Results 1 to 4 of 4
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
      • Home Country:
      • China
      • Current Location:
      • China

    • Join Date: May 2009
    • Posts: 337
    #1

    I read your ad in the/a newspaper yesterday.

    I read your ad in the newspaper yesterday. I am writing to tell you that I'd like to work as a volunteer for the Beijing Olympics.


    Hello, everyone.

    It seems the definite article should be used here.

    In the article, from which these two sentences are taken, not a word was written as to the number of newspapers the ad appeared. And these two sentences are the first two ones in the article.

    However, it seems reasonable that the ad appears on more than one paper, for the Olympics was really big here.

    I think an indefinite article should be used here.

    I'd like to know your thoughts.

    Many thanks

    Richard


  1. Raymott's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Australia
      • Current Location:
      • Australia

    • Join Date: Jun 2008
    • Posts: 24,092
    #2

    Re: I read your ad in the/a newspaper yesterday.

    "The newspaper" means any newspaper, just like people here sometimes (annoyingly) say, "I looked it up in the dictionary", when, as you say, it should be "a".
    In your example, it should be "The Daily Mail", or whatever, but in informal use it's quite OK to say that you read about in "the newspaper" without saying which newspaper you mean.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
      • Home Country:
      • China
      • Current Location:
      • China

    • Join Date: May 2009
    • Posts: 337
    #3

    Re: I read your ad in the/a newspaper yesterday.

    I am slightly confused here.

    I thought I should use the definite article when I am certain both the listener, or reader, and I know what specificly the following noun refers to. Therefore, a newspaper, instead of the newspaper means any newspaper.

    Or perhaps you meant to say in this sentence the newspaper means any newspaper and such a use here is informal.

  2. Raymott's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Australia
      • Current Location:
      • Australia

    • Join Date: Jun 2008
    • Posts: 24,092
    #4

    Re: I read your ad in the/a newspaper yesterday.

    Quote Originally Posted by cubezero3 View Post
    I am slightly confused here.

    I thought I should use the definite article when I am certain both the listener, or reader, and I know what specificly the following noun refers to. Therefore, a newspaper, instead of the newspaper means any newspaper.

    Or perhaps you meant to say in this sentence the newspaper means any newspaper and such a use here is informal.
    Yes, I meant in this context 'the newspaper' means any newspaper". I was taking it for granted that you knew the normal use of articles, and that you'd understand that I was referring to its use in this sentence specifically.

    PS: The annoying part of the use of "the dictionary" here is not that it should be "a dictionary". It's that it should be Longman's, or Merriam Websters, preferably with a link to the page. Similarly, saying "I read this sentence in the newspaper" here, is not as useful as saying, "I read this in The Australian http://www.theaustralian.com.au/nati...-1226098655754 , for example. "The newspaper" and "the dictionary" are quite OK if the listener is not likely to be concerned about which newspaper or dictionary you mean. Here, we are.
    Last edited by Raymott; 20-Jul-2011 at 19:16.

Similar Threads

  1. [Grammar] (the or without the) books I read yesterday
    By Snappy in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 10-Dec-2010, 12:09
  2. [Grammar] Yesterday, did you ...?
    By yan in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 05-Nov-2009, 01:23

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •