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    #1

    anyone

    1-Wouldn't that annoy anyone?

    Can't this sentence have two meanings:
    a-Isn't there anyone who would be annoyed by that?
    b-Wouldn't that annoy just anyone?(There's nobody who wouldn't be annoyed by it.)


    • Join Date: Aug 2009
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    #2

    Re: anyone

    Quote Originally Posted by navi tasan View Post
    1-Wouldn't that annoy anyone?

    Can't this sentence have two meanings:
    a-Isn't there anyone who would be annoyed by that?
    b-Wouldn't that annoy just anyone?(There's nobody who wouldn't be annoyed by it.)

    1-Wouldn't that annoy anyone?
    I think this admits of only one meaning:

    - Don't you think that this would annoy any person you might care to ask.
    - This would annoy anyone at all.
    - That would annoy just simply anybody.


    I don't think it can mean

    a-Isn't there anyone who would be annoyed by that?

    This difficult syntax must mean that you have looked in vain for even a single person who is annoyed by that. At last you say in despair, "Isn't there ANYONE who would be annoyed by that?"


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    #3

    Re: anyone

    Thank you Ann,

    I think I understand what you mean, but I am not sure that it is the syntax of the sentence that gives it the meaning it normally has. I think this has to do with the meaning of the words used.
    I think if this structure is used with other words, it could function in a different way:

    Consider this sentence though:

    Haven't I helped anyone?
    Does this not mean:
    Isn't there anyone at all that I have helped?
    or (just to stick to the modal 'would'):
    Wouldn't I achieve anything if I work hard?
    Wouldn't I annoy anyone if I stay here? (Are you sure it is OK if I stay?)

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