One person says: "In our city, a lot of people go to parks."

Another replies:


1) It's old people who do.
2) It's the old people who do.


3) Old people go to parks.
4) The old people go to parks.

Are these sentences all acceptable in this context?
Do they have different meanings in this context?
Do '2' and '4' imply that all of them go to parks?

Gratefully,
Navi

Original Post
navi posted:
Are these sentences all acceptable in this context?

Do they have different meanings in this context?
Do '2' and '4' imply that all of them go to parks?

Hello, Navi,

Yes, they are all acceptable in that context; yes, they have different meanings; and yes, (2) and (4) imply that all of them go to parks, though the hearer would probably be unlikely to hold the speaker responsible if there were discovered to be an exception or two, the idea being that basically all of them do.

I do find (1) and (2) to be more natural than (3) and (4) in the context. Reply (4) could, however, be made parallel to (2) if it were truncated to "The old people." Regarding (3), its meaning is much different from that of the others. It implies that the people the speaker is referring to should be old, whether or not they are.

Thank you very much, David,

So is '3' saying that as a rule old people go to parks (a generalization)? Is it saying that is the kind of activity old people engage in and therefore the people who go to parks in our city should logically be old people?

Gratefully,

Navi

navi posted:

So is '3' saying that as a rule old people go to parks (a generalization)? Is it saying that is the kind of activity old people engage in and therefore the people who go to parks in our city should logically be old people?

Yes, Navi, that's exactly right. Response (3) is thus potentially not a very friendly reply, for it implies the assertion "There must be a lot of old people in your city."  

Thank you very much, David,

With all due respect, I beg to differ! It might be a very friendly reply, for at the end of the day it implies that the people of your city have a high average life expectancy!!!!

 

Thanks again for all the clear and precise replies. I really appreciate it.

Respectfully,

Navi

Add Reply

Likes (0)
×
×
×
×