with his wife

This is the place to post questions and discussions on usage and style. The members of the Wordwizard Clubhouse will also often be able to help you to formulate that difficult letter.
Post Reply

with his wife

Post by azz » Mon Apr 15, 2019 3:18 am

a. I talked to John with his wife.

One possible meaning is
1. I and John's wife talked to John.
but could (a) also mean
2. I talked to John and his wife.
?

b. Jane walked in on her boyfriend with her sister.


Could that mean
3. Jane walked in on her boyfriend when he was with her sister.
?

Many thanks.
ACCESS_POST_ACTIONS

Re: with his wife

Post by tony h » Mon Apr 15, 2019 1:47 pm

azz wrote:
Mon Apr 15, 2019 3:18 am
a. I talked to John with his wife.

One possible meaning is
1. I and John's wife talked to John.
but could (a) also mean
2. I talked to John and his wife.
?

b. Jane walked in on her boyfriend with her sister.


Could that mean
3. Jane walked in on her boyfriend when he was with her sister.
?

Many thanks.
They are all possible, and more. Context is everything.


I talked to John with his wife just before he was due to give evidence. We wanted to give him some moral support.

I talked to John with his wife just before they case was due to go to court. I was able to tell them that there were many messages of support, and more funds, which lifted their morale enormously.


Jane's boyfriend is a hairdresser.
- Jane walked in on her boyfriend when he was with her sister cutting her hair.

- Jane walked in on her boyfriend when he was with her sister. He'd said he was cutting her hair but Jane said, in her defence of the murder of her boyfriend, "a ginger merkin on her sister was not what I had expected. I just saw red."
ACCESS_POST_ACTIONS
Signature: tony

I'm puzzled therefore I think.

ACCESS_END_OF_TOPIC
Post Reply