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Please, help..

"There are pens on a table. Take a pen and write down the text" = Take one of those pens?

"Here are some books. I know you like reading. Take a book and read it" = Take one of those books?

Can the indefinite article here refer to instances within a list only, not suggesting instances that are outside the list of pens or books I talk about?

Thanks in advance.

  • Yes, that's pretty much what "indefinite article" means; an article that is indefinite. Unless there's something else narrowing the choice ("Take a pen that has blue or black ink") then any one meets the criteria. – Jon Hanna Dec 7 '14 at 23:29
  • Thanks for your answer. Unfortunatelly , I don't get your point. I still don't understand if the indefinite article can refer only to the items within a list.. Like here, a person has several TVs at home: "Welcome to my house. If you want to entertain yourself, use a TV". Any TV within a house and not any TV at all? I think it is the context that makes it clear. Saying the last sentence is the same like "Use a TV I have". It is also worth saying, that if there are several windows in a room, people say: "Close a window", but that doesn't mean any in the World... – Nikolay Komolov Dec 7 '14 at 23:35
  • Any TV that makes sense in the context. If you've just said "All the rooms have televisions" then that gives a context. – Jon Hanna Dec 7 '14 at 23:38
  • But isn't it the same with the examples about books and pens? I was confused by your phrase: "without anything narrowing the choice, anything meets criteria" I assume the context makes it clear what items I refer to. I refer to any of the pens on my table. So saying "take a pen" means the same as "take any of those pens, not any in the World." Am I correct? – Nikolay Komolov Dec 7 '14 at 23:50
  • Yes, that gives a context. – Jon Hanna Dec 8 '14 at 0:40
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The likely interpretation of those examples is to take one of pens or books offered. It can imagine it could be used with the other meaning, but I can't think of a context in which it would be likely.

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