work hard to pass

This is the place to post questions and discussions on usage and style. The members of the Wordwizard Clubhouse will also often be able to help you to formulate that difficult letter.
Post Reply

work hard to pass

Post by azz » Fri Jan 14, 2022 10:35 am

a. That is an exam he has to work hard to pass.

One meaning of that sentence would be:

1. In order to pass that exam, he has to work hard.

But could (a) also mean

2. That is an exam he has to work hard and pass.

?

Many thanks
ACCESS_POST_ACTIONS

Re: work hard to pass

Post by Erik_Kowal » Fri Jan 14, 2022 5:56 pm

First, a slight correction to the wording of 2):

2. That is an exam he has to work hard for and pass.

I don't think a) is ambiguous because it lacks the aforementioned "for" that would be needed to give the second meaning.

You would also have to substitute "and pass" for "to pass" in order to make it clear that working hard and passing the exam are both separate requirements {in other words, to clarify that working hard is not merely an instrumental activity for passing the exam). This world make the sentence identical to my version of 2).
ACCESS_POST_ACTIONS

ACCESS_END_OF_TOPIC
Post Reply