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How many days have you missed jogging this week?

Discussion in 'English Only' started by stephenlearner, May 26, 2015.

  1. 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.
     
  2. Parla Member Emeritus

    New York City
    English - US
    I think it's okay; the meaning's clear.
     
  3. 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?
     
  4. Copyright

    Copyright Senior Member

    Penang
    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.
     
  5. DonnyB

    DonnyB Sixties Mod

    Coventry, UK
    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 ... ?"
     
  6. 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.
     
  7. DonnyB

    DonnyB Sixties Mod

    Coventry, UK
    English UK Southern Standard English
    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".
     
  8. stephenlearner Senior Member

    Chinese
    Thanks a lot.
     

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