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  1. #1
    sky3120's Avatar
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    Default "I saw girls wearing stockings."


    "I saw girls wearing stockings."

    Does this sentence have two possible meanings?

    1) I saw girls who was wearing stockings.

    2) I saw that girls were wearing stockings.

    I am sorry about the lame example and I know that we should consider context first and we can figure out right meanings usually but I would like to know if it is possible that the sentence can be used for different meanings. Thank you as usual and have a good day.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: "I saw girls wearing stockings."

    Quote Originally Posted by sky3120 View Post

    "I saw girls wearing stockings."

    Does this sentence have two possible meanings?

    1) I saw girls who was wearing stockings.

    2) I saw that girls were wearing stockings.

    I am sorry about the lame example and I know that we should consider context first and we can figure out right meanings usually but I would like to know if it is possible that the sentence can be used for different meanings. Thank you as usual and have a good day.
    1) is ungrammatical.
    The sentence has one meaning: "I saw girls who were wearing stockings".

  3. #3
    sky3120's Avatar
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    Default Re: "I saw girls wearing stockings."

    Thank you and is it possible to understand "I saw them(girls) wearing stockings"?

  4. #4
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    Default Re: "I saw girls wearing stockings."

    What sort of context do you have in mind?
    Things can be made to mean all sorts of things.
    I saw girls who were barefoot and girls wearing stockings.

    A: What did people wear there?
    B: I didn't really notice.
    A: Did they get dressed up much?
    B: Hmmm. I did see girls wearing stockings, so I guess maybe.

    We don't plop down next ot someone and say a sentence and run away. Sentences take their meaning from context. It's the same with your question about people working on the streets.
    A: Will these damn roads ever get better?
    B: I think so - I saw people working on the streets just last night.

    A: What is the city like?
    B: Busy all the time!
    A: Even at night?
    B: Yes! I saw people dancing at night. I saw people eating at night. I even saw people working on the streets last night.

    CONTEXT!
    Last edited by Rover_KE; 12-Oct-2012 at 14:20.
    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
    tzfujimino's Avatar
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    Default Re: "I saw girls wearing stockings."

    Quote Originally Posted by sky3120 View Post

    "I saw girls wearing stockings."

    Does this sentence have two possible meanings?

    1) I saw girls who werewearing stockings.

    2) I saw that girls were wearing stockings.

    I am sorry about the lame example and I know that we should consider context first and we can figure out right meanings usually but I would like to know if it is possible that the sentence can be used for different meanings. Thank you as usual and have a good day.
    Hello, sky3120.
    I think I understand what you mean.

    Your interpretations could be as follows:

    Interpretation 1.
    I saw girls [wearing stockings].

    Those words in the brackets (the participle clause) function as a postmodifier, which describes the noun 'girls'.
    So, it could be rewritten as "I saw girls [with stockings on/who were (in the process of) wearing stockings/who had stockings on].

    Interpretation 2.
    I saw girls wearing stockings.

    The so-called 'see (or other verbs of perception) + object + -ing form' construction is used here.
    So, it could be rewritten as something like "I saw (some) girls, and they were in the process/middle of wearing stockings."

    It is an interesting but difficult question, the answer to which I don't know.

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