‘some country’ attack

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gayyyyk

Senior Member
Russian
Hello. If we see in the news ‘Saudi (some country) attack’ it means attack on Saudi, but could the opposite be true (possibly)? ‘Attack by Saudi’ ?
 
  • Edinburgher

    Senior Member
    German/English bilingual
    Please give an actual example, with a complete sentence. It is not really possible to comment based on so little (i.e. no) context.
     

    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    Yes. ‘Saudi attack’ is [noun1 + noun2] which means noun2 associated in some way with noun1.
    Crossposted.
     

    gayyyyk

    Senior Member
    Russian
    Yes. ‘Saudi attack’ is [noun1 + noun2] which means noun2 associated in some way with noun1.
    Crossposted.
    I see, so can it mean ‘attack carried by Saudi’ ? Given just two words with no additional context ?
     

    gayyyyk

    Senior Member
    Russian
    Please give an actual example, with a complete sentence. It is not really possible to comment based on so little (i.e. no) context.
    I am sorry, but I am not able to provide context. I am just curious to know whether it is possible to understand differently ?
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    Yes, without context, "x attack" can mean both "attack on x" and "attack by x".
     

    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    Given just two words with no additional context ?
    And this is the most important lesson in English: "The importance of context cannot be overstated."
    If I say "The set is full", it can have at least 300 different meanings, without context.
     

    MattiasNYC

    Senior Member
    Swedish
    Just to satisfy some of the members here: I just yesterday saw a news headline with exactly that little context "Saudi attack" followed by something irrelevant (like "Saudi attack destabilizes region"). It was unclear by the headline if it referred to a recent attack on Saudi Arabia or if it was an even more recent response (attack) by the country.

    I think that may have been what the poster may have referred to, and I too was confused.
     
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