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    #1

    a successful Olympic Games

    The Chinese government and people have the ability to host a successful Olympic Games, a senior Egyptian media official said Wednesday. ...

    I read this sentence on a reference.com page. Do native English speakers say 'a successful Olympic Games' (with 'a' put before a plural)?
    Thank you in advance.


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    #2

    Re: a successful Olympic Games

    Yes.

    In this context it means that everything ran smoothly, there were no great disasters, competitors and spectators went home happy, and the organisers can now relax.


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    #3

    Re: a successful Olympic Games

    Yes - 'a' can go before a noun or a person's name when we are indicating some temporary state that they are in.
    Say a character in a book is regarded by others in the story as usually being a cheerful, happy person. Say this character's girlfriend in the story breaks off their relationship. The author might then write:"It was a sad, bewildered Paul who trod his way home."

    Putting on an Olympic Games is a logistical nightmare. Not only have all the buildings and facilities to be ready on time, but they have to work: you can't have a swimming pool which develops a crack along its bottom so the swimming events can't take place - or probably, have to be moved to another location which is adequate, and has no way the extent of public transport to ferry spectators to it. Traffic jams, food poisoning among the athletes, an opening ceremony where there is a power failure that lasts an hour - you name it, a city carries quite a responsibility in ensuring the Games go off successfully. The writer is say, Beijing has the resources to stage a successful Games, as opposed to a disaster.
    It would be a 'temporary state' in that the Beijing Games are just one among many so far, and all those still to come - so, if Beijing didn't pull off 'a successful Games', and it was 'a disastrous Olympic Games', the Olympic Committee would probably take measures to absolutely guarantee that the next Games proved 'a successful Olympics'. The Beijing Games would be a temporary hiccough.
    Last edited by David L.; 11-May-2008 at 14:19.

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