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Thread: a or the

  1. #1
    mina24 is offline Newbie
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    Default a or the

    How is it possible that you can say: a birth of a child, a funeral of a parent... I would say: the birth, the funeral...There is only one...Am I right?

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    Default Re: a or the

    Quote Originally Posted by mina24 View Post
    How is it possible that you can say: a birth of a child, a funeral of a parent... I would say: the birth, the funeral...There is only one...Am I right?
    It depends on the context. (You'll hear that a lot here). No, you're not right in saying that it should be "the" without at least knowing the whole sentence, and perhaps the background or the utterance.

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    mina24 is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: a or the

    It is very hard to go to a funeral of a parent. A birth of a child is something magnificent. Correct??

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    Default Re: a or the

    Quote Originally Posted by mina24 View Post
    It is very hard to go to a funeral of a parent. A birth of a child is something magnificent. Correct??
    The first sounds OK. I'd use "the" for the second.

    Here are some I might use 'a' for.
    "You don't expect to see a birth of a child at a rock concert." (You could use 'the')
    "It's always sad when we have a funeral of a parent." (You could use 'the')

    It might be correct to say "the X of a Y" in most cases. My point is that this doesn't make it impossible to say "a/an X of a Y".

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