quick "help!" question
Megan.Eddy at MANUKAU.AC.NZ
Fri Mar 26 05:57:46 UTC 2004
As I see it, youre starting off with 2 verb phrases, or sentences:
1. Bob studied
2. Joe studied
If both are true and positive, you get:
3. Both Bob (studied = understood / silent) and Joe studied
If neither is true, you get:
4. Neither Bob (studied) nor Joe studied
If only one is true, but were not sure which:
5. Either Bob (didnt study) or Joe didnt study
Both Bob (didnt study) and Joe didnt study
can only really have the same meaning as your number 1, my number 4 above, where
neither of your initial statements is true. But this form sounds ungrammatical,
to me, anyway, so we opt for the "neither..." format where both are negative.
Was getting myself a little confused as I was doing this - but it sounds right
at the moment... hope it helps. Good luck.
sicola at dolphin.upenn.edu wrote:
> In my advanced grammar class, I've been working with my ESL students on
> agreement with words like "neither" "either" "both" etc.
> Some of them are having a hard time distinguishing and rationalizing the
> differences between:
> 1. "Neither Bob nor Joe studied." = Bob didn't and Joe didn't (either).
> 2. "Either Bob or Joe didn't study." = One studied, the other didn't, we
> don't know which one is which.
> 3. "Both Bob and Joe didn't study." = Could have the same meaning as #1, OR
> #2, ie: not BOTH, just one.
> Can anyone more syntactically savvy help me with a more
> logical/mathematical/graphic (and SIMPLE) representation of why this is the
> case? The more I try to explain it, the more we go in circles and the more I
> start to question my own name.
> At this point, I'm not sure I even wrote these correctly in this e-mail!
> Thanks to anyone who has the magic bullet...
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