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    #1

    Difference in meaning with/without definite article

    Please tell me if the following sentences are natural.

    1. I like songs written by Paul McCartney.
    Does this mean I like Paul's songs (with some exceptions)?
    Is this a little ambiguous expression?

    2. I like the songs written by Paul McCartney.
    Does this mean I like all Paul's songs (or songs that I mentioned before, depending on the context)?

    3. I like songs written by British pop artists.
    Does this mean I like (just any) songs written by (just any) British pop artists?

    4. Songs written by Paul McCartney are my favorite ones.
    Does this mean I like Paul's songs (with some exceptions)?
    Is this a little ambiguous expression?

    5. The songs written by Paul McCartney are my favorite ones.
    Does this mean I like all Paul's songs (or songs that I mentioned before, depending on the context)?

    6. Songs written by British pop artists are my favorite ones.
    Does this mean I like (just any) songs written by (just any) British pop artists?

    7. I used to listen to songs written by Paul McCartney when I was young.
    Does this mean I used to listen to Paul's songs (with some exceptions) when I was young?
    Is this a little ambiguous expression?

    8. I used to listen to the songs written by Paul McCartney when I was young.
    Does this mean I used to listen to all Paul's songs (or songs that I mentioned before, depending on the context) when I was young?

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    #2

    Exclamation Re: Difference in meaning with/without definite article

    Quote Originally Posted by Snappy View Post
    Please tell me if the following sentences are natural.

    I like songs written by Paul McCartney. You mean all songs by Paul McCartney in general. Not specific nor exception but any song written by him..
    Does this mean I like Paul's songs (with some exceptions)?
    Is this a little ambiguous expression? No ambiguity, any person who has no idea about songs written by Paul McCartney understands what you mean.

    2. I like the songs written by Paul McCartney. Here an element of definiteness is attached to songs. So you have to mention before, what are those songs.
    Does this mean I like all Paul's songs (or songs that I mentioned before, depending on the context)? Not all songs but some specific songs may be the songs written between early 80’s

    3. I like songs written by British pop artists. It means all songs in general, not some but any
    Does this mean I like (just any) songs written by (just any) British pop artists?

    4. Some of the songs written by Paul McCartney are my favorite ones. This sounds quite unusual. Paul McCartney might have written quite a large number of songs and you can not claim all are your favorite ones. You can say some or selected songs are your favorites.
    Does this mean I like Paul's songs (with some exceptions)?
    Is this a little ambiguous expression? Yes.

    5. The songs written by Paul McCartney are my favorite ones. The use of ‘the’ points to some definite songs which cam be specified previously’
    Does this mean I like all Paul's songs (or songs that I mentioned before, depending on the context)? underlined, yes.

    6. Songs written by British pop artists are my favorite ones.
    Does this mean I like (just any) songs written by (just any) British pop artists? No, it means all songs

    7. I used to listen to songs written by Paul McCartney when I was young.
    Does this mean I used to listen to Paul's songs (with some exceptions) when I was young? No, You like on general to listen to any song written by him.
    Is this a little ambiguous expression?

    8. I used to listen to the songs written by Paul McCartney when I was young.
    Does this mean I used to listen to all Paul's songs (or songs that I mentioned before, depending on the context) when I was young? Underlined expression is correct.

    Skp

  1. euncu's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Difference in meaning with/without definite article

    Quote Originally Posted by Snappy View Post
    Please tell me if the following sentences are natural.

    1. I like the songs written by Paul McCartney.What songs? The ones by McCartney
    Does this mean I like Paul's songs (with some exceptions)? Yes
    Is this a little ambiguous expression? Not to me

    2. I like the songs written by Paul McCartney.(same as 1)
    Does this mean I like all Paul's songs (or songs that I mentioned before, depending on the context)?(same as 1)

    3. I like songs written by British pop artists.
    Does this mean I like (just any) songs written by (just any) British pop artists? This sentence indicates that you prefer to listen to the genre "British pop " over other genres of music.

    4. The Songs written by Paul McCartney are my favorite ones.
    Does this mean I like Paul's songs (with some exceptions)?
    Is this a little ambiguous expression?

    5. The songs written by Paul McCartney are my favorite ones.
    Does this mean I like all Paul's songs (or songs that I mentioned before, depending on the context)?

    Your sentence might be an answer to these questions?
    What kind of songs do you call as your favourites?
    or
    Let's say that there is a compilation album, which contains the songs of various artists. And the question is;Which songs on this album are your favourites?


    6. The Songs written by British pop artists are my favorite ones.
    Does this mean I like (just any) songs written by (just any) British pop artists? As,I said before this indicates the artists you like to listen to are
    mostly or always British pop artists


    7. I used to listen to songs written by Paul McCartney when I was young.
    Does this mean I used to listen to Paul's songs (with some exceptions) when I was young? Yes
    Is this a little ambiguous expression? I don't think so.

    8. I used to listen to the songs written by Paul McCartney when I was young.
    Does this mean I used to listen to all Paul's songs (or songs that I mentioned before, depending on the context) when I was young?Theoretically,it may indicate his all songs but pratically I'd say it indicates most of his songs. If you mean "the all songs" without any exceptions,you might use some adverbs or phrases to strengthen your expression or you say it,differently such as "I'm a huge fan, there is no single McCartney's song that I haven't listen to"
    ***neither a teacher nor a native-speaker***

    PS:I assumed that you meant "made" by saying "written".Otherwise, yes, your expressions may lead to ambiguity, as if you only like the lyrics not the music.
    Last edited by euncu; 02-Mar-2010 at 17:17. Reason: ps

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