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Relations between events


They knocked down a lot of houses when they built the new road.

Are the two events here consecutive or not?
Thank you in advance!


  • DavidCrosbieDavidCrosbie ✭✭✭
    edited February 2018

    All the grammar tells us is that there was some correspondence between the event of knocking down the houses and the period of building the road. Common sense tells us that the process of road building started much earlier — at a drawing-board, perhaps. We're not told how much physical work was done before the demolition, or whether that physical work included some road-laying. We aren't told because it isn't relevant.

    The grammar doesn't tell us that the road building was the reason for knocking down the houses, but we immediately assume that it was. If there wasn't a causal connection, it's just perverse to mention the two things in the same sentence.

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