3
votes
2answers
30 views

What happens to articles in phrases “a bit <adjective> <noun>”?

Consider the phrase "I'm doing this for a bit different reason." The grouping here is "((a bit) different) reason" and not "a ((bit different) reason)", so the noun "reason" lacks an article. Does ...
0
votes
2answers
53 views

known as (a, the) - which article to pick?

A quote from the Economist: Part of this naturalistic approach is that the transistors in his systems often operate in what is known technically as the “sub-threshold domain”. May we use a ...
8
votes
2answers
1k views

“Any” with countable nouns in questions

I have seen "is “any” also used with plurals", which explains that any can be used with singular, plural, and uncountable nouns. However, I want to ask specifically about questions. ...
5
votes
2answers
478 views

Can anyone explain the use of determiners in this passage?

Can someone explain the use of determiners (words like some or the) for the word beans in the following dialogue: Aki: Lisa, here're some beans. Lisa: Why are you giving me beans? Aki: ...
3
votes
1answer
774 views

“At the time” versus “at that time”

If I want to say that during the accident there were no passengers, how do I phrase it? There were no passengers at the time. There were no passengers at that time.
10
votes
5answers
237 views

What is the radical difference between ‘this’ and ‘a’ when telling a story?

The following quotation is a line from Ron to Harry after the first stage of the Triwizard Tournament. (p359, Harry Potter 4, US edition) “You were the best, you know, no competition. Cedric did ...
5
votes
2answers
293 views

What are “a” and “certain” adding in meaning to the phrase “a certain Mr. Ripley”?

Consider the following sentences: I had my identity stolen by Mr. Ripley. and I had my identity stolen by a Mr. Ripley. and I had my identity stolen by a certain Mr. Ripley. In what ...
2
votes
2answers
2k views

Missing articles?

Aren't some articles missing in the following sentence? ... when traditional pattern of landscape became established. Or is it something else that is wrong with this sentence? Context.
29
votes
5answers
8k views

Are there any simple rules for choosing the definite vs. indefinite (vs. none) article?

I can’t for the life of me figure out where to use a and where to use the — and where there is no article at all. Is there a simple rule of thumb to memorize? The standard rule you always hear: ...