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S1. It is a long road that has no turns.
S2. It would be a long road that has no turns.

Q1. S1 means that all roads have turns. But could it possibly also refer to an actual road that has no turns? If so how can one tell the difference between the two interpretations?
Q2. What's the difference in meaning between S1 and S2?

Thanks,
Comments  
But could it possibly also refer to an actual road that has no turns?

I think it could.

Q2. What's the difference in meaning between S1 and S2?

When we say S2 to a person, I think the listener hasn’t made up his mind whether to take the road or not at that time.
It's also written in a way that you write proverbs, like "It's a wise man who knows his limitations."

2 could also be how someone describes a possible situation you might encounter, where "with" means "if it were the case that." "It would be a very long trip with no stops to use the bathroom." "It would be an unbearable journey with a baby that didn't stop crying."
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Thanks for the replies. I posted the question not realizing I hadn't logged in.

Grammar Geek wrote the following post at 14-07-2006 6:18 AM:

It's also written in a way that you write proverbs, like "It's a wise man who knows his limitations."

Q1. Which of the following does your proverb mean?
S1. No man knows his limitations.
S2. He who knows his limitations is a wise man.
S3. An actual wise man, say, John, who knows his limitations.

2 could also be how someone describes a possible situation you might encounter, where "with" means "if it were the case that." "It would be a very long trip with no stops to use the bathroom." "It would be an unbearable journey with a baby that didn't stop crying."Q2. What's the difference in meaning among the following? Could S4 and S6 also be interpreted as proverbs?
S4. It is a long road with no turns.
S5. It is a long road that has no turns.
S6. It is a long road which has no turns.

Thanks.

Hi guys,

Just a minor note that the traditional wording of this saying is 'It's a long road that has no turning'.

The meaning is one of encouragement and optimism. 'No matter how long and difficult something is, it will not go on forever'.

Best wishes, Clive
AnonymousS1. It is a long road that has no turns.
S2. It would be a long road that has no turns.

Q1. S1 means that all roads have turns. But could it possibly also refer to an actual road that has no turns? If so how can one tell the difference between the two interpretations?
Q2. What's the difference in meaning between S1 and S2?

Thanks,

S1 is farsuperior - and it has the sound of a proverb. Emotion: wink
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Curiously, I sense that the meaning is akin to:

It's a short road that has no turn(ing), i.e., long roads almost always do have turn(ing)s.

Oddly, I'ts a long road really seems to mean, you have to go a long way or you have to wait a long time [to find a (long) road that has no turn(ing)s].

How is it that we can interpret all these contradictory signals and still come out with the "correct" interpretation of the literal words? Language is magic! Emotion: smile

CJ
IMHO, there is no magic, someone must have made a logical error a long time ago, and people just repeat it without thinking much. Actually, “long road” in this proverb doesn’t make much sense, but “short road” really does. Compare the logic to “It’s a small flock that has no black sheep”