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Message from juliak posted on 17-12-2009 at 18:27:45 (D | E | F)
I found some information on the definite article, it says that i should use "a" when speaking in general, for example "a book is a number of printed pages bound together", but the rule says that if the word has the meaning of "a kind" then i should use "the" for example "the telephone is a modern convenience". Isn't is the same with "the book"????
Re: Why -the? from eugen, posted on 17-12-2009 at 20:33:12 (D | E)
a = indefinite article. (not a specific object) I work in a factory.
the = definite article. (a specific object that both, the person speaking
and the listener know) The car over there is fast.
In your example I think you must write: A telephone is a modern convenience.
Re: Why -the? from seb06000, posted on 17-12-2009 at 20:45:22 (D | E)
you can also use ' The' in your example. 'the' refers to an element which is taken from a whole category, among all this one is...:
e.g: The telephone is a modern convenience => among many convenient objects, there is the phone => there is an extraction from a whole group
The lion is a ferocious animal => you have a lot of ferocious animals (on earth) and the lion is part of them
I hope I made myself clear!
Edited by seb06000 on 17-12-2009 20:46
Re: Why -the? from traviskidd, posted on 17-12-2009 at 21:39:32 (D | E)
You can use "the" to talk about one object which represents all such objects. For example:
- The telephone is a modern invention.
- The lion is the king of the jungle.
- The pen is mightier than the sword.
- The early bird gets the worm.
This use of "the" is especially common when talking about musical instruments one can play:
- I can play the piano, the guitar, the trombone, and the cello!!
Re: Why -the? from juliak, posted on 18-12-2009 at 12:48:25 (D | E)
Thanks for your replies!!!!!
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