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  1. Key Member
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    #1

    can't tell if some of them...

    1) I can't tell if some of these stains are blue or not.

    Can't this sentence have two meanings:

    a) I can't tell if any of these stains are blue or not. Maybe there are not blue stains.

    b) There are some specific stains whose color I cannot identify as blue. Those stains might be blue or some other color.

    Gratefully,
    Navi.

  2. Editor, UsingEnglish.com
    English Teacher
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    #2

    Re: can't tell if some of them...

    Yes

  3. Key Member
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    #3

    Re: can't tell if some of them...

    Thank you very much, Tdol,

    Now, if I replace 'some' with 'certain' wouldn't the sentence only have meaning 'b'?

    2) I can't tell if certain of these stains are blue or not.

    Wouldn't I be talking about specific stains?

    Gratefully,
    Navi.

  4. Editor, UsingEnglish.com
    English Teacher
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    #4

    Re: can't tell if some of them...

    You would.

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