I have a question on “Mr. Lee gave a book to Mr. Kim and Ms. Roberts.”
I think it means “Mr. Lee gave a book to them(Mr. Kim and Ms. Roberts)”: The number of books Mr. Lee gave is one.
However, can it mean “Mr. Lee gave a book to Mr. Kim and Ms. Roberts, respectively.”? Then it means Mr. Lee gave two books after all. What do you think?
Also, similar question:
“Mr. Lee gave books to Mr. Kim and Ms. Roberts.”
It could be understood in both ways, too.
- Mr. Lee gave books to them(Mr. Kim and Ms. Roberts).
- Mr. Lee gave books to Mr. Kim and Ms. Roberts, respectively.
Which one is right?
Of course, we should think about the context, but I’d like to know the meaning of the sentences when you see them at first sight- without context.
Thanks a lot in advance,