are these 2 sentences different? Watch

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Benotbe
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This is a question from my tutor. I posted this on another newsgroup yet nobody replies. Would
anyone be kind enough to tell me the difference b/w the following sentences?
1) I saw him leave the house.
2) I saw him leaving the house.

Thx.
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Einde O'Callagh
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Benotbe wrote:
[q1]>[/q1]
[q1]> This is a question from my tutor. I posted this on another newsgroup yet nobody replies. Would[/q1]
[q1]> anyone be kind enough to tell me the difference b/w the following sentences?[/q1]
[q1]> 1) I saw him leave the house.[/q1]
[q1]> 2) I saw him leaving the house.[/q1]
[q1]>[/q1]
Basically the first one emphasises the completed action - in other words somkething like "I saw him
go (or: come) out the door and walk away" - and the second emphasises the action of leaving but
makes no statement about the completion of the action - in other words something like "I saw him
come (or: go) to the door but then I got distracted so I don't know if he's really gone".

It is perhaps clearer if we look at another verb like "sing".

"I saw him sing his most popular song" = "I heard the whole song" "I saw him singing his most
popular song" = "I may not have heard the whole song"

You should really have been able to find this out from a good grammar or usage book.

Regards, Einde O'Callaghan
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Andreas Schleng
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"Benotbe" <[email protected]> wrote in news:[email protected]:

[q1]> This is a question from my tutor. I posted this on another newsgroup yet nobody replies. Would[/q1]
[q1]> anyone be kind enough to tell me the difference b/w the following sentences? 1) I saw him leave[/q1]
[q1]> the house.[/q1]
[q1]> 2) I saw him leaving the house.[/q1]
[q1]>[/q1]
[q1]> Thx.[/q1]
[q1]>[/q1]
[q1]>[/q1]
[q1]>[/q1]

I'm not a native speaker but sentence 2 seems to be ambiguous: It could mean "I saw him when *he*
left the house." or "I saw him when *I* left the house."

Sentence 1 just means "I saw that he left the house."

hth,

Andreas.
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Einde O'Callagh
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Andreas Schlenger wrote:
[q1]>[/q1]
[q1]> "Benotbe" <[email protected]> wrote in news:[email protected]:[/q1]
[q1]>[/q1]
[q2]> > This is a question from my tutor. I posted this on another newsgroup yet nobody replies. Would[/q2]
[q2]> > anyone be kind enough to tell me the difference b/w the following sentences? 1) I saw him leave[/q2]
[q2]> > the house.[/q2]
[q2]> > 2) I saw him leaving the house.[/q2]
[q2]> >[/q2]
[q2]> > Thx.[/q2]
[q2]> >[/q2]
[q2]> >[/q2]
[q2]> >[/q2]
[q1]>[/q1]
[q1]> I'm not a native speaker but sentence 2 seems to be ambiguous: It could mean "I saw him when *he*[/q1]
[q1]> left the house." or "I saw him when *I* left the house."[/q1]
[q1]>[/q1]
No, this isn't the case. The latter sentence would be "I saw him while leaving the house."

For my explanation of the difference see my other post.
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Howie
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On 26 Jun 2002 21:39:58 GMT, Andreas Schlenger <[email protected]> wrote:

[q1]|"Benotbe" <[email protected]> wrote in[/q1]
[q1]|news:[email protected]:[/q1]
[q1]|[/q1]
[q1]|> This is a question from my tutor. I posted this on another newsgroup yet nobody replies. Would[/q1]
[q1]|> anyone be kind enough to tell me the difference b/w the following sentences? 1) I saw him leave[/q1]
[q1]|> the house.[/q1]
[q1]|> 2) I saw him leaving the house.[/q1]
[q1]|>[/q1]
[q1]|> Thx.[/q1]
[q1]|>[/q1]
[q1]|>[/q1]
[q1]|>[/q1]
[q1]|[/q1]
[q1]|I'm not a native speaker but sentence 2 seems to be ambiguous: It could |mean "I saw him when *he*[/q1]
left the house." or "I saw him when *I* left |the house."
[q1]|[/q1]
[q1]|Sentence 1 just means "I saw that he left the house."[/q1]
[q1]|[/q1]
[q1]|hth,[/q1]

There is an element of ambiguity with the second version. But, it is in the structure. It could
mean either:-

1/ I [subject] saw [verb] him [object] leaving the house [object compliment]

or....

