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    #1

    A smell of, the smell of

    Hello!

    A. An appetizing smell of baked apples filled the house. (Longman)

    B. The powerful smell of cabbage, sardines, and body odor filled the train. (Longman)

    In A., the sentence begins with the indefinite article, while in B., the sentence begins with the definite article on the same noun ‘smell’. Why?

    Thanks in advance
    Last edited by Kazuo; 03-Apr-2010 at 01:40. Reason: addition

  1. kfredson's Avatar

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    #2

    Re: A smell of, the smell of

    Quote Originally Posted by Kazuo View Post
    Hello!

    A. An appetizing smell of baked apples filled the house. (Longman)

    B. The powerful smell of cabbage, sardines, and body odor filled the train. (Longman)

    In A., the sentence begins with the indefinite article, while in B., the sentence begins with the definite article on the same noun ‘smell’. Why?

    Thanks in advance
    A good morning to you in Japan! To my mind you could "the" or "a/an" for either one. And I don't believe the meaning would significantly change. Do you have a source that indicates they need to be written the way that you have them here? I'd be interested to know why. Perhaps I am missing something.

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    #3

    Re: A smell of, the smell of

    Hello, and good evening!

    Thank you very much for your reply. I'm grateful because I feel my understanding of them deepens step by step.

    As for the part beginning with “Do you have a source …..”, the meaning isn’t clear to me, I'm sorry.

    Would you please rewrite that part?

    Sincerely

  2. kfredson's Avatar

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    #4

    Re: A smell of, the smell of

    Quote Originally Posted by Kazuo View Post
    Hello, and good evening!

    Thank you very much for your reply. I'm grateful because I feel my understanding of them deepens step by step.

    As for the part beginning with “Do you have a source …..”, the meaning isn’t clear to me, I'm sorry.

    Would you please rewrite that part?

    Sincerely
    No, the fault is mine. By "source" I meant a book that is explaining some principle of grammar. For instance, you write "Longman" after the quotation. Is that a book which says that one sentence should begin in "an" and the other with "the"?

    I hope that is clear. If not, please ask again.

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    #5

    Re: A smell of, the smell of

    Hello!

    The book that I quoted from is “Longman Language Activator” Second edition 2002, Longman.
    It is a little different type of dictionary, putting emphasis on helping write and speak natural English.

    Sentence A. on page 282
    Sentence B. on page 1100

    Sincerely

  3. kfredson's Avatar

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    #6

    Re: A smell of, the smell of

    Quote Originally Posted by Kazuo View Post
    Hello!

    The book that I quoted from is “Longman Language Activator” Second edition 2002, Longman.
    It is a little different type of dictionary, putting emphasis on helping write and speak natural English.

    Sentence A. on page 282
    Sentence B. on page 1100

    Sincerely
    And is the book simply giving sample sentences? Or is the book saying that Sentence A. should use "An" but not "The"?

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    #7

    Re: A smell of, the smell of

    Hello!

    The book is simply giving sample sentences, like any other dictionaries. The idea of the dictionary is rather that of a thesaurus in its way of presenting each word. It gives each set of sentences an explanation from a point of what situations the sentences are used in, but not from a grammatical point. In a word, it’s a dictionary, not a grammar book.

    Sincerely

  4. kfredson's Avatar

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    #8

    Re: A smell of, the smell of

    Quote Originally Posted by Kazuo View Post
    Hello!

    The book is simply giving sample sentences, like any other dictionaries. The idea of the dictionary is rather that of a thesaurus in its way of presenting each word. It gives each set of sentences an explanation from a point of what situations the sentences are used in, but not from a grammatical point. In a word, it’s a dictionary, not a grammar book.

    Sincerely
    Oh, that is fine. Thank you. So the book is not saying that you cannot use "the" in place of "an."

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    #9

    Re: A smell of, the smell of

    Quote Originally Posted by Kazuo View Post
    Hello!

    A. An appetizing smell of baked apples filled the house. (Longman)

    B. The powerful smell of cabbage, sardines, and body odor filled the train. (Longman)

    In A., the sentence begins with the indefinite article, while in B., the sentence begins with the definite article on the same noun ‘smell’. Why?

    Thanks in advance
    (Not a teacher)
    With single sentence given out of context, both may be correct, it depends.

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    #10

    Re: A smell of, the smell of

    I think the clue is in the word 'definite/indefinite'.

    When he entered the room, his nose was assiled by the distinct smell of rotting fish.

    But

    I think I detect a smell of something going off [=beginning to rot].

    It's not a simple as that though; the line is thinly drawn. Often either will do.

    b

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