Which version is correct?
The second is possible, but COCA records only 15 examples, as against 144 for the first, so it's not common.
It might be an idea if you checked with COCA for the figures before coming here with questions like this. Then you could ask us for comments on the figures or on individual examples, if you were interested.
Between us, we know quite a bit about the language, but dictionaries should be the first port of call for word definitions, and COCA and/or BNC for questions about whether certain expressions are used.
Last edited by 5jj; 18-Oct-2011 at 14:56. Reason: typo
Thanks! Is "case" understood as a countable noun in the context of the phrase? Is this the reason why "a" has to be used?
Why "a" then? Is there any explenation? I am asking since I notice that adding or taking away "a" can be change the meaning of a sentence (like with the word "few"). I am wondering if the same devil is at work here...
p.s. I am not trying to sabotage this site :) Just for the record...