I would like to know if the phrase "You did not lose weight because of this." is ambiguous or not. I think it could mean any of the following:

  • "This is the reason you did not lose weight."

  • "This did not make you lose weight." (independently of the "you" in the phrase having lost weight or not—I think that the phrase does not give information about this; it could be either case)

Similarly, the phrase "The airplane did not fall because of the presence of the dog" could mean something like: "The dog is a hero! Its presence prevented the airplane from falling!", or "The airplane did fall, but it was not because of the presence of the dog.", or "The airplane did not fall, despite the presence of the dog." Am I missing something? I am very confused about all of this.

Sorry, my English is very bad, I hope my question is presented clearly despite of that... Thanks in advance!

  • I saw it got a -1 vote. I am really sorry... If my question is bad, please feel free to delete it... My apologies.
    – Viktor K.
    Nov 6, 2017 at 5:52
  • Your question seems valid to me, Viktor and I agree that the clause is ambiguous on its own. What would stop it being ambiguous would be the context in which it appears. For instance if the plane did crash the phrase would mean that the crash was not the dog's fault and that something else was responsible. In the same way if the person had not lost weight the clause would be telling us the reason why the weight had been retained.
    – BoldBen
    Nov 6, 2017 at 10:02


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