Student or Learner
Hello. Can we enumerate entities belonging to different semantic categories together? For example:
1.The police seized 50 grenades and firearms;
2.We saw 9 monks and children in the temple;
3.There were 200 soldiers and horses on the hillside;
4.The police seized 20 guns and knives.
No.3 might be a little bit problematic.
Last edited by bhaisahab; 26-Jul-2011 at 06:42.
1. The police seized 50 weapons, including grenades and firearms.
2. We saw monks and children in the temple - about 9 people in total.
3. There were 200 mounted soldiers on the hillside (if each of the 200 soldiers was indeed on horseback - in that case it would be clear that there were 200 soldiers and 200 horses).
4) The police seized 20 weapons - 10 guns and 10 knives (or however many there were of each weapon).
Thanks a lot for the analysis. I asked this because some Englishmen said these are grammatical sentences but only ambiguous.
I guess it might be useful to distinguish grammaticality from acceptabilty. Chomsky's "Colorless green ideas sleep furiously" is grammatical but not quite acceptable English.
I wonder if the examples I provide here are just 'ambiguous'.
Well they certainly are ambiguous. Take No. 1, for example: The police seized 50 grenades and firearms. Sounds like it's not fifty each but fifty in all, but it's not clear, so we're guessing. And if so, how many grenades and how many firearms? Twenty-five of each? Thirty and twenty?
Can you see my point? The same goes for the other examples as well. Even you said No. 3 was 'a little problematic'. It's like with Chomsky's sentence; the problem is not syntactic but semantic.
-Not a teacher-