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In singular, indefinite articles help to disambiguate some phrases, like for example:

a killing doctor

Would be a doctor who kills people.


killing a doctor

Would be an act of killing a doctor.

But what in cases of plural, when you cannot use an article, like:

killing doctors

Here, it's either many doctors who kill people or a certain person/people killing many doctors.

Is there a way to disambiguate plural cases like these?

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closed as not a real question by StoneyB, FumbleFingers, Zairja, tchrist, MετάEd Nov 1 '12 at 1:41

It's difficult to tell what is being asked here. This question is ambiguous, vague, incomplete, overly broad, or rhetorical and cannot be reasonably answered in its current form. For help clarifying this question so that it can be reopened, visit the help center.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

If you really need to be clear, refer to "doctors who kill"! – Robusto Oct 31 '12 at 20:08
@Robusto on the flip side, "killing some/any doctors" – McGarnagle Oct 31 '12 at 20:37
Context is the ultimate "disambiguator". Unless this appears as a poorly-phrased headline (e.g. Supreme Court Considers Killing Doctors), the sentence it appears in can easily provide proper context. Note how the suggestions add words to remove the ambiguity. Taking this a step further leaves us with a sentence. – Zairja Oct 31 '12 at 21:04
What Zairja says. Under what circumstances would you need to 'disambiguate' the phrase? --people don't go around saying 'killing doctors' out of the blue! I think it's NARQ. – StoneyB Oct 31 '12 at 22:08
So far this is General Reference, and I can't see how any edits can change that. – FumbleFingers Oct 31 '12 at 22:36

Some is often used as a plural equivalent of a, and will work in your fragment:

killing some doctors

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