Student or Learner
If anyone can help me quickly, I would be very grateful.
Can someone explai to me what is the ambiguity in the sentence: I didn't meet his sister yesterday.
My professor of English Linguistics gave the sentence, among many others, in an assignment to explain what is the ambiguity of the sentences, so I guess there really is an ambiguity.
It is just a list of sentences without relations between them. I understand the ambiguity in the rest of them:
Old men and women
All that glitters is not gold
Flying planes can be dangerous
John walked the dog in his underwear
He called her a nurse
and the one I couldn't understand. Btw the time for handing in the assignment has just expired so I don't require any more explanations, I just put the ambiguity comes from more that one meaning of the verb.
1. I didn't meet his sister yesterday. (I met his brother.)
2. I didn't meet his sister yesterday. (I met her a week ago.)
3. I didn't meet his sister yesterday. (I've never met his sister.)
Not a professional ESL teacher.
In addition to what MrP said the verb meet itself can be ambiguous:
1. meet: see the first time
2. meet: see again
Ambiguity is what makes language superior
O.K. let's wear it out.
1. I wasn't introduced to his sister yesterday.
2. I did not arrive at the arranged time to see his sister [again] yesterday.