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The receptionist, who was away last week

The receptionist returning to work today

The receptionist returns today.

The receptionist, who was away last week and returns to work.

which is correct and what type of sentence is it
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Comments  (Page 4) 
Hello again, please let me add some of my humble idea.
What is baffling me is [in an hour]. in #7 & #8, the same expression [in an hour], it seems to me, refers to different things/entities.

In #7 it refers some concrete temporal interval in which 'leave-event' took place.

On the other in #8 it refers some abstract interval, prescribed in a plan or agent's intention.

(But: #9 In an hour the train was leaving.
It's different, maybe.)

I don't know if I'm right or not (and I want to know that, first of all!).

(Thank you for reading, for your patience.)
Hello Roro

1. I left in an hour.

2. I was leaving in an hour.

Yes, I think you're right: #1 suggests he did indeed leave in an hour; whereas #2 can suggest he might not have done (though 'I was going to leave in an hour' is perhaps more usual).

For the 'he did leave' version:

3. I was leaving in an hour. No matter what MrP said, I was going to leave. No question. He threw everything at me: loose women, strong liquor, tricky questions about conditionals. But no dice. I was going to leave in an hour: and I did.

MrP
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[2] I'm finding it in an hour. / I was finding it in an hour.

The only context I can think of for this one is:

MissQ has lost XYZ.

She tells MrP that she's determined to find her XYZ in an hour.

MrP is extremely sceptical. 'An hour? You'll never find your XYZ in an hour.'

MissQ is outraged. 'On the contrary. I'm finding it in an hour. And that's final.'

(As she searches her flat for her XYZ, she can be heard to mutter to herself, 'I'm finding it in an hour! I'm finding it in an hour!'.)

MrP
#7 The train left in an hour.
#8 The train was leaving in an hour.

Hello Roro

In #8, we look at the time of the train's departure from the perspective of the beginning of the hour. If the time-stamp of the 'thought' is 8o/c, the train is due to leave at 9.

In #7, we look at the moment of departure, in relation to an hour before, when something else happened. If the time-stamp of the 'thought' is 9o/c, we are relating it to 'something else' at 8o/c.

A scenario for #8:

"MrQ stood on the platform. Suddenly he realized he had left his briefcase at home. He looked at his watch. Eight o'clock. His train was leaving in an hour. He had just enough time to take a taxi home and pick up his briefcase..."

A scenario for #7:

"MrQ boarded the train at eight o'clock. He was far too early. He fell asleep. The train left in an hour, as scheduled; but MrQ didn't wake up..."

(Confusingly, though, you can also use 'the train left in an hour' in the #8 context. I suppose once something's past, it's past.)

MrP
You ARE really something! Thank youu soo much, for your help and for your time you took for answering my mumbling.
Quite helpful, and, well, impressive examples.

Please let me continue, but, MrP, please don't think as if you "have to" give some answer to my (sometimes queer?) questions, think: she's talking to herself.

⎨And I have to beg moderators' pardon for continuing this a bit off-topic questioning, for this thread is resolved⎬
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A scenario for #8:
"MrQ stood on the platform. Suddenly he realized he had left his briefcase at home. He looked at his watch. Eight o'clock. {His train was leaving in an hour}. He had just enough time to take a taxi home and pick up his briefcase..."

(Confusingly, though, you can also use {the train left in an hour} in the #8 context.)
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Interesting. Yes, we can change the perspective and understand it as {the train left in an hour (from that time)} or sth. I wasn't aware of that, but now I can see, and it's quite interesting.

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What I'm interested in ... what's baffling me all the time ... is something different, though. I'd like to think out some scenario which would make my question clearer, somehow later. For the meantime: You may laugh, but there's such a question.

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I was drawing a circle. When I had drawn only a half circle, my friend called me.
How do you think: in this situation, how can I say to him that "I was drawing a circle"...?
Or should I say: I was drawing a half circle. ?
What's the truth condition of this sentence?

That is: any circle doesn't exist yet. Then the expression "a circle" refers non-existing object (a circle was only in my mind).

(Do you remember the discussion in the thread "Proper Noun", which I left undone? There was a similar problem.)

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It seems to me, such a sentence as {his train was leaving in an hour} has the same problem. It could 'NOT include' the real interval in which 'leave-event' takes place.

On the other, in cases like {his train left in an hour}, it MUST include such a reference.

You know, it's my problem. And these examples are not dissapointing at all. On the contrary. ... so I'm enjoying these baffling matters. How I'm grateful for this site, for you all, to give me this oppotunity, and of course, great help in various ways.

