Here's the scene. Jack and Angelica are in the captain's quarters on Black Beard's ship. They're both looking at a shelf full of bottles that have ships inside them. One of them contains Jack's ship named Black Pearl

Jack asks "Why is the Black Pearl in a bottle?"

Why does he say a bottle? It's quite clear for both of them which specific bottle the ship is in because they're looking at it when asks the question.

  • 3
    What exactly are you asking here? Why he uses the indefinite article rather than the definite, even though he’s referring to something they can both see? Aug 22, 2013 at 11:56
  • 2
    Why is it in THAT bottle? could indicate he is puzzled that it is not in another bottle. Why is it in THE bottle? could indicate he was wondering why it was not in the closet.
    – mplungjan
    Aug 22, 2013 at 12:02
  • 4
    This question appears to be off-topic because it is better suited for ELL.
    – Kris
    Aug 22, 2013 at 13:32

1 Answer 1


He isn't asking why it is in that specific bottle. He's asking why it is in a bottle at all.


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