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There is a space between each chair / the chairs. #208151
11/28/12 06:20 AM
11/28/12 06:20 AM
Joined: Sep 2012
Posts: 41
L
Lionel Koh Offline OP
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Lionel Koh  Offline OP
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There is a space between each chair.

There is a space between the chairs.

Which of the above sentences should I use?

Thanks.

Last edited by Lionel Koh; 11/28/12 06:21 AM. Reason: typo
Re: There is a space between each chair / the chairs. [Re: Lionel Koh] #208152
11/28/12 12:04 PM
11/28/12 12:04 PM
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Posts: 959
Alaska
Tromboniator Offline
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Tromboniator  Offline
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Alaska
Welcome, Lionel.

To me, the first one makes no sense, so I would advise using the second; however, I have heard it argued that the first way is used so commonly, the meaning is so clear, that at least in conversation it is acceptable. I always wonder, though; if you remove all but one chair, is there a space between it?

Peter

Re: There is a space between each chair / the chairs. [Re: Lionel Koh] #208153
11/28/12 01:39 PM
11/28/12 01:39 PM
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Faldage Offline
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My first thought was the second, but thinking about it I think the first would cover a whole line of chairs that the second leaves kind of unmentioned. It could also be taken to mean that there were two groups of chairs with a space between the groups. However, I might amend the first to read:

There is a space between each pair of chairs.

But really, without some context any way you say it could be misconstrued. Context, like redundancy, is our friend.

Re: There is a space between each chair / the chairs. [Re: Faldage] #208155
11/28/12 10:04 PM
11/28/12 10:04 PM
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Posts: 1,554
Lower Aberdeen, Mississippi
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jenny jenny Offline
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jenny jenny  Offline
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Yes sirree, Faldage, context is our friend. But so is logic.

A semantic diagram of (1) can only mean x_x_x_x etc.
While a diagram of (2) can only mean xxxx__xxxx meaning aisle.

As they stand they are mutually exclusive statements.

Re: There is a space between each chair / the chairs. [Re: jenny jenny] #208158
11/28/12 10:50 PM
11/28/12 10:50 PM
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Netherlands, the Hague
BranShea Offline
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The chairs could be pell-mell all over the floor. There would be no equal space between them. There would not be a space. Just space.

Re: There is a space between each chair / the chairs. [Re: Tromboniator] #208159
11/28/12 10:59 PM
11/28/12 10:59 PM
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Auckland, New Zealand
olly Offline
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olly  Offline
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Auckland, New Zealand
Not sure of the rules but I would remove the 'a' in both sentences.

Re: There is a space between each chair / the chairs. [Re: Lionel Koh] #208190
12/01/12 05:52 AM
12/01/12 05:52 AM
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Louisville, Kentucky
Jackie Offline
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Jackie  Offline
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Overall, I agree with my friend olly. "A" space to me implies one specific measurement--that is, the spaces between all the chairs are equivalent; but, implies only: I can't argue with somebody saying the spaces are of different measurements.

between the chairs could mean not necessarily all of the chairs; saying each chair removes that possibility.

Depends on what you want to convey, I reckon. If I heard, "The crew set up the auditorium so that there is space between the chairs", I would assume that it meant that none of the chairs touched another.

Re: There is a space between each chair / the chairs. [Re: jenny jenny] #208192
12/01/12 01:24 PM
12/01/12 01:24 PM
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Faldage Offline
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Originally Posted By: jenny jenny
Yes sirree, Faldage, context is our friend. But so is logic.




There are so many things that trump logic in language use. Logic comes in about three levels after last sometimes.

Re: There is a space between each chair / the chairs. [Re: Faldage] #208193
12/01/12 04:09 PM
12/01/12 04:09 PM
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Lower Aberdeen, Mississippi
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jenny jenny Offline
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jenny jenny  Offline
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Joined: Jun 2010
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Lower Aberdeen, Mississippi
Originally Posted By: Faldage
Originally Posted By: jenny jenny
Yes sirree, Faldage, context is our friend. But so is logic.




There are so many things that trump logic in language use. Logic comes in about three levels after last sometimes.


Strange. You not being a woman and you understand this. smile

But, again, language serves to delimit as it describes. And the two sentences in question order the spacial relationship between chairs and space differently.

Why -you being a man- didn't you understand this? smile

Re: There is a space between each chair / the chairs. [Re: jenny jenny] #208197
12/01/12 10:52 PM
12/01/12 10:52 PM
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Faldage Offline
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Because I know language.


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