Results 1 to 10 of 10
  1. #1
    Grablevskij's Avatar
    Grablevskij is offline Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Student or Learner
      • Native Language:
      • Russian
      • Home Country:
      • Russian Federation
      • Current Location:
      • Russian Federation
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    215
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default 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

  2. #2
    susiedqq is offline Key Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Academic
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    2,944
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default 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

  3. #3
    Grablevskij's Avatar
    Grablevskij is offline Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Student or Learner
      • Native Language:
      • Russian
      • Home Country:
      • Russian Federation
      • Current Location:
      • Russian Federation
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    215
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default 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

  4. #4
    Anglika is offline No Longer With Us
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    19,448
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default 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.

  5. #5
    BobK's Avatar
    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • UK
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    15,645
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default 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

  6. #6
    Grablevskij's Avatar
    Grablevskij is offline Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Student or Learner
      • Native Language:
      • Russian
      • Home Country:
      • Russian Federation
      • Current Location:
      • Russian Federation
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    215
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default 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

  7. #7
    Anglika is offline No Longer With Us
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    19,448
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: A dried English walnut

    I suspect that the walnut was rather old and dried, and when that happens its skin will have turned a darkish brown. A fresh walnut has a light golden brown skin.

    Maybe Dreiser had some on the table where he was writing and they gave him the idea for her hair colour.

  8. #8
    riverkid is offline Banned
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    3,063
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default 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.

  9. #9
    BobK's Avatar
    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • UK
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    15,645
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default 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

  10. #10
    Grablevskij's Avatar
    Grablevskij is offline Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Student or Learner
      • Native Language:
      • Russian
      • Home Country:
      • Russian Federation
      • Current Location:
      • Russian Federation
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    215
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: A dried English walnut

    Thank you very much.

    Michael

Similar Threads

  1. How to learn English well
    By K.Margaret in forum General Language Discussions
    Replies: 37
    Last Post: 20-Sep-2009, 13:40
  2. Is there a grammar of spoken English?
    By M56 in forum General Language Discussions
    Replies: 25
    Last Post: 09-Feb-2009, 00:58
  3. the standard form of English
    By balakrishnanijk in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 05-Oct-2007, 17:34
  4. May you help me edit my first essay, please?
    By nongporz in forum Editing & Writing Topics
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 26-Jul-2007, 12:12

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •