and/or

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navi tasan

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When you imagine animals in a cage, what kind of animal do you imagine?
1-I imagine tigers and bears.
2-I imagine tigers or bears.
(Meaning: I sometimes imagine tigers and sometimes bears. I either imagine tigers or bears)
Are sentences 1 and 2 both acceptable with the given meaning?


When you think about opening a chain of shops what kind of shop do you think about?
3-I think about grocery stores and fish shops.
4-I think about grocery stores or fish-shops.
(Meaning: I sometimes think about grocery stores and sometimes about fish shops)
Are sentences 3 and 4 both acceptable with the given meaning?
 

riverkid

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Aug 17, 2006
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When you imagine animals in a cage, what kind of animal do you imagine?
1-I imagine tigers and bears.
2-I imagine tigers or bears.
(Meaning: I sometimes imagine tigers and sometimes bears. I either imagine tigers or bears)
Are sentences 1 and 2 both acceptable with the given meaning?


When you think about opening a chain of shops what kind of shop do you think about?
3-I think about grocery stores and fish shops.
4-I think about grocery stores or fish-shops.
(Meaning: I sometimes think about grocery stores and sometimes about fish shops)
Are sentences 3 and 4 both acceptable with the given meaning?

Yes and no, Navi. It all depends on what a particular person is thinking in relation to the question. It's all a bit too theoretical; the question is even a little odd. I'm not in the habit of imagining animals in cages or opening shops and I wonder how many are.
 

David L.

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Nov 7, 2007
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1-I imagine tigers and bears.
2-I imagine tigers or bears.

I appreciate that you are trying to grasp the subtle difference in meaning when either 'and' or 'or' is used, and have tried to simplify the context.

1. the image that is prompted in the listener's mind is of a cage with both tigers and bears. Since this is improbable ( they would attack each other), logic supervenes and we would see cages of tigers, and cages of bears.
2. Sometimes 'when I imagine', I see a cage with tigers. Other times 'when I imagine', I see cages with bears.

When you think about opening a chain of shops what kind of shop do you think about?
3-I think about grocery stores and fish shops.
4-I think about grocery stores or fish-shops.


In (1) and (2), I could 'imagine' whatever I like. But in (3) and (4), even though you are still using 'and' and 'or', you are imposing a limit on what I can think. The question asks for ONE chain of ONE particular kind of shop.
So- (3) the reply would mean, "this is a tough question, because I think that both a grocery chain and a chain of fish shops would be good business ventures. I'll have to think more before I can decide on one."
(4) again, it's a toss up between two equally good business ventures
3.
 
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