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    #1

    my belongings

    Can one use:
    1-My belongings were stolen last night.

    instead of:
    2-Some of my belongings were stolen last night.

    Does "1" necessary imply that all my belongings were stolen?

    Gratefully,
    Navi.

  1. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: my belongings

    Yes.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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    #3

    Re: my belongings

    Thank you very mich Emsr2d2,
    I have to apologize. My post consisted of two question. A "yes" to question one (can one use....) would be a "no" to part two (does "1" necessarily imply that...) and vice versa.

    I know this is my fault. I had not thought of this possibility when writing my post, but which question does the "yes" answer?

    Gratefully and apologetically
    Navi.

    PS. The mess I have created is quite interesting from a pragmatic point of view.

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    #4

    Re: my belongings

    I don't see any 'mess'.

    Ems's 'yes' answered the question 'Does "1" necessarily imply that all my belongings were stolen?'

    #2 clearly states that only some belongings were stolen.

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    #5

    Re: my belongings

    Thank you very much RoverK,

    Well, I did create a bit of problem by asking two questions at the same time.

    I have been thinking about this "structure" a bit. I think that context plays a part in the way the sentences are interpreted. It is clear that "1" means that "all my belongings were stolen."

    But how about these sentences:

    a-The library's books were stolen before we installed the new system.

    b-The library's books were stolen from 2004 to 2009. Then the thefts stopped.

    Do they imply that all the library's books were stolen?

    I don't know if these sentences work well. I have stronger doubts about (b).

    Gratefully,
    Navi.

  2. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: my belongings

    You're right that I missed your first (somewhat hidden) question of "Can one use ... ?"

    You can use either sentence but they suggest different things. When I said "Yes", I was answering "Does #1 imply that all my belongings were stolen?"


    With your second examples, a) suggests that all the books were stolen and b) is unnatural because it suggests that all the books were stolen but then goes on to say that it happened from 2004 to 2009. That doesn't make sense. Note that we don't often say "The library's books", we usually just say "The library books".

    The library books were stolen before we installed the new system = All the books were stolen, either all at the same time or separately but the result was that all the books were gone.

    Library books were stolen between 2004 and 2009 and then the thefts stopped = Between those two dates, [some] library books were stolen but none were stolen after 2009.

    So, if you use "The library books" without giving any further clarification, we will take it to mean "All the library books". If you don't use an article and say "Library books", we will take it to mean "Some library books".

    With clarification, you can use "the" to mean "those specified". "The library books which were stolen in 2006 were all by Jane Austen".
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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