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Thread: ambiguity?

  1. #1
    FW Guest

    Default ambiguity?

    I wanted to know whether sentences A, B, C and D were ambiguous.
    In each case, I have tried to write two unambiguous sentences which correspond to the two meanings of the original sentence.

    A-I didn't go to the party to see her.
    1-I didn't go to the party, to see her.
    2-It wasn' t to see her that I went to the party. (I did go, but it wasn't in order to see her.)

    B-I didn't go to the party so that I might see her.
    1-I didn't go to the party, so that I might see her.
    2-It wasn't so that I might see her that I went to the party.

    C-I didn't go to the party for her to see me.
    1-I didn't go to the party, for her to see me.
    2-It wasn't for her to see me that I went to the party.

    D-I didn't go to the party because I wanted to see her.
    1-I didn't go to the party, because I wanted to see her.
    2-It wasn't because I wanted to see her that I went to the party.



    I also have doubts about the sentence B2. Is it grammatically correct?

  2. #2
    RonBee's Avatar
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    Default Re: ambiguity?

    Quote Originally Posted by FW
    I wanted to know whether sentences A, B, C and D were ambiguous.
    In each case, I have tried to write two unambiguous sentences which correspond to the two meanings of the original sentence.
    A-I didn't go to the party to see her.
    1-I didn't go to the party, to see her.
    2-It wasn' t to see her that I went to the party. (I did go, but it wasn't in order to see her.)
    The first alternate sentence is fine, but you have to ignore the comma for the sentence to make sense. (In that case, of course, it is exactly the same as the original.) The second alternate sentence is good, but it is awkward. Try: "I went to the party, but not to see her."

    More later, perhaps.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: ambiguity?

    [quote="FW"]I wanted to know whether sentences A, B, C and D were ambiguous.
    In each case, I have tried to write two unambiguous sentences which correspond to the two meanings of the original sentence.[/quote

    B-I didn't go to the party so that I might see her.
    1-I didn't go to the party, so that I might see her.
    2-It wasn't so that I might see her that I went to the party.
    The second sentence makes no sense as written. The third is okay, but it is rather awkward. Try: "I went to the party, but not because I wanted to see her."

    C-I didn't go to the party for her to see me.
    1-I didn't go to the party, for her to see me.
    2-It wasn't for her to see me that I went to the party.
    For sentence two try: "I didn't go to the party because I wanted her to see me." (A comma after "party" would change the meaning of that sentence.) Or: "I went to the party, but not because I wanted her to see me."

    D-I didn't go to the party because I wanted to see her.
    1-I didn't go to the party, because I wanted to see her.
    2-It wasn't because I wanted to see her that I went to the party.
    The first sentence (D) is somewhat ambiguous. (Did he or didn't he go to the party, and did he or didn't he want to see her?) The second sentence says he didn't go to the party, and the reason for that was that he didn't want to see her. The last sentence says the same thing as the second sentence, but it is rather awkwardly phrased.

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