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  1. #1
    ZaraCastle is offline Junior Member
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    one question in a fabled story

    Hi everybody,

    This is a fable I have read on the internet. I just extract one part of the story.

    The Ape quickly turned to him(a man). "And pray how do I and these my friends around me
    seem to you?' "Thou art," he said, "a most excellent Ape, and all
    these thy companions after thy example are excellent Apes too."
    The King of the Apes, enraged at hearing these truths, gave him
    over to the teeth and claws of his companions.



    My question is "his companions" in this case whether it should be "The King of the Apes"'s companions or the man's companions( he also comes with other men). I'm looking forward to hearing your answers with appreciation cordially. Thanks very much.

  2. #2
    lauralie2 is offline Senior Member
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    Re: one question in a fabled story

    "Thou art," [the man] said, "a most excellent Ape, and all these thy companions after thy example are excellent Apes too." The King of the Apes, enraged at hearing these truths, gave [the man] over to the teeth and claws of his [the King of the Apes'] companions.
    ______________
    In the fable "The Apes and the Two Travelers", the man comes with one other man, no one else.

  3. #3
    NikkiBarber's Avatar
    NikkiBarber is offline Junior Member
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    Re: one question in a fabled story

    Quote Originally Posted by ZaraCastle View Post
    The King of the Apes, enraged at hearing these truths, gave him
    over to the teeth and claws of his companions.

    Are you asking if the word "companions" here refers to the apes or to the other men? I am not familiar with to story but the way I understand it the King was angry and so he allowed his companions (the other apes) to destroy the man.

  4. #4
    lauralie2 is offline Senior Member
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    Re: one question in a fabled story

    Quote Originally Posted by NikkiBarber View Post
    Are you asking if the word "companions" here refers to the apes or to the other men? I am not familiar with to story but the way I understand it the King was angry and so he allowed his companions (the other apes) to destroy the man.
    Taken out of context, though, either referent could work. Anaphoric reference is in question:

    The King of the Apes gave [the man] over to the teeth and claws of his companions.

    The King of the Apes gave [the man] over to the teeth and claws of his companions.

    Semantics, however, tells us that animals are more prone to use teeth and claws than are humans, who use fists, and weapons.

  5. #5
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    NikkiBarber is offline Junior Member
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    Re: one question in a fabled story

    Quote Originally Posted by lauralie2 View Post
    more prone to use teeth and claws than are humans, who use fists, and weapons.
    There also doesn't seem to be a good reason for why the man's own companions should wish to harm him. That was how I read it, but "teeth and claws" make it even more clear.

    I agree that we can't tell from grammar. That is one of the things that can be confusing when it comes to learning English. In Danish we have a different word that replaces "his/hers" if the pronoun refers to the subject of the sentence. It can eliminate some misunderstandings, but unfortunately many Danish speakers are not actually aware of the difference. That results in some very unfortunate - though sometimes amusing - sentences.

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