garden path sentence
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.
- (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /ˈɡɑː(ɹ)dən pɑːθ ˈsɛntəns/
- (General American) IPA(key): /ˈɡɑːɹdən pæθ ˈsɛntəns/
- Hyphenation: gar‧den path sen‧tence
The government plans to raise taxes were defeated.
- (linguistics) A sentence that is easily parsed incorrectly when first read, due to ambiguity of a word or words.