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Could please shed some light on the second reading


Here is an example sentence  from the paper titled ' The English Resultative Perfect and it's relationship to the Experiential perfect and simple present '        * Mary almost finished the book yesterday   - The paper tells that there are 2 readings for the sentence. The second reading she give is -' Mary didn't work on the book at all ,but there was a good chance that she would' I couldn't quite understand  the intended meaning.Could you please help me.

1. She was working on the book, but didn't complete the project, so she almost finished it. [Goal: write a book]
2. She intended/expected to complete the book, and almost did what would have been required to finish it, but actually she got distracted by something else and did not do that, so the almost finished it. [Goal: finish the book] Rephrase: "she almost did something yesterday", where that something is "finishing the book".

Thank you very much Daniel, I almost got you but still some doubts lingers. The second reading in the paper says ' She didn't work on it at all' - How does one get that reading? Could you please make it clear

Yes, that phrasing is confusing. It means "She almost starting working on it", or "she almost initiated the finishing". (It does not mean that she had not yet worked on it previously. "At all" quantifiers over the amount of work in that situation/day, not the previous times.)


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