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Thread: both + a

  1. #1
    perfectera is offline Junior Member
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    Default both + a

    Hello.

    I would like to know if both is wrong for the sentence below.
    There are 2 pairs of cables, and

    Cover each pair of the cables with a tube.
    Cover both pairs with a tube.

    Does the latter mean that the two pairs are covered together with only one tube?

  2. #2
    probus's Avatar
    probus is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: both + a

    Literally the latter means that both pairs should be covered with a single tube, but a careful and cautious reader like you would be wise to consider the possibility that this is a case of sloppy writing, and the writer really meant that each pair should be in a tube of its own.
    Last edited by probus; 15-Feb-2013 at 02:40.

  3. #3
    perfectera is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: both + a

    Quote Originally Posted by probus View Post
    Literally the latter means that both pairs should be covered with a single tube, but a careful and cautious reader like you would be wise to consider the possibility that this is a case of sloppy writing, and the writer really meant that each pair should be in a tube of its own.
    Thanks for your answer. So these sentences mean the same?

  4. #4
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    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
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    Default Re: both + a

    Do you really mean 'each pair of the cables' and not 'each of the two wires that the cable is made of. A cable is made up of a number of wires or leads or strands or flexes... A common sort of electrical lead is referred to as 'twisted pair'.

    b

  5. #5
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    Default Re: both + a

    Quote Originally Posted by perfectera View Post
    Hello.

    I would like to know if both is wrong for the sentence below.
    There are 2 pairs of cables, and

    Cover each pair of the cables with a tube.
    Cover both pairs with a tube.

    Does the latter mean that the two pairs are covered together with only one tube?
    No, the latter is ambiguous. It could mean that you need one tube or two tubes.
    If you are really writing instructions, I'd suggest you use non-ambiguous sentences.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: both + a

    Quote Originally Posted by perfectera View Post
    Thanks for your answer. So these sentences mean the same?
    No they do not. Please refer to Raymott's post and tell us: are you reading this or writing it?

  7. #7
    perfectera is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: both + a

    Quote Originally Posted by probus View Post
    No they do not. Please refer to Raymott's post and tell us: are you reading this or writing it?
    Thanks.
    I am writing a sentence.

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