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      • Native Language:
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    #1

    don't know whether

    1) I don't know whether any of these books are available.
    2) I don't know whether some of these books are available.
    3) I don't know whether certain of these books are available.

    To me the meaning of '1' is clear.

    I think '2' and '3' are ambiguous. They might mean the same as '1' (in '3' I have a set of specific books in mind) and they could also mean:

    4) As regards some of these books, I don't know whether they are available. (I
    know whether the other ones are available)

    Is that correct?

    Gratefully,
    Navi.

    • Member Info
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      • Laos

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    #2

    Re: don't know whether

    I wouldn't use #3. #2 could mean some or any, though I would assume that it meant some.

  1. Roman55's Avatar
    • Member Info
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      • Italy
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      • France

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    #3

    Re: don't know whether

    Quote Originally Posted by navi tasan View Post
    3) I don't know whether certain of these books are available.

    (in '3' I have a set of specific books in mind)
    That is exactly how I understand it.

    If the speaker and the listener both have a command of the English language the ambiguity in #3 would be dispelled.
    I am not a teacher

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