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  1. #1
    Noego is offline Senior Member
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    The Fox and the Crow

    Hello!

    This post is in reference to the lesson: ''The Crow and the Fox'' provided in the lesson plan section of the website.

    Click HERE to check out the lesson.

    For the title of the story:

    ''__ Fox and ___ Crow''

    According to the answer sheet, the correct answer is:

    ''The Fox and the Crow''

    I think the following answer could also be acceptable:

    ''A Fox and a Crow''

    Would this also be right?

    If not, please explain clearly why my answer is incorrect.

    I tried this lesson in class today but it wasn't that great. The text is interesting but the reading comprehension questions are not very involving.

    Also, concise information as to why the use of each article is proper is missing. This is the most debilitating weak point.

    Thank you in advance for your help.

  2. #2
    BobK's Avatar
    BobK is online now Harmless drudge
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    Re: The Fox and the Crow

    The story is about particular animals. I don't know this site as well as I should, so can't check. But in my memory of the story (published originally in Aesop's Fables) it starts 'A crow was trying to [I forget what] when a fox saw it and...' or something like that - bringinging the focus down to a particular pair of animals.

    As the story starts with indefinite articles, we are brought from the general to the particular: "A fox and a crow were...." (OK, the story's about these two animals, so from now on...) "the fox said...' and so on.

    So, the phrase 'a fox and a crow' can sometimes be used; but the title of a story has to use definite articles. (In something that isn't a story - say, a scholarly discussion - indefinite articles would be possible: 'Comparison of the responses of a fox and a crow to global warming; a study of ...' [this would be a study based on just two animals - pretty unlikely ]

    b

  3. #3
    Noego is offline Senior Member
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    Re: The Fox and the Crow

    Dear Bob,

    Thank you very much, very useful as always.

    So what you're saying is, the reason why we should use ''the'' here instead of ''a/an'' is because this is a title.

    Does this mean that when we are talking about fictional stories we should always use ''the'' instead of ''a/an''?

    I'm sorry, but I just want to make sure so that I don't give wrong information to the students.

  4. #4
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    BobK is online now Harmless drudge
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    Re: The Fox and the Crow

    Quote Originally Posted by Noego View Post
    ...

    Does this mean that when we are talking about fictional stories we should always use ''the'' instead of ''a/an''?

    ...
    I wouldn't have put it like that. What I'm saying is that since a fictional story focuses on particular things, definite articles are more common there. For example:

    The Prince and the Pauper
    The Walrus and the Carpenter
    The Inn of the Sixth Happiness
    The Road Less Traveled
    The Sheep-Pig*

    *Dick King Smith book on which the film Babe was based.

    But you certainly can have a in the title of a work of fiction:

    A Time for Loving
    A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court

    It's just that 'a' is less common.

    b

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