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  1. suprunp's Avatar
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    #1

    She has tried consciously to stop worrying about her career.

    She has tried consciously to stop worrying about her career.

    Here we cannot decide whether it was her trying that was conscious or whether she wished the stopping to be conscious.

    (A Comprehensive Grammar of the English Language; Randolph Quirk)

    Would you be so kind as to tell me whether you think there is much substantial difference semantically between these two?

    Thanks.

  2. Raymott's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: She has tried consciously to stop worrying about her career.

    Quote Originally Posted by suprunp View Post
    She has tried consciously to stop worrying about her career.

    Here we cannot decide whether it was her trying that was conscious or whether she wished the stopping to be conscious.

    (A Comprehensive Grammar of the English Language; Randolph Quirk)

    Would you be so kind as to tell me whether you think there is much substantial difference semantically between these two?

    Thanks.
    I think this is a bad example to illustrate the ambiguity that can result from a misplaced adverb.
    Can you unconsciously try to stop worrying? I doubt it, so the trying is conscious. But if she is conscious of the trying, she must be conscious of what she is trying to do - stop worrying.
    You could argue that "She has tried to consciously stop worrying ..." means something different, but I think the trying and the stopping are too interdependent for there to be much (if any) difference in meaning. I think it's unfair of Quirk to suggest that 'consciously' has to refer to one or the other, because what she is consciously doing is "trying to stop worrying".

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