1

In the sentence, "This is a flower." How can we both say that the "a" refers to a general noun (flower), yet also account for the presence of the specific determiner, "this?"

1
  • 1
    The specification here is with respect to the specimen under the speaker's scrutiny and its location, not to its possible inherent distinctiveness. – Edwin Ashworth Aug 27 '14 at 23:36
3

In this sentence this is not 'attached' to flower and does not act as its determiner. It is a demonstrative pronoun acting as the subject of the sentence. The sentence may be paraphrased

This thing here is a flower. unless you are from Alabama, where we say
This-here thing is a flower.

1
  • If I could, +10 for the SAE version. It's much more natural sounding. – user0721090601 Aug 28 '14 at 0:41

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.