# Thread: Tree diagram for abiguous sentences

1. Newbie
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Mar 2008
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## Tree diagram for abiguous sentences

Hello! I have a doubt. This sentece "They found him a good secretary" is ambiguous and I need to analyze it into two different ways. Could you please help me? Thank you

2. ## Re: Tree diagram for abiguous sentences

I don't really know if this will help because the only ambiguity I could find lies in its elliptical construction

thus you could either take

"They found him a good secretary"

in the sense of "They found a good secretary for him "
or
implying that "They found him to be a good secretary"

3. Newbie
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Mar 2008
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## Re: Tree diagram for abiguous sentences

Yes, but how can we analyze these sentences?

4. Newbie
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Feb 2010
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## Re: Tree diagram for abiguous sentences

Don't know whether you'll see this but my thinking on the ambiguity is this.

For the meaning of 'the secretary they found for him was a good one', I wondered if 'him' is the indirect object with 'a good secretary' being the direct Object.

For the meaning 'he was a good secretary' I thought perhaps 'him' is the Object with 'a good secretary' being an NP functioning as a Complement.

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## Re: Tree diagram for abiguous sentences

Originally Posted by triki
Hello! I have a doubt. This sentece "They found him a good secretary" is ambiguous and I need to analyze it into two different ways. Could you please help me? Thank you
***NOT A TEACHER***triki, good morning. Your question is very interesting. May I give you my input? (1) They (subject) + found + him (indirect object) + a good secretary (direct object). *** (2) They (subject) + found + him to be a good secretary (infinitive phrase used as object of the verb; "him" is so-called subject of the infinitive). = We discovered (that) he was a good secretary. Thank you.

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