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    #1

    Post Is it appropriate to use 'the'?

    Dear teachers,

    The following sentence is what I read in a magazine, where the writer was expressing his opinion. I was questioning whether it was appropriate to had used 'the' rather than 'a'. I would like to have your opinions. Thank you!

    -The average English speaker isn't nearly as familar with the rules of English as the typical ESL student.

  1. 5jj's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Is it appropriate to use 'the'?

    Quote Originally Posted by Heidi View Post
    I was questioning whether it was appropriate to had use d 'the' rather than 'a'.

    -The average English speaker isn't nearly as familar with the rules of English as the typical ESL student.
    'The' is correct and natural here. The speaker is taking one person as a generalisation of the whole class.

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    #3

    Re: Is it appropriate to use 'the'?

    Quote Originally Posted by fivejedjon View Post
    'The' is correct and natural here. The speaker is taking one person as a generalisation of the whole class.
    I thought 'a' was used to represent the idea of generalization(?). For example, a bird can fly, what I understand is that we are not refering to some definite, specific bird that can fly, but all birds can fly.

    If I use 'an average English speaker isn't nearly as familar with...', then it will mean 'all English speakers...'(?).-----------Hmmm, then it seems that it was not the idea the writer was trying to convey. I'm confused. Please tell me more. Thanks!

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