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compact; having a high mass per unit volume; close
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unauthorized
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outbound
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don't know if four



 
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ESL Forum | English Vocabulary, Grammar and Idioms
Vocabulary | To be or not to be
listening exercisestell a friend
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don't know if four #1 (permalink) Thu Mar 08, 2012 2:44 am   don't know if four
 

1-I don't know if four of my friends are alive or not.

Can't this sentence be used in two different contexts.
a-Maybe four of them are alive. I don't have anyone specific in mind. But maybe fewer than four are alive. You tell me: Why don't you invite four of your friends to your ninetieth birthday and I say: I don't know if four of my friends are alive or not.

b-I have four specific friends in mind and I don't know if they are alive or not. As regards all the others, I know whether they are alive or not. I have lots of friends who are alive.

Gratefully,
Navi.
Navi
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don't know if four #2 (permalink) Thu Mar 08, 2012 10:57 am   don't know if four
 

As with so many sentences, context is everything. Many things are ambiguous without it.
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