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I've got a question on the use of the verb 'substitute'. For instance, I have the following sentence:
I advised him to take out the word 'crackpot' and substitute the word 'infested'.

What does it mean? Does this sentence mean that I advised someone to take out the word 'crackpot' and substitute the word 'infested' for some other word (abound, for one)? Or does it mean that I advised someone to substitute the word 'crackpot' for 'infested' (it makes no sense, though)?
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Although we know that 'crackpot' and 'infested' are not likely able to fill the same grammatical role in a sentence, your sentence as it stands is at best ambiguous. Certainly, if 'crackpot' were wrong, a credulous person could think that 'infested' might replace it:

The student writes: 'His house was crackpot with two-kilogram rats'.

The teacher advises: 'This sentence is wrong; please take out the word 'crackpot' and substitute the word 'infested'.'

Your original sentence should be rewritten to clarify, if you wish 'infested' to subsitute for another word than 'crackpot':

'I advised him to take out the word 'crackpot', and substitute the word 'infested' for the word 'inundated'.
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I advised him to take out the word 'crackpot' and substitute the word 'infested'.

What does it mean? Does this sentence mean that ( A ) I advised someone to take out the word 'crackpot' and substitute the word 'infested' for some other word (abound, for one)? Or does it mean that ( B ) I advised someone to substitute the word 'crackpot' for 'infested' (it makes no sense, though)?


It's an odd one, isn't it? On first reading, though, I got ( A ), "substitute the word 'infested' for some other word". The reason I didn't get ( B ): "take out" means to delete, whereas "substitute" means to replace. One cannot replace a word that's been deleted. Moreover, the ( B ) reading is impossible: 'infested' is not a synonym for 'crackpot':

I advised him to replace the word 'crackpot' with the word 'infested'. (??)
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Comments  
As far as I know, when you substitute something, you replace something.

.. the word 'crackpot' and replace it with the word 'infested'. doesn't make any sense, so I'd go with your first option:
1. take out the word 'crackpot'
2. subsitute the word 'infested' for another word.
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That's just what I was talking about. It seemed quite strange to me, so I decided to find out which variant was correct. I saw a similar structure somewhere on the web and the author of that sentence probably made a mistake because he meant (B). The author was a native speakerEmotion: indifferent
Ah, yes, and we are human before we are native speakers.