Author Topic: a different one  (Read 6277 times)

Offline navi

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a different one
« on: August 30, 2013, 07:13:46 am »
1-If you push any of these buttons, a light will turn on.
Would you assume that all the buttons turned on the same light?

2-If you push any of these buttons, a different light will turn on.

Would this make clear that to each button corresponds a different light?

Gratefully,
Navi.

Offline Britta

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Re: a different one
« Reply #1 on: August 30, 2013, 07:21:34 am »
1 is ambiguous but the reader will probably assume that there is only one light, even if it doesn't say "the light will turn on".
 
I would paraphrase 2: If you push any of these buttons, one of the lights will turn on.
If you want to make very sure you could add ", a different light for every button."
If it's not used by a native speaker it's not idiomatic. And idiom trumps grammar every time. Jack Wilkerson†