He has served the Colonel for five years as a jockey, and seven as a trainer.

< Previous | Next >

Hiden

Senior Member
japanese
Which meaning, (1) or (2), can the following sentence be taken to mean?

"He has served the Colonel for five years as a jockey, and seven as a trainer."

(1) He has served the Colonel for a total of twelve years, five as a jockey, and seven as a trainer.
(2) He has served the Colonel for seven years as a trainer, including five years as a jockey.

Can the years (i.e. the lengths of time indicated by the duration adverbials) be taken either as overlapping (i.e.concurrent) or consecutive?
 
Last edited:
  • tunaafi

    Senior Member
    English - British (Southern England)
    Given the knowledge that jockeys do not normally work as trainers, that 'trainer' is a more important post than 'jockey', and that some trainers began their careers as jockeys, it is safe to assume that (1) is the correct choice.

    Without that knowledge, the sentence is potentially ambiguous.
     

    Hiden

    Senior Member
    japanese
    Given the knowledge that jockeys do not normally work as trainers, that 'trainer' is a more important post than 'jockey', and that some trainers began their careers as jockeys, it is safe to assume that (1) is the correct choice.

    Without that knowledge, the sentence is potentially ambiguous.
    Thank you for your insight. It helps a lot.
     

    Barque

    Banned
    Tamil
    I agree with Tunaafi.

    Also, a jockey, like any other athlete, has a limited working life if he competes at a high level. It's unlikely he'd have time to work as a trainer. And a trainer's job is normally a full time one if you're taking care of more than a couple of horses, so the converse applies too.

    Also, the structure of the sentence indicates that they were separate rather than overlapping periods. If they'd overlapped, it's more likely to have read something like: He'd trained the Colonel's horses for seven years, and rdden them too for five of them.
     

    Hiden

    Senior Member
    japanese
    Can I say (3) below to express the same meaning as (1)? Is the meaning of (3) different from that of (1)?:

    (3) He has been serving the Colonel for five years as a jockey, and seven as a trainer."
     

    Uncle Jack

    Senior Member
    British English
    Can I say (3) below to express the same meaning as (1)? Is the meaning of (3) different from that of (1)?:

    (3) He has been serving the Colonel for five years as a jockey, and seven as a trainer."
    Not really. The present perfect continuous in conjunction with a time period is generally used for something that began that long ago in the past and continues up to the present (or until very recently indeed). Phrasing it like this suggests he started working for the Colonel as a jockey five years ago.
    If he is still the Colonel's trainer, then you can say "He has been serving the Colonel for seven years as a trainer", but you need the simple past (or possibly the past perfect, depending on how you phrase it) for the five years as a jockey.
     

    Hiden

    Senior Member
    japanese
    Not really. The present perfect continuous in conjunction with a time period is generally used for something that began that long ago in the past and continues up to the present (or until very recently indeed). Phrasing it like this suggests he started working for the Colonel as a jockey five years ago.
    If he is still the Colonel's trainer, then you can say "He has been serving the Colonel for seven years as a trainer", but you need the simple past (or possibly the past perfect, depending on how you phrase it) for the five years as a jockey.
    I'm sorry for the late reply. Thank you for always sharing your insight. It is a big help.
     

    Hiden

    Senior Member
    japanese
    Could you let me ask one more question? I understand that (3) does not express the same meaning as (1). Then, can I use (3) to expresse the same meaning as (2), i.e. the "concurrent/overlapping" reading?

    (3) He has been serving the Colonel for five years as a jockey, and seven as a trainer."
     

    Uncle Jack

    Senior Member
    British English
    Yes, I think that would work okay, but there would be clearer ways of expressing it, such as following my suggestion in post #6 with a comma and "five of them as a jockey".
     

    Hiden

    Senior Member
    japanese
    Yes, I think that would work okay, but there would be clearer ways of expressing it, such as following my suggestion in post #6 with a comma and "five of them as a jockey".
    Do you mean (4) below?

    (4) He has been serving the Colonel for seven years as a trainer, five of them as a jockey.
     

    Hiden

    Senior Member
    japanese
    tunaafi-san, and Uncle Jack-san, thank you for taking the time to asnwer my constant questions. I always appreciate your help. :)
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top