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Dear teachers,

Is there a difference in meaning between these couple of sentences, please?

1a) Jane writes poetry every morning.

1b) Jane writes “poetry” every morning.

2a) Peter said Ron was elected President.

2b) Peter said, “Ron was elected President”.

Have you got better examples to illustrate this point, please?

Thank you in advance,

Hela
Comments  
1a) Jane writes poetry every morning. OK

1b) Jane writes “poetry” every morning. Ironical

2a) Peter said that Ron was elected President.

2b) Peter said, “Ron was elected President”. OK
So the difference between 1a and 1b is the tone which ironical?

What about the 2a and 2b, is there a difference in meaning? The difference I see is just the form of speech but not the meaning.

Would you have one or more examples where a punctuation signal can change the real meaning of a sentence, please?

All the best,

Hela
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HelaDear teachers,

Is there a difference in meaning between these couple of sentences, please?

1a) Jane writes poetry every morning.

1b) Jane writes “poetry” every morning.

The meaning of 1a) is straightforward. The quotation marks in 1b) indicate that the person speaking or writing doesn't believe that what Jane writes is really poetry (perhaps because it's not very good).
Hela2a) Peter said Ron was elected President.

2b) Peter said, “Ron was elected President”.

Have you got better examples to illustrate this point, please?

Thank you in advance,

Hela

For 2a), Peter spoke and gave the information that Ron was elected President. But he might have said "Ron is now the new President!". This is indirect reported speech. (strictly speaking, it should be "Peter said Ron had been elected President"). For 2b), "Ron was elected President" are his actual words. This is direct reported speech.

Hi Hela

You asked about further examples. Here is one that I've seen a few times on the Net:

1. Woman without her man is a savage.
The sentence above might be punctuated in different ways:
1a. Woman, without her man, is a savage.
1b. Woman: without her, man is a savage.


To be painfully literal, this sentence:

Jane writes “poetry” every morning.

would mean that Jane sits down with a pen and paper and writes the word "poetry" every morning.
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Actually, Anon, I can understand that meaning, but my take on the "poetry" is that the person writing it that way thought the poetry was not every good.

A similar use is that my husband smokes, but never in front of the children, so sometimes he goes outside to have "a vitamin" instead of a cigarette.
I agree Geek, that is the way it would be read by 99% of people 99% of the time - I was just saying if you wanted to be strictly literal, it couldbe taken the other way. Emotion: smile
Thank you all for your contribution.

All the best
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