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  1. #1
    richuk is offline Junior Member
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    Smile The reason why a sentence means the way it does.

    Hey guys just a small question please. It is similar to one I posted a while ago but I am still slightly confused.

    Example:
    Two students are discussing their new teacher’s lesson they have just finished.
    One comments - “It wasn’t as fun as the old teacher’s lessons but we learnt so much more.”

    (1) I believe the student’s comment can only mean “It wasn’t as fun as the old teacher’s lessons but we learnt so much more [in the new teacher’s lesson].”...

    (2) ...and not “It wasn’t as fun as the old teacher’s lessons but we learnt so much more [in the old teacher’s lessons].”

    Can anyone offer any advice as to why (1) is the only correct interpretation please?

    Is it because “It” referring to ‘The new teacher’s lesson’ is the subject of the sentence and therefore the clause after the word “but” must relate to the subject of the sentence (new teacher's lesson) and not the object of comparison (old teacher’s lessons). Or is it because of the conjunction “but” - the clause before the “but” is a negative opinion of the ‘new teacher’s lesson’ i.e. “wasn’t as fun” so in order to contrast/contradict with this, the clause after the “but” must be a positive opinion of the ‘new teacher’s lesson’. Or is there some other explanation?

    Thank you for any help, I really appreciate it.
    Last edited by richuk; 07-Aug-2010 at 09:49. Reason: SoothingDave noticed a mistake I had made - missed out an "as"

  2. #2
    SoothingDave is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: The reason why a sentence means the way it does.

    Not a teacher.

    #1 is how I interpret it.

    The "but" is contrasting two things about the subject "it" (meaning the new teacher's lessons).

    It should read "It wasn't as fun as the old..." if you meant that the old teacher's lessons were a little bit fun, but not as much as the new one's.

    Or "It wasn't fun like the old..." if you meant the old teacher wasn't fun at all.

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