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Which sentences are considered correct? 

1 If the lion and the bull fought each other, they both would defeat and hurt themselves.

2 If the lion and the bull fought each other, they both would defeat.

3 If the lion and the bull fought each other, both of them would defeat and hurt. 

4 If the lion and the bull fought each other, they would being defeated and hurt among themselves. 

 

Thanks.

Original Post
@bear_bear posted:

1 If the lion and the bull fought each other, they both would defeat and hurt themselves.

2 If the lion and the bull fought each other, they both would defeat.

3 If the lion and the bull fought each other, both of them would defeat and hurt. 

4 If the lion and the bull fought each other, they would being defeated and hurt among themselves.

Hi, bear_bear,

Only (1) is grammatically correct, because "defeat" and "hurt" are transitive and require an object. I prefer:

1'. If the lion and the bull fought each other, they would both defeat and hurt themselves.

However, from a semantic point of view, you cannot defeat yourself. You can defeat others, not yourself, so -- though grammatical -- that sentence does not make sense. Even "defeating each other" would be nonsensical.

(2) and (3) do not work because the verbs "defeat" and "hurt" have no object.

(4) is the most ungrammatical of all, because "would" is NEVER followed by V-ing. You could say:

5. If the lion and bull fought each other, they would be defeated and hurt. (passive meaning) Again, this sentence presents the inconsistency of there being two losers, and in a fight there is usually a winner and a loser.

A more reasonable sentence would be:

6. If the lion and the bull fought each other, they would both get hurt.

African buffalo vs African lion fight comparison- who would win?

Last edited by Gustavo, Contributor

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