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    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Korean
      • Home Country:
      • South Korea
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Sep 2010
    • Posts: 17
    #1

    having trouble with the definite article

    Hello,

    I was reading a novel and came upon a certain sentence that i wasn't
    entirely convinced of its definiteness/indefiniteness
    The sentence is
    "On the walls were colored photographs of the same scene"
    I felt that if i could change it to
    On the walls were "the" colored photographs of the same scene
    since "colored phographs" are not just ordinary colored photographs but
    colored photographs "of the same scene"
    I often have this problem and afraid to use the wrong article
    A similar problem would be

    students of the school
    and
    the students of the school

    in my mind, they are exactly the same except maybe sound a little different but im not a native speaker and I would appreaciate it
    if someone could shed light on this issue.

    Thanks,

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • Greece

    • Join Date: Sep 2010
    • Posts: 143
    #2

    Re: having trouble with the definite article

    I am a native English speaker, not a teacher.

    "On the walls were coloured photographs of the same scene" is correct. You should not introduce "the" unless you want to stress the fact that they were had already been mentioned.

    Example:
    "In the drawer were black and white photographs of a lake in the Himalayas. I felt certain that these looked familiar, and I was correct; on the walls were the coloured photographs of the same scene."

    (This is not a very good example but it's the best I can do right now. I hope that it helps a little.)

    The best way to "get the hang of" the definite article is to read books and to listen to native English speakers.

    (Notice that I typed "to read books" not "to read the books". This is because I was referring to *any* books and not to specific books, which had already been mentioned.)

    Edited: I had a re-think!
    Last edited by Koronas; 18-Sep-2010 at 13:10.

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