I still don't know how to make myself clear, though. Let me continue, but I have no intention to impose a burden on you, ok? MrPedantic!
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Thank you again, take care,
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Excuse me for popping in here, Roro, because I only intend to treat the exact question you ask here...as opposed to considering it within the context of the extensive dialogue between you and MrP. So, maybe, my contribution here is superfluous.

I was drawing a circle. When I had drawn only a half circle, my friend called me.
How do you think: in this situation, how can I say to him that "I was drawing a circle"...?
Or should I say: I was drawing a half circle. ?
What's the truth condition of this sentence?

That is: any circle doesn't exist yet. Then the expression "a circle" refers non-existing object (a circle was only in my mind).


If you are looking for a succinct statement (and not a whole paragraph) that expresses the truth, you could say, 'I was just now halfway through drawing a circle.' Even that statement is not absolutely descriptive of the truth, since it doesn't tell him whether you have completed a half circle as an image, or whether you are halfway through the time it takes to complete the image of a circle. (The first half of the image may take more/less time to complete.) So, then, you have to add more qualifiers, 'I was just now drawing a circle, and got as far as drawing a half-circle.' An interesting test might be to see how few words it would take to communicate the intent.

If, however, in your question you want to know what can be understood from the two versions you pose, the specificity in 'I was drawing a half-circle' is more misleading than, 'I was drawing a circle'.

My apologies, if this is off the point.
Hello davkett! So glad to hear from you. Interesting.. I was just reading your posts in⎨has has⎬thread. I tried to make a link to another site under your instruction but failed anyway. In preview I can link successfully, but when I post, queer stringing marks appear, so I have to edit it. (The same things happen as to, for example, bold/itaric face, quotations, etc.)

This is why my posts are not in the state of the art.

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Thank you so much for your thought. Quite logical & to the point, especially the last, suming-up line. From your comment I can see clearly that you understand my question properly and are trying to help me dig down into it. Please let me explain the question a bit more.

{Quote=davkett}
The specificity in 'I was drawing a half-circle' is more misleading than, 'I was drawing a circle'.

Right, I feel the same way. In this situation 'I was drawing a circle' is an appropriate statement. (And we can say: 'I've drawn a half circle,' truely, right? This sentence wouldn't have caused this problem, by the way...)

I've been learning formal semantics. In formal semantics the meaning of a sentence is represented as its 'truth condition.' I wouldn't dwell on its details at length (because it's a dreadful bore) unless you have some question.
Truth condition should be able to explain the difference of references of the two sentences:

#1 I drew a circle.
#2 I was drawing a circle.

In #1 'a circle' refers an object. In #2 -- imaginary property.

In other words, we can state the truth condition of #1 roughly like this: 'There is an entity 'circle' which I drew in the past'.

As to #2, we cannot say 'There is an entity 'circle' which I was drawing ...

I mentioned this question, because there is an answer already. (..or I think I have the answer...)
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An Analogous pair {‽‽}
1. I left in an hour.
2. I was leaving in an hour.

Sorry, davkett, if I'm talking with you impertinently.
I just wanted to make my question a bit clearer. I close for now. I really appreciate your thoughs.

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PS.
I'm curious to know what you think about the following two sentences: is there any difference in meaning (please think about the most natural, preferable reading). Sorry for the trifle question, but I'm interested in it, without reason:

[1] I was leaving in an hour.
[2] In an hour I was leaving.
(How do you think: [2] would fit in well in the MrP's scenario #8 above? If not, what is the natural reading of [2]? Please help me.)

Drop me a line when you can.
Take care, davkett.
"who was away last week" is a relative clause adding additional information to "The receptionist". This doesn't complete the sentence, you need the predicate like "has returned".
For example:
The recepetionist, who was away last week, has returned.
subject relative clause predicate

Hope that helps.
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I should say, at the outset, Roro, that I have not formally studied semantics, but I do think I can follow your explanation of the difference between the two statements regarding the circle-drawing event.

'I was drawing a circle' Indeed, it must be understood as expressing the progress of drawing toward an as yet 'unrealized' image-- or, as you might wish to put it, 'an imaginary property'. (Incidentally, I once gave an assignment to some college freshman art majors to draw a circle with an approximate 6-inch diameter, as perfectly as possible, freehand. Most students took the better part of an hour before they called it quits. That's plenty of time for a number of phone-call interruptions, isn't it.)

Your other question:

[1] I was leaving in an hour. = I would/will be leaving this place one hour from now.

[2] In an hour I was leaving. = Same thing to me, just different word order: One hour from now, I would/will be leaving this place.

' His train was leaving in an hour.' = His train would be leaving the station one hour from now.

(I have not read the entire lengthy thread, so I don't know whether this fits in helpfully or not.)
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