Does "She is in love with Tom" imply that Tom loves her too?

  • 'Tom' should be 'Time Machine' as example name in this question. – rightfold Jan 9 '11 at 16:50
  • 1
    @Jasper sorry, I'm a software developer. :) – rightfold Jan 9 '11 at 18:06
  • @Time Machine but you can take her places no-one's taken a girl before! – Pekka Jan 10 '11 at 1:24
  • 2
    Sadly, love is not an equivalence relation. – Uticensis Mar 19 '11 at 2:22
  • @Billare - The question was not about love, but about the meaning of "to be in love". – brilliant Mar 19 '11 at 9:44

No. There is no implication about Tom whatsoever in such a sentence.

|improve this answer|||||
  • 4
    If you want to say that the love is mutual, you say "She and Tom are in love (with one another)". – Jon Purdy Jan 9 '11 at 12:14
  • @Jon 'with each other' or 'with one other?' – rightfold Jan 9 '11 at 16:52
  • 2
    @Time Machine: There's no real difference in meaning. – Jon Purdy Jan 9 '11 at 18:05

In some cases the implication could even be that Tom does not love her.

|improve this answer|||||
  • 1
    That's not true; "She is in love with Tom" by itself does not imply that Tom does not love her. You can say "she is in love with Tom" even when Tom does not love her, but you only infer that conclusion about Tom from information external to that sentence, not from the sentence itself. You can equally say this sentence when Tom does love her, is indifferent, or doesn't even know her. The sentence itself gives you no information about Tom. – Kosmonaut Jan 9 '11 at 16:59
  • @Kosmonaut I would argue that "She's in love with Tom" is most often used in the situation of celebrities or even inanimate objects that aren't capable of returning the love. (Yes taken literally Tom's feelings could go either way. But the question was about the connotations... and yes I am playing Devil's advocate to some degree) – 8128 Jan 9 '11 at 17:06
  • @Jasper Loy: Humor is fine, as long as one's answer is really an answer. And a joke can be left as it is, as long as it doesn't confuse people looking for accurate information. Jokes for the sake of jokes belong in comments, not answers. – Kosmonaut Jan 9 '11 at 18:38
  • 1
    @fluteflute: I just don't think that's true. It does not carry that connotation, and I also don't think celebrities and inanimate objects are the most common situations that "I'm in love with" is used. It can be used in those situations (although with inanimate objects is really weird: "I'm in love with apples"??), but "I am in love with X" is basically the standard way to distinguish "love" in the sense of "I love my siblings" and "I love cheeseburgers" from amorous love. "I love Helen" = ambiguous about what kind of love. "I'm in love with Helen" = amorous love. – Kosmonaut Jan 9 '11 at 18:44
  • 3
    Actually, I think @fluteflute has a point. Technically, the statement carries no implication about Tom's feelings; but technically "I have one arm" is correct (I also have another arm). Why would you talk about a one-way relation if it is in fact two-way? – Tim Lymington Oct 5 '11 at 15:18

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

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