Now, if i actually desire this sentence to average that have the right to I background an elephant through a single hand (meaning my very own hand), just how would i say that?



The concern is perfect grammatical, but ambiguous (which is component of the joke, actually). Your own interpretation is just as valid together the one proclaimed by the answer and makes much more sense indigenous a practical allude of view.

You are watching: How can u lift an elephant with one hand

It"s possible to eliminate the pass out with among the alternatives detailed by the various other answers but, really, girlfriend shouldn"t.



One opportunity is:

Using only among your hands, how have the right to you elevator an elephant?

Even "How deserve to you lift an elephant using just one hand" is ambiguous. The elephant may be using among your hands.

"How deserve to you background an elephant with just one of her hands?" may be taken as an elephant that has actually stolen among your hands, but not the other.

To be unambiguous, the sentence need to be created such the the modifier is not adjacent to the object.


A feasible re-writing is

How have the right to you lift an elephant one-handed?

One-handed can act as either a adjective or one adverb. If it is put after the thing ("elephant"), words order indicates that the is being used in the adverb sense, and so is editing and enhancing the verb ("lift") fairly than the object. If you wanted to ask the "joke" sense of the question, you would rather say

How have the right to you background a one-handed elephant?


Like this:

How have the right to you elevator an elephant one-handedly?

A meaning of one-handedly native Oxford dictionaries:


With or using just one hand.

Explanation of why it works ...

Some grammar

There is a factor why this sentence—in contrast to the original Poster"s more intriguing one—is unambiguous.

In the initial example, the preposition expression with one hand might be modifying the verb expression lift one elephant, or it can be editing and enhancing the noun elephant. One reason for this is that preposition phrases in can modify verb phrases:

< at the weekend>

And lock can additionally modify nouns:

< at the weekend>

The instance in this price post, ~ above the various other hand, supplies an adverb to change the verb phrase lift an elephant. Adverbs can openly modify verb phrases:

It conveniently evaporatedIt evaporated quickly

But adverbs can"t premodify nouns:

*It to be a quickly evaporation (ungrammatical)

And they hardly ever postmodify castle either:

*It was an evaporation quickly. (ungrammatical)

And that"s why the adverb one-handedly deserve to only be modifying the verb phrase lift an elephant and not the noun expression elephant.

Notes because that grammar junkies

It offered to be typically thought the adverbs never modified nouns. However, recent occupational in corpus grammars has shown this to no be true. Certain species of adverb can really occasionally postmodify certain varieties of noun:

- The riots recently are walk to reason problem for years to come.

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Here we see recently modifying the noun riots. This can"t be a sentence adverb, because the sentence as a entirety is referring to the future, whereas recently refers to the current past.