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  1. #1
    richuk is offline Junior Member
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    Default How would you understand this sentence? Thank you.

    Hey everyone, just a quick question regarding the meaning of a sentence if anyone would be kind enough to offer their opinions please. I have asked a similar question before but unfortunately I made a mistake on the sentence so I would really appreciate your opinions on this one please. Thanks guys.

    ‘What do you think of the Physics lesson?
    It wasn’t as fun as the Biology lessons but we learnt so much more!

    The ‘learnt so much more’ does it apply the ‘Physics lesson’ or the ‘Biology lessons’?

    I believe it applies to the Physics lesson because the part of the sentence before the ‘but’ is a negative opinion of the Physics lesson (or positive opinion of the Biology lessons) and the opinion after the ‘but’ is a positive opinion ‘we learnt so much more’ so one would assume it applies to the Physics lesson for appropriate contrast when using the word ‘but’. I believe the sentence means the Physics lesson wasn’t as fun as the Biology lessons however the Physics lesson was more beneficial for the students as they learnt more. Would anyone agree with this?

    The other argument is that the ‘we learnt so much more’ applies to the Biology lessons. The only way I can think of interpreting the sentence this way would be a possible surprise generated from the ‘It wasn’t as fun as the Biology lessons’ part of the sentence before the ‘but’ and the contrast in this case after the ‘but’ would be the reduced level of surprise by saying it was ‘expected’ E.g.:
    ‘What do you think of the Physics lesson?
    It wasn’t as fun as the Biology lessons but we learnt so much more [in the Biology lessons so this is expected]’
    However I guess the speaker may have to actually say ‘this is expected’ to produce this meaning. What do you think?

    Basically I am interested in the ‘we learnt so much more’ part of the original sentence and if you think it applies to the Physics lesson’ or the ‘Biology lessons’. I know I may have over complicated something that is quite obvious through over analysis. I would really appreciate your interpretation of this sentence please. Thanks guys, once again for any time and help on this issue.

  2. #2
    tedtmc is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: How would you understand this sentence? Thank you.

    not a teacher

    It (the Physics lesson) wasn’t as fun as the Biology lessons but we learnt so much more !
    On the two possible meanings you suggested:

    Biology lessons were more fun but we learnt more from the Biology lessons.
    The conjunction 'but' is usually used to indicate contrast rather than concord which the two phrases in the sentence mean. It is illogical that Biology lessons were better on both counts - being fun and has more to learn from, with the 'but' in use.

    Biology lessons were more fun but we learnt more from the Physics lesson. This a comparison that each subject has its own merit - which is logical.

  3. #3
    jamiep is offline Member
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    Default Re: How would you understand this sentence? Thank you.

    To me the meaning is clear. Biology was more fun but more was learnt in physics.

  4. #4
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    bhaisahab is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: How would you understand this sentence? Thank you.

    Quote Originally Posted by jamiep View Post
    To me the meaning is clear. Biology was more fun but more was learnt in physics.
    Yes, I agree. It needs a bit of work however: ‘What did you think of the Physics lesson?
    It wasn’t as much fun as the Biology lesson but we learnt so much more!

  5. #5
    richuk is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: How would you understand this sentence? Thank you.

    I agree, thanks very much guys for your help.

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