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Can I say "Draw a triangle around the strawberry" when I want someone who is reading a book, in which there is a picture of a strawberry, to draw a triangle in that book in such a way that the strawberry is inside of the triangle (in which case the triangle must, of course, be bigger than strawberry)?

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It's not ambiguous or incorrect but it is super weird! –  Jeremy Sep 20 '11 at 4:42
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100% of native literate English speakers will interpret this the way you want. –  Lisa Sep 20 '11 at 5:37

2 Answers 2

up vote 3 down vote accepted

It is correct but if you feel that using "around" would confuse by seemingly requiring a circle when you have asked for a triangle, you could say "surrounding" or "enclosing".

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In other words "Find a strawberry on page 18 and draw one triangle surrounding/enclosing that strawberry" would be fine, right? –  brilliant Sep 20 '11 at 5:30
    
Yes. Virtually no native speaker would quibble with that. –  verbsintransit Sep 20 '11 at 5:47
    
I see. Thank you. –  brilliant Sep 20 '11 at 6:42
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I don't think the original sentence is at all confusing. –  Colin Fine Sep 20 '11 at 13:04

Yes. That is correct, and should not be ambiguous.

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