“He looked at her with a hurt expression” - Who has the hurt expression?

There is a sentence like below. He looked at her with a hurt expression. I don't know whether he has a hurt expression or she (her) has a hurt expression.
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1answer
34 views

Can “Others may have a point of view…” be understood in two ways?

In a book, I found the following sentence: Good fiction teaches us about ourselves and about our relationships with other people; it shows us too that others may have a point of view which is ...
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0answers
28 views

Meaning of “I will not kill you due to your talent”

What is the meaning of: I will not kill you due to your talent. Does that mean: [I will not kill you] [due to your talent]. Because you are talented, I will not kill you. [I will not] [kill you ...
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2answers
93 views

How to correct “With a growing tech sector in Vancouver and a highly transferable skill set, Maisie can easily find a job”?

With a growing tech sector in Vancouver and a highly transferable skill set, Maisie can reasonably expect to find a suitable job in her field. [The lady is a computer programmer: this is discussed ...
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2answers
33 views

Postmodifier Description

She has an interview next week for a teaching job in Paris. Does “in Paris” describe “a teaching job” (The job is in Paris, not the interview.) or “an interview” (The interview is in Paris, not the ...
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2answers
30 views

Is the clause here ambiguous to the preceding sentence

The sentence in question is the following: Using the discovered method, the researcher can quantify the virus effectively, which is unprecedented. The question is: is the bold clause qualifying ...
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1answer
803 views

What is the meaning of “The shame of [something]”? [closed]

I didn't find the meaning of The shame of [something] in my search on the internet and that's why I can't conclude its meaning precisely. I want to use The shame of his book for some text in this ...
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5answers
9k 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 ...
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1answer
48 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'...
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2answers
17 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"?
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3answers
163 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. ...
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5answers
34k 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 ...
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1answer
63 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 ...
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1answer
501 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)?
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1answer
82 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 ...
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4answers
485 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 ...
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3answers
81 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 ...
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2answers
287 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 ...
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2answers
628 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 ...
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1answer
70 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
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1answer
424 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 ...
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2answers
47 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 + ...
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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 ...
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1answer
85 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 "...
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2answers
911 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.
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3answers
154 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.
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4answers
823 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 ...
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5answers
179 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) ...
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2answers
558 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? ...
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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 ...
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2answers
133 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 ...