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    #1

    Difficult question for me

    I shot the cat in a cargo container.


    Is the prepositional phrase an adjuct modifying the verb 'shot' or Does it function as an adjective modifying the object 'cat' ?

    Thank you very much indeed.
    Your help is very much appreciated.
    Have an agreeable/enjoyable weekend.

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    #2

    Re: Difficult question for me

    Quote Originally Posted by panicmonger View Post
    I shot the cat in a cargo container.


    Is the prepositional phrase an adjuct modifying the verb 'shot' or Does it function as an adjective modifying the object 'cat' ?

    Thank you very much indeed.
    Your help is very much appreciated.
    Have an agreeable/enjoyable weekend.


    NOT A TEACHER


    Panicmonger,


    (1) Like you, I am eager to see what the teachers say.

    (2) I only wish to direct your attention to a similar

    sentence in Professor Quirk's highly respected

    A Comprehensive Grammar of the English Language:

    She saw my brother in the garden.

    = probably: "My brother was in the garden."

    In the garden, she saw my brother.

    = probably: "She was in the garden."

    THANK YOU & HAVE A NICE DAY

  1. Banned
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    #3

    Re: Difficult question for me

    Quote Originally Posted by panicmonger View Post
    I shot the cat in a cargo container.


    Is the prepositional phrase an adjuct modifying the verb 'shot' or Does it function as an adjective modifying the object 'cat' ?
    Either is feasible.

  2. lauralie2's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Difficult question for me

    Quote Originally Posted by panicmonger View Post
    I shot the cat in a cargo container.
    That's a fun sentence, and, I agree that it's definitely ambiguous. To me, it carries three possible meanings:


    1. The cat was inside the container; I was not.
    2. The cat was inside the container and so was I.
    3. The cat was outside the container; I was inside.

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    #5

    Re: Difficult question for me

    Quote Originally Posted by lauralie2 View Post
    That's a fun sentence, and, I agree that it's definitely ambiguous. To me, it carries three possible meanings:


    1. The cat was inside the container; I was not.
    2. The cat was inside the container and so was I.
    3. The cat was outside the container; I was inside.
    After viewing all the possible interpretations, am I right to say that there are 3 ways to resolve this ambiguity:

    1. the context will help clear the ambiguity.
    2. recasting/restructuring the sentence
    3. common sense

    Do you have any others way to get around it?
    Thank you for sharing.

  3. lauralie2's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: Difficult question for me

    Quote Originally Posted by panicmonger View Post
    After viewing all the possible interpretations, am I right to say that there are 3 ways to resolve this ambiguity:

    1. the context will help clear the ambiguity.
    2. recasting/restructuring the sentence
    3. common sense

    Do you have any others way to get around it?
    You have all of them.

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