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    #1

    Article required or not?

    Hi,

    The internet should always be used as part of your education.

    Does it require an article before 'part'?
    I suppose it does not, but why?

    Thanks,
    Joe
    Last edited by joeoct; 24-Jun-2011 at 23:30.

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    #2

    Re: Article required or not?

    Correct with or without it. I would not use one. BTW, your sentence is awkwardly phrased, IMO. Why do you not try this:
    The Internet should play an important part in our education.

  1. suprunp's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Article required or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by kehenglish View Post
    Anyway, the article is not needed because the word 'part' refers to 'a part of' in this case education.
    Would you be so kind to elaborate this point?

    My Collins Cobuild Advanced Learnerís English Dictionary states that:

    part
    1) N-COUNT:usu N of n A part of something is one of the pieces, sections, or elements that it consists of.

    3) QUANT: QUANT of sing-n/n-uncount Part of something is some of it.
    It was a very severe accident and he lost part of his foot...
    Syn: some

    Taking this into account I do not understand why the article is not needed?

    Thanks.

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    #4

    Re: Article required or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by joeoct View Post
    Hi,

    The internet should always be used as part of your education.

    Does it require an article before 'part'?
    I suppose it does not, but why?

    Thanks,
    Joe
    ***** NOT A TEACHER *****


    Hello, Joe:


    (1) I had never thought much about this matter until I read your

    post, and I was ashamed that I did not have a clear idea, either.

    (2) I have spent an hour googling, and I want to share my findings

    with you:

    (a) Native speakers do not agree.

    (b) Most native speakers feel that either "a part" or "part" is

    correct.

    (c) All native speakers do agree that the indefinite article is

    necessary if the word "part" is preceded by an adjective:

    "A large part of the roof was missing." (This example is from

    Mr. Michael Swan's Practical English Usage.)

    ***

    (d) I found two very good ideas on the Web, which I personally

    plan to follow. I do not want to go crazy deciding whether to use

    "a" or not. Here are the two ideas for your consideration:

    (i) One poster who calls him-, herself "Cool Breeze" wrote 183 days ago

    that "the more concrete and the more clearly outlined the part is,

    the more likely a is used":

    "I understood only part of the explanation." [MY NOTE: The word

    "explanation" is abstract, not concrete. Concrete = something

    that is definite and -- often -- can be touched.]

    "Hawaii is a part of the U.S.A." [MY NOTE: "The U.S.A." is a pretty concrete


    word. It refers to 50 states and non-states, such as Puerto Rico.]

    (ii) And I especially dig (like) this explanation from a poster who styles

    him-, herself as "Yankee." Two years ago, "Yankee" explained:

    If you use only "part," you are referring to "some" of something.

    If you use "a part," you are referring to "a piece of something."

    I suppose that "a part" seems to refer to an easily definable

    piece of something, and "part" seems general.

    ***

    If we accept the opinions above (and I do), then I would suggest that

    your sentence is better off without the "a." The word

    "education" is not very concrete. It's rather general, don't you think?


    Sincerely,


    James


    P.S. Take these sentences:

    No. l. He told only part of the truth.

    No. 2. He told only a part of the truth.


    I do not know what you think, but for me, I choose No. l because

    (a) The word "truth" is certainly abstract and (b) the word "part"

    seems to be the same as "some."

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    #5

    Re: Article required or not?

    TheParser, thank you for sharing the results of your search. I must disagree with your interpretation though. Cool Breeze said

    The more concrete and the more clearly outlined the part is, the more likely a is used.

    Thus, if we have two entities, say X and Y, and X is in some way (a) part of Y, then to decide whether we want to say

    X is part of Y.

    or

    X is a part of Y.

    we need to estabilish how concrete X is within Y. The arguments in your post were different.

    sentence: Hawaii is a part of the U.S.A.

    your comment: "The U.S.A." is a pretty concrete word. It refers to 50 states and non-states, such as Puerto Rico.

    According to Cool Breeze, we should find out how concrete Hawaii is to decide whether to use "a" or not. This would make the argument that "U.S.A." is a concrete word invalid.

    I'm not saying that it is incorrect to look at the concreteness of what I chose to call Y, because I don't know it. (I would find it illogical, but it has little to do with the actual usage.) I'm only saying that this is not what Cool Breeze said.

