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    #1

    Articles

    Hello,

    I have a problem with articles, the matter is that I have two text-books which seem to disagree.

    One of my text-books gives these two constructions to remember and to use:
    The famous English writer Dickens lived in the 19th century. (The article is 'the')
    Dickens, a famous English writer, lived in the 19th century.(The article is 'a' - this I can understand - it is like giving more information about Dickens)
    And the other one gives this example with the definite article:
    Pushkin, the great Russian poet, was born in 1799. (The article is 'the' !)

    The general idea of the rule is that 'the' is used when we talk about a well-known person and when we have a noun with apposition.

    Thank you in advance
    Last edited by Irina K.; 28-Dec-2010 at 19:05.

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    #2

    Re: Articles

    *** from neither native English speaker, nor linguist ***

    It is sure in texts oriented for Russian-speaking students.
    Pushkin is known to everybody since its poetry is must in the Russia's education system and he is unique
    (I daresay he is a founder of the modern Russian language).
    Dickens, though famous somewhere outside Russia, is not guaranteed to be universally known to every Russian and is just one of many (famous) writers.

  1. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Articles

    That's a good explanation.

    In the Dickens example, the writer does not assume you know who is meant by saying "Dickens," so he gives more information.

    In the Pushkin example, the writer assumes you know who he is. Or, there may be more than one Pushkin, and he's telling you he means the one who is the famous poet.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  2. apex2000's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Articles

    Quote Originally Posted by vgv8 View Post
    *** from neither native English speaker, nor linguist ***

    It is surely in texts oriented for Russian-speaking students.
    Pushkin is known to everybody since (its) his poetry is a must in the (Russia's) Russian education system and he is unique. Every person is unique so some qualification would be helpful.

    Dickens, though famous (somewhere outside Russia,) is not guaranteed to be universally known to every Russian and is just one of many (famous) writers.
    I think this is more in line with what you meant to say.

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