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navi
Posted: Friday, June 8, 2018 1:16:25 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 5/16/2014
Posts: 330
Neurons: 3,140
1) Falling in love always ends up badly with her.

Does this mean:
a) Falling in love always ends up badly for her.
b) Falling in love always ends up badly for the person who falls in love with her
c) Things in general end up badly when she falls in love

Is the sentence informal or not?

Gratefully,
Navi
leonAzul
Posted: Friday, June 8, 2018 2:06:23 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 8/11/2011
Posts: 8,405
Neurons: 26,726
Location: Miami, Florida, United States
navi wrote:
1) Falling in love always ends up badly with her.

Does this mean:
a) Falling in love always ends up badly for her.
b) Falling in love always ends up badly for the person who falls in love with her
c) Things in general end up badly when she falls in love

Is the sentence informal or not?

Gratefully,
Navi


Example c) comes closest to the meaning of the original example you have mooted.

The way I understand the original sentence is that there is a bad outcome for both her and anyone else whenever she falls in love, or whenever anyone else falls in love with her. In other words, the original sentence comprises both a) and b), to my ear.

It is my opinion that such a statement would not be very likely to be made formally. The topic is more often addressed in lyric poetry than formal discourse, but that is my opinion. The choice of words and construction, however, are neither formal nor informal.


"Make it go away, Mrs Whatsit," he whispered. "Make it go away. It's evil."
leonAzul
Posted: Friday, June 8, 2018 9:10:00 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 8/11/2011
Posts: 8,405
Neurons: 26,726
Location: Miami, Florida, United States
leonAzul wrote:


It is my opinion that such a statement would not be very likely to be made formally. The topic is more often addressed in lyric poetry than formal discourse, but that is my opinion. The choice of words and construction, however, are neither formal nor informal.


Falling in Love with Love
Whistle


"Make it go away, Mrs Whatsit," he whispered. "Make it go away. It's evil."
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Friday, June 8, 2018 12:04:20 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/12/2011
Posts: 29,715
Neurons: 172,120
Location: Livingston, Scotland, United Kingdom
Hello navi.
I agree with leon - it is not a very likely sentence.
Definitely you wouldn't see it written formally, and you probably would never hear it said informally.

Most people would write or say something more like
'a', 'b' or 'c', depending what they mean (usually 'a' or 'c').

I would be more likely to use a 'dummy subject "it"' sentence - I don't really know why, but it 'sounds better to me'.

You missed a 'flow' - 'b-2' is also possible!

a-1 It always ends up badly when she falls in love.
b-1 It always ends up badly for anyone who falls in love with her.
b-2 It always ends up badly for anyone she falls in love with.
c-1 Things always end up badly when she falls in love.

Though a-1 and c-1 sound very similar, the change of subject from the dummy 'it' to "things" makes a lot of difference.

In a-1, the main subject is "she". The sentence is about HER, so 'things go badly for her' is assumed.

In c-1, the main subject is "things". Everything around her - life, the universe and everything - goes badly, for everyone.


Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
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