told his friend

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told his friend

Post by navi » Sat Apr 08, 2017 8:42 pm

Which are correct:

1) He told his friend when he lost his virginity.
2) He told it to his friend when he lost his virginity.

3) When he lost his virginity, he told his friend.
4) When he lost his virginity, he told it to his friend.


Does '4' mean the same as '3'? Could 'it' not refer to the fact that he lost
his virginity, but to something else?

Is '1' ambiguous?
a) When he lost his virginity, he told his friend.
b) He told his friend when he had lost his virginity.

Gratefully,
Navi.
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Re: told his friend

Post by tony h » Mon Apr 10, 2017 8:57 am

Using the "it to" in 2 and 4 is not natural. The meaning is lost.

1 is only ambiguous as to when the telling took place. Normal usage would place the telling shortly after the event rather than significantly later. The same construction with a different activity would also allow for at the actual time of the event. It would be an odd person, in my view, who would be losing their virginity AND be on the phone telling their friends. But who knows in this always-connected-society.
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Signature: tony

With the right context almost anything can sound appropriate.

End of topic.
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