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    #1

    Red face common mistake

    I've got a list of common mistakes, how come " She doesn't know how to read AND write" is wrong, it says there it should be " She doesn't know how to read OR write"


    • Join Date: Mar 2006
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    #2

    Re: common mistake

    Quote Originally Posted by chum View Post
    I've got a list of common mistakes, how come " She doesn't know how to read AND write" is wrong, it says there it should be " She doesn't know how to read OR write"
    It's wrong because the phrase is supposed to mean 'she can NEITHER read NOR write'. It does not mean 'she cannot BOTH read AND write', which is the sense of the first sentence.

  1. #3

    Re: common mistake

    Native speakers often use "and" in this context. The two things are so closely connected that we think of them as one. How likely is it that someone would be able to write but not read ?


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    #4

    Re: common mistake

    Quote Originally Posted by Bluefields View Post
    Native speakers often use "and" in this context. The two things are so closely connected that we think of them as one. How likely is it that someone would be able to write but not read ?
    Disingenuous dissembling - 'read' is before 'write' in the sentence. How likely is it that someone would be able to read but not write? Very likely, I suggest.
    Last edited by Coffa; 19-Sep-2006 at 19:30.

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    #5

    Re: common mistake

    I'll have to agree with Bluefields here. The phrase "read and write" has become an idiomatic singular, like "peanut butter and jelly," or "fish and chips."

    However, Coffa is (as always) correct in saying that the sentence should be a "neither...nor" construction.

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    #6

    Re: common mistake

    ok thanks!^^

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