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TIP #13 - This tip was sent on the week: 24th - 30th Oct, 2004

These tips apply to the following programs:

  • ESI Professional

Ambiguity - Interactive Modifiers


Let's continue the discussion on the Interactive features of ESI PRO and how they tackle the problem of the ambiguities of language.


You will find that this problem of language ambiguity is widespread indeed.  In Spanish it is even more so when the formal mode is used in text or conversation.  That's when the problem of the ambiguous possessive adjective “su” comes into play. 


In the formal mode, you have to use "su" when addressing a third party.  You say “su carro”, “su casa”, etc. This could mean your car, or his car, etc.   However, in informal mode, you use “su” only when you mean his/hers.  When you mean your, you use “tu”.


ESI will automatically recognize this situation and, when the informal mode is set on*, ESI will translate “su” as his and “tu” as your.   However, in the formal mode, ESI immediately notices the ambiguity and presents you alternatives to choose from. 


The ambiguity of the formal mode does not end here.  It also pops up, and even more frequently so, in simple sentences such as:

  • Le doy de comer = I feed [you / him / her / it].
  • Le dije la verdad = I told [you / him / her / it] the truth.

What ESI Interactive does in these cases is: first, detect the presence of the ambiguity and, second, offer you the appropriate alternatives for your selection. 


You will notice that in sentences such as these, a pop-up "Pronoun" combo box will appear at the right-hand side of the Syntax Control (Interactive) window, in the "Modifiers" window and when you open it, you will see the possible pronouns from which you can choose, depending on the context.


* Remember that you can set these options (Formal/Informal) from the Interactive Window, from the bottom toolbar of the main Editor Window and also from the main toolbar as a startup default option.

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