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    #1

    Question Can you check for the ambiguity?

    In this sentence
    "I arrived home to find a flat package left by the delivery man, casually leaning againt the froont screen door."

    Does "casually leaning againt the froont screen door" modifies the "delivery man" or "flat package"?
    Last edited by dong6241; 05-Apr-2012 at 06:02.

  1. Raymott's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Can you check for the fragment?

    Quote Originally Posted by dong6241 View Post
    In this sentence
    "I arrived home to find a flat package left by the delivery man, casually leaning againt the froont screen door."

    Does "casually leaning againt the froont screen door" modifies the "delivery man" or "flat package"?
    You're meant to notice the ambiguity, identify what the writer means, and rewrite to make it unambiguous.
    What do you think is happening in this sentence?

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    #3

    Re: Can you check for the fragment?

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    You're meant to notice the ambiguity, identify what the writer means, and rewrite to make it unambiguous.
    What do you think is happening in this sentence?
    To me, it seems like delivery man is "casually leaning againt the froont screen door."
    If I omit the "casually", leaving only the "leaning againt the froont screen door." would it modify the "flat package" then?

  2. Raymott's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Can you check for the fragment?

    Quote Originally Posted by dong6241 View Post
    To me, it seems like delivery man is "casually leaning againt the froont screen door."
    If I omit the "casually", leaving only the "leaning againt the froont screen door." would it modify the "flat package" then?
    I doubt whether 'casually' or its lack would resolve the ambiguity.
    To me, it's quite obvious that the package has been left leaning against the front door - from the context.
    Grammatically, it's ambiguous.
    My point was that this is not a sentence for which you are supposed to ask the meaning. It is a sentence which you are meant to recognise as an artificial example of ambiguity. By definition, you cannot tell the true meaning of an ambiguous sentence. If you could, it wouldn't be ambiguous.

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    #5

    Re: Can you check for the ambiguity?

    ***** NOT A TEACHER *****


    Hello, Dong:

    (1) I believe that "I arrived home to find a package left by the delivery man" is a shorter way to say "I arrived home to find

    a package that had been left by the delivery man."

    (2) Now let's change that to the active: The delivery man had left a package.

    (a) If he had left a package, then I think that we can conclude that he was not at your home when you arrived. In other words,

    when you arrived home, he had already left.


    HAVE A NICE DAY!

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