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  1. #1
    Snappy is offline Member
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    Default A/The town where I was born

    In the town where I was born
    Lived a man who sailed to sea (from "Yellow Submarine," a Beatle song written by Lennon and McCartney)

    In my understanding, "the" before "town" in the above lyrics is required because it is a specific place restricted by the phrase "where I was born."

    I wonder if it is possible to use "a" before the name of a place. Are the following sentences with restrictive phrases possible?

    1. There was a famous shrine in a town where I was born. (NOT ...in a town, where I was born.)
    2. I took a little trip to a small village where I was born and raised up. (NOT ...a small village, where I was born and raised up.)

  2. #2
    Ann1977 is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: A/The town where I was born

    Quote Originally Posted by Snappy View Post

    I wonder if it is possible to use "a" before the name of a place. Are the following sentences with restrictive phrases possible?

    1. There was a famous shrine in a town where I was born. (NOT ...in a town, where I was born.)
    This doesn't work. The word "a" clashes too much with "where I was born."

    Quote Originally Posted by Snappy View Post
    2. I took a little trip to a small village where I was born and raised up. (NOT ...a small village, where I was born and raised up.)
    I think this might get a pass. The reader might think you are having a little linguistic game --

    "I took a little trip to a small village -- namely, the little village where I was born and raised"
    -or-
    "I took a little trip to a small village that just so happened to be the one where I was born and raised."

  3. #3
    Raymott's Avatar
    Raymott is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: A/The town where I was born

    Quote Originally Posted by Snappy View Post
    2. I took a little trip to a small village where I was born and raised up.
    No, you need "the".
    Besides, you can't use a comma when speaking.
    Perhaps:
    2. I took a little trip to a small village where I had been born and raised up.

    In any case, you'd need a good reason to use "a".

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