2/ I [subject] saw [verb] him [object] leaving the house [adverbial]

"1" Tells us that the speaker saw an action which the subject was carrying out. "2" Tells us
that the speaker saw the subject, and when he saw the subject, the subject happened to be
leaving the house.

H.

--

Howard Coakley: New Media Consultant. My messageboard:-
http://cgi.coakley.plus.com/cgi-bin/.../ikonboard.cgi e-mail...
howard<dot}coakleyatbigfoot<dot].com
HAA:1. (Try ICQ at www.icq.com)
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M_rudky
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Einde O'Callaghan <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:<[email protected]>...
[q1]> Andreas Schlenger wrote:[/q1]
[q2]> >[/q2]
[q2]> > "Benotbe" <[email protected]> wrote in news:[email protected]:[/q2]
[q2]> >[/q2]
[q3]> > > This is a question from my tutor. I posted this on another newsgroup yet nobody replies. Would[/q3]
[q3]> > > anyone be kind enough to tell me the difference b/w the following sentences? 1) I saw him[/q3]
[q3]> > > leave the house.[/q3]
[q3]> > > 2) I saw him leaving the house.[/q3]
[q3]> > >[/q3]
[q3]> > > Thx.[/q3]
[q3]> > >[/q3]
[q3]> > >[/q3]
[q3]> > >[/q3]
[q2]> >[/q2]
[q2]> > I'm not a native speaker but sentence 2 seems to be ambiguous: It could mean "I saw him when[/q2]
[q2]> > *he* left the house." or "I saw him when *I* left the house."[/q2]
[q2]> >[/q2]
[q1]> No, this isn't the case. The latter sentence would be "I saw him while leaving the house."[/q1]
[q1]>[/q1]
[q1]> For my explanation of the difference see my other post.[/q1]

In my opinion, The latter means " I saw him while he was leaving the house" and it does not mean " I
saw him while I was leaving the house" do you all agree?
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Einde O'Callagh
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M_RUDKY wrote:
[q1]>[/q1]
[q1]> Einde O'Callaghan <[email protected]> wrote in message[/q1]
[q1]> news:<[email protected]>...[/q1]
[q2]> > Andreas Schlenger wrote:[/q2]
[q3]> > >[/q3]
[q3]> > > "Benotbe" <[email protected]> wrote in news:[email protected]:[/q3]
[q3]> > >[/q3]
[q3]> > > > This is a question from my tutor. I posted this on another newsgroup yet nobody replies.[/q3]
[q3]> > > > Would anyone be kind enough to tell me the difference b/w the following sentences? 1) I saw[/q3]
[q3]> > > > him leave the house.[/q3]
[q3]> > > > 2) I saw him leaving the house.[/q3]
[q3]> > > >[/q3]
[q3]> > > > Thx.[/q3]
[q3]> > > >[/q3]
[q3]> > > >[/q3]
[q3]> > > >[/q3]
[q3]> > >[/q3]
[q3]> > > I'm not a native speaker but sentence 2 seems to be ambiguous: It could mean "I saw him when[/q3]
[q3]> > > *he* left the house." or "I saw him when *I* left the house."[/q3]
[q3]> > >[/q3]
[q2]> > No, this isn't the case. The latter sentence would be "I saw him while leaving the house."[/q2]
[q2]> >[/q2]
[q2]> > For my explanation of the difference see my other post.[/q2]
[q1]>[/q1]
[q1]> In my opinion, The latter means " I saw him while he was leaving the house" and it does not mean "[/q1]
[q1]> I saw him while I was leaving the house" do you all agree?[/q1]

This is what I said in the other message I posted

REgards, Einde O'Callaghan
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Andreas Schleng
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Einde O'Callaghan <[email protected]> wrote in
news:[email protected]:

[q2]>>[/q2]
[q2]>> I'm not a native speaker but sentence 2 seems to be ambiguous: It could mean "I saw him when *he*[/q2]
[q2]>> left the house." or "I saw him when *I* left the house."[/q2]
[q2]>>[/q2]
[q1]> No, this isn't the case. The latter sentence would be "I saw him while leaving the house."[/q1]
[q1]>[/q1]
[q1]> For my explanation of the difference see my other post.[/q1]

Would the insertion of a comma change the meaning, i.e. if the sentence was "I saw him, leaving
the house."?

Andreas.

