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  1. keannu's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Korean
      • Home Country:
      • South Korea
      • Current Location:
      • South Korea

    • Join Date: Dec 2010
    • Posts: 5,226
    #1

    A - "one of many" or unspecific?

    In the following, ex1's a seems to denote the concept of "one of many" and so does ex2's a, but we've learned "a" means unspecific things while "the" means specific things, maybe this makes sense.

    But in numerous cases of ex2 when you define something or some person, if you think "a" means an unspecific person, it is contradictory as you are also pointing at the very specific person of "He", so I'd like to know what they think in ex2 in terms of specific or "one of many".

    ex1)Where can I buy a newspaper?
    ex2)He is a student.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
      • Home Country:
      • Hong Kong
      • Current Location:
      • Hong Kong

    • Join Date: May 2007
    • Posts: 845
    #2

    Re: A - "one of many" or unspecific?

    Quote Originally Posted by keannu View Post
    In the following, ex1's a seems to denote the concept of "one of many" and so does ex2's a, but we've learned "a" means unspecific things while "the" means specific things, maybe this makes sense.

    But in numerous cases of ex2 when you define something or some person, if you think "a" means an unspecific person, it is contradictory as you are also pointing at the very specific person of "He", so I'd like to know what they think in ex2 in terms of specific or "one of many".

    ex1)Where can I buy a newspaper?(indefinite, any newspaper)
    ex2)He is a student.(Classification)
    Not a teacher.

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