Hot answers tagged ambiguity
"Two day classes will take place this week." I understand this to mean that during the week a day class will be held twice. Not necessarily on consecutive days. "Two-day classes will take place this week." This now means that classes will cover the entire subject over two various or consecutive days. More useful information about hyphens can be found ...
I take it to mean something along the lines of "that doesn't necessarily mean to say [that]..." Substituting that version into Adam Smith's sentence, we therefore end up with: "[Division of labour] is commonly supposed to be carried furthest in some very trifling [industries]; that doesn't necessarily mean to say that it really is carried further in ...
In my experience, the only time someone would use that wording is to express their dismay at the inconvenient imminent arrival of someone they weren't ready to receive: A: I just wanted to remind you that Sam is coming to stay with us on the 10th. B: But that's... that's tomorrow! He can't be coming tomorrow! I'm not ready for him yet!
Better, "I wouldnt do this if it weren't compulsory" (no comma is required) "...if it wasn't compulsory" is also frequntly used somewhat incorrectly.
Like the bureaucratic, Date of Birth, birthdate includes the year. Baryshnikoff (Jan 27, 1948) and Mozart (Jan 27, 1756) share a birthday but not a birthdate. I have met many people who were born on the same day of the year as me, but only one who also was born the same year. I did refer to her as having the same birthdate as me. (American English)
Literally seems to have simply been overused as a hyperbole. When a hyperbole, a style figure that can be very powerful, is used too often, it loses its impact. This is a common phenomenon. I remember when it was common to say you were giving a 100% (of your effort) to a cause. That was already a hyperbole, but once everybody seemed to be giving their 100%, ...
I see no conflict in these statements. In the first, "must" suggests the speaker knows something which leads to an almost-certain conclusion. In the second "can't" suggests the speaker knows something which leads to an almost-certain conclusion (the opposite of "must") or that the speaker has evidence proving the statement. In the third, "should" suggests ...
This has been tackled before, in the Behave as if it was or it were thread, but I've noticed an inconsistency in my own usages. [A] "I wouldn't do this if it weren't compulsory" uses the irrealis construction. [B] "I wouldn't do this if it wasn't compulsory" uses the indicative. I'm happy with either alternative, and both ACGEL and CGEL say both ...
The meaning of the comment depends on the context in which it is made. If the adviser is reviewing a draft of a paper or some other type of preliminary work, and says "You could do it better," the clear implication is that you could improve the work in one or more ways before turning it in for grading; presumably the adviser will then tell you generally or ...
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