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Thread: simple but...

  1. #1
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    Default simple but...

    hi,
    sometimes simple things puzzle me.
    "We estimate that there must be 6000-8000 children in..." I read this as:
    "...must be six to eight thousand children". But someone said what if the original sentence is " We estimate that there must be 6-8000 children in.."
    How are we gonna distinguish these two? Or is my reading wrong?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: simple but...

    well, I'd really appreciate if someone cleared of this ambiguity...

  3. #3
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: simple but...

    It's very unlikely that the estimate would be six (6) to eight thousand (8,000) children, as the parameters are so braod as to be meaningless. You're reading is fine. If you say 'six to eight thousand', I don't think many would think that the range was 7,994 instead of 2,000. Technically, it's possible, but common sense would prevail.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: simple but...

    thank you tdol. would it sound odd if we say 'six thousand to eight thousand' to make things clear, or would it be unnecessary?

  5. #5
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: simple but...

    It's perfectly correct, but my natural inclination would be to say 'six to eight thousand'.

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