all of the pets

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all of the pets

Post by azz » Tue Sep 22, 2020 2:43 am

a. Tom couldn't stand all of the pets his housemate had, so he moved.
b. Tom couldn't stand all of the pets, so he moved.
c. Tom couldn't stand all the pets, so he moved.


Could these be used if Tom could stand all of the pets individually, but it was the fact that all of them were together that was unbearable for him? He liked each pet individually, but it was the combination that got on his nerves!

Many thanks.
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Re: all of the pets

Post by Erik_Kowal » Wed Sep 23, 2020 4:15 am

As usual with the sentences you present that are void of context, they are ambiguous.

They could all be taken to mean that Tom couldn't stand either A) some of the pets or B) all of the pets. Insufficient information has been provided for the reader to be sure which of these interpretations is correct, though as presented I would assume B).

I would not take any of these to mean that he could stand all of the pets individually. There's no basis in the information presented to justify that interpretation.
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