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    #1

    eating, climbing, and digging

    Are the following questions clear? I.e., can you tell
    what type of information is being sought in each?

    (1) What did you use to eat?
    (2) What did you use to climb?
    (3) What did you use to dig?

    Thank you!

  1. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: eating, climbing, and digging

    They seem to be clear. The third is a bit strange.

  2. Boris Tatarenko's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: eating, climbing, and digging

    Why does the third sentence sound strange to you, Mike?
    Please, correct all my mistakes. I should know English perfectly and if you show me my mistakes I will achieve my dream a little bit faster. A lot of thanks.

    Not a teacher nor a native speaker.

  3. Matthew Wai's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: eating, climbing, and digging

    I think this is because few people would dig regularly, but I am not a teacher.

  4. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: eating, climbing, and digging

    What Matthew said.

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    #6

    Re: eating, climbing, and digging

    Thanks very much!

    I had worried that in answer to each question
    two very different types of response would be
    possible. I'd like to see whether you agree.

    (1) What did you use to eat?
    Answer set A: a fork; utensils; chopsticks
    Answer set B: French fries; meat; hot sauce

    (2) What did you use to climb?
    Answer set A: rope; full climbing gear; special shoes
    Answer set B: snow-covered mountains; granite cliffs

    (3) What did you use to dig?
    Answer set A: a shovel
    Answer set B: graves

  5. Matthew Wai's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: eating, climbing, and digging

    Quote Originally Posted by Phaedrus View Post
    (3) What did you use to dig?
    Answer set A: a shovel
    Answer set B: graves
    Is the listener a grave raider?

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    #8

    Re: eating, climbing, and digging

    Quote Originally Posted by Matthew Wai View Post
    Is the listener a grave raider?
    Well, he might have been a grave digger -- one who used to dig graves.

    Or he might simply have been one who used a shovel to dig (anything).

    Mightn't he?

  6. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: eating, climbing, and digging

    Quote Originally Posted by Phaedrus View Post
    Thanks very much!

    I had worried that in answer to each question
    two very different types of response would be
    possible. I'd like to see whether you agree.
    Yes, you are right.

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    #10

    Re: eating, climbing, and digging

    Thank you, Bhaisahab.

    I was kind of hoping that someone might object as follows:
    "No, for the B readings, you can't drop the 'd' in 'used to.'
    The fact that auxiliary 'did' is present doesn't matter." Thus:

    (1a) What did you use __ to eat? -a fork, utensils, chopsticks
    (2a) What did you use __ to climb? - rope, climbing gear, picks
    (3a) What did you use __ to dig? - a shovel, a tractor, my hands

    (1b) What did you say you used to eat __? - too much salt
    (3b) What did you used to climb __? - cliffs, mountains, icy peaks
    (3b) What did you used to dig __? -- ditches, graves, sand, dirt

    Notice that if things were that way there would be no ambiguity
    in the original three questions, or, if there were ambiguity, it would
    not be ambiguity of a radically syntactic variety.

    Does anyone think, as I do, that "used to" takes the "d" even under
    the influence of auxiliary "did"? Should TheParser be following this
    thread, I would (nay, should) very much like to know his take.

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