Results 1 to 5 of 5
  1. YAMATO2201's Avatar
    Member
    Student or Learner
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Japanese
      • Home Country:
      • Japan
      • Current Location:
      • Japan

    • Join Date: Dec 2016
    • Posts: 474
    #1

    The women built a doghouse.

    Please look at the sentence below:

    The women built a doghouse.

    How many doghouses were built under the assumption that "The women" consisted of three people?

    One? Three? Or does the answer depend on the context?

    Thank you.
    Last edited by YAMATO2201; 11-Jan-2017 at 12:19.

  2. Moderator
    Retired English Teacher
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • England

    • Join Date: Jun 2010
    • Posts: 26,864
    #2

    Re: The women built a doghouse.

    All we can infer from 'The women built a doghouse' is that an unspecified number of women built a [one] dog kennel.

  3. YAMATO2201's Avatar
    Member
    Student or Learner
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Japanese
      • Home Country:
      • Japan
      • Current Location:
      • Japan

    • Join Date: Dec 2016
    • Posts: 474
    #3

    Re: The women built a doghouse.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rover_KE View Post
    All we can infer from 'The women built a doghouse' is that an unspecified number of women built a [one] dog kennel.
    To be honest, I don't understand your reply. (My English is at a beginner level. I am currently studying basic English grammar.)
    I should have been more precise in my question. A better question might be:
    ------------------------------------------------
    (A) "The women built a doghouse" implies "Each of the women built one doghouse".
    (B) "The women built a doghouse" implies "The women cooperated to build a doghouse". (Only one doghouse was built.)
    Which is correct?
    ------------------------------------------------
    Thank you.

  4. emsr2d2's Avatar
    Moderator
    English Teacher
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • UK

    • Join Date: Jul 2009
    • Posts: 47,001
    #4

    Re: The women built a doghouse.

    We can only assume that B is correct.

    Three women built a doghouse = Three women cooperated to build one doghouse.
    Three women each built a doghouse = Three women built a total of three doghouses.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  5. Editor, UsingEnglish.com
    English Teacher
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • Laos

    • Join Date: Nov 2002
    • Posts: 62,801
    #5

    Re: The women built a doghouse.

    (A) "The women built a doghouse" implies "Each of the women built one doghouse".
    If it were important to tell us this, then it would have been made clearer. Where things are potentially unclear, the most obvious meaning is usually the natural interpretation. Where a less natural interpretation is intended, it would be made clear unless the person is lying or unaware of the possible ambiguity. Your sentence could possibly imply that, but it doesn't imply that. A stretch of the imagination is not a natural interpretation. Go for the most obvious- it's what native speakers do.

Similar Threads

  1. This is a doghouse/dark house
    By anhnha in forum Pronunciation and Phonetics
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 25-Jul-2015, 22:27
  2. built
    By unpakwon in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 15-May-2013, 14:23
  3. how I'm built
    By GUEST2008 in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 14-May-2010, 08:34
  4. to build/built/to be built
    By joham in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: 01-Apr-2009, 16:12

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •