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before everybody

Posted: Tue Oct 10, 2017 9:47 am
by azz
a. I poured a cup of tea for her, before everybody else.

Could that sentence mean
a1. I poured a cup of tea for her, before I poured a cup of tea for everybody else.
?

b. I bought a sandwich for her, before everybody else.
Could that sentence mean
b1. I bought a sandwich for her, before I bought a sandwich for everybody else.
?


Many thanks.

Re: before everybody

Posted: Tue Oct 10, 2017 2:24 pm
by Erik_Kowal
a. I poured a cup of tea for her, before everybody else.

could also mean

a1. I poured a cup of tea for her before anybody else poured her one [with the implication "I poured her a cup of tea instead of anybody else doing so"].
----------------
b. I bought a sandwich for her, before everybody else.

could also mean

b1. I bought a sandwich for her before anybody else bought her one [with the implication "I bought her a sandwich instead of anybody else doing so"].

Re: before everybody

Posted: Tue Oct 10, 2017 9:35 pm
by tony h
Azz from Erik's use of "could also mean" you would correctly infer that the answer to your primary questions is "yes" in that they could mean, and would probably betaken as meaning, the explanation you gave.

The "before anybody else", in my view, comes across as a hanging phrase ie one which is terminated but suggests it isn't quite complete.

So I might infer:
I poured a cup of tea for her, before everybody else got their tea.