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Thread: The article

  1. #1
    Birne is offline Newbie
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    The article

    I am going to use a word 'career' in general, which article shall I choose and why?

    Everyone should work hard for the better future. The/A career is important because it allows you to develop your interests and ...




    thanks!

  2. #2
    Barb_D's Avatar
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    Re: The article

    A, unless you have specified a specific career.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  3. #3
    Birne is offline Newbie
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    Re: The article

    Thanks. As far as I know when we consider sth in general we use THE not A.

    e.g.: The giraffe has spots. (not 'A giraffe has spots'). Do you agree?
    Can't we do the same with 'career'?

  4. #4
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    Re: The article

    A dog is a loyal companion.
    The dog has been domesticated for centuries.

    Both "a" and "the" can be used for general categories of things.

    But while we say "the dog" (or "the giraffe") to differentiate it from all other animals, there is nothing you are differentiating a career from.

    Don't use "the" for your sentence with "career."
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  5. #5
    Birne is offline Newbie
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    Re: The article

    Let me please dispel my doubts about it.

    '1. A dog is a loyal companion' --> why do you use 'a' here and not 'the'
    and in a very similar sentence you use THE:
    '2. The dog has been domesticated for centuries' --> Why do you use 'the' here and not 'a'?

    What is the difference in the second sentence that allows you to use 'the dog' not 'a dog'?

    What about:(why 'a' and not 'the')
    1. A/the dog is a very friendly animal
    2. A/the bicycle is very useful, especially in a/the traffic jam.
    3. A/the screwdriver might come in handy while repairing an old radio set.


    PS
    Thanks. I think that after you have answered I will have a better understanding of using 'the' in this sense. I cannot find a good grammar explanation of using 'the' in this case. This case is rarely mentioned in the article's chapter.
    Last edited by Birne; 04-Jan-2013 at 17:05.

  6. #6
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    Re: The article

    Quote Originally Posted by Birne View Post
    '1. A dog is a loyal companion' --> why do you use 'a' here and not 'the'
    and in a very similar sentence you use THE:
    '2. The dog has been domesticated for centuries' --> Why do you use 'the' here and not 'a'?

    What is the difference in the second sentence that allows you to use 'the dog' not 'a dog'?
    Read the third line of Barb's post #4

    What about:
    1. A/the dog is a very friendly animal
    Both are possible.

    2. A/the bicycle is very useful, especially in a/the traffic jam
    3. A/the screwdriver might come in handy while repairing an old radio set.
    in #2, we'd normally speak of 'a bicycle', though 'the bicycle' is not impossible if we are speaking formally of this category of things. I suppose the same is true of #3, but I think 'the screwdriver' is most unlikely, especially when followed by the les formal 'might come in handy'.

  7. #7
    JarekSteliga is offline Member
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    Re: The article

    Quote Originally Posted by Birne View Post
    I am going to use a word 'career' in general, which article shall I choose and why?

    Everyone should work hard for the better future. The/A career is important because it allows you to develop your interests and ...







    thanks!
    NOT A TEACHER / not a native speaker


    Could "The/A" be disposed of altogether in this sentence? I mean could not "career" in this context be treated as an uncountable noun?

  8. #8
    bhaisahab's Avatar
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    Re: The article

    Quote Originally Posted by JarekSteliga View Post
    NOT A TEACHER / not a native speaker


    Could "The/A" be disposed of altogether in this sentence? I mean could not "career" in this context be treated as an uncountable noun?
    That doesn't sound natural to me.

  9. #9
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    Re: The article

    You could try "One's career is important because it allows one to develop one's interests ..." (if you want to sound rather posh).
    Or "Your [choice of] career is important because it allows you to develop your interests ..."
    Remember - correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing make posts much easier to read.

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