1

I came across this popup in Gmail:

when you see an underlined date, 
you can click it and add an event to your google calendar

I wonder why it says "an event" when it is a pretty specific event -- the one that the date corresponds to.

While I was writing this question I just thought maybe it is because in an email there could be multiple events for a mentioned date and it's up to me which one to add to the calendar.

If in another situation we're certain that there could be only one event associated with one date and a date is mentioned in the context (e.g. you can click an underlined date...) should I use "the" afterwards to speak about the event?

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    It's not a specific event. You many add any event you want to the underlined date. – deadrat Oct 24 '16 at 8:08
  • Yes; it threw me. I'd want 'the corresponding' rather than either 'an' or 'the'. – Edwin Ashworth Oct 24 '16 at 14:35
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The indefinite article could have various meanings, but the one in your example means:

used as a function word before singular nouns when the referent is unspecified

[Merriam-Webster]

The key word is unspecified. If you use the in the example, it sounds weird because it sounds like Gmail knows what specific event you are going to list in the calendar.

If in another situation we're certain that there could be only one event associated with one date and a date is mentioned in the context (e.g. you can click an underlined date...) should I use "the" afterwards to speak about the event?

No. unless it is specified and mentioned previously, don't use the. Using an is enough to mean an unspecified event no matter how many there are.

You need to ask why Gmail used an before underlined date. It's the same reason. The indefinite article usually means unspecified, not mentioned before, any and one of many, etc.

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