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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1 answer
47 views

It doesn't mean that only the marketers made customers purchase their products/ their own products? [closed]

"He made him buy his products." "It doesn't mean that only the marketers made customers purchase their products." who do these possessive pronouns refer to? is it the doer who ...
0 votes
1 answer
36 views

Referring question of the phrase " in this respect" in the following sentence

For the activity of being aware is one of those, like chess in this respect, where understanding their point is itself part of their point. It's seem like the phrase "in this respect" ...
0 votes
1 answer
48 views

accused me of lying justifiably

a. He accused me of lying justifiably. Is the above sentence ambiguous? I think that in theory it means: b. He accused me of justifiably lying. but I think in practice it can also mean (people use it ...
2 votes
3 answers
297 views

Identifying a prepositional phrase as an adverb or adjective

I am having a difficult time identifying whether the prepositional phrase in the following sentence is acting as an adverb or an adjective. Here is the sentence: Did they really buy all the guys ...
0 votes
2 answers
44 views

The disease first appeared in Japan in 1950 [closed]

How do natives interpret the following sentence? Does it mean Japan was the first place where the disease appeared, or the first case of the disease in Japan appeared in 1850, whether or not the ...
0 votes
1 answer
48 views

How to know if the road is unassisted or the person is unassisted?

Having a text like: A man died of hypothermia after falling on a road, seemingly unassisted. Two homeless people found him and called for help. I think it could be a man falling unassisted OR A man ...
2 votes
1 answer
28 views

can any grammatical rule show what is the right assertion being said here?

in the headline: Giuliani’s Loyalty to Trump Was Born in His Darkest Moment whose darkest moment is the author refering to, Trump's or Giuliani’s? can that be answered just by reading this headline?
2 votes
1 answer
52 views

"…the form that any account must take which invokes…”? What is the antecedent of "which"?

For while it may not show that a reductive mechanistic account is impossible, a proof that we are inescapably embodied agents to ourselves does show the form that any account must take which invokes ...
4 votes
3 answers
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 "...
0 votes
1 answer
352 views

Is "Here is a thought" used as an opinion request question?

I think it's used: just to introduce an idea/thought —here is a thought, life is worthy; To request an opinion of an idea/thought —here is a thought, what if we go to the cinema?. It's not a complex ...
0 votes
1 answer
43 views

What does "in the evening" refer to in "Read the letter that I wrote in the evening"?

Read the letter that I wrote in the evening. Is the above sentence read as: (Read the (letter that I wrote in the evening)). or (Read the (letter that I wrote) in the evening)? And is there a ...
0 votes
1 answer
34 views

don't want to die yet

I don't want to die yet. Isn't that sentence ambiguous? I can see two different meanings. I will present each in a context. a) I am in pain, but I can take it. I don't want to die yet. But the pain ...
0 votes
0 answers
58 views

that brother of Jane who is

a. I am talking about the brother of Jane who is a doctor. b. I am talking about that brother of Jane who is a doctor. c. I am talking about the brother of Jane, who is a doctor. d. I am talking about ...
0 votes
0 answers
31 views

to open the main gate

a. I have a key to open the main gate in my room. b. I have a toy to keep the dog amused in my pocket. Are the above sentences grammatically correct? Obviously the main gate is not in my room and the ...
1 vote
1 answer
31 views

the page of the book

a. He tore off the page of the book on which I had written my name. I'd assume that I had written my name on the page. Is that correct? ========================== b. He tore off the first page of ...
1 vote
1 answer
28 views

'Creating a footnote or (an) endnote reference'

Beware that creating a footnote or an endnote reference from a table is not yet possible. The above sentence is from the manual I'm working on. My question is whether it is correct to keep an before ...
0 votes
2 answers
40 views

talked to the young lady,

a. I spoke to a doctor, tall and handsome. b. I spoke to a young woman, magnificently dressed. c. I spoke to the doctor, tall and handsome. d. I spoke to the young woman, magnificently dressed. Are ...
0 votes
1 answer
23 views

"Differences between states" is fine, but "differences between provinces and territories" is ambiguous. How to remove ambiguity?

I always seem to fall into the following trap, and I would like to know what's the best way to avoid any ambiguity when comparing between different elements, where said elements belong to different ...
0 votes
1 answer
41 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 ...
-1 votes
2 answers
26 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 ...
1 vote
2 answers
48 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 ...
-1 votes
3 answers
228 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 ...
0 votes
1 answer
47 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 ...
1 vote
1 answer
101 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 ...
0 votes
1 answer
74 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 ...
1 vote
1 answer
621 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?
1 vote
1 answer
92 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", ...
4 votes
5 answers
91k 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 ...
1 vote
3 answers
159 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.
19 votes
6 answers
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 ...
1 vote
1 answer
124 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 ...
0 votes
1 answer
53 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. ...
0 votes
1 answer
58 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 ...
0 votes
1 answer
14 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 ...
5 votes
2 answers
349 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.
1 vote
1 answer
41 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 ...
0 votes
0 answers
32 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 ...
4 votes
2 answers
100 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 ...
1 vote
2 answers
50 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 + ...
0 votes
2 answers
39 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 ...
1 vote
2 answers
34 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 ...
-1 votes
1 answer
1k 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 ...
40 votes
5 answers
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 ...
-1 votes
1 answer
65 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'...
4 votes
3 answers
2k 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 ...
2 votes
2 answers
20 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"?
1 vote
3 answers
212 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. ...
2 votes
4 answers
683 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
1 answer
80 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 ...
1 vote
1 answer
749 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)?