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    #1

    Another interesting ambiguity - must see

    We could see seals on the rocks, basking in the sun.

    Who is basking here, we or the seals?

    Thank you so much.

    Do you have a better way to get around this type of ambiguity?

  1. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Another interesting ambiguity - must see

    Quote Originally Posted by panicmonger View Post
    We could see seals on the rocks, basking in the sun.

    Who is basking here, we or the seals?

    Thank you so much.

    Do you have a better way to get around this type of ambiguity?
    To me it's obvious that it's the seals doing the basking. If, however, you find it ambiguous, you could say "We could see seals on the rocks; they were basking in the sun".
    Last edited by bhaisahab; 07-Dec-2010 at 10:49. Reason: Correction of punctuation.

  2. lauralie2's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Another interesting ambiguity - must see

    Alternatively,


    • We could see seals basking in the sun on the rocks.

  3. Raymott's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Another interesting ambiguity - must see

    Quote Originally Posted by bhaisahab View Post
    To me it's obvious that it's the seals doing the basking. If, however, you find it ambiguous, you could say "We could see seals on the rocks, they were basking in the sun".
    I wouldn't join two sentences with a comma.

  4. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: Another interesting ambiguity - must see

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    I wouldn't join two sentences with a comma.
    I meant to use a semi-colon.

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    #6

    Re: Another interesting ambiguity - must see

    We could see seals on the rocks, basking in the sun.
    I see no ambiguity here, as basking is nearer to seals than to we.

    Just avoid 'Basking in the sun, we could see seals on the rocks'.


    Rover

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