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place clause

English grammar help. Grammar questions from ESL learners

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place clause

Postby navi » Sat Oct 02, 2004 1:22 am

1-John shot Harry in his car.
2-In his car, John shot Harry.

3-John saw Harry in his car.
4-In his car, John saw Harry.

If we exclude the possiblity that they are both in the car, in which case:
a-John is in the car.
b-Harry is in the car.
c-We can't tell for sure.

and in which case
d-The car belongs to John.
e-the car belongs to Harry.
f-We can't tell.
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Postby Alan » Sun Oct 03, 2004 2:05 pm

1 & 3: b - f.

2 & 4 are inadmissible, since both imply that both men were in the car.

To mean that John was in (probably, but not definitely) his own car and shot/saw Harry, we would say

John saw/shot Harry FROM his car.

and to be absolutely certain as to the ownership, you would have to specify from John's car....
Last edited by Alan on Fri Oct 08, 2004 4:13 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby navi » Sun Oct 03, 2004 8:37 pm

Thank you Alan,

One more question:
Let us say you want to answer the question:
-"What did John do in his car?"
Would you still say:
"He shot Harry FROM his car."?
Can't one use:
"He shot Harry (in his car)."?
in this case?
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Postby Alan » Mon Oct 04, 2004 3:51 am

No. You would still have to ask 'What did he do FROM his car?' if you wished to elicit that as a possible response. On the other hand, you might ask 'What did he do in his car?' to elicit an answer such as 'He used a gun'. That would still tend to suggest, though, that the action of using the gun was confined to the area inside the car, and did not affect anyone or anything outside.
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Postby navi » Mon Oct 04, 2004 8:57 pm

Thanks again Alan,
I think I have to apologize because once more I have formulated my question rather badly.

Imagine the following conversation:

-What did John do after talking to Sally.
-He went in his car.
-And what did he do in his car?

How would you answer this question if the fact of the matter is that John shot Harry from his car?
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Postby Alan » Tue Oct 05, 2004 12:16 am

He took out a gun and shot Harry from the car!
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Postby navi » Tue Oct 05, 2004 12:13 pm

Got it. Thanks Alan.
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