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2
votes
1answer
204 views

Verb chaining: ambiguous or not? (“Please wait until installation finishes to continue”)

Every time I see this message in Android Studio (a free google app) I ask myself whether it is proper English or not? Please wait until the installation finishes to continue While it is definitely ...
3
votes
2answers
171 views

Verbs that switch thematic roles, but not surface structure

Are there any English verbs that are ambiguous with regard to their thematic roles, although they are the same on the surface? To clarify, in John worries Mary, John causes the worries, but in John ...
2
votes
2answers
442 views

Ambiguity regarding adjective/adverb status in the sentence “I smell bad” [duplicate]

For sentences like "I smell bad" I'm confused on the role.of the word "bad" and whether it requires a suffix. On the one hand it seems that the properly formed sentence should be "I smell badly" but ...
0
votes
1answer
78 views

“I got to shoot a few animals” - kill or take a picture? [closed]

I wanted to say that I had managed to take a few pictures of some animals. But when I say "I got to shoot a few animals", is that clear? As shooting animals to me sounds more like killing..
1
vote
1answer
517 views

How to use the word “rave” [closed]

I am a little confused about how to use rave, because sometimes it means a bad thing like: A madman cried (raved) loudly. Yesterday, my friend recommended me a movie by saying: My people ...
2
votes
1answer
868 views

Ambiguity of “bag down for a better ride”

Today I saw a sign on the train that said Bag down for a better ride. There was an accompanying picture of someone carrying a large bag on his back, possibly causing inconvenience to others: ...
3
votes
4answers
175 views

Regions and reasons for the usage of “sleep” as “go to sleep”

This question is very closely linked to this english.SE question, which discusses the usage of "sleep" as a verb meaning "go to sleep" and inspired by this ell.SE question, in which the accepted ...
0
votes
0answers
858 views

We got you surrounded. What use of GET is this? [duplicate]

I have heard a sentence "We got you surrounded", what would be difference between "We surrounded you"? I believe the first one implies that it has just been done, i.e. reaching certain condition, ...
1
vote
2answers
2k views

Settle you in vs Get you settled in [duplicate]

As GET has so many meanings, it is hard for me to distinct between them and understand the nuances. Are these sentences all correct? Would you understand the same thing by them? I will settle you ...
7
votes
1answer
655 views

'Remit' an antonym of itself?

Perhaps I don't fully understand the word, but it always confuses me. When talking about money: The money was remitted. Which means that the money was transmitted/transferred successfully. But ...
4
votes
1answer
3k views

“Tabled”, US vs UK [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What is the meaning of the expression “We can table this”? Here's an example snippet for some context. Ann had an idea. We tabled her idea. In the UK this means "We put ...
5
votes
3answers
3k views

Ambiguity of “to be” + gerund

I would like to ask about a basic sentence that really confuses me. My favorite sport is swimming. I think it is strange. "Swimming" can be interpreted as a gerund ("I like to swim; it is my ...
66
votes
14answers
14k views

How to avoid ambiguity in “I am renting an apartment in New York”?

Does the sentence: I am renting an apartment in New York. imply that I am the landlord or the tenant? How can I unequivocally communicate that I am the tenant (or the landlord)?
5
votes
1answer
8k views

Is “to have to do something with” ambiguous?

I am struggling with understanding of this structure. So here is something I would need to explain: It has to do something with the car. [It is related to the car somehow.] But what if I want to ...
6
votes
3answers
223 views

Interpreting ambiguous agreement

We're proud of our tortilla chips and we hope you'll agree. It may seem trivial but I've seen similar remarks on other products and it just doesn't feel like a valid sentence because I can't ...
4
votes
3answers
1k views

Is “We embraced.” a complete sentence?

Can someone write "we embraced" to mean "we embraced each other?"
3
votes
3answers
371 views

Does “someone appeared to help me” have two meanings?

Someone appeared to help me. If I get it right, this sentence can either mean: "It seems like someone was helping me." (seems like = appear to) "Someone showed up to help me." (show up = appear) Am ...
7
votes
5answers
441 views

“Gadhafi forces retreat” - how do you understand that?

Our local newspaper had the headline today "Gadhafi forces retreat" and I read it with "retreat" as the verb instead of "forces" as the verb. I know it is a poorly written headline, but which way is ...