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  1. #1
    joham is offline Key Member
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    with dark hair, with the dark hair

    EXPLORING GRAMMAR IN CONTEXT (by Ronald Carter, Rebecca Hughes and Michael McCarthy), Unit 22:
    The girl with the brown eyes and dark hair, I really like her.
    That boy with the dark, curly hair, is he a friend of yours?
    The girl with brown hair and glasses, is she his sister?

    I just don't know why the article "the" is used before "dark eyes/hair" since the preposition "with" means "having". Could you please tell me how to determine whether we need the "the" in such a situation?

  2. #2
    riverkid is offline Banned
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    Re: with dark hair, with the dark hair

    Quote Originally Posted by joham View Post
    EXPLORING GRAMMAR IN CONTEXT (by Ronald Carter, Rebecca Hughes and Michael McCarthy), Unit 22:
    The girl with the brown eyes and dark hair, I really like her.
    That boy with the dark, curly hair, is he a friend of yours?
    The girl with brown hair and glasses, is she his sister?

    I just don't know why the article "the" is used before "dark eyes/hair" since the preposition "with" means "having". Could you please tell me how to determine whether we need the "the" in such a situation?
    Didn't R, R & M mention anything about this in Unit 22, Joham?

    Here you have a choice, so there really is no 'rule' to follow. Using 'the' is maybe just a wee bit more specific, more pointed in the same way that,

    "That boy" is more pointed than "The boy" and yet we can use both in this situation, right?

  3. #3
    joham is offline Key Member
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    Re: with dark hair, with the dark hair

    Quote Originally Posted by riverkid View Post
    Didn't R, R & M mention anything about this in Unit 22, Joham?

    Here you have a choice, so there really is no 'rule' to follow. Using 'the' is maybe just a wee bit more specific, more pointed in the same way that,

    "That boy" is more pointed than "The boy" and yet we can use both in this situation, right?
    Dear Riverkid,
    Thank you for your kindness. Unit 22 deals with the pre-position of a noun with an attributive phrase, then a repeated subject. It has nothing to do with whether to use "the" before "hair" or "eyes". So I was puzzled.
    joham

  4. #4
    joham is offline Key Member
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    Re: with dark hair, with the dark hair

    Quote Originally Posted by riverkid View Post
    Didn't R, R & M mention anything about this in Unit 22, Joham?

    Here you have a choice, so there really is no 'rule' to follow. Using 'the' is maybe just a wee bit more specific, more pointed in the same way that,

    "That boy" is more pointed than "The boy" and yet we can use both in this situation, right?
    Dear Riverkid,
    Thank you for your kindness. Unit 22 deals with the pre-position of a noun with an attributive phrase, then a repeated subject. It has nothing to do with whether to use "the" before "hair" or "eyes". So I was puzzled.
    joham

  5. #5
    Nev123 is offline Newbie
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    Re: with dark hair, with the dark hair

    The 'the' determiner always allows for more prominent identification and it often serves to supercede subsequent identification. The general meaning may be the same but the 'the' helps to ensure that dark hair is in the forefront of identifying the girl over other attributes.

    If you extended the description you might see what I mean.

    "The girl with the dark hair, the big ears and the blue eyes" gives an unacceptably odd reading - three determiners competing for attention

    "The girl with the dark hair, big ears and blue eyes" gives an acceptable but slightly odd reading

    "The girl with dark hair, big ears and blue eyes"' seems most natural - all 3 are on par

    Cheers

    Nev123

  6. #6
    joham is offline Key Member
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    Re: with dark hair, with the dark hair

    Thank all of you very much. I'm clearer now. But in dictionaries, we seldom meet with "a girl with the dark hair", but "a girl with dark hair", "a young woman with short blonde hair" and "a woman with curly blonde hair", all without "the". I wonder if using "the" before "dark/curly/blonde hair" is a more pointed way of expressing the speaker's attention to the hair.

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