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    #1

    perhaps

    They were standing in the porch and on the lawn, talking of her as if she had been a contemporary of theirs, believing that they had danced with her and courted her perhaps.

    What does "perhaps" modify here?


    Which of the following cases corresponds to the sentence:


    a-Perhaps they believed that they had danced with her and courted her.
    b-They believed that they had danced with her and they believed that they had perhaps courted her.
    c-They all believed that they had danced with her and perhaps they all believed that they had courted her.
    d-They all believed that they had danced with her and perhaps all or some of them believed that they had courted her.

    I think grammatically all options are possible, but judging by the context I think "d" is the good choice.
    Last edited by navi tasan; 04-Mar-2011 at 03:30.

  1. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: perhaps

    Hard to say whether it's perhaps they believed, or they believed they had perhaps danced/courted.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  2. youandcorey's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: perhaps

    They were standing in the porch and on the lawn, talking of her as if she had been a contemporary of theirs, believing that they had danced with her and courted her perhaps.

    What does "
    perhaps" modify here?

    Perhaps is modifying the likelihood of whether “she” had actually been “their” contemporary or not.

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    #4

    Re: perhaps

    *only an assistant ESL teacher

    In my humble opinion, I believe that the phrase is ambiguous. I think the 2 mostly likely interpretations are b and my own additional e.

    a-Perhaps they believed that they had danced with her and courted her.
    (possible, but not likely)

    b-They believed that they had danced with her and they believed that they had perhaps courted her.
    (yes, likely)

    c-They all believed that they had danced with her and perhaps they all believed that they had courted her.
    (possible, I don't think very likely)

    d-They all believed that they had danced with her and perhaps all or some of them believed that they had courted her.
    (I don't think it could be "some of them")

    e - They believed that they had perhaps danced with her and perhaps courted her.


  3. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: perhaps

    As do I.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

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