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  1. xpert's Avatar
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    #1

    Lightbulb Sentences: Same or Different

    Hello everyone!

    I usually spend plenty of time in reading English grammar books. I am used to writing sentences which are mysterious-tricky in meaning. I have never come across a grammar book which contains all pairs of sentences that look somewhat similar in structure but different in meaning. In this thread, I would to write -with the help of you, of course- a complete list of such sentences. Here you are some:

    (1)
    a. He cannot stop smoking now. (cannot give up the habit of smoking)
    b. He cannot stop to smoke now. (cannot stop in order to smoke)

    (2)
    a. I have done my homework. (by myself)
    b. I have my homework done. (done by someone else)

    (3)
    a. We'll go to play in the evening. (play a game)
    b. We'll go the play in the evening. (go to theater)

    I am looking forward to reading your contributions





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    #2

    Re: Sentences: Same or Different

    Quote Originally Posted by xpert View Post
    (1)
    a. He cannot stop smoking now. (cannot give up the habit of smoking)
    b. He cannot stop to smoke now. (cannot stop whatever he is doing in order to smoke) ........for clarification
    (2)
    a. I have done my homework. (by myself)
    b. I have my homework done. (done by someone else) can also mean I did it myself

    (3)
    a. We'll go (to) play in the evening. (play a game)
    b. We'll go to the play in the evening. (go to the theater)
    2006
    Last edited by 2006; 25-Nov-2010 at 07:16.

  2. xpert's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Sentences: Same or Different

    b. I have my homework done. (done by someone else) can also mean I did it myself

    First, thank you for proofreading. However, As far as I know, causative sentences carry different meanings. The doer of the action is different.

    I am still waiting for more contributions

  3. 5jj's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Sentences: Same or Different

    Quote Originally Posted by xpert View Post
    b. I have my homework done. (done by someone else) can also mean I did it myself

    First, thank you for proofreading. However, As far as I know, causative sentences carry different meanings. The doer of the action is different.

    I am still waiting for more contributions
    2006 is right. The idea is: I have my homework (and it is) done.

    This may not be common usage but, if you are listing similar structures with different meanigs, you need to add it to your list.

  4. xpert's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: Sentences: Same or Different

    This may not be common usage but, if you are listing similar structures with different meanings, you need to add it to your list.
    Aha! Okay, I'll do. By the way, can you think of such sentences to complete the list? To me, this is a very interesting area of grammar, and I hope it draws everyone's attention here.

  5. 5jj's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: Sentences: Same or Different

    I am not sure if you are looking for examples in which punctuation can change the meaning. Just in case you are, here is one:


    I left her heartbroken. - Her heart was broken
    I left her, heartbroken. - My heart was broken.

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    #7

    Re: Sentences: Same or Different

    He cannot stop smoking now- this could also mean that he is in the middle of a cigarette and can't stop (to speak on the phone or something). It's a less likely meaning, though.

  6. xpert's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: Sentences: Same or Different

    I left her heartbroken. - Her heart was broken
    I left her, heartbroken. - My heart was broken.
    That's fantastic!

    You reminded me of this pair:

    - The students, who finished first, won the prize. (all students won )
    - The students who finished first won the prize. (those who finished first)

    Other pairs:

    - He works in wood since 1980.
    - He works in the wood since 1980.

    -I'm afraid.
    -I'm afraid not.

    Still waiting for your contributions ...

  7. 5jj's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: Sentences: Same or Different

    Quote Originally Posted by xpert View Post
    - He works in wood since 1980.
    - He works in the wood since 1980.

    'has worked' in both cases. Or just omit the 'since 1980'
    5

  8. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #10

    Re: Sentences: Same or Different

    This old chestnut.

    A woman without her man is nothing.
    A woman: Without her, man is nothing.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

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