+0
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 5) 
Hello Roro, no burden whatsoever!

Much to consider here.

1. I drew a circle.

2. I was drawing a circle.

I would say that the use of the past progressive in #2 already implies incompleteness. So as has been said, you can’t say ‘I was drawing a half circle’, because then your friend will naturally infer that your completed drawing would consist of a half circle.

Nor, probably, could you say ‘I have drawn a half circle’. A half circle implies a 180 degrees closed with a straight line.

In terms of semantic truth, I would distinguish the two as follows:

1. There is an entity, drawn by me before the moment of uttering #1, such that the distance of the centre from any spot on its boundary is equivalent to the distance of the centre from any other spot on its boundary.

2. There is an entity of which, at the moment of uttering #2, I had drawn more than nothing and less than all, such that a point might have been found whose distance from any spot on the line I had drawn up to the moment of uttering #2 was equivalent to its distance from any other spot on that line.

(But maybe I've misunderstood your question. Is my answer too simplistic?)

With the ‘train’ example, perhaps we can say that ‘his train was leaving in an hour’ really implies ‘his train was at that moment scheduled to leave in an hour from that moment’. So perhaps we can replace the leave-event with a planned-leave-event.

(Davkett, did you conclude your circle-drawing class with the story about Giotto?)

MrP
(Davkett, did you conclude your circle-drawing class with the story about Giotto?)

MrP,

One of my absolute favorite artists. Actually, it was many years ago, and the story probably came in before the end of the session. I don't know it as a story, just that Giotto was alledged to have done it in a single sweep. Highly doubtful, as perfect a draughtsman as he was.
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Long time no see, it seems to me, itsonlyme!
Thank you for your care. Yes indeed nobody has commented on the "who was away last week" part of the original question. I hope steves5a would notice your note. If i'm right steves5a got a high grade in the exam recently.

Good morning, davkett, MrPedantic. I owe both of you one, you really came through for me. I'm learning something new a lot now. I have to think over about your thought before making my reply.

I know you're an artist, davkett! I've just tried your assignment -- {draw a 6-inch-diameter-circle freehand} --. And however hard I tried, my right hand revolted against my brain's order...!

Are you good at it? What this exercise means? Interesting.
And MrPedantic, I don't know the story about Giotto. What's that??

Catch you later, with my another humble question,
Take a good rest.
PS.
More often than not, your posts are more entertaining than instructive, MrP.
(Or at the same time they are.)
In order to be called as a {half-circle}, my drawing should have a diameter, too!
It was a blind spot indeed...
This pair belongs to somewhat different question, maybe, but I was thining the difference between the two: is there any?

[1] I'm learning how to steer an airplain in a month.
[2] In a month, I'm learning how to steer an airplain.

(I'm sorry if these sentences are somewhat wrong as they stand, in the first place. I cannot judge.)
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What this exercise means

One of the basic elements of artistic language is shape. A circle is the most primal shape in the universe. It is the first shape that a child draws (very imperfectly) after the scribble stage. It is a perfect shape with no unique incidents-no jointedness, no starts and stops, no irregularities, no variation, no beginning, no end. It is also the ultimate symbol of wholeness. It is a shape that, when drawn closer and closer to a more perfect likeness, will reveal a natural flow along the curve-fluidity being a principle virtue in freehand drawing. (We all have it in writing our signatures.) Deviation from perfection in the drawing of a circle is not hard to notice because the circle is an archetype, a universal shape that the mind comprehends in its exactness. The first condition necessary for progress in art is the ability to notice what is wrong, what needs improvement. The guide in this exercise is less the teacher in the classroom, and more the archetype in the student's mind. Though drawn by a succession of hand movements, it has no parts. Though visually analyzed through a succession of cross-checking eye movements, it has no sequence.

There is usually no argument about whether a result is successful or not. As difficult as it is to draw the circle well, everything that comes after, in the education of an artist ,is harder.
Seems you have quite a few things to have to talk about this theme, davkett. I've never thought about the meaning of a circle as an ideal existence. I got interested, just took a look
at the 'Notebook of Leonardo da Vinci,' seems there's nothing about a circle in particular, but I think da Vinci would be delighted at your view!

Interesting..! There is a wrong shape, too, huh?
Thank you again,
〖 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 took a taxi home and ..."

[1] His train was leaving in an hour.
[2] In an hour his train was leaving.
(How do you think: [2] would fit in well in the MrP's scenario #8 above?)
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✒ I'm sorry, my question was inappropriate. Both are OK. But I was wondering if there isn't some possibility of a different interpretation.
I thought that, if we replace [1] with [2] in the scenario, we can give such a reading as {one hour later (from that time, i.e. at 9:00) the train was still leaving}.
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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. He got at a loss with all his usual indecisiveness... {In an hour, his train was leaving (he heard the conductor calling for getting on board)}. ‽ He took a taxi home and ..."

[Maybe this 'in an hour' is highly strange...?, it should be 'one hour later'? But as one of possible usages...]
(Cf. In an hour his train left.) so...

Instead of [‽ He took a taxi home and..] we would continue this scenario, for example, [He could do nothing but get into the train without his briefcase...].
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I'm wondering if there's such a (fairly subtle) difference, if any. What is important for me is, in the latter version, 'in an hour' can refer to some 'real' time interval.
Sentences of natural languages are ambiguous, but if there's some (logical) difference in meaning, the translation (in formal semantics) shouldn't be ambiguous.

I don't know if my humble idea is strongly biased by my prejudice or not. If so, ..please forgive me!

Well, as I said, I really hate to burden you with my problem. I'll be grateful if you drop me a few lines whenever you can.
With my warmest regards,

===
As an afterthought: this thread got lengthy & diffuse because of my misunderstandings. We'd better go back to square one?
Thank you so much for your kind help, MrPedantic, Davkett !!

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Erratum:

For

"2. There is an entity of which, at the moment of uttering #2, I had drawn more than nothing and less than all, such that a point might have been found whose distance from any spot on the line I had drawn up to the moment of uttering #2 was equivalent to its distance from any other spot on that line."

read

"2. There is an entity of which, at the moment referred to in #2, I had drawn more than nothing and less than all, such that a point might have been found whose distance from any spot on the line that I had drawn before the moment referred to in #2 was equivalent to its distance from any other spot on that line."

(Though I'm sure it could be put more pithily.)

MrP
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