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ambiguous sentences



 
ESL Forum | English Vocabulary, Grammar and Idioms
your or their | Comma After 'That'?
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ambiguous sentences #1 (permalink) Wed Apr 10, 2013 12:02 pm   ambiguous sentences
 

1) I was met at the door by a Chinese man in a suit who ran down the steps laughing.

Do we miss ", and" before "laughing"?

2) I was met at the door by a Chinese man, in a suit, running down the steps, laughing.

Is it possible to use #2 to substitute #1? What would be grammar problems with #2?

3) I was met at the door by a Chinese man in a suit, running down the steps, laughing.

Would #3 mean that I was running down the steps, laughing or the Chinese man?

4) I was met at the door by a Chinese man who was in a suit, running down the steps, laughing.

Is #4 less ambiguous?

5) I was met at the door by a Chinese man - in a suit, running down the steps, laughing.

Is 5 good enough? Not ambiguous.

6) At the door, I was met by a Chinese man, in a suit, running down, laughing.

Does fronting "at the door" guaranty it wasn't me who was in a suit, running down, laughing?

Thanks
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ambiguous sentences #2 (permalink) Wed Apr 10, 2013 16:40 pm   ambiguous sentences
 

1. There should not be an 'and'
2. Too many commas break the phrases up in an unnatural way.
3. the man
4. No ambiguity - it's definitely the suit that was running down the steps! 5 is even worse.
6. See (2).
'fronting at the door' doesn't make sense to me so I can't answer your question sorry.
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