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  1. #1
    richuk is offline Junior Member
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    Still a bit confused with a sentence. I would be really grateful for any advice.

    Hey everyone, can anyone help me with my confusion please?

    ‘What did you think of the Physics lesson?
    It was not as fun as the Biology lessons but we learnt a lot more!’

    It is clear from this sentence that the ‘we learnt a lot more’ applies to the Physics lesson rather than the Biology lessons due to the word ‘but’. The ‘we learnt a lot more [in the Physics lesson]’ correctly contrasts/contradicts the preceding clause ‘[The Physics lesson] was not as fun as the Biology lessons’. This makes sense but I am still a little confused with another aspect of the meaning.

    As we have established:

    ‘What did you think of the Physics lesson?
    It was not as fun as the Biology lessons but we learnt a lot more [in the Physics lesson].’

    As the speaker is comparing the single Physics lesson to possibly numerous Biology lessons, how is it possible for more to be learnt from a single Physics lesson than multiple Biology lessons (I guess it is possible but extremely unlikely). Or have I misunderstood the meaning? Does the answer instead mean more would be learnt in the Physics lesson when comparing it to any single Biology lesson rather than more would be learnt in a single Physics lesson than all of the Biology lessons combined?

    Has anyone got any suggestions?
    Thank you your time and help, I really appreciate it.

  2. #2
    kfredson is offline Senior Member
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    Re: Still a bit confused with a sentence. I would be really grateful for any advice.

    Quote Originally Posted by richuk View Post
    Hey everyone, can anyone help me with my confusion please?

    ‘What did you think of the Physics lesson?
    It was not as fun as the Biology lessons but we learnt a lot more!’

    It is clear from this sentence that the ‘we learnt a lot more’ applies to the Physics lesson rather than the Biology lessons due to the word ‘but’. The ‘we learnt a lot more [in the Physics lesson]’ correctly contrasts/contradicts the preceding clause ‘[The Physics lesson] was not as fun as the Biology lessons’. This makes sense but I am still a little confused with another aspect of the meaning.

    As we have established:

    ‘What did you think of the Physics lesson?
    It was not as fun as the Biology lessons but we learnt a lot more [in the Physics lesson].’

    As the speaker is comparing the single Physics lesson to possibly numerous Biology lessons, how is it possible for more to be learnt from a single Physics lesson than multiple Biology lessons (I guess it is possible but extremely unlikely). Or have I misunderstood the meaning? Does the answer instead mean more would be learnt in the Physics lesson when comparing it to any single Biology lesson rather than more would be learnt in a single Physics lesson than all of the Biology lessons combined?

    Has anyone got any suggestions?
    Thank you your time and help, I really appreciate it.
    Well, I suppose it could be considered ambiguous, but it seemed crystal clear to me. I assume that the speaker is saying that you learn more in a Physics lesson than in a comparable Biology lesson. I admire the way you have thought this through, but I doubt that the speaker is making anything other than a simple statement.

    What do you think?

  3. #3
    richuk is offline Junior Member
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    Re: Still a bit confused with a sentence. I would be really grateful for any advice.

    Thanks kfredson for your comments, I really appreciate them .

    I think there is really only two ways of interpreting the answer:

    1) What did you think of the Physics lesson?
    It was not as fun as the Biology lessons but we learnt a lot more [in the Physics lesson than any comparable Biology lesson].

    2) What did you think of the Physics lesson?
    It was not as fun as the Biology lessons but we learnt a lot more [in the Physics lesson than all of the Biology lessons combined].

    I agree with you
    kfredson, I would assume the first interpretation. I would say comparing a single Physics lesson to combined Biology lessons is less likely to be the case unless the speaker explicitly says they are doing so. Would anyone one agree?

    I suppose another (unlikely) interpretation could be:

    1) What did you think of the Physics lesson?
    It was not as fun as the Biology lessons but we learnt a lot more [in the Biology lessons as we have had more of them].

    Now I don’t think this is correct because the clause after the ‘but’ doesn’t contradict/contrast the clause before the ‘but’. (The Biology lessons were more fun than the Physics lesson but we learnt a lot more in the Biology lessons – does not sound right from a typical perspective).

    Also it seems a bit of a stupid answer to say that more was learnt from the combined Biology lessons than a single Physics lesson as this would be expected (common sense ) and could not be used as a reason to be disappointed with the single Physics lesson.

    Would anyone agree? Thanks guys, for your help .

  4. #4
    MASM's Avatar
    MASM is offline Member
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    Re: Still a bit confused with a sentence. I would be really grateful for any advice.

    I think we had a similar post some days ago...

    "What did you think of the Physics lesson?

    It was not as fun as the Biology lessons but we learnt a lot more"

    I don't see any ambiguity there, for me the Biology lesson was much fun, but they learnt much more in the Physics lesson.
    The sentence is expressing a contrast. The Physics lesson wasn't as fun, but they learnt much more in exchange.

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