Results 1 to 5 of 5
  1. #1
    Progress is offline Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    319
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default you can eat the apples on the table

    Q1 If someone says to you that you can eat the apples on the table, can you eat all the apples? But of course as a manner, you don't eat all of them, though. Incidentaly, do you say that you can eat some of the apples on the table?

    Q2 Which is correct?

    Did you eat some apples on the table?
    Did you eat some of the apples on the table?
    Did you eat apples on the table?

    Does "did you eat the apples on the table" mean that you ate all the apples?

    Thank you very much.

  2. #2
    Ouisch's Avatar
    Ouisch is offline Moderator
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    4,142
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: you can eat the apples on the table

    Quote Originally Posted by Progress View Post
    Q1 If someone says to you that you can eat the apples on the table, can you eat all the apples? But of course as a manner, you don't eat all of them, though. Incidentaly, do you say that you can eat some of the apples on the table?
    If someone says "you can eat the apples on the table," technically they are giving you permission to eat as many as you want to, but (as you mentioned) most people wouldn't take more than one or two. A better way to phrase it would be, "There are some apples on the table, please help yourself." or "Would you like an apple? There are some on the table."

    Q2 Which is correct?

    Did you eat some apples on the table?
    Did you eat some of the apples on the table?
    Did you eat apples on the table?
    The second statement is correct.
    The first and third statements make it sound as if the person was actually sitting on the table as they ate the apples.

    Does "did you eat the apples on the table" mean that you ate all the apples?
    Yes.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    29
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Did you eat the apples on the table?

    Either you ate all the apples on the table,

    or

    There were some unwashed apples on the table, and some washed apples in the sink. Seeing her children finishing eating apples, she asks (with alarm),"Did you eat the apples on the table?"

  4. #4
    Progress is offline Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    319
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: you can eat the apples on the table

    Thank you very much, Ouish and irpond

    Ouish, I would like to know the reson why the first and third sentences sound as if the person was sitting as if they ate the apples.

  5. #5
    BobK's Avatar
    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • UK
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    15,322
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: you can eat the apples on the table

    Quote Originally Posted by Progress View Post
    Thank you very much, Ouish and irpond

    Ouish, I would like to know the reson why the first and third sentences sound as if the person was sitting as if they ate the apples.
    The sentence with 'on' just invites that interpretation. 'In a sentence like 'He ate the apples on the table' there is an optional 'that were' (after "apples"). If that optional phrase is omitted, then the sentence has one verb and one preposition; a listener can't be blamed for assuming [when they're listening, and parsing for the first time] that they go together: 'he ate... on...'. Of course, most listeners in most situations would work out that this didn't convey the right message; after a bit of thought, they'd sort out what really happened.

    One way to communicate more clearly and efficiently would be to change the preposition to one that really goes with 'ate': 'He ate the apples from the table'.

    b

Similar Threads

  1. sitting by the table
    By kohyoongliat in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 29-Jan-2007, 13:12
  2. "add apples and orages..."
    By higurashi in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 12-Nov-2006, 05:24
  3. tap the table
    By jiang in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 03-Nov-2006, 09:39
  4. above table or table above?
    By mbcx0jp2 in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 31-Jul-2006, 17:10
  5. a seat at the table
    By takashi in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 26-Oct-2004, 09:07

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Hotchalk