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  1. #1
    ostap77 is offline Key Member
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    Default a Mr. Redginald Barthes

    "On this particular morning he sat facing a new client, a Mr. Redginald Barthes."

    I might well be wrong but I guess "a" redundant before Mr.? We use the definite article to say that we mean the certain person " the Mr.....".

  2. #2
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    probus is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: a Mr. Redginald Barthes

    Quote Originally Posted by ostap77 View Post
    "On this particular morning he sat facing a new client, a Mr. Redginald Barthes."

    I might well be wrong but I guess "a" redundant before Mr.? We use the definite article to say that we mean the certain person " the Mr.....".
    This is a bit of a subtle point. This use of the indefinite article before Mr. is not redundant. It serves to emphasize that the person facing his new client Barthes has no prior knowledge of Barthes, and that there is no reason why he should.

    If the indefinite article had been omitted, at least the possibility would exist that Mr Redginald Barthes was somebody of some prominence, who the interviewer and possibly the reader might be expected to know something about. But "a Mr Redginald Barthes" is just some random and previously unknown person who has turned up at the office.

    I can't think of any case where you can use the definite article before Mr. I've never heard "the Mr. anybody". But interestingly, it occurs albeit rarely in the plural. You can say, for example, "the Messrs Smith" when there are two Mr Smiths.

  3. #3
    ostap77 is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: a Mr. Redginald Barthes

    Quote Originally Posted by probus View Post
    This is a bit of a subtle point. This use of the indefinite article before Mr. is not redundant. It serves to emphasize that the person facing his new client Barthes has no prior knowledge of Barthes, and that there is no reason why he should.

    If the indefinite article had been omitted, at least the possibility would exist that Mr Redginald Barthes was somebody of some prominence, who the interviewer and possibly the reader might be expected to know something about. But "a Mr Redginald Barthes" is just some random and previously unknown person who has turned up at the office.

    I can't think of any case where you can use the definite article before Mr. I've never heard "the Mr. anybody". But interestingly, it occurs albeit rarely in the plural. You can say, for example, "the Messrs Smith" when there are two Mr Smiths.
    Ok. Let's leave "Mr" out.
    Suppose I'm talking to my friend and he says that he saw a famous movie star named GT when he was headed down 49th street, whose name is familiar to me. So to clerify that, could I ask "the GT"?

  4. #4
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    Default Re: a Mr. Redginald Barthes

    Yes, in that case THE (pronounced thee in this context) can emphasize the fame or infamy of the person.

    "Walking down the street the other day, I saw Lionel Messi"

    "Really? THE Lionel Messi?"

    Or it can emphasize the rarity of the event, for example an old acquaintance who had disappeared for a long time.

    "I bumped into Steve Jones yesterday."

    "THE Steve Jones? Our old boss?"

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