so

Status
Not open for further replies.
F

FW

Guest
A-He told me to leave the room and so I did.
Is the sentence above ambiguous.
I think it could mean:
1-He told me to leave the room and THEREFORE I did.
and also:
2-He told me to leave the room and I did so.

Of-course the result is the same in both cases, but there is a change in meaning.

B-He told me to leave the room and I did so but not because he had told me to."
 

RonBee

Moderator
Joined
Feb 9, 2003
Member Type
Other
Native Language
American English
Home Country
United States
Current Location
United States
I don't think sentence A is ambiguous. That is because both explanations apply--not one or the other. Sentence B "cleared things up" by conveying a meaning different from that of sentence A. Perhaps the speaker felt the need to clarify what he said with his original sentence.

:)
 

Tdol

Editor, UsingEnglish.com
Staff member
Joined
Nov 13, 2002
Member Type
Native Language
British English
Home Country
UK
Current Location
Japan
FW, I do think that there is a point about the degree of authority, but there isn't enough context in the first sentence to see it one way or the other. The addition of 'therefore' does suggest a bending to the authority, but even without, it isn't clear that the departure was a choice rather than a compulsion. ;-)
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top