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Thread: badly beaten up

  1. #1
    navi tasan is offline Key Member
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    Default badly beaten up

    1-The policeman was badly beaten up.
    2-The policeman was beaten up badly.


    Is there a difference in the meanings of "1" and "2"?
    Does "1" describe a state? Could it be depicting an action (He got beaten up badly/).
    Does "2" depict an action? Could it depict a state (he was in a badly beaten up state).


    3-The policeman seemed badly beaten up.
    4-The policeman seemed beaten up badly.

    Are "3" and "4" both correct? He seemed to have been beaten up badly.

    Gratefully,
    Navi.

  2. #2
    emsr2d2's Avatar
    emsr2d2 is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: badly beaten up

    Neither 3 nor 4 sound very natural but only because it sounds strange to me to say that someone "seemed" beaten up. I might say that he "looks as if he has been beaten up".

    With 1 and 2, it's one of those constructions that you can always argue is ambiguous but common sense has to prevail. You will hear both "He has been badly beaten [up]" and "He has been beaten [up] [very] badly". Some will argue that both could suggest that the person doing the beating did a very poor job and probably missed with many of his/her kicks and punches and therefore the victim is actually not in a bad way. However, we have to consider the likelihood of someone actually saying that about an attacker. It is far more likely with both sentences 1 and 2 that what the speaker means is that the victim has suffered a severe beating.
    Remember - correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing make posts much easier to read.

  3. #3
    Rover_KE is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: badly beaten up

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post

    With 1 and 2, it's one of those constructions that you can always argue is ambiguous but common sense has to prevail.
    That's right.

    Compare: 'My hair needs cutting badly' and 'My hair badly needs cutting'.

  4. #4
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    MikeNewYork is online now VIP Member
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    Default Re: badly beaten up

    I have no problem with any of them. In the first two, the extent of the beating was stated as fact. In the second two, the observer lacks confirmation. A bloody nose, for example may look worse than it is because of the amount of blood.

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