Results 1 to 5 of 5
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Other
      • Native Language:
      • Polish
      • Home Country:
      • Poland
      • Current Location:
      • Poland

    • Join Date: Sep 2004
    • Posts: 566
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #1

    Please help choose the correct article

    Hello Everyone,

    In the following sentence:

    "...we should do our best to maintain (?) friendly atmosphere of this place..."

    (?) should be (a), (the) or (zero article)?

    What do you think? Thanks in advance.

    Regards,
    TeeKay

  1. Mister Micawber's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • Japan

    • Join Date: Sep 2004
    • Posts: 1,855
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #2

    Re: Please help choose the correct article

    the

    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Other
      • Native Language:
      • Polish
      • Home Country:
      • Poland
      • Current Location:
      • Poland

    • Join Date: Sep 2004
    • Posts: 566
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #3

    Re: Please help choose the correct article

    Thank you, MM, and I hope you don't mind my digging the subject a bit deeper.

    Can you think of a context where 'an atmosphere' would be correct, or is it an uncount noun by definition (in this particular meaning, of course)?

    Also, in your opinion would 'preserve' sound better than 'maintain' in my original sentence?

    Thanks again, TK

  2. Mister Micawber's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • Japan

    • Join Date: Sep 2004
    • Posts: 1,855
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #4

    Re: Please help choose the correct article

    Using the indefinite article is easy if you are referring to no specific or aforementioned friendly atmosphere:

    'I enjoy a tavern with a friendly atmosphere when I go drinking.'
    'All museums have an atmosphere of reverence.'


    'Maintain' is better if you are speaking of a working environment or other relatively objective situation. 'Preserve' suggests something more precious, perhaps: 'historical artifacts should be preserved'; 'a friendship should be preserved'.

    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Other
      • Native Language:
      • Polish
      • Home Country:
      • Poland
      • Current Location:
      • Poland

    • Join Date: Sep 2004
    • Posts: 566
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #5

    Re: Please help choose the correct article

    Thank you for your remarks and explanations, MM.
    Careful choice of words in written English has always been something I appreciate very much. Not being a native speaker, I quite naturally cannot have the 'feeling' of what sounds better, given a particular context.

    By the way, I like the example with the tavern very much...

    Regards,

    TK

Similar Threads

  1. Correct mistakes in passage
    By Wai_Wai in forum Editing & Writing Topics
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 27-Mar-2008, 08:27
  2. the definite article + Proper Nouns
    By ewelina in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 23-Jan-2008, 16:36
  3. Help me to choose the correct words
    By Unregistered in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 08-Jan-2005, 06:40
  4. correct use of the article "The"
    By Anonymous in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 06-Jul-2004, 03:29
  5. Would you correct this article?
    By aleycris in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 14-Oct-2003, 23:01

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •