(2) You thanked Teacher 5jj for a quick reply. I believe that the "correct" article is "for the quick reply."
I see the point you are making, Parser, and I do not disagree with your general argument.
I think, however, that nyota's use of the indefinite article was acceptable, if, admittedly, less likely than the definite article.
Thank you for the quick reply. - the quick reply that you just posted.
Thank you for a quick reply. - that was a quick reply! Thanks.
nyota, and other readers, note that I am not saying that TheParser is wrong. His words, "The use of "a" and "the" can be very confusing -- even to native speakers" are, unfortunately, only too true. The 'rules' that are presented to learners in the early days are, generally, helpful. There are, however, occasions when native speakers, including teachers and academics who have studied the language for many years, cannot agree on what the most appropriate artcle is.
The consolation for learners is that, if native speakers don't know the absolutely correct usage, then learners need not feel despondent if they are sometimes confused.
Last edited by 5jj; 06-Apr-2011 at 10:17.