I would appreciate if someone could help me determine whether or not the article used in the sentence below is correct. CAPSLOCK = DOUBTS

We use mobile phones every day, but very few of us wonder how this phone actually works. In AN era of [0]Social Media, it's important who uploaded some funny photo to Facebook or how much he or she drank .....

no option to use in THE era? Thanks in advance for help.


Technically, either an or the could be used. However, they convey different meanings.

"In an era when" conveys a meaning that the "era" is being defined by the following prepositional clause -- that the "era" doesn't exist as a defined "era" outside of this sentence.

"In the era when", on the other hand, suggests that the "era" is a (albeit poorly) defined one (eg, "the era of computers") -- you must recognize that era rather than forming it on the fly in your mind.

  • Wait, what? To me it sounds like "an" era means "there is the possibility of more than one," while "the" era means a specific era or the only era. Guess I need some sleep. – Neptunian Dec 26 '15 at 15:26
  • @Neptunian - "An" treats "era" like something that is one of a continuum, while "the" implies a selection from a discrete set. (Not that that terminology should be take too literally, though.) – Hot Licks Dec 26 '15 at 15:28

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