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  1. #1
    Snappy is offline Member
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    Default in the/a ... state

    How should I choose "the" or "a" when I use the expression "in the/a state of"?

    Can I say either "Keep these parts in a dired state" or "Keep these parts in the dried state"?
    Similarly, can I say either "The patient is in a vegetable state" or "The patient is in the vegetable state"?

  2. #2
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: in the/a ... state

    In both cases I would use a, though the first would sound more natural if you just said keep these parts dry. Also, with the patient, I would say [persistent] vegetative state- calling someone a vegetable is slang.

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