Consider the situation below:

A boy asked his mom for a chocolate cake. His mom, however, gave him a lemon cake instead even though she had the chocolate cake. The boy enjoyed the lemon cake so much that he ate the cake until he is completely full.

Now, in this situation, was the boy asking his mom to give him the chocolate cake, or was the boy asking his mom to give him any cake that he can truly enjoy?

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    Linguistic analysis requires access to the actual utterance. Commented May 11, 2015 at 14:14

1 Answer 1


The boy explicitly asked for a chocolate cake.

His implicit wish might have been for any cake that could fix his craving.

Explicit wishes / questions and implicit wishes / questions don't always correspond pefectly, as illustrated by your example.

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