garden path sentence

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From the idiom lead down a garden path, because a reader forms an interpretation of the sentence which remains plausible until near the end of the sentence, at which point the reader realizes that their interpretation cannot be right (they have been led down a garden path) and they must try another interpretation.


The government plans to raise taxes were defeated.


garden path sentence ‎(plural garden path sentences)

  1. A sentence that is easily parsed incorrectly when first read, due to ambiguity of a word or words.