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  1. #1
    Noego is offline Senior Member
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    Default Definite/indefinite articles

    Please look at the following paragraph:




    ''I am from Winchester, Hampshire. Winchester is a city in the United Kingdom. I live in a town called Taunton which is on the River Tone. I live in a house in a quiet street in the countryside. The street is called "Hudson Street" and the house is old - more than 100 years old! I am an English lecturer at a college near the centre of the town. I like books, music and taking photographs. I usually have lunch at college. I usually go home by car. We have all kinds of food in England. I like Polish food very much. Sometimes, I go to a Polish restaurant in Bath. The restaurant is called "Magda's". Polish food is delicious!''

    Ok now the exercise mentions that ''the'' should be before town.

    Now I would say:

    ''I'm an English lecturer at a college near the centre of town.'' I wouldn't use the definite article ''the'' here.

    Would that also be right or would the be incorrect?

    Thanks.

    EDIT: I actually have another question.

    Look at the following sentence:

    DO NOT use an article when you are speaking about things in general
    I like Indian tea.
    Simon likes reading books about linguistics.

    Although I'm not native speaker, I've heard natives say:

    ''I enjoy reading a book.'' Is that grammatically wrong? I've also been saying this quite often. Can we both say: ''I enjoy reading books'' and ''I enjoy reading a book'' as in I enjoy reading any books?

    Thanks for the input.
    Last edited by Noego; 24-Sep-2007 at 08:57.

  2. #2
    Harry Smith's Avatar
    Harry Smith is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: Definite/indefinite articles

    Quote Originally Posted by Noego View Post
    Please look at the following paragraph:




    ''I am from Winchester, Hampshire. Winchester is a city in the United Kingdom. I live in a town called Taunton which is on the River Tone. I live in a house in a quiet street in the countryside. The street is called "Hudson Street" and the house is old - more than 100 years old! I am an English lecturer at a college near the centre of the town. I like books, music and taking photographs. I usually have lunch at college. I usually go home by car. We have all kinds of food in England. I like Polish food very much. Sometimes, I go to a Polish restaurant in Bath. The restaurant is called "Magda's". Polish food is delicious!''

    Ok now the exercise mentions that ''the'' should be before town.

    Now I would say:

    ''I'm an English lecturer at a college near the centre of town.'' I wouldn't use the definite article ''the'' here.

    Would that also be right or would the be incorrect?

    Thanks.

    EDIT: I actually have another question.

    Look at the following sentence:

    DO NOT use an article when you are speaking about things in general
    I like Indian tea.
    Simon likes reading books about linguistics.

    Although I'm not native speaker, I've heard natives say:

    ''I enjoy reading a book.'' Is that grammatically wrong? I've also been saying this quite often. Can we both say: ''I enjoy reading books'' and ''I enjoy reading a book'' as in I enjoy reading any books?

    Thanks for the input.
    I think "the" is correct. Saying "in the centre of the town" he means the town he has already mentioned above (Winchester).
    As to "I enjoy reading a book" I think it's grammatically correct but it'll be better to say "I enjoy reading books."
    By the way I'm not a native speaker either but I often read and hear "I enjoy reaging books."

  3. #3
    saman mirza is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: Definite/indefinite articles

    well, as far as the use of 'the' is concerned, 'I enjoy reading a book' seems in correct. It may not be grammatically wrong, (i'm not that sure) but definitely isn't good english. When we speak about general habits that we do often, we use plurals. like, you would say,'I enjoy reading books.' Here we are talking about the habit of reading books and not the book or books. The phrase reading books is a gerund. so you could also say "I enjoy reading". That would be correct, only it won't specify what you like reading.
    hope that helps
    saman mirza

  4. #4
    Soup's Avatar
    Soup is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: Definite/indefinite articles

    ''I live in a town called Taunton. I live in a house in a quiet street in the countryside. The street is called "Hudson Street" and the house is old - more than 100 years old!"

    1. I am an English lecturer at a college near the centre of the town [I just mentioned /introduced to you].

    2. I am an English lecturer at a college near the centre of town [the town we both know].

    ________________________


    Ex: I enjoy reading a book (e.g., now and then). (any book)
    Ex: I enjoy reading books.

  5. #5
    Noego is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Definite/indefinite articles

    Thanks for the replies.

    It may not be grammatically wrong, (i'm not that sure) but definitely isn't good english. When we speak about general habits that we do often, we use plurals.
    What about:

    "I enjoy eating food."
    "I enjoy riding my bicycle"

    They're both things that I do often and yet, are singular. So I don't think this statement is a rule of thumb, or at least not absolutely true.

    Anyways, thanks for the replies.

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