Is it ungrammatical? Unacceptable? Would you say a phrase like this? and if so, in what context? Do you need a clear context to say it?

Thank you for your help!

  • 1
    Frankly, I've never become emotionally involved with an indefinite article.
    – Hot Licks
    Nov 15, 2015 at 2:43
  • 3
    @HotLicks It is better to have loved indefinitely than to have never loved at all.
    – deadrat
    Nov 15, 2015 at 3:42
  • A turtle lives 'twixt plated decks/ I think it clever of the turtle/ In such a fix/ to be so fertile.
    – Greg Lee
    Nov 15, 2015 at 3:45
  • Possible duplicate of A Few Notes on Generic Reference Nov 15, 2015 at 4:01

2 Answers 2


Grammatically it's correct, and talking about context, it could be used if you are talking with a person who doesn't know what a computer is, an you say "A computer is a very useful tool..."

  • Thank you for your answer. "(...) it could be used if you are talking with a person who doesn't know what a computer is (...)": That is exactly what I thought it could be related to. There is a debate on the generic use of "a(n)" in the position of subject before the verb, and I wasn't sure about how this sentence would be taken. Thank you!
    – Daltoniana
    Nov 15, 2015 at 6:46

It's perfectly grammatical and colloquial. It means that computers, as a concept or as a whole, are useful tools, but it might be that the speaker is implying that the listener should acquire a computer

"The computer is a …" would either mean the former, or it might be referring to a specific computer being useful.

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