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  1. #1
    navi tasan is offline Key Member
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    I don't remember a lot of things

    Is this sentence ambiguous:
    1-"I don't remember a lot of things that happened on that day."

    I think it could mean:
    a-It is not true that I remember a lot of things that happened on that day, or to put it more naturally: I don't remember much of what happened on that day.
    Or:
    b-There are a lot of things that happened on that day which I do not remember.
    b does not actually contradict "I remember a lot of things that happened on that day." It could be that there were a lot of things that happened on that day which I do remember and a lot of things that happened which I do not remember.
    Am I correct or am I off the track?
    I think in spoken English the two meanings can be distinguished by the way the sentence is pronounced:
    1-I DON'T remember a lot of things that happened on that day.
    1b-I don't remember A LOT of things that happened on that day.

  2. #2
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    With the pronuciation stress, you could see those meanings. If the sentence were cold on the page, I wouldn't take it as meaning 'I don't remember much..' because the speaker\writer hs chosen an unusual form deliberately. I would naturally take it as ma#eaning that a lot happened which he or she remembers, but equally a lot has slipped their memory. :o

  3. #3
    navi tasan is offline Key Member
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    Thanks TDOL.
    I suppose the same goes for:
    1-"I don't remember a lot that happened that night."
    and
    2-"I don't remember a lot of what happened that night."

  4. #4
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    I'd say so.

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