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  1. #1
    Tomasz Klimkiewicz is offline Senior Member
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    Default 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

  2. #2
    Mister Micawber's Avatar
    Mister Micawber is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: Please help choose the correct article

    the

  3. #3
    Tomasz Klimkiewicz is offline Senior Member
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    Default 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

  4. #4
    Mister Micawber's Avatar
    Mister Micawber is offline Key Member
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    Default 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'.

  5. #5
    Tomasz Klimkiewicz is offline Senior Member
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    Default 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

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