--
www.prospero.de
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Cybercypher
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"Benotbe" <[email protected]> burbled news:[email protected]:

[q1]> This is a question from my tutor. I posted this on another newsgroup yet nobody replies. Would[/q1]
[q1]> anyone be kind enough to tell me the difference b/w the following sentences?[/q1]
[q1]> 1) I saw him leave the house.[/q1]
[q1]> 2) I saw him leaving the house.[/q1]

The meaning is essentially the same, but the first one suggests to me that the act of leaving was
completed; ie, he opened the door, walked out of the house, and then disappeared. The second one
suggests to me that you saw him after he had opened the door and was in the act of walking out of
the house, but that you did not see him disappear (into his car, around the corner, onto a bus, into
a taxi, etc.)

--
Franke: "There are no great religions, only great myths and great mistakes." Bodhisattva F. A.
Tchirl. Grammar 1: Internalized rules for the spoken language. Grammar 2: Formal rules for the
written language. Grammar 1 does not equal Grammar 2.
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M_rudky
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[q1]> Would the insertion of a comma change the meaning, i.e. if the sentence was "I saw him, leaving[/q1]
[q1]> the house."?[/q1]
[q1]>[/q1]
[q1]> Andreas.[/q1]

In my opinion, your inserting a comma will changes the meaning of the sentence.

"I saw him, leaving the house."?

it means that I saw him while I was leaving the house.

Regards

Rudky
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Cybercypher
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Andreas Schlenger <[email protected]> burbled news:[email protected]:

[q1]> Einde O'Callaghan <[email protected]> wrote in[/q1]
[q1]> news:[email protected]:[/q1]
[q1]>[/q1]
[q3]>>>[/q3]
[q3]>>> I'm not a native speaker but sentence 2 seems to be ambiguous: It could mean "I saw him when[/q3]
[q3]>>> *he* left the house." or "I saw him when *I* left the house."[/q3]
[q3]>>>[/q3]
[q2]>> No, this isn't the case. The latter sentence would be "I saw him while leaving the house."[/q2]
[q2]>>[/q2]
[q2]>> For my explanation of the difference see my other post.[/q2]
[q1]>[/q1]
[q1]> Would the insertion of a comma change the meaning, i.e. if the sentence was "I saw him, leaving[/q1]
[q1]> the house."?[/q1]

A comma there would be wrong, IMHO. There is no reason to have one, and it doesn't change the
meaning, only the rhythm of the sentence because the comma merely introduces a pause in speech if
you are reading it out loud. If you were to put it into verse format,

"I saw him, leaving the house"

an element of ambiguity is introduced. Now it is not possible to tell for certain whether the
speaker saw him while the speaker was leaving the house, or whether the speaker saw him while he was
leaving the house.

A comma there is stylistically bad, IMHO.

--
Franke: "There are no great religions, only great myths and great mistakes." Bodhisattva F. A.
Tchirl. Grammar 1: Internalized rules for the spoken language. Grammar 2: Formal rules for the
written language. Grammar 1 does not equal Grammar 2.
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Einde O'Callagh
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CyberCypher wrote:
[q1]>[/q1]
[q1]> Andreas Schlenger <[email protected]> burbled news:[email protected]:[/q1]
[q1]>[/q1]
[q2]> > Einde O'Callaghan <[email protected]> wrote in[/q2]
[q2]> > news:[email protected]:[/q2]
[q2]> >[/q2]
[q2]> >>>[/q2]
[q2]> >>> I'm not a native speaker but sentence 2 seems to be ambiguous: It could mean "I saw him when[/q2]
[q2]> >>> *he* left the house." or "I saw him when *I* left the house."[/q2]
[q2]> >>>[/q2]
[q2]> >> No, this isn't the case. The latter sentence would be "I saw him while leaving the house."[/q2]
[q2]> >>[/q2]
[q2]> >> For my explanation of the difference see my other post.[/q2]
[q2]> >[/q2]
[q2]> > Would the insertion of a comma change the meaning, i.e. if the sentence was "I saw him, leaving[/q2]
[q2]> > the house."?[/q2]
[q1]>[/q1]
[q1]> A comma there would be wrong, IMHO. There is no reason to have one, and it doesn't change the[/q1]
[q1]> meaning, only the rhythm of the sentence because the comma merely introduces a pause in speech if[/q1]
[q1]> you are reading it out loud. If you were to put it into verse format,[/q1]
[q1]>[/q1]
[q1]> "I saw him, leaving the house"[/q1]
[q1]>[/q1]
[q1]> an element of ambiguity is introduced. Now it is not possible to tell for certain whether the[/q1]
[q1]> speaker saw him while the speaker was leaving the house, or whether the speaker saw him while he[/q1]
[q1]> was leaving the house.[/q1]
[q1]>[/q1]
[q1]> A comma there is stylistically bad, IMHO.[/q1]
[q1]>[/q1]
I would agree with this.

