each of us to stand / with each of us to stand

navi

Banned
armenian
Are these sentences correct:

1-We decided to protect the castle, each of us to stand in front of one of the windows.

2-We decided to protect the castle, with each of us to stand in front of one of the windows.
 
  • LV4-26

    Senior Member
    navi said:
    Are these sentences correct:

    1-We decided to protect the castle, each of us to stand in front of one of the windows.

    2-We decided to protect the castle, with each of us to stand in front of one of the windows.
    To me, they're both very ambiguous, to say the least (I'd be tempted to say they don't make sense but I'm not a native so I wouldn't chance such an assertion).

    I don't understand what "to" (to stand) stands for in the second clause.
    Does it refer to the purpose of us protecting the castle, i.e. we decided to protect the castle so that each of us could stand....?

    Or does it refer to how you protected the castle? i.e. we decided to protect the castle by standing in front of the windows/ we decided to protect tha castle with each of us standing.....

    I don't know about the natives but I, for one, need you to explain what you want to say precisely.
     

    elroy

    Imperfect Mod
    US English/Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    navi said:
    Are these sentences correct:

    1-We decided to protect the castle, each of us to stand in front of one of the windows.

    2-We decided to protect the castle, with each of us to stand in front of one of the windows.
    If I understand your intentions correctly, these sentences are incorrect. I believe you meant to "with each of us standing." Otherwise, the sentences are, indeed, illogical.

    If you changed the structure around a little bit in #1, you could still use the infinitive with a slightly different syntactical relationship: "We decided to protect the castle - to stand in front of the windows, one of us in front of each one." In this case you are elaborating on your decision, and the instrumental link that "with each of us standing" provides is only an implied subtext.

    "With each of us to stand," however, does not work here.
     

    whatonearth

    Senior Member
    UK, English
    I'm afraid I'm going to have to disagree with elroy and LV4-26 - both of those sentences make sense to me. They appear to be written in a somewhat formal and slightly archaic manner but are perfectly understandable (I prefer the second one though, it is just a bit clearer).

    By my understanding, the sentences mean:
    "We decided to protect the castle, so in order to do this the plan was for each of the people involved to stand in front of a window"
    While I am not entirely sure how effective such a plan would be, the meaning is clear to me! :) The use of "to stand" seems to imply some level of prior-planning to me...well, that's my understanding anyway...
     

    elroy

    Imperfect Mod
    US English/Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    whatonearth said:
    I'm afraid I'm going to have to disagree with elroy and LV4-26 - both of those sentences make sense to me. They appear to be written in a somewhat formal and slightly archaic manner but are perfectly understandable (I prefer the second one though, it is just a bit clearer).

    By my understanding, the sentences mean:
    "We decided to protect the castle, so in order to do this the plan was for each of the people involved to stand in front of a window"
    While I am not entirely sure how effective such a plan would be, the meaning is clear to me! :) The use of "to stand" seems to imply some level of prior-planning to me...well, that's my understanding anyway...
    You are right. After a second reading, I see what you mean. However, I didn't think this future-in-the-past scenario is what Navi was trying to express. But I could be wrong. This is what happens when we're not given enough context. ;)
     

    panjandrum

    Occasional Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    navi said:
    Are these sentences correct:

    1-We decided to protect the castle, each of us to stand in front of one of the windows.

    2-We decided to protect the castle, with each of us to stand in front of one of the windows.
    These sentences feel very artificial, possibly constructed specifically for this exercise. Their meaning is clear, but if I wanted to explain what I think they mean, I would find a different way to say it.

    The difficulty is that the sentences are conveying two messages. First that we decided to protect the castle, second, something of the way in which we proposed to do that. I would prefer some appropriate linkage, or else keep the two messages as two sentences.

    We decided to protect the castle.
    Each of us would stand in front of one of the windows.

    As a matter of curiousity, what are you protecting the castle from? If you are back a few centuries protecting it from armed attack, then in front of the windows is a truly silly place to stand. You might want to stand behind the windows, perhaps, with an appropriate weapon to hand.
    I suppose that if you are protecting the castle from modern vandals of some variety, then perhaps your protest campaign would best be served by standing in front of the windows.:D
     

    Moogey

    Senior Member
    USA English
    A lot of writing here, so I didn't read it all.

    I would say this: "Each of us decided to protect the castle by standing in front of a window."

    It's really "each" that sets the sentence off, making me rewrite it. Otherwise, you could say "We decided to protect the castle by standing in front of a window."

    You could even say "After having decided to protect the castle, each of us stood in front of a window."

    -M
     

    elroy

    Imperfect Mod
    US English/Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    Moogey said:
    You could even say "After having decided to protect the castle, each of us stood in front of a window."

    -M
    And in that sentence, you could get rid of the "after."

    BUT technically speaking that sentence is saying that we each individually made the decision to protect the castle. Otherwise it should be "After we decided to protect the castle, each of us stood in front of a window."

    But I'm splitting hairs. ;)
     

    elroy

    Imperfect Mod
    US English/Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    Moogey said:
    You could even say "After having decided to protect the castle, each of us stood in front of a window."

    -M
    And in that sentence, you could get rid of the "after."

    BUT technically speaking that sentence is saying that we each individually made the decision to protect the castle. Otherwise it should be "After we decided to protect the castle, each of us stood in front of a window."

    But I'm splitting hairs. ;)
     

    navi

    Banned
    armenian
    Thank you all.
    What mattered most to me was the grammatical structure:
    We decided to do a, with each of us to do b.

    I think that what I mean by 'in front' could be better expressed by 'behind", although if we were all inside the castle, I would say 'in front'.

    The scene I was imagining was a group of people defending a castle that was being attacked from all sides. My imaginary castle doesn't have crenellations (I think that is the word) or for some reason you can't go to the rooftop. You have either guns or arrows. I think I should have said 'house' or 'building' instead of 'castle'. Or perhaps I should have chosen a more peaceful example! Here goes:

    'We decided to prepare lunch with each of us to do a part of the work.'
     
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