for him to win

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for him to win

Post by azz » Fri Sep 06, 2019 10:34 am

a. It is important for him to win.

Can't this sentence have two meanings?

1. For him, it is important to win. He attaches importance to winning.
2. It is important that he should win. (the speaker considers it important that he should win)

Many thanks.

Re: for him to win

Post by Phil White » Fri Sep 06, 2019 2:13 pm

Like Schrödinger's cat, which is both alive and dead simultaneously, this sentence has two meanings simultaneously.

Also like Schrödinger's cat, we can never know which one is true until we observe it.

In other words, all the time that this sentence exists in a theoretical box, we cannot know what it means. The moment we open the box and use it in a real-life scenario, there is no doubt which meaning is intended.

So the answer to your question "can this sentence have two meanings" is "only as long as we don't actually use it". As soon as we use it, it has one meaning or the other.
Signature: Phil White
Non sum felix lepus

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