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It's common to say "a gentle wind", but is it OK to say "a wind"?

I just noticed that there's a novel named "A Wind in the Door", in which case I guess "A" could be used here due to the modifying "in the Door".

So in general, can the article "a" be used to modify "wind"? In which case yes? In which case no?

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2 Answers 2

up vote 5 down vote accepted

Yes, the article a can be used to precede the noun wind. However, this is a special case. For nearly all constructions, you should prefer the wind. As in, "The wind was blowing when I went to the store," or, "The wind carried my hat away."

As you stated, using the article a before wind generally occurs when you are modifying the word wind. A gentle wind, a strong wind, and a warm wind are common. You could use a wind by itself, such as, "Boy, there's a wind blowing through here tonight!" This uncommon phrasing brings emphasis to the wind, and makes the sentence stand out more than if you were to say, "The wind is blowing tonight."

In most cases, however, you should use the wind.

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Good answer. Another possible case of a wind that's worth mentioning is when discussing famous/named winds such as the Mistral. –  Graham Snyder Nov 7 '11 at 16:15
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Define "most cases," please. I believe there are times to use the definite article and times to use the indefinite. It's not a matter of making a general rule, but understanding the difference in meaning between different use-cases. –  Robusto Nov 7 '11 at 16:37
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I am stating that in the majority of cases in which wind is described, you would say "the wind," whereas "a wind" is specialized. Is this incorrect? I figured it would be more helpful to generalize like this than to make it sound as though the usage were split 50/50 between both. –  Brendon Nov 7 '11 at 16:43
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I think this is nothing more than using indefinite articles when they are needed and definite articles when they are needed. –  Robusto Nov 7 '11 at 17:07

You can refer to this link. Hope that it helps you.

http://www.englishforums.com/English/CountableUncountableNoun/bkmlq/post.htm

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