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Thread: as a

  1. #1
    aysaa is offline Senior Member
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    Default as a

    Hi,

    -I hate you as a teacher.

    In this case, I may be a teacher or you may be a teacher. I mean It depends on the text, is that right?

    Thanks...

  2. #2
    Barb_D's Avatar
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    Default Re: as a

    I assume that the person being spoken to is the teacher.

    You as a teacher -- it comes together.

    As a teacher, I hate you. As your friend, what you did was actually really funny. -- In this case, I'm the teacher.
    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.

  3. #3
    aysaa is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: as a

    If I am the teacher, can I construct a sentence like that, or must I put the 'as a teacher' at the beginning or the sentence?

    -I hate you as a teacher.

    I : The teacher

    You: Someone else

  4. #4
    Barb_D's Avatar
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    Default Re: as a

    If you are the teacher: As a teacher, I hate you.

    But note that this implies that it's your role as teacher that creates this feeling. You don't simply hate him, and you don't simply happen to be a teacher. Perhaps if you were his plumber or softball teammate, you wouldn't hate him.
    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.

  5. #5
    BobSmith is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: as a

    Quote Originally Posted by aysaa View Post
    In this case, I may be a teacher or you may be a teacher. I mean It depends on the surrounding text (or context), is that right?

    I stand corrected.
    [not a teacher]
    Last edited by BobSmith; 26-Jan-2012 at 20:15.

  6. #6
    BobSmith is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: as a

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    As a teacher, I hate you. As your friend, what you did was actually really funny. -- In this case, I'm the teacher.
    [not a teacher]

    This is true only because of the "your".

    As an actor, I love Clint Eastwood. As a director, I hate him.

    Which is which? You don't know. I could love his acting but hate his directing, or I could be an actor who loves working for him, but I as a director myself, I'm very jealous.

  7. #7
    Barb_D's Avatar
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    Default Re: as a

    Quote Originally Posted by BobSmith View Post
    [not a teacher]

    This is true only because of the "your".

    As an actor, I love Clint Eastwood. As a director, I hate him.

    Which is which? You don't know. I could love his acting but hate his directing, or I could be an actor who loves working for him, but I as a director myself, I'm very jealous.
    I can't agree.

    "As an actor" by default attaches to the next noun it finds, which in this case is "I." Common sense kicks in and we know that Clint is the actor and the director, but without that context, the grammar leads me to believe that I am an actor, I am the director, and I am the teacher. This is the classic misplaced modifying phrase. I don't find it ambiguous. I find it wrong, if your meaning is for the other person to be the teacher.
    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.

  8. #8
    BobSmith is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: as a

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    This is the classic misplaced modifying phrase. I don't find it ambiguous. I find it wrong, if your meaning is for the other person to be the teacher.
    So this sentence:

    I love Clint Eastwood as an actor.

    is unambiguous - I'm am commenting on Eastwood the actor?

    and this:

    I love Clint Eastwood, as an actor.

    is also unambiguous - I'm am commenting as an actor myself?

  9. #9
    Barb_D's Avatar
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    Default Re: as a

    Quote Originally Posted by BobSmith View Post
    So this sentence:

    I love Clint Eastwood as an actor.

    is unambiguous - I'm am commenting on Eastwood the actor?
    In my opinion, this one is unambiguous. Clint's work as an actor is loved.

    and this:

    I love Clint Eastwood, as an actor.

    is also unambiguous - I'm am commenting as an actor myself?
    When it follows, instead of leads, I find the possibility of ambiguity greater, but I would still assume "as an actor" applies to Clint.
    As an actor, I love Clint Eastwood to me is unambiguous (grammatically) in saying that you are actor.

    As always in life, when sentences are spoken, there is context. Context can remove ambiguity or even override the grammar. We know Clint is an actor. If I know you are a surgeon and not an actor, I won't have any trouble understanding you. If we've been talking about Clint as an actor compared to Clint as a director, I won't have any trouble understanding you. But as a random comment, falling from the sky "As an actor, I love Clint Eastwood" would tell me that you, as an actor, appreciate Clint.
    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.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: as a

    As Barb so rightly said, "As always in life, when sentences are spoken, there is context. Context can remove ambiguity or even override the grammar."

    1. As an actor, I admire Percy Postule.
    2. I admire Percy Postule as an actor.

    If we have no other other context, just those seven words, then #1 must suggest that I am an actor, and that my admiration for Percy Postule is an actor's admiration, not just a layman's. If the writer means to suggest that s/he admires Percy Postule because of his acting abilities, then s/he has written sloppily. People do write sloppily, of course, but that does not affect the natural reading of these words.

    Similarly, if we have no other context, #2 must mean that my admiration is for Percy Postule as an actor; (I may well loathe him for his political/religious/etc beliefs or activities.
    Last edited by 5jj; 03-Apr-2012 at 07:16. Reason: typo

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