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      • Native Language:
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    #1

    discuss his criminal activities

    Are these sentences correct:

    1) In tonight's program, we are going to discuss his criminal activities when he lived in Paris.

    2) In tonight's program, we are going to discuss his criminal activities while he lived in Paris.
    Meaning: The criminal activities he had when he lived in Paris are the subject of tonight's program.

    3) In tonight's program, we are going to discuss his criminal activities, when he lived in Paris.
    4) In tonight's program, we are going to discuss his criminal activities, while he lived in Paris.
    Meaning: His criminal activities are the subject of tonight's program. He had criminal activities when/while he lived in Paris.

    In '1' and '2' the postmodification is supposed to be restrictive (he had criminal activities in other places as well) and in '3' and '4' they are supposed to be non-restrictive (he had criminal activities only when he was in Paris).

    Gratefully,
    Navi.

  1. probus's Avatar
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    • Join Date: Jan 2011
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    #2

    Re: discuss his criminal activities

    If I were the editor of a publication, I would ban the second commas in 3) and 4). They are just plain wrong in my opinion.

    To me, all four are identical. The only way to discriminate their meanings is context.

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