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Thread: supposed not to

  1. Key Member
    Academic
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    #1

    supposed not to

    1) I was not supposed to talk to him when I got there.
    2) I was supposed not to talk to him when I got there.

    Isn't the first sentence ambiguous?

    1a) I was not under the obligation to talk to him when I got there.

    2a) I was under the obligation not to talk to him when I got there.


    In one case I don't have to do it, in the other case I mustn't do it.

    I think '2' is unambiguous, but probably not as common as '1'.

    Gratefully,
    Navi.

  2. teechar's Avatar
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    English Teacher
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    #2

    Re: supposed not to

    Quote Originally Posted by navi tasan View Post
    Isn't the first sentence ambiguous?
    Not to me.

    Quote Originally Posted by navi tasan View Post
    1a) I was not under the obligation to talk to him when I got there.
    No.

    Quote Originally Posted by navi tasan View Post
    2a) I was under the obligation not to talk to him when I got there.
    Yes.

    Quote Originally Posted by navi tasan View Post
    I think '2' is unambiguous, but probably not as common as '1'.
    I wouldn't use #2.

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