General Writing and Grammar Help/And vs. TO

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Question
Dear Ted:

In the sentence

"Suddenly, the man standing next to me took/removed a pistol from his pocket AND shot the sheriff,"

would the meaning change if I used "TO" instead of "AND" before "shot the sheriff,"

that is,

"Suddenly, the man standing next to me took/removed a pistol from his pocket TO shoot the sheriff"?

Thank you very much for your kind help.

Paolo

Answer
Dear Paolo:

"Suddenly, the man standing next to me took/removed a pistol from his pocket AND
shot the sheriff,"

would the meaning change if I used "TO" instead of "AND" before "shot the
sheriff,"

that is,

"Suddenly, the man standing next to me took/removed a pistol from his pocket TO
shoot the sheriff"?

** The meaning does change.  If you use "AND shot the sheriff," you are saying that the man actually pulled the trigger and the bullet went into the sheriff's body.

If you use "TO SHOOT the sheriff," you are just saying that he INTENDED to shoot the sheriff, but the action of shooting is pending. The sheriff, at this point, has not actually been shot.

Ted

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Ted Nesbitt

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I am the bibliographic instruction and reference librarian at a public college. Some members of the English department recommend me to their students. I offer assistance in grammar, punctuation, sentence structure, and paragraph development. My master`s thesis concerns William Faulkner`s tragic novels. I formerly taught advanced placement English at two schools in the Philadelphia area.

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I have been one of the highest-ranked volunteers in this category for more than a decade.

Education/Credentials
B. A. and M. A in English; MSIS in Library & Information Sciences; graduate study in philosophy

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