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    #1

    two older employees

    1-He fired three older employees.
    2-He fired three of the older employees.

    Do these mean the same?
    What do they mean exactly?

    Do they mean that if we divide the employees into two groups by age, the three who were laid off would be in the older group? Or could there be a third group in the middle?
    The younger ones, the ones in between and the older ones.

    I don't think that works. That would have to be: the youngest ones, the ones in between and the old ones.

    And does 'older' mean 'more advanced in age' or 'longer standing'?

    Gratefully,
    Navi.

  1. Tarheel's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: two older employees

    So many questions. So little time.

    Absent any context to make me think differently, I have no reason to think the two sentences don't mean the same thing. The older employees are, of course, those who are older than the other employees. They are older than the average employee. Perhaps they are close to retirement age. No need to divide the employees into groups by age. Just keep in mind that if they are in their fifties or sixties they are almost certainly the older employees.


  2. Newbie
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    #3

    Re: two older employees

    I agree with Tarheel - out of context, I see no difference between these sentences. Perhaps if the employees were already grouped, the second one might reference a member of that group.

    And again, without context, "older" can mean both chronologically older or possessing seniority. Plucked out of a random book, I'd say the odds favor advanced age enough to bet a few bucks, but not more than that.

    [Not a teacher, just very well-read.]

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