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Thread: bitten by a dog

  1. #1
    navi tasan is offline Key Member
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    Default 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.

  2. #2
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    Default 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.

  3. #3
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    Default 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.

  4. #4
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    Default 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 08:49. Reason: typos

  5. #5
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    Default 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.

  6. #6
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    Default 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.

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