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Do these two sentences have the same meaning? Are both of them grammatically acceptable?

"Some people think that museums should be enjoyable places to entertain people."

"Some people think that museums should be enjoyable places that entertain people."

Thanks.

  • The construction used in 'Wigan Park is a good place to walk your dog.' means that of the various places where a person can take their dog for a walk, Wigan Park is a good one. I'll not query the grammaticality of 'Some people think that museums should be enjoyable places to entertain people.' But there is more than a hint of tautology, and the example sounds clumsy. 'A good place to entertain people' sounds more idiomatic than 'an enjoyable place to entertain people', though one still has visions of someone juggling with the exhibits. The emphasis is on someone taking people there for ... – Edwin Ashworth May 13 '17 at 8:36
  • them to be entertained there. // "Some people think that museums should be enjoyable places that entertain people." is slightly tautological. There is a personification (sentient beings entertain), but that's hardly uncommon. "Some people think that museums should be enjoyable places – places that really engross/excite/interest/engage people." converts tautology into emphasis. – Edwin Ashworth May 13 '17 at 8:38
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I believe that both of those sentences are grammatically acceptable. However, they certainly do not have the same connotation to me, as a native English speaker.

The first sentence gives me the sense of using a museum to host a party: "hosting Catherine's 30th birthday party at the museum was quite enjoyable--the process was painless and the venue sublime."

The second sentence, however, implies that the museum experience itself is enjoyable: "the afternoon I spent at the museum was very enjoyable; I was kept entertained by the variety of perspectives the docent-led tours revealed."

I regret that I do not know the technical grammatical terms to describe this difference of meaning, but I hope my examples prove useful.

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