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    #1

    some of our employees' documents

    1-Some of our employees' documents were stolen.
    2-The documents of some of our employees were stolen.

    Were all the documents of the employees in question stolen?

    Let us say Jane, Tom, Pete and Harry had their documents stolen. Were all their documents stolen? Could '1' or '2' be used only if some of their documents were stolen?

    Gratefully,
    Navi.

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    #2

    Re: some of our employees' documents

    Sentence 2 means that you have employees other than Jane, Tom, Pete, and Harry, and that the documents of those other employees were not stolen. It says nothing about whether ALL of the documentation of the four is missing, or merely some of it.

    Sentence 1 is unclear, because "some" could refer to either employees or documents.

    Here are the clear possibilities:

    All documents of some of our employees were stolen. (Or: Some of our employees had all their documents stolen.)
    All documents of all our employees were stolen (Or: All our employee documentation was stolen.)
    All our employees had some of their documents stolen.
    Some of our employees had some documents stolen.

  1. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: some of our employees' documents

    The sentence does not say that documents of other employees were not stolen.

  2. Roman55's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: some of our employees' documents

    I am not a teacher.

    Which sentence doesn't say that?

    Sentence 2. does say that some (therefore not all) of the employees had their documents stolen.

    It is not clear on how many of their documents were stolen, but to say, "The documents..." rather than "Documents.." or "Some documents..." does tend to imply all of the documents.

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    #5

    Re: some of our employees' documents

    The does tend to imply to me that all the documents were stolen, but in both cases, we could easily make things clear if it really mattered. These seem to be talking about a theft rather than focusing on the exact losses.

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