1

In the following passage, the word "universe" appears four times. The second one has "a" as its article, while the others have "the". Am I right in thinking that "a universe" in the passage means an interpretation of "the universe" that people had based on the scientific discoveries.

Today we have discovered a powerful and elegant way to understand the universe, a method called science; it has revealed to us a universe so ancient and vast that human affairs seem at first sight to be of little consequence. We have grown distant from the cosmos -- it has seemed remote from every day concerns. But science has found not only that the universe is accessible to human understanding, but also that we are, in a very profound sense, a part of that Cosmos, born from it, our fate connected with it. The most basic human events and the most trivial can be traced back to the universe and its origins.

2
  • yes. you are correct.
    – Yeshe
    Apr 22, 2017 at 15:14
  • The word universe appears four times in the passage, three with the and one with a. As you said a universe is an interpretation of the universe! Apr 22, 2017 at 16:12

3 Answers 3

1

Yes your interpretation is correct. There may be any number of interpretations about 'the universe' but each one is a single interpretation.

The universe is the concrete idea about the objective universe.

A universe on the other hand refers to an individual subjective interpretation concerning the abstract universe.

0

Am I right in thinking that "a universe" in the passage means an interpretation of "the universe" that people had based on the scientific discoveries.

A better way to put it is that it classifies the universe. The indefinite article is "used to indicate membership of a class of people or things: ‘he is a lawyer’; ‘this car is a BMW’".

What kind of universe is this universe? It is a universe so ancient ... - in contrast to other universes of another kind.

-1

I opened the box and found an apple.

Lifting the lid of the box revealed an apple.

I took a bite out of the apple.

We use the definite article (the) to talk about a specific member of a set of similar objects or concepts. Before things have become specific, i.e. when we first make mention of the object or concept, we need to use the indefinite article (a/an).

In short, your explanation does not hold water for me.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

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