whether he has a bank account abroad

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whether he has a bank account abroad

Post by azz » Sat Dec 22, 2018 10:41 pm

-"Do you know whether he has bank accounts abroad or if he travels abroad a lot?"
-"I don't know anything about his bank accounts, but I know that he does travel abroad a lot"

Does the first sentence in this conversation make sense?

The two things are not mutually exclusive. It is not like
"Do you know whether he likes to stay indoors or whether he is an outdoors man."

But I think it makes sense.

The person is asking if the other person knows at least one of two things.
We have two questions asked as one.

-Does he have bank accounts abroad?
-Does he travel abroad a lot?


Many thanks.
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Re: whether he has a bank account abroad

Post by trolley » Sun Dec 23, 2018 1:55 am

You say those two things are not mutually exclusive but the sentence, by itself, doesn't make that clear to me. I'd be more likely to read it as two unrelated questions if it was:
"Do you know if he has bank accounts abroad or if he travels abroad a lot?"

For some reason, the "whether" makes me think that an alternative to banking abroad is about to be presented and you may be thinking that travelling abroad a lot is some sort of solution to not having overseas accounts.

"Do you know whether he has bank accounts abroad or if he has local accounts?"

Do you think that sounds like two independant questions?
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Re: whether he has a bank account abroad

Post by Erik_Kowal » Sun Dec 23, 2018 4:02 am

azz wrote:
Sat Dec 22, 2018 10:41 pm
-"Do you know whether he has bank accounts abroad or if he travels abroad a lot?"
-"I don't know anything about his bank accounts, but I know that he does travel abroad a lot"
From this fragment of conversation I drew the inference that Person B has heard that the asserted traveller X has some foreign bank accounts, and has sought to verify their existence with Person A (the speaker).

I drew the additional inference that while Person A does not know whether X has foreign bank accounts, Person A thinks that if X does have them it may be because X travels a lot overseas.
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