0

This question already has an answer here:

I read the following script in a TOEIC Speaking book:

“Hi, Mohammed. This is Sam. I just got your voicemail about the printing job. I would rather go with the original printer. Maybe you can ask them to print twenty copies first and make sure they deliver them on time, before you have a meeting with a client, and then they can finish up the rest of the copies later… after you have a meeting.”

I think the bold-faced sentence can be analyzed into the following:

  1. You can ask them to print twenty copies first and (you can ask them to) make sure they deliver them on time.

  2. You can ask them to print twenty copies first and (you can) make sure they deliver them on time.

Which one do you think is correct? #1? #2? Thanks in advance.

marked as duplicate by Edwin Ashworth, NVZ, Lawrence, tchrist, jimm101 Apr 11 '16 at 12:51

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

0

Mohammed is definitely the one that has to make sure they deliver them on time. If the writer meant that the printers have to make sure themselves that they deliver on time, he/she would probably have said :

"Maybe you can ask them to print twenty copies first and to make sure they deliver them on time."

It is a bit heavier but removes any ambiguity.

  • Thank you for your clear and simple explanation! I like it! ^^ – niue Apr 8 '16 at 13:49
  • But it's inconsistent. It's unacceptable to follow 'Mohammed is definitely the one that has to make sure they deliver them on time.' with '[Version B] removes any ambiguity.' – Edwin Ashworth Apr 8 '16 at 14:51
  • Well i don't have any doubt in the matter, but someone else might (hence the OP's question). Whatever the case is, [version B] does remove any ambiguity one might have. – MorganFR Apr 8 '16 at 14:54
-1

I believe that Sam is asking Mohammed to make sure that the printer delivers them on time, for example by checking with the printer a couple of times that they are on target to deliver them on time.

  • 'I believe' probably indicates a level of doubt. – Edwin Ashworth Apr 8 '16 at 12:49
  • Well, it's always hard to be certain about what's meant by some random bit of text. – Max Williams Apr 8 '16 at 12:49
  • I think the opposite from Max. But it is ambiguous as written. In speech, the phrasing and tone of voice would probably have clarified it. – Colin Fine Apr 8 '16 at 12:49
  • If you're leaving it up to the printer to make sure it's on time, what would you do? When you make the booking, would you say "Oh, and could you deliver it on time please?" The printer would say "Yes, of course!", possibly slightly insulted that you'd asked. And then (in my experience) they might deliver it late, for a variety of reasons, such as disorganisation and general incompetence (I've dealt with printers). If it's very important to Sam that the materials are delivered on time, then Mohammed needs to take extra steps to make sure it happens. – Max Williams Apr 8 '16 at 12:52
  • See also delivering something with obvious printing flaws, or that simply isn't what you asked for, or delivering it to the wrong address. etc. – Max Williams Apr 8 '16 at 12:54

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.