Hello, everyone,

 1. The mayor appealed to the people.

2. The mayor appealed the people.

 Which of the two means:

 A. The mayor made an appeal to the people.

 B. The people liked/admired the mayor.

 Thanks.

Original Post

Hi, Ahmad: It's good to see you back. I was beginning to get concerned. Incidentally, since you were last here, all members have been given search abilities. The search functions can be accessed by clicking on the magnifying-glass icon at the top. The reason I haven't yet made a forum-wide announcement about it is that I want another technological issue to be solved first.

ahmad posted:

 1. The mayor appealed to the people.

2. The mayor appealed the people.

 Which of the two means:

 A. The mayor made an appeal to the people.

 B. The people liked/admired the mayor.

Sentence (1) can mean either (A) or (B). It is ambiguous in precisely that way. Although most people would be able to tell which meaning was involved by the context, you could disambiguate in favor of meaning (A) by using the prepositional passive ("The people were appealed to by the mayor") or by adding a "for"-phrase ("The mayor appealed to the people for support"). You could disambiguate in favor of meaning (B) by using very much: "The mayor very much appealed to the people"; "The mayor appealed to the people very much."

Sentence (2) is ungrammatical in modern English and should therefore not be used. It is, however, possible to say things like "They will appeal the case."

Hi, David,

I am equally (perhaps more) happy to be here once again. A lot has been going on in my life lately, and as such I could not post earlier.

As usual, I am delighted to have the answer, and am sincerely thankful to you for your great help.

PS: My current situation reminds me of Thomas Gabriel telling John McClane in Die Hard 4: Live Free or Die Hard:

"When I'm finished here -and I promise it'll be soon -I will focus all my attention on you."

You can replace 'you' with 'grammar' in my case. 

Thanks.

 

Ahmad,

I completely agree with David.  I'll add that (1) can also be disambiguated in favor of meaning (B) in these ways:

2c: The mayor was appealing to the people.

Or, even more unambiguous:

2d: The people found the mayor appealing.

DocV

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