Are these sentences all correct:

1) People scuba dive in Spain.

2) People do scuba dive in Spain.

3) People do scuba diving in Spain.

4) People do do scuba diving in Spain.

Do they mean:

a) That there are at least some people who scuba dive in Spain (maybe only tourists do it!)

b) There are a lot of people who scuba dive in Spain

c) Scuba diving is a common activity in Spain. It is widespread

d) Everybody scuba dives in Spain

 

Gratefully,

Navi

Original Post
navi posted:

Are these sentences all correct:
1) People scuba dive in Spain.
2) People do scuba dive in Spain.
3) People do scuba diving in Spain.
4) People do do scuba diving in Spain.

Do they mean:
a) That there are at least some people who scuba dive in Spain (maybe only tourists do it!)
b) There are a lot of people who scuba dive in Spain
c) Scuba diving is a common activity in Spain. It is widespread
d) Everybody scuba dives in Spain

Hello, Navi,

All four sentences unambiguously mean (a). "People scuba dive in Spain" is a different way of saying "People do scuba diving in Spain."

"People do scuba dive in Spain" and "People do do scuba diving in Spain" are the same as the other two sentences, but the "do"-support makes them emphatic:

Speaker A: He told me that people didn't do scuba diving in Spain.
Speaker B: That's not true. People do do scuba diving in Spain.

Some speakers might even say: "People do, too, do scuba diving in Spain."

Thank you very much, David,

How about these sentences:

5) Doctors work hard in Spain.

6) Doctors scuba dive in Spain.

7) Books are expensive in Spain.

It seems to me that '7' means that all or most books are expensive in Spain. I doubt that '5' means 'Some doctors work hard in Spain' but I am not sure about that. 

I guess '6' means that they are at least some doctors who scuba dive in Spain.

Gratefully,

Navi

Thank you very much, David,

There was no trap. I was totally confused and made the examples as I went along. But now I have become even more confused. Your interpretation -if I understand it correctly-  was not the one I was thinking of! It is pretty smart, but it hadn't crossed my mind!

I have thought of two other ways this 'construct' could be used.

8) Expensive cars were parked in front of the house. 

9) Sailors sing such songs in Spain, not pilots.

These two sentences have nothing to do with the other sentences as far as I can see. But the structure of the sentences seems the same in all cases. 

Gratefully,

Navi

Navi, for what it's worth:

With regard to your examples (3) and (4), I have never heard anyone say "do scuba diving" before, and can find very few examples of it in print.  I'm not saying it's incorrect, but it sounds awkward to me.

"Scuba dive" is certainly used often enough that I would say there is no question as to its acceptability, but I can find more instances of it being used as a noun phrase (as in "to perform a scuba dive") than a verb phrase.  Furthermore, it doesn't seem to lend itself to the past tense; "scuba dived" is uncommon, and I can't find any examples at all of "scuba dove".

I prefer the phrase "go scuba diving", but I have no problem with your examples (1) and (2), which, as David said, are most naturally interpreted as (a).

DocV

PS:

Your example (9) got me thinking on a tangent, imagining the various interpretations it would take on if "not pilots" were omitted and "only" were inserted:

9a: Only sailors sing such songs in Spain.
9b: Sailors only sing such songs in Spain.
9c: Sailors sing only such songs in Spain.
9d: Sailors sing such songs only in Spain.
9e: Sailors sing such songs in Spain only.

No question here, just an observation.

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