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  1. Matthew Wai's Avatar
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    #1

    The article before "public", definite or indefinite?

    The two posts below are copied from this thread.
    Quote Originally Posted by navi tasan View Post
    1-He is dealing with an easily fooled public.
    Quote Originally Posted by Rover_KE View Post
    It refers to a section of the public which is easily fooled not all the public.
    public - definition of public by the Free Online Dictionary, Thesaurus and Encyclopedia.
    There are examples: "the reading public", "the racing public" and "the book-buying public".
    They all refer to a section of the public, but "the" is used. Is "the" also correct?

  2. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: The article before "public", definite or indefinite?

    Quote Originally Posted by Matthew Wai View Post
    The two posts below are copied from this thread.


    public - definition of public by the Free Online Dictionary, Thesaurus and Encyclopedia.
    There are examples: "the reading public", "the racing public" and "the book-buying public".
    They all refer to a section of the public, but "the" is used. Is "the" also correct?
    Yes, in the proper context.

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    #3

    Re: The article before "public", definite or indefinite?

    The book-buying public is those who buy books, so it is not the same as the example from navi tasan's thread- it's all of a group.

  3. Matthew Wai's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: The article before "public", definite or indefinite?

    What's wrong with "the easily fooled public"? In a dictatorship, the public at large are easily fooled by the government.

  4. Raymott's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: The article before "public", definite or indefinite?

    Quote Originally Posted by Matthew Wai View Post
    What's wrong with "the easily fooled public"? In a dictatorship, the public at large are easily fooled by the government.
    In that case, in two dictatorships, you have two publics. The original sentence deals with only one of them. 'Publics' is not often used, but you should be able to see the usage of 'a public'.
    You will encounter this often with other terms. "He writes for an intelligent readership"; "The Australian governments provide facilities for a sporty population."
    Last edited by Raymott; 21-Jan-2014 at 09:06.

  5. Matthew Wai's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: The article before "public", definite or indefinite?

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    The original sentence deals with only one of them.
    I didn't expect the original sentence is used in a context involving more than one nation.

  6. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: The article before "public", definite or indefinite?

    Quote Originally Posted by Matthew Wai View Post
    I didn't expect the original sentence is used in a context involving more than one nation.
    You seem to be having a problem with this concept. Take this example:

    This new virus will devastate a susceptible population.

    Why "a" and not "the"? In this case, the "population" shares something in common, but they have yet to be specifically identified. The original example is similar. The "public'" in the original shares a common characteristic, but the members of the group have not been specifically identified.
    This is different from "the book-buying" public. These people have been identified by their having bought books.

  7. Matthew Wai's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: The article before "public", definite or indefinite?

    "A discontented public will not be conducive to the implementation of government policy."
    "The middle-class public is discontented because of the heavy taxes imposed on them."

    Are they correct?

  8. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: The article before "public", definite or indefinite?

    Quote Originally Posted by Matthew Wai View Post
    "A discontented public will not be conducive to the implementation of government policy."
    "The middle-class public is discontented because of the heavy taxes imposed on them."

    Are they correct?
    I would accept both of those. "Middle class" is more specifically identified than "discontented'.

  9. Matthew Wai's Avatar
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    #10

    Re: The article before "public", definite or indefinite?

    In all dictionaries, the article used before "real McCoy" is "the". Is it correct to use "a" in the sentence below?
    "How to verify whether my Rolex Watch is a real McCoy or a bogus product?"

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