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  1. Junior Member
    Interested in Language
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      • Native Language:
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      • China
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    • Join Date: Oct 2010
    • Posts: 77
    #1

    Smile negation

    "They don't often hear the twins sing."

    Does it mean,"Both of the twins are not often heard to sing."
    or "Neither of the twins is often heard to sing."?

  2. emsr2d2's Avatar
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      • Native Language:
      • British English
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      • UK
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    • Join Date: Jul 2009
    • Posts: 41,846
    #2

    Re: negation

    Quote Originally Posted by *^^* View Post
    "They don't often hear the twins sing."

    Does it mean,"Both of the twins are not often heard to sing."
    or "Neither of the twins is often heard to sing."?
    It's ambiguous. It might mean that they are not often heard to sing together. It might mean that neither of them is heard to sing often. It certainly gives no indication of how often they sing, simply of how often they are heard doing so.

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