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  1. #1
    nicogu is offline Newbie
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    Question Is the expression "Mary and other beautiful girls" ambiguous?

    I am not a native-speaker.
    I am confused with the expression"Mary and other beautiful girls",

    Can I say the expression is ambiguous?like, It can be understand as "Mary is one of those beatuiful girls" and "Mary is a girl but not beautiful" or even
    "Mary is a boy and others are beautiful girls"?

    In other words, can we say "an ugly girl and other beautiful girls"?

    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    Grumpy's Avatar
    Grumpy is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Is the expression "Mary and other beautiful girls" ambiguous?

    As it is written, "Mary and other beautiful girls" means to me that Mary is a beautiful girl. However, the meaning can be changed by inserting a comma or two.
    Thus, "Mary, and other beautiful girls" is slightly ambiguous about whether Mary is beautiful or not, whilst "Mary, and other, beautiful, girls" certainly implies that Mary is not beautiful. However, none of these three versions could be taken to mean that Mary may not be a girl, because the word "other" connects Mary with girls.
    I'm not a teacher of English, but I have spoken it for (almost) all of my life....

  3. #3
    nicogu is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: Is the expression "Mary and other beautiful girls" ambiguous?

    Thank you very much for your explanation. I am convinced.



    Quote Originally Posted by Grumpy View Post
    As it is written, "Mary and other beautiful girls" means to me that Mary is a beautiful girl. However, the meaning can be changed by inserting a comma or two.
    Thus, "Mary, and other beautiful girls" is slightly ambiguous about whether Mary is beautiful or not, whilst "Mary, and other, beautiful, girls" certainly implies that Mary is not beautiful. However, none of these three versions could be taken to mean that Mary may not be a girl, because the word "other" connects Mary with girls.

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