Regards, Einde O'Callaghan
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Britt Nolan
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That's right. But it can also depend on who's asking you. For example, if someone asks you "Is John
still home?" you'd answer "I saw him leave the house." But if they asked, "Have you seen John
today?" Then you could answer "I saw him leaving the house."

However, the difference is so subtle, that you could really interchange the two phrases freely
without a native speaker even noticing.

The Britt Man

CyberCypher wrote:

[q1]> "Benotbe" <[email protected]> burbled news:[email protected]:[/q1]
[q1]>[/q1]
[q2]> > This is a question from my tutor. I posted this on another newsgroup yet nobody replies. Would[/q2]
[q2]> > anyone be kind enough to tell me the difference b/w the following sentences?[/q2]
[q2]> > 1) I saw him leave the house.[/q2]
[q2]> > 2) I saw him leaving the house.[/q2]
[q1]>[/q1]
[q1]> The meaning is essentially the same, but the first one suggests to me that the act of leaving was[/q1]
[q1]> completed; ie, he opened the door, walked out of the house, and then disappeared. The second one[/q1]
[q1]> suggests to me that you saw him after he had opened the door and was in the act of walking out of[/q1]
[q1]> the house, but that you did not see him disappear (into his car, around the corner, onto a bus,[/q1]
[q1]> into a taxi, etc.)[/q1]
[q1]>[/q1]
[q1]> --[/q1]
[q1]> Franke: "There are no great religions, only great myths and great mistakes." Bodhisattva F. A.[/q1]
[q1]> Tchirl. Grammar 1: Internalized rules for the spoken language. Grammar 2: Formal rules for the[/q1]
[q1]> written language. Grammar 1 does not equal Grammar 2.[/q1]
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Cybercypher
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Britt Nolan <[email protected]> burbled news:[email protected]:

[q1]> CyberCypher wrote:[/q1]
[q1]>[/q1]
[q2]>> "Benotbe" <[email protected]> burbled news:[email protected]:[/q2]
[q2]>>[/q2]
[q2]>> > This is a question from my tutor. I posted this on another newsgroup yet nobody replies. Would[/q2]
[q2]>> > anyone be kind enough to tell me the difference b/w the following sentences?[/q2]
[q2]>> > 1) I saw him leave the house.[/q2]
[q2]>> > 2) I saw him leaving the house.[/q2]
[q2]>>[/q2]
[q2]>> The meaning is essentially the same, but the first one suggests to me that the act of leaving was[/q2]
[q2]>> completed; ie, he opened the door, walked out of the house, and then disappeared. The second one[/q2]
[q2]>> suggests to me that you saw him after he had opened the door and was in the act of walking out of[/q2]
[q2]>> the house, but that you did not see him disappear (into his car, around the corner, onto a bus,[/q2]
[q2]>> into a taxi, etc.)[/q2]

[q1]> That's right. But it can also depend on who's asking you.[/q1]

Good point. The meaning of all words, phrases, and sentences depends to a great extent on the
context in which they are uttered or written, and the question being answered as well as the person
being spoken to are significant parts of that context. This is why we need context when attempting
to determine meaning or appropriateness or grammaticality.

[q1]> For example, if someone asks you "Is John still home?" you'd answer "I saw him leave the[/q1]
[q1]> house." But if they asked, "Have you seen John today?" Then you could answer "I saw him leaving[/q1]
[q1]> the house."[/q1]

I think either answer is fine with both questions. It just depends on what you mean. But I think I'd
say "No, he's not" in the first case and "Yes, I have" in the second.

[q1]> However, the difference is so subtle, that you could really interchange the two phrases freely[/q1]
[q1]> without a native speaker even noticing.[/q1]

Franke: "There are no great religions, only great myths and great mistakes." Bodhisattva F. A.
Tchirl. Grammar 1: Internalized rules for the spoken language. Grammar 2: Formal rules for the
written language. Grammar 1 does not equal Grammar 2.
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borninblood
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Just say no - far easier
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