# Thread: you can eat the apples on the table

1. ## you can eat the apples on the table

Q1 If someone says to you that you can eat the apples on the table, can you eat all the apples? But of course as a manner, you don't eat all of them, though. Incidentaly, do you say that you can eat some of the apples on the table?

Q2 Which is correct?

Did you eat some apples on the table?
Did you eat some of the apples on the table?
Did you eat apples on the table?

Does "did you eat the apples on the table" mean that you ate all the apples?

Thank you very much.

2. ## Re: you can eat the apples on the table

Originally Posted by Progress
Q1 If someone says to you that you can eat the apples on the table, can you eat all the apples? But of course as a manner, you don't eat all of them, though. Incidentaly, do you say that you can eat some of the apples on the table?
If someone says "you can eat the apples on the table," technically they are giving you permission to eat as many as you want to, but (as you mentioned) most people wouldn't take more than one or two. A better way to phrase it would be, "There are some apples on the table, please help yourself." or "Would you like an apple? There are some on the table."

Q2 Which is correct?

Did you eat some apples on the table?
Did you eat some of the apples on the table?
Did you eat apples on the table?
The second statement is correct.
The first and third statements make it sound as if the person was actually sitting on the table as they ate the apples.

Does "did you eat the apples on the table" mean that you ate all the apples?
Yes.

3. ## Did you eat the apples on the table?

Either you ate all the apples on the table,

or

There were some unwashed apples on the table, and some washed apples in the sink. Seeing her children finishing eating apples, she asks (with alarm),"Did you eat the apples on the table?"

4. ## Re: you can eat the apples on the table

Thank you very much, Ouish and irpond

Ouish, I would like to know the reson why the first and third sentences sound as if the person was sitting as if they ate the apples.

5. ## Re: you can eat the apples on the table

Originally Posted by Progress
Thank you very much, Ouish and irpond

Ouish, I would like to know the reson why the first and third sentences sound as if the person was sitting as if they ate the apples.
The sentence with 'on' just invites that interpretation. 'In a sentence like 'He ate the apples on the table' there is an optional 'that were' (after "apples"). If that optional phrase is omitted, then the sentence has one verb and one preposition; a listener can't be blamed for assuming [when they're listening, and parsing for the first time] that they go together: 'he ate... on...'. Of course, most listeners in most situations would work out that this didn't convey the right message; after a bit of thought, they'd sort out what really happened.

One way to communicate more clearly and efficiently would be to change the preposition to one that really goes with 'ate': 'He ate the apples from the table'.

b

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