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I want to write the introduction of a story

It goes like this ,

A guy...

some bitterness,

some talks,

some love ...

and

a break up

or

the break up

what should I write here ?

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closed as off topic by JSBձոգչ, RiMMER, Alenanno, aedia λ, Daniel Aug 23 '11 at 20:03

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3 Answers

up vote 2 down vote accepted

It's a matter of style, if you're writing a story.

The two answers favoring "a breakup" are right in a way. It's certainly consistent. If you weren't talking about fiction, I'd agree with them.

But I don't agree for a story.

If you end with "the breakup", I think the feeling is that there is one deeply significant breakup in the story. You're building tension.

For example:

A man. A woman. The breakup.

Is different than:

A man. A woman. A breakup.

The first one promises an interesting story about one really interesting breakup. The second, to me, sounds weaker and less interesting.

Try this: read both of those slowly and dramatically. Imagine they're the spoken words for a movie trailer. Which movie would you rather see? (Although this is probably useless for someone who's not a native speaker, unfortunately.)

This is definitely just a question of style and of very slight emphasis. It's not that one is wrong and one is right. But the safe choice is chose the indefinite article for all of them; no one will question that. I think the definite article promises a better story, though.

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I agree with David. When following all the "some"s, I would use "a" instead of the specific article "the".

It also goes in line with the line "A guy", which makes the entire thing generic instead of specific. "A guy" with "the breakup" doesn't quite mesh as well as "A guy" with "a breakup".

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In the interest of parallelism in your list, and given that you are using the word "some" to indicate an indefinite number, it seems reasonable to conclude that you want to use an indefinite article. If that reasoning sounds sensible, then "a" would probably be the proper choice here. I also think it would read better that way, but that's just my opinion.

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