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Consider this sentence

She always dreamed of man / a man / the man like you.

What is the difference between them?

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She always dreamed of man like you.

This is ungrammatical. In order for it to make sense without an article, it would need to be men (plural).

She always dreamed of a man like you.

This is fine.

She always dreamed of the man like you.

While this is syntactically sound, it is effectively nonsensical. There are bound to be many men who, in some way, are like you—not just a single, specific man.


These variations all work in the right context:

She always dreamed of men like you.
She always dreamed of a man like you.
She always dreamed of the man.
She always dreamed of a man.
She always dreamed of men.

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