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entering the store

Posted: Mon Apr 03, 2017 5:55 am
by azz
a. I accidentally kicked the police officer entering the store.

Can't this sentence have three meanings?
1. I accidentally kicked the police officer as I was entering the store.
2. I accidentally kicked the police officer as he was entering the store.
3. I accidentally kicked the police officer who was entering the store.

b. I accidentally kicked the police officer, entering the store.
Can't this sentence have two meanings?
1. I accidentally kicked the police officer as I was entering the store.
2. I accidentally kicked the police officer as he was entering the store.


I am not sure they could have meaning (3).

Many thanks.

Re: entering the store

Posted: Tue Mar 27, 2018 4:57 am
by PauladePlume
A only (and literally as written) means 2. If you want to try to attribute the meanings of 1 or 3 to it, you can only do so by assuming that the writer doesn't know correct grammar or is, at the east, a sloppy writer. You find this sort of sloppy drafting often times in legal contracts and in journalistic newspaper articles.

B is just not grammatically correct for any meaning.