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Thread: a car to...

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    #1

    a car to...

    Could the sentences 1 and 2 be used instead of the meaning sentences in each case:

    1) I am thinking about a car to take us there.
    MEANING: I am thinking about which car to use to go there.

    2) I am thinking about a car to leave town in.
    MEANING: I am thinking about which car to leave town in.

    Do '1' and '2' have any other meanings?

    Gratefully,
    Navi.

    HAPPY 2017

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    #2

    Re: a car to...

    Neither of them suggests that the person is thinking about "which" car to use. To me, they simply mean that the person is considering using a car as the form of transport for each purpose.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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    #3

    Re: a car to...

    Thank you very much, emsr2d2,

    So,

    A) I am thinking about a car to drive to work in.

    would mean:
    A1) I am considering buying a car to drive to work in.
    (Maybe I am thinking of a specific car, and maybe I am just thinking about getting a car)

    And:
    B) I am considering a house to live in after I retire.

    would mean:
    B1) I am considering buying a house to live in after I retire.
    (Maybe I am thinking about a specific house and maybe I am just thinking about buying a house. I don't have any idea which house I will buy.)

    Is that correct?

    Gratefully,
    Navi.
    Last edited by navi tasan; 02-Jan-2017 at 13:30.

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    #4

    Re: a car to...

    I think that it could mean which car, but more likely the type of transport.

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    #5

    Re: a car to...

    Quote Originally Posted by navi tasan View Post
    I am thinking about a car to drive to work in.

    Either you're debating whether or not to buy a car, or possibly you're debating between a car and some other type of transport (say a bicycle or pickup). Context would clarify which.

    Quote Originally Posted by navi tasan View Post
    B) I am considering a house to live in after I retire.
    Either you're considering whether or not to buy a house, or possibly you're debating between buying and renting. It could also be a debate between buying a house or some other option such as a condo. Context would clarify.

    That indefinite article doesn't indicate any idea of specificity to me. If you said something like "I'm considering buying this (one) house/car" or "There's this (one) house/car I'm considering buying", then it would be much clearer you have a particular house/car in mind. The debate would then be more about that particular model or unit. You're going to buy something, it's just a question of which one.

    Your examples above suggest to me debate about the purchase itself rather than particular models or units.
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    #6

    Re: a car to...

    Thank you all very much,

    This is a tough one.

    It is clear that the debate is about the purchase itself and the car or house is secondary. But let me try something:

    - I am thinking about a car to drive to work in.
    - What car would you like?
    - I am thinking about buying John's car. He wants to sell it.

    The sentence in red focuses on the idea of buying a car. But isn't it possible that the speaker does have a specific one in mind?

    I might be pushing things, in which case, I apologize. I am a bit confused... (Just a bit?)

    Gratefully,
    Navi.

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    #7

    Re: a car to...

    Yes, it's possible there's a specific one in mind, as Tdol mentioned in post #4. It's just that's the less likely interpretation.
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    #8

    Re: a car to...

    I am thinking about a car to drive to work in.
    People can only guess what you intention is. You could be more specific, unless you want to be vague.
    I am not a teacher.

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    #9

    Re: a car to...

    Navi navigates the seas of ambiguity.

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    #10

    Re: a car to...

    Sometimes on a raft, sometimes in a bathtub.
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