Interested in Language
We haven't managed to do that yet but we're well-into it.
What does the phrase in bold exactly mean? What words would you use to substitute for it?
Thanks 5jj for a quick reply.
***** NOT A TEACHER *****
(1) Nyota, I know what a serious and dedicated student you are.
So I think that you will not be angry if I make a respectful suggestion:
The use of "a" and "the" can be very confusing -- even to native speakers.
(2) You thanked Teacher 5jj for a quick reply.
I believe that the "correct" article is "for the quick reply."
(3) I may be wrong, but I think that if you thank someone for
a quick reply, that usually means that you asked a question and
are now waiting for an answer.
(4) But since Teacher 5jj had already answered you, then you
were referring to the answer that you had already received.
(5) One day I was walking down the street and passed a store
owned by some people who did not speak English as a first
language. Next to the door was a sign that read: Ring a bell.
I could not stop laughing. That sign was telling people to ring
any bell in the world if they wanted to enter. Of course, the
sign should have read: Ring the bell (the bell that was next to the
"thank you for the quick reply" = thank you for the reply you gave
"thank you for a quick reply" = there are different kinds of replies, thank you for giving a quick one
You would say to the host of a party you're leaving "Thank you for a great party" or you'd say after seeing a play "That was a really good play".
I think, however, that nyota's use of the indefinite article was acceptable, if, admittedly, less likely than the definite article.
Thank you for the quick reply. - the quick reply that you just posted.
Thank you for a quick reply. - that was a quick reply! Thanks.
nyota, and other readers, note that I am not saying that TheParser is wrong. His words, "The use of "a" and "the" can be very confusing -- even to native speakers" are, unfortunately, only too true. The 'rules' that are presented to learners in the early days are, generally, helpful. There are, however, occasions when native speakers, including teachers and academics who have studied the language for many years, cannot agree on what the most appropriate artcle is.
The consolation for learners is that, if native speakers don't know the absolutely correct usage, then learners need not feel despondent if they are sometimes confused.
Last edited by 5jj; 06-Apr-2011 at 10:17. Reason: typo