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Thread: remember

  1. #1
    Anonymous Guest

    Default remember

    Isn't this sentence ambiguous:

    I don't remember three things that happened that night.

    First meaning: It is not true that I remember three things that happened that night (probably: I don't remember anyhting)
    Second meaning: There are three things that happened that night that I don' t remember.

  2. #2
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    The first is unlikely. It's possible,but I think it's stretching a point a bit.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: remember

    Quote Originally Posted by navi
    Isn't this sentence ambiguous:

    I don't remember three things that happened that night.

    First meaning: It is not true that I remember three things that happened that night (probably: I don't remember anyhting)
    Second meaning: There are three things that happened that night that I don' t remember.
    Context would help, but in my reading, the speaker is saying that he doesn't remember much of what happened that night. It does not mean precisely three things in my opinion.

  4. #4
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    I don't remember three things that happened that night.
    I wouldn't say that sentence is ambiguous, but it is somewhat odd. Much more likely would be:
    • I don't remember what happened last night.

    Or:
    • I don't remember anything that happened last night.

    If the person doesn't remember what happened, how does he know it was three things he doesn't remember?

    :wink:

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by RonBee
    I don't remember three things that happened that night.
    I wouldn't say that sentence is ambiguous, but it is somewhat odd. Much more likely would be:
    • I don't remember what happened last night.

    Or:
    • I don't remember anything that happened last night.

    If the person doesn't remember what happened, how does he know it was three things he doesn't remember?

    :wink:
    I agree, but we do say things like that facetiously at times. I had Mrs. Jones in the third grade. I couldn't tell you three things that she taught me. :wink: :wink:

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeNewYork
    Quote Originally Posted by RonBee
    I don't remember three things that happened that night.
    I wouldn't say that sentence is ambiguous, but it is somewhat odd. Much more likely would be:
    • I don't remember what happened last night.

    Or:
    • I don't remember anything that happened last night.

    If the person doesn't remember what happened, how does he know it was three things he doesn't remember?

    :wink:
    I agree, but we do say things like that facetiously at times. I had Mrs. Jones in the third grade. I couldn't tell you three things that she taught me. :wink: :wink:
    Yeah, that would work.

    :)

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