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Let's say, your name is Kate and you say "I'm a whole new Kate!"

Now, can you drop "a" and say "I'm whole new Kate!"?

Or is it mandatory to keep it?

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  • 2
    Old John is Dead. I Am New John. That sounds like a competent speaker "playing" with language, but adding "whole" would just make it sound like a bad translation. Nov 28, 2012 at 21:33
  • After the surgeons re-attached her severed thumb, Kate might exclaim: "I'm whole!"
    – GEdgar
    Nov 29, 2012 at 0:40
  • It's mandatory. Because she's not stating her name, she's stating a kind of thing, a particular kind of thing (which happens to be herself, labeled with her name).
    – Mitch
    Nov 30, 2012 at 18:42

2 Answers 2

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No, you can't drop the indefinite article. The name Kate is in general a proper noun but in this type of constructs it becomes a common noun. It begins to denote not the Kate, but a whole class of "Kate"s. A Kate is any instance of the class Kate — such as "the angry Kate", "the five-year-old Kate", "the Kate now", "the Kate you're in love with" etc. As a common noun, it requires an indefinite article in this context:

I'm a whole new Kate.

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  • So is it safe to say that you always need an article before a proper noun having a modifying adjective?
    – JK2
    Nov 28, 2012 at 21:23
  • @user27275: If the adjective is not part of the name, then yes. I'm Red John. But I am a happy Kate. Nov 28, 2012 at 21:28
  • Well, the "Red" in "Red John" is not an adjective in the first place, but his first name, ain't it? Maybe you'd want to have some other example like "Great Britain"?
    – JK2
    Nov 29, 2012 at 1:43
  • @user27275: I'm not sure if Red in Red John is his first name. Nov 29, 2012 at 13:35
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No. The article is needed, as per Armen's analysis. "I'm whole new Kate" would mean that your name is...

Whole New Kate

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  • Or yuo're telling the new Kate that you're whole: "I'm whole, new Kate."
    – Mitch
    Nov 30, 2012 at 18:40

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