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    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • French
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      • France
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Jul 2004
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    messed up a few things

    Can one say
    a. That detective messed up some things in three investigations.
    b. That detective messed up certain things in three investigations.
    c. That detective messed up a few things in three investigations.

    d. That detective messed up things in three investigations.

    The idea is that he made big mistakes in the course of the investigations. Maybe in spite of his mistakes, the investigations were successful.

    My feeling is that the last one is saying that the investigations failed totally because of him. It does not mean the same as the other ones.

    I am not sure (b) works either. Doesn't it imply that he messed up the same things in the three investigations?

    Many thanks.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
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      • England
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    • Join Date: Jun 2010
    • Posts: 24,453

    Re: messed up a few things

    They all have the same meaning: the detective made mistakes in three investigations.

    Nothing in any of them implies that the investigations were successful despite his mistakes or unsuccessful because of them, nor that the same mistakes were made each time.
    Last edited by Rover_KE; 06-Jun-2015 at 11:25.

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