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"Usually, they say 'I am flattered' when they feel like you were trying to compliment them or admit your attraction."

https://grammarhow.com/i-am-flattered-meaning/

In some languages  verbs conjugate in a more complex way than in English, according  to the person, gender, number, tense, voice and mood.

In Georgian the verb 'admit' would change its form and enable the reader to see which of the two subject pronouns it correlates to.

I, as a native  Georgian  speaker, have a difficulty understanding the correlation here. Are there any rules in English that clarify such situations or only the context can show it? Sometimes even contexts are ambiguous.

The sentence  can be interpreted and rephrased  in different  ways:

1. "Usually, they say 'I am flattered' when they feel like you were trying to compliment them or to admit your attraction."

'To admit your attraction' and 'to compliment  them' may have the same subject 'you' or the different subjects 'they' and 'you'.

2. "Usually, they say 'I am flattered' to admit your attraction or when they feel like you were trying to compliment them.

3. "Usually, they say 'I am flattered' when they feel like you were trying to compliment them or you admit your attraction."

4. "Usually, they say 'I am flattered' when they feel like you were trying to compliment them or when they admit your attraction."

5. "Usually, they say 'I am flattered' when they feel like you were trying to compliment them or you were trying to admit your attraction."



Can anyone analyse the original sentence grammatically?



Thank you very much

Original Post

Hi, David,

"Usually, they say 'I am flattered' when they feel like you were trying to compliment them or admit your attraction."

[...]

The sentence  can be interpreted and rephrased  in different  ways:

1. "Usually, they say 'I am flattered' when they feel like you were trying to compliment them or to admit your attraction."

'To admit your attraction' and 'to compliment  them' may have the same subject 'you' or the different subjects 'they' and 'you'.

2. "Usually, they say 'I am flattered' to admit your attraction or when they feel like you were trying to compliment them.

3. "Usually, they say 'I am flattered' when they feel like you were trying to compliment them or you admit your attraction."

4. "Usually, they say 'I am flattered' when they feel like you were trying to compliment them or when they admit your attraction."

5. "Usually, they say 'I am flattered' when they feel like you were trying to compliment them or you were trying to admit your attraction."

The correct interpretation is (4). Within the adverbial clause, the subject "they" takes two main verbs, "feel like" and "admit."

If "they" say they are flattered, being similar to "acknowledge" and therefore a verb of mental process "admit" needs to refer to "they."

Last edited by Gustavo, Co-Moderator

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