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Thread: so

  1. #1
    FW Guest

    Default so

    A-He told me to leave the room and so I did.
    Is the sentence above ambiguous.
    I think it could mean:
    1-He told me to leave the room and THEREFORE I did.
    and also:
    2-He told me to leave the room and I did so.

    Of-course the result is the same in both cases, but there is a change in meaning.

    B-He told me to leave the room and I did so but not because he had told me to."

  2. #2
    RonBee's Avatar
    RonBee is offline Moderator
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    Default

    I don't think sentence A is ambiguous. That is because both explanations apply--not one or the other. Sentence B "cleared things up" by conveying a meaning different from that of sentence A. Perhaps the speaker felt the need to clarify what he said with his original sentence.

    :)

  3. #3
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default

    FW, I do think that there is a point about the degree of authority, but there isn't enough context in the first sentence to see it one way or the other. The addition of 'therefore' does suggest a bending to the authority, but even without, it isn't clear that the departure was a choice rather than a compulsion.

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