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    #6

    Re: Article required or not?

    Thank you all for the answers. I am going to consider them all, and if there are any other questions, I will post them here.

    Joe

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    #7

    Re: Article required or not?

    "the more concrete and the more clearly outlined the part is, the more likely a is used"
    Does it say implicitly that it is the prerogative of a speaker to decide in some cases should he/she use either 'a part' or 'part'?
    By choosing either former or letter variant a speaker can show you how he/she views a particular situation.

    For example:

    If I view my education as consisting of a few, but clearly outlined (in my mind) things I might prefer to say: "The Internet is a part of my education. The other parts are reading books, writing essays etc."

    But if I'm not sure what part the Internet plays in my education then I could say: "The Internet is part of my education. Frankly speaking I don't know yet what role it actually plays in my education."

    (The similar examples can be shown concerning
    He told only part of the truth.
    But they would be a little bit outlandish and awkward so I abstain from writing them here.)


    Am I correct in my assumption?

    Thanks.
    Last edited by suprunp; 25-Jun-2011 at 20:18.

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    #8

    Re: Article required or not?

    [QUOTE=birdeen's call;768308]TheParser, thank you for sharing the results of your search. I must disagree with your interpretation though. Cool Breeze said

    The more concrete and the more clearly outlined the part is, the more likely a is used.

    Thus, if we have two entities, say X and Y, and X is in some way (a) part of Y, then to decide whether we want to say

    X is part of Y.

    or

    X is a part of Y.

    we need to estabilish how concrete X is within Y. The arguments in your post were different.


    ***** NOT A TEACHER *****


    Hello, Birdeen's Call:

    (1) Thank you for your kind note.

    (2) I have no doubt that you are 100% correct.

    (3) I failed algebra (I hate math!!!), so I have no idea of what

    you are talking about.

    (4) You know that old saying "Ignorance is bliss." So in my

    blissful ignorance, I simply prefer "Hawaii is a part of the United States."

    Even if I misunderstood Cool Breeze's explanation.

    (5) Thanks again for your explanation. Please forgive me for my

    ignorance.


    James

    P.S. Now you understand why I am required to start every post

    with the warning "NOT A TEACHER."

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    #9

    Re: Article required or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by TheParser View Post
    Hello, Birdeen's Call:

    (1) Thank you for your kind note.

    (2) I have no doubt that you are 100% correct.

    (3) I failed algebra (I hate math!!!), so I have no idea of what

    you are talking about.

    (4) You know that old saying "Ignorance is bliss." So in my

    blissful ignorance, I simply prefer "Hawaii is a part of the United States."

    Even if I misunderstood Cool Breeze's explanation.

    (5) Thanks again for your explanation. Please forgive me for my

    ignorance.


    James

    P.S. Now you understand why I am required to start every post

    with the warning "NOT A TEACHER."
    This just means that I explained myself badly. I will try again.

    We have two "things": Hawaii and the United States. Hawaii is in the United States and we want to say it, but we want to use the word "part". We have to decide which is better:

    Hawaii is part of the United States.

    or

    Hawaii is a part of the United States.

    It seems to be clear for everybody that the second one is the right one. But why? I understand that two different explanations have appeared in this thread.

    Explanation 1.
    The United States are a concrete thing, therefore we use "a". (I understand that this is your explanation.)

    Explanation 2. Hawaii is a concrete thing, therefore we use "a". (I understand that this is Cool Breeze's explanation.)

    Are my thoughts clearer now? (Please note that it is not my intention to split hairs. I am genuinely interested in getting to understand this matter better.)

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    #10

    Re: Article required or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by suprunp View Post
    Does it say implicitly that it is the prerogative of a speaker to decide in some cases should he/she use either 'a part' or 'part'?
    By choosing either former or letter variant a speaker can show you how he/she views a particular situation.


    Am I correct in my assumption?

    Thanks.

    ***** NOT A TEACHER *****


    Hello, Suprunp:

    (1) Thank you for your kind note.

    (2) It is obvious that you and Birdeen's Call are university-level

    students of English, for you both have insights about grammar that

    put mine to shame.

    (3) You are 100% correct. In fact, "Yankee" said:

    So, sometimes it just depends on how you are looking at

    something.

    I am now going to print out your examples. If I read it enough times,

    I may get the idea.


    Thanks again.


    James

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