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    #1

    ambiguous sentences

    A sentence is said to be ambiguous if it has more than one meaning. Which of the following sentences are ambiguous?

    (i) They are looking for teachers of Japanese, Portuguese and Spanish.
    (ii) Flying planes are dangerous.
    (iii) The old man and woman left the hotel.
    (iv) The lady looked at the man with the binoculars.

    Choose one answer
    1)
    All of the above
    2)
    . (ii), (iii) and (iv)
    3)
    . (i), (ii) and (iii)
    4)
    (i), (iii) and (iv)
    i think the answer is 2

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    #2

    Re: ambiguous sentences

    The question is: Which of the following sentences are ambiguous?

    That give you a clue that more than one sentence is ambiguous.

    I think they ALL are ambiguous.

  1. Tullia's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: ambiguous sentences

    Quote Originally Posted by TheParser View Post
    (ii) Are we talking about planes being dangerous when they are in the air? Are we warning people that it is dangerous to be a pilot?
    If it were the latter option you suggest, the sentence would be "Flying planes is dangerous." not "...are dangerous." I don't find this sentence ambiguous.



    I am not sure that (iii) really is, either. In spoken BrE, I think there would be a natural impulse to add a second "the" in front of the word "woman" if you did not intend the adjective to apply to both. If you try it with a noun which emphatically could not be "old" the difference is clearer.

    The old man and child left the hotel. < sounds odd to my ear
    The old man and the child left the hotel. < sounds more natural

    I would, however, appreciate some other native speaker input on my second point as I'm unsure if it can be grammatically substantiated.

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    #4

    Re: ambiguous sentences

    Quote Originally Posted by Tullia View Post
    I am not sure that (iii) really is, either.
    (iii) is the only one we know for sure is ambiguous (according to the creator), as it is included in all 4 answers

  2. Tullia's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: ambiguous sentences

    Quote Originally Posted by BobSmith View Post
    (iii) is the only one we know for sure is ambiguous (according to the creator), as it is included in all 4 answers
    While you make a fair point, I don't know the provenance of the question and have seen odd questions with even odder official "correct" answers too often, and am thus not afraid to challenge them!

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