[General] Zheng chengyu found his life more difficult ...

rodgers white

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Do these two sentences mean the same thing?


Sentence One :
Zheng chengyu found his life more difficult than his parents thought.
Sentence Two:
Zheng chengyu found his life more difficult than what his parents thought it was.
Many thanks in advance.
 

tedmc

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Re: Do these two sentences mean the same thing?

They mean the same to me.
 

rodgers white

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Re: Do these two sentences mean the same thing?

Maybe we can also say like this: Zheng Chengyu found his life to be more difficult than he found his parents to be. So, which one is the most natural way for native speakers?
 

tedmc

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Re: Do these two sentences mean the same thing?

Zheng Chengyu found his life to be more difficult than he found his parents to be.

This sentence is not correct. It could mean that he found his parents to be more difficult.

I would write it this way: Zheng Chengyu found life to be more difficult than his parents envisaged. (Presumably, his parent had given him some kind of picture what life would be before that).
 

rodgers white

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Re: Do these two sentences mean the same thing?

You're right. I should say: Zheng Chengyu found his life to be more difficult than he found his parents' life to be. Again, which one is the most natural way for native speakers?
 

tedmc

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Re: Do these two sentences mean the same thing?

Zheng Chengyu found his life to be more difficult than what it was during his parents'time.
Zheng Chengyu found his life to be more difficult than his parents', when they were young.
 

Matthew Wai

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Re: Do these two sentences mean the same thing?

I would omit the comma: Zheng Chengyu found his life more difficult than his parents' when they were young.
 

teechar

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Re: Do these two sentences mean the same thing?

I'm confused! List (in point form) what you are comparing.
 

Matthew Wai

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Re: Do these two sentences mean the same thing?

1. Zheng chengyu found his life more difficult than his parents thought.
2. Zheng chengyu found his life more difficult than what his parents thought it was.
3. Zheng Chengyu found his life to be more difficult than he found his parents to be.
4. Zheng Chengyu found life to be more difficult than his parents envisaged.
5. Zheng Chengyu found his life to be more difficult than he found his parents' life to be.
6. Zheng Chengyu found his life to be more difficult than what it was during his parents'time.
7. Zheng Chengyu found his life to be more difficult than his parents', when they were young.
8. Zheng Chengyu found his life more difficult than his parents' when they were young.

1, 2, 3, and 5 were written by rodgers white.
4, 6, and 7 were written by tedmc.
8 was written by Matthew Wai.
 

Barb_D

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Re: Do these two sentences mean the same thing?

Rodgers, do you mean A or B?

A: Zheng thinks his life is harder than his parents believe Zheng's life to be?
B: Zheng thinks is life is harder than his parent' lives?
B1: than their lives are NOW
B2: then their lives were when they were his age?
 

rodgers white

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Re: Do these two sentences mean the same thing?

Rodgers, do you mean A or B?

A: Zheng thinks his life is harder than his parents believe Zheng's life to be?
B: Zheng thinks is life is harder than his parent' lives?
B1: than their lives are NOW
B2: then their lives were when they were his age?

Thank you for your time and I'm sorry for the ambiguity. My question is: Do the following two sentences mean the same thing?
Sentence One :
Zheng chengyu found his life more difficult than his parents thought.
Sentence Two:
Zheng chengyu found his life more difficult than what his parents thought it was.

Then I talked about another sentence: Zheng chengyu found his life more difficult than his parents'.
It can be interpreted this way: Zheng chengyu found his life to be more difficult than he found his parents' to be. or Zheng chengyu thought his life to be more difficult than he believed his parents' to be.

So actually, I've mentioned both A and B. Sorry for that again. Now my question is: which is the most natural way to say A or B for native speakers?
 

GoesStation

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Re: Do these two sentences mean the same thing?

Thank you for your time and I'm sorry for the ambiguity. My question is: Do the following two sentences mean the same thing?
Sentence One :
Zheng chengyu found his life more difficult than his parents thought.
Sentence Two:
Zheng chengyu found his life more difficult than what his parents thought it was.

These are equally natural in American English.
 

tedmc

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Re: Do these two sentences mean the same thing?

The second parts of the sentences are widely open to interpretation. I would say both are equally wishy-washy.
 

Barb_D

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Re: Do these two sentences mean the same thing?

The apostrophe after "parents" makes the meaning completely different than without the apostrophe.

Do you see why?
 

rodgers white

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Re: Do these two sentences mean the same thing?

The apostrophe after "parents" makes the meaning completely different than without the apostrophe.

Do you see why?

Thanks a lot for your question. You actually mean the difference between these two sentences:
A. Zheng chengyu found his life more difficult than his parents'.
B.
Zheng chengyu found his life more difficult than his parents.

According to my understanding, sentence A means Zheng thought his life was harder than his parents' lives.
As for B, there is some ambiguity in this sentence. It can be interpreted in different ways.
Way one:
Zheng chengyu found his life more difficult than his parents did.(= Zheng chengyu found his life to be more difficult than his parents found his life to be.)
Way two: Zheng chengyu found his life more difficult than his parents'. Because we can't compare 'his life' to 'his parents'.
 

Matthew Wai

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Re: Do these two sentences mean the same thing?

I don't think 'Way two' is possible in B.
 

rodgers white

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Re: Do these two sentences mean the same thing?

I don't think 'Way two' is possible in B.
So you mean: under any circumstance, sentence B doesn't make any sense.
 

Matthew Wai

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Re: Do these two sentences mean the same thing?

I think B means the following:
Zheng chengyu found his life more difficult than his parents did.(= Zheng chengyu found his life to be more difficult than his parents found his life to be.)
 
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