How many days have you missed jogging this week?

stephenlearner

Senior Member
Chinese
Hi,

In the sentence below, should I put on before "How many days"? Does it not result in ambiguity without on? People may understand it as "For how many days", I feel.

A: How many days have you missed jogging this week?
B: Monday, Thursday, Friday. Altogether, 3 days.
 
  • stephenlearner

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    Thank you very much.
    But if B said, "Wedneseday, Thursday, Friday. 3 days", three days in a row, is it still right for the context?
     

    Copyright

    Senior Member
    American English
    I would answer the question first, and then add any unasked-for clarification:

    A: How many days have you missed jogging this week?
    B: Three (days) – Monday, Thursday and Friday.
    B: Three (days) – Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.
     

    DonnyB

    Sixties Mod
    English UK Southern Standard English
    If you actually want or expect clarification of the days, then I think you'd need to ask the question as "Which days have you missed jogging this week?"

    Which, incidentally, sounds more natural to me than "How many days ... ?"
     

    stephenlearner

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    Thanks.
    So, how many days does cause ambiguity.
    To avoid the ambiguity, should we say either “on how many days" or "for how many days"?

    (cross-posted with DonnyB.)
    OK, I would use which days.
     

    DonnyB

    Sixties Mod
    English UK Southern Standard English
    To avoid the ambiguity, should we say either “on how many days" or "for how many days"?
    I would interpret "On how many days... " as expecting an answer such as "three". But to me, "For how many days" means consecutive days, expecting an answer "three in a row".
     

    Ivan_I

    Senior Member
    Russian
    If you actually want or expect clarification of the days, then I think you'd need to ask the question as "Which days have you missed jogging this week?"
    Would it be better to use the past simple

    "Which days did you miss jogging this week?"
     

    DonnyB

    Sixties Mod
    English UK Southern Standard English
    Would it be better to use the past simple

    "Which days did you miss jogging this week?"
    If you altered it to "... last week" you'd need the simple past, but "... this week" is still current, so I think you could use either tense. :)
     

    PaulQ

    Banned
    UK
    English - England
    If we are talking about ambiguity, it is perhaps worth pointing out that the verb "to miss" has several meanings ->
    (i) to fail to do something - He missed the target.
    (ii) omit doing something. -> I missed my jogging lessons three times last week.
    (ii) have regrets about the absence of something -> I do not miss jogging at all - when I did it, I hated it.
     

    DonnyB

    Sixties Mod
    English UK Southern Standard English
    If we are talking about ambiguity, ...
    Huh? I didn't think we were talking about ambiguity in that sense: where did you get that idea from?

    The OP appears to me to have been asking about having missed jogging on several days during the week in the sense of not having done it. It's theoretically possible but somewhat oddly illogical to suggest that the person concerned might've had regrets about the absence of it on Monday, Thursday and Friday but not the other days.
     

    PaulQ

    Banned
    UK
    English - England
    where did you get that idea from?
    Does it not result in ambiguity without on?
    I suspect that Ivan_I may have read the first post.
    It's theoretically possible but somewhat oddly illogical to suggest that the person concerned might've had regrets about the absence of it on Monday, Thursday and Friday but not the other days.
    Context is, of course everything.
    Trainer: "Have you got used to jogging yet?"
    DB: "Not fully. I find it unpleasant in the rain but I mostly do it anyway. I had to visit my mother on Tuesday, which was a beautiful day, so I missed it then."

    What is the meaning of "miss"?
     

    PaulQ

    Banned
    UK
    English - England
    I intend it to be an example that helps Ivan_I (which it seems to have done), helps other visitors and gives an alternative to your claim that the point about ambiguity was "somewhat oddly illogical".
    You tell me:
    I take it that, as you are unable to answer, you acknowledge the ambiguity and realise that it is not "somewhat oddly illogical". :)
     

    DonnyB

    Sixties Mod
    English UK Southern Standard English
    I intend it to be an example that helps Ivan_I (which it seems to have done), helps other visitors and gives an alternative to your claim that the point about ambiguity was "somewhat oddly illogical".

    I take it that, as you are unable to answer, you acknowledge the ambiguity and realise that it is not "somewhat oddly illogical". :)
    It's not a question of my being "unable to answer": it's more a case of you introducing an example with a completely different context, and effectively side-tracking the thread by putting forward a consideration which is nothing whatsoever to do with the choice of what tense to use in the original question.

    I'm afraid I beg to differ if you think any of that was a helpful answer to Ivan's specific question in post #9. :(
     
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