After submitting the report, changes can be made only for the font size, margins, and line spacing.
Does this sentence imply that changes can be made only if all three types of changes are made?
Questions on English Language & Usage Stack Exchange are expected to relate to English language and usage within the scope defined by the community. Consider editing the question or leaving comments for improvement if you believe the question can be reworded to fit within the scope. Read more about reopening questions here.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.
I would change the sentence to read thus:
I don't think an average reader would wonder whether this sentence meant all three must be if any one is changed, or only one of the three may changed. If the latter were the case, surely the sentence would say:
There's always a less ambiguous way of writing a sentence. But sometimes it requires more words and a different structure.
Does this sentence imply that changes..made?
Does this sentence mean that changes..made?
The person who wrote the sentence obviously did not want to tie the three types of changes together and that is what the reader will understand if he doesn't take the semantics too seriously. But the sentence is ambiguous, no doubt. So what can we do bring in more semantic clarity to the sentence? Perhaps the simplest change would be to replace the and with an or. The ambiguity however, still remains for the sentence would now mean that only one of the three changes can be made once the report has been submitted. So unless we state explicitly what we want the sentence to imply, it'll remain a bit ambiguous when stated without any context.