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  1. #1
    Snappy is offline Member
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    Default Both of us won a prize

    "Both of us won a prize"

    Does the above sentence have a double meaning? Does it mean "We won a single prize" or "You won a prize and I won a prize = Each of us won a prize" depending on the context.

  2. #2
    dragn is offline Member
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    Default Re: Both of us won a prize

    The sentence "Both of us won a prize" does not have a double meaning to me. In my mind, the meaning is clear: You won a prize and I won a prize. You could also say "Both of us won prizes."

    If you mean that we won a single prize together, I might say "Both of us won the prize," or "We were co-winners of a/the prize," or something else that tends to remove any ambiguity.

    Greg

  3. #3
    Snappy is offline Member
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    Default Re: Both of us won a prize

    Quote Originally Posted by dragn View Post
    The sentence "Both of us won a prize" does not have a double meaning to me. In my mind, the meaning is clear: You won a prize and I won a prize. You could also say "Both of us won prizes."

    If you mean that we won a single prize together, I might say "Both of us won the prize," or "We were co-winners of a/the prize," or something else that tends to remove any ambiguity.

    Greg
    Thanks.
    An English-Japanese dictionary published in Japan says, "Both of us have a desk" and "Each of us has a desk" are different in meaning. Is this explanation wrong?

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Both of us won a prize

    Quote Originally Posted by Snappy View Post
    "Both of us won a prize"

    Does the above sentence have a double meaning? Does it mean "We won a single prize" or "You won a prize and I won a prize = Each of us won a prize" depending on the context.
    If it two people won a single prize, then they would be more likely to say "We won a prize".

    I understand how this can confuse you. However, I take your example sentence to mean that two people received one prize each.

  5. #5
    bhaisahab's Avatar
    bhaisahab is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: Both of us won a prize

    Quote Originally Posted by Snappy View Post
    Thanks.
    An English-Japanese dictionary published in Japan says, "Both of us have a desk" and "Each of us has a desk" are different in meaning. Is this explanation wrong?
    No, the explanation is not really wrong, the correct form is "Each of us has a desk". "Both of us have a desk" is not wrong but it's meaning could be ambiguous (also it's less elegant).

  6. #6
    Snappy is offline Member
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    Default Re: Both of us won a prize

    Quote Originally Posted by bhaisahab View Post
    No, the explanation is not really wrong, the correct form is "Each of us has a desk". "Both of us have a desk" is not wrong but it's meaning could be ambiguous (also it's less elegant).
    Thanks. If I change the sentence structure to "We both have a desk," it still means "Each of us has a desk." Is my understanding correct?

  7. #7
    bhaisahab's Avatar
    bhaisahab is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: Both of us won a prize

    Quote Originally Posted by Snappy View Post
    Thanks. If I change the sentence structure to "We both have a desk," it still means "Each of us has a desk." Is my understanding correct?
    Yes, that's right.

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