how he used to fight

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how he used to fight

Post by navi » Mon Dec 10, 2018 8:35 pm

Are these both correct:
1) He is like a boxer who has forgotten how he used to fight. He has to learn everything all over again
.
2) I better not go on that stage. I might have forgotten how I used to play the drums.

3) He wants to partner up with his brother again. I think he has forgotten how they used to fight.

It seems to me that '3' could have more than one meaning.

a) He has forgotten that they used to fight,
b) He has forgotten how intensely they used to fight
c) He has forgotten how often they used to fight.

Is that correct?

Gratefully,
Navi
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Re: how he used to fight

Post by trolley » Mon Dec 10, 2018 9:03 pm

I think that 1 and 2 could have alternate meanings, as well. At least, I am left wondering if you really meant what I think you meant. Has he completely forgotten how to box or play the drums? Perhaps he can still box or play well but has forgotten how to do it in the particular style that he used to employ.
A man was in a car crash and suffered brain damage. He no longer remembers how to walk = he can no longer walk.
A man was in a car crash and suffered brain damage. He no longer remembers how he used to walk = he may be able to walk just fine but he can no longer do that impersonation of John Cleese.
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Re: how he used to fight

Post by navi » Tue Dec 11, 2018 5:10 am

Thank you very much, Trolley,


The more I think about '1' and '2' the more I tend to think that they can only mean what you say they mean. They can't really have the other meaning. I now think that the sentences actually mean that a particular style or a particular way of doing something has been forgotten.

I am not quite sure '3' could have the 'c' meaning. Could 'how' be used instead of 'how often'? I am having doubts about that as well. But maybe the 'how' in '3' could be interpreted to mean 'how regularly''.... The fought in a regular manner, so to speak...


Not sure.


Thanks again.

Respectfully,
Navi
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Re: how he used to fight

Post by trolley » Wed Dec 12, 2018 9:11 pm

I feel that "3" does allow for the meaning described in "c", for the reason that you explained. "How" they fought might refer how viciously they fought, how easily they fought, and/or, certainly, how often they fought.
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