33

It is technically ambiguous, but since the smell of the “muffins” generally will override the smell of “walnuts” as just one ingredient of those muffins, I would assume “they” refers to the former.


8

I feel that for most of us the ambiguity is intrinsic, no matter what the grammarians have to say. Had the sentence been written "These chocolate-flavored muffins smell really good, and they have got walnuts in them", "they" would refer unambiguously to the muffins. Had it said "These chocolate-flavored muffins have got walnuts in ...


5

This is a case of syntactic ambiguity. It poses a problem in computer linguistic. They key point is that the structure of the sentence can only be understood if you take the meaning of the word into account (as opposed to only what type of word it is). Take these two sentences: We gave the monkeys the bananas because they were hungry. We gave the monkeys ...


4

It is likely the original author intended this to be a list of attributes of the muffins. Like this: These chocolate-flavored muffins: have got walnuts in them, and they smell really good. However the sentence is technically ambiguous and relies on the reader making guesses about the intent of the author. Do not follow this style if you want your writing ...


3

All day is a fixed expression that means the same thing as the whole day. Your grammar book is correct. All of the day is grammatical but not idiomatic in the sense of being an established expression. So your example sentence is fine. More often, people might say We spent all of that day on the beach, referring back to an occasion that they have already ...


3

"tradition", or more completely "the tradition of religious sculpture" Work pragmatically: Which noun could be said to "embrace the old custom...". "Tradition" is also the only singular noun that isn't functioning as a modifier of another noun; sculpture is a modifier of "tradition" and "periods", &...


2

In your sentence, grammatically you cannot determine whether it is the muffins or walnuts. Since there is absolutely no reference to which noun they are talking about. Like the other answer, logically you would presume they are speaking about the muffins. I would dock points on academic level paper for this, but in normal everyday speech I don't think I ...


2

You, David, them and I are invited for the party. It's long-winded but acceptable, although I would substitute the preposition ‘for’ with ‘to’. However, if the only pronouns used were ‘them’ and ‘I’ it might be marked as nonstandard by some careful speakers of English. The informal, slang version would be: Them and me are invited to the party. Using ...


2

Here's my example: "Kudos to Jane and Sam. They added their names early to the meeting agenda." → 2 students each of them have one name = 2 names. Plural. This is based on my own logic, not any grammatical rules that I can refer to. Following the same thinking: "Jane and Sam are here. Their mom is waiting outside." → 2 kids with the same ...


2

Your question has no simple yes/no answer. Your first sentence is correct. It is correct to say: The newest show has these known actors in it. The pronoun "it" tells us what these known actors are in, i.e. they are "in it"--in the newest show. It would be cumbersome to say: The newest show has these known actors in the newest show. We ...


2

Only context can help you here. Muffins smell more than walnuts, so most likely they refers to muffins. But consider this: My neighbors have two children, and they are very smart. More ambiguous.


2

The pronoun it refers to / stands in for the previously mentioned noun the solution. Consider an utterance like To live is to suffer. Obviously there's something "nouny" about those first two words, since they're able to serve as the "subject noun" for the singular verb form is. By the same token, My fate is to suffer, and The solution is ...


1

If one tool of the kit is intended to be used in another one, then the description should have a reference to the other tool. "the other" because, the definite article indicates that the tool can be used in the other one, however the description of the same must be provided. Another approach can be to use pronoun that. If one tool of the kit is ...


1

Intelligent and thoughtful as the previous answers are, they seem to me to lose sight of the fact that "they" is preceded by "them," which, however grammatically ambiguous, is not logically ambiguous. These chocolate flavored muffins have walnuts in THEM I concede that the technical rules of English grammar leave ambiguous whether "...


1

They are both correct. We often drop the second subject pronoun in such structures. There is a subtle difference to my ears though. You're going to yell at my son, and you expect me to just stand and watch In this case the comma after son invites me to pause and then when I carry on my tone of voice would change into one of disbelief. I might carry on by ...


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