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  1. Grablevskij's Avatar
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    #1

    A dried English walnut

    Her hair was the color of a dried English walnut, rich and plentiful, and her complexion waxen—cream wax—-with lips of faint pink, and eyes that varied from ...


    Could you explain the use of the indefinite article in this case to me, please?
    I decided it is just a material noun and didn't put the article.

    Michael

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    #2

    Re: A dried English walnut

    This makes more sense to me:

    Her hair was the color of dried English walnuts, rich and plentiful, and her complexion waxen—cream wax—-with lips of faint pink, and eyes that varied from ...

    (a) one dried walnut is not rich and plentiful

  2. Grablevskij's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: A dried English walnut

    Dreiser wrote it, not me. Just my teacher used this text in a test and I made a mistake.
    And I would like to know why Dreiser wrote this way.

    Michael


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    #4

    Re: A dried English walnut

    For an answer to that, you would have to ask Dreiser. I suspect he preferred the sound of "a dried English walnut"'; to me it makes perfectly good sense to refer to a single dried walnut to describe hair colour than to many walnuts.

  3. BobK's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: A dried English walnut

    Also, if you translate it without the article and keep the singular, you change the sense of 'walnut' (the wood rather than the nut). Given the context, this would be obviously wrong.

    b

  4. Grablevskij's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: A dried English walnut

    Why the walnut is dried? As far as I can understand, a ripe nut is ready to eat.
    I suppose the word dried is the key here. Because wood really can be dried, but I have not heard about dried Englis walnuts.

    Michael


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    #7

    Re: A dried English walnut

    Quote Originally Posted by Grablevskij View Post
    Just my teacher used this text in a test and I made a mistake.


    Michael
    Hey Michael. How's tricks?

    While we have a lot of freedom in adverb placement, your placement of 'just' is not all that natural, for your intended meaning. This placement carries a meaning like,

    Just my teacher [and no one else] used this text in a test and I made a mistake.

    My teacher just used this text in a test and I made a mistake.

  5. BobK's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: A dried English walnut

    Or (the way I understood it, but making allowance for a foreign speaker [because this interpretation is not normal]) "[It is] just [that] my teacher used this text in a test and [as a result, understandably] I made a mistake."

    b

  6. Grablevskij's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: A dried English walnut

    Thank you very much.

    Michael

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