Results 1 to 6 of 6

Thread: bitten by a dog

    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Academic
      • Native Language:
      • Armenian
      • Home Country:
      • Iran
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Nov 2002
    • Posts: 1,996
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #1

    bitten by a dog

    1-I saw Harry bitten by a dog.

    Can't this sentence mean two things:
    a-I saw Harry get bitten by a dog.
    b-I saw Harry after he was bitten by a dog. I saw him when he had the bite wound on him, but not the actual biting.

    Gratefully,
    Navi.

  1. probus's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Retired English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Canada
      • Current Location:
      • Canada

    • Join Date: Jan 2011
    • Posts: 2,318
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #2

    Re: bitten by a dog

    The potential ambiguity shows why I saw Harry bitten by a dog would not be used by a fluent speaker.

    In case a we would say I saw Harry being bitten by a dog, or perhaps getting bitten, and in case b we would use your I saw Harry after he was bitten by a dog.

  2. probus's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Retired English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Canada
      • Current Location:
      • Canada

    • Join Date: Jan 2011
    • Posts: 2,318
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #3

    Re: bitten by a dog

    To expand on and clarify my earlier reply get bitten is as good as getting bitten or being bitten if you are trying to say you saw it while it was happening.

  3. 5jj's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Retired English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • Czech Republic

    • Join Date: Oct 2010
    • Posts: 28,167
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #4

    Re: bitten by a dog

    Quote Originally Posted by probus View Post
    The potential ambiguity shows why I saw Harry bitten by a dog would not be used by a fluent speaker.

    In case a we would say I saw Harry being bitten by a dog, or perhaps getting bitten, and in case b we would use your I saw Harry after he was bitten by a dog.
    I agree that your suggestions are clearer and more likely, but I do not agree that I saw Harry bitten by a dog would not be used by a native speaker. It would be used by some, and for most it would be intended, and understood to mean only I saw Harry being/getting bitten.
    Last edited by 5jj; 01-Dec-2012 at 09:49. Reason: typos

  4. probus's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Retired English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Canada
      • Current Location:
      • Canada

    • Join Date: Jan 2011
    • Posts: 2,318
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #5

    Re: bitten by a dog

    I suppose it is a difference between AmE and BrE. I don't think you would ever hear I saw Harry bitten by a dog on this side of the pond.

    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Interested in Language
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Apr 2009
    • Posts: 10,369
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #6

    Re: bitten by a dog

    Quote Originally Posted by probus View Post
    I suppose it is a difference between AmE and BrE. I don't think you would ever hear I saw Harry bitten by a dog on this side of the pond.
    I don't agree. I think it's a possible sentence in AmE.

    I also think that if you add a comma, it could mean that you saw Harry who was previously bitten by a dog.

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 3
    Last Post: 22-Nov-2012, 11:31
  2. [General] once bitten twice shy
    By vil in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 16-Aug-2010, 08:29
  3. [Idiom] Once bitten,twice shy
    By phorntita in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 10-Jun-2009, 08:59
  4. [Essay] once bitten twice shy
    By Unregistered in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 24-Apr-2009, 13:37
  5. walk her dog? run her dog?
    By peppy_man in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 13-Nov-2006, 14:17

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •