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  1. #1
    navi tasan is offline Key Member
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    after I left the building

    1-I learned that the documents were stolen after I left the building.
    2-I learned that the documents had been stolen after I left the building.

    3-I learned that the documents were stolen after I had left the building.

    4-I learned that the documents had been stolen after I had left the building.

    Can one tell whether
    a-my 'learning'
    or
    b-the stealing of the documents

    took place after I left the building?

    It seems to me that at the end of the day they are all ambiguous.



    Gratefully,
    Navi.

  2. #2
    Rover_KE is online now Moderator
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    Re: after I left the building

    They are all ambiguous.

  3. #3
    Offroad's Avatar
    Offroad is offline Key Member
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    Re: after I left the building

    Could anyone tell me where the ambiguity is? I can't see it.

  4. #4
    MikeNewYork's Avatar
    MikeNewYork is offline VIP Member
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    Re: after I left the building

    Quote Originally Posted by navi tasan View Post
    1-I learned that the documents were stolen after I left the building.
    2-I learned that the documents had been stolen after I left the building.

    3-I learned that the documents were stolen after I had left the building.

    4-I learned that the documents had been stolen after I had left the building.

    Can one tell whether
    a-my 'learning'
    or
    b-the stealing of the documents

    took place after I left the building?

    It seems to me that at the end of the day they are all ambiguous.



    Gratefully,
    Navi.
    I agree with you -- all ambiguous.

  5. #5
    MikeNewYork's Avatar
    MikeNewYork is offline VIP Member
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    Re: after I left the building

    Quote Originally Posted by Offroad View Post
    Could anyone tell me where the ambiguity is? I can't see it.
    There are two main statements: "I learned" and "I left". The documents could have been stolen before he left the building or after he left the building. He learned of the theft after he left the building.

  6. #6
    Barb_D's Avatar
    Barb_D is offline Moderator
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    Re: after I left the building

    Order: stealing, leaving, learning - After I left the building, I learned the documents had been stolen.
    Order: leaving, stealing, learning - I learned it was after I (had) left the building that the documents were stolen.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  7. #7
    MikeNewYork's Avatar
    MikeNewYork is offline VIP Member
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    Re: after I left the building

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    Order: stealing, leaving, learning - After I left the building, I learned the documents had been stolen.
    Order: leaving, stealing, learning - I learned it was after I (had) left the building that the documents were stolen.
    Excellent rephrasing.

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