Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 29
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Russian
      • Home Country:
      • Russian Federation
      • Current Location:
      • Russian Federation

    • Join Date: Feb 2010
    • Posts: 269
    #1

    X-mas

    Hello everybody!
    Got an 'article' problem in the phrase from the song:

    "We wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year".

    The indefinite article is not normally used with Christmas, right?
    What's the logics here? Could you please explain it to me?

    What about the "a" with the "New Year"? Is it becayse the noun year is countable?
    Will you please clarify it to me?

    Thank you.

  1. Barb_D's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Mar 2007
    • Posts: 19,221
    #2

    Re: X-mas

    Adding the adjective allows the indefinite article. It shows in many situations.

    I hope your Christmas is a merry one - I hope you have a merry Christmas.
    Emily got some great news. It was a happy Emily who showed up on our doorstep.
    This year I want to go to Ireland for St. Patrick's Day. It will be a memorable St. Patrick's Day!
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Russian
      • Home Country:
      • Russian Federation
      • Current Location:
      • Russian Federation

    • Join Date: Feb 2010
    • Posts: 269
    #3

    Re: X-mas

    Is it because it may be implying a Christmas day? And a day when "New Year" coming is celebrated?

    As for "a happy Emely", I suppose the "a" is used for an emphasis here, to show the contrast or something like that. And in case with X-mas and New Year it seems to be a little different. Right?

  2. Barb_D's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Mar 2007
    • Posts: 19,221
    #4

    Re: X-mas

    Have a happy Easter.
    Have a merry Christmas (the day or season, either one).
    Have a wonderful New Year (the day or the entire year)
    It was a memorable St. Patrick's Day.
    It was a festive Fourth of July.

    Each time you have a modifier like this, you use "a."
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  3. Banned
    Interested in Language
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Persian
      • Home Country:
      • Iran
      • Current Location:
      • Iran

    • Join Date: Nov 2011
    • Posts: 245
    #5

    Re: X-mas

    (Not a teacher)

    I wish you a happy xmas from amongst the many you have.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Russian
      • Home Country:
      • Russian Federation
      • Current Location:
      • Russian Federation

    • Join Date: Feb 2010
    • Posts: 269
    #6

    Re: X-mas

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    Have a happy Easter.
    Have a merry Christmas (the day or season, either one).
    Have a wonderful New Year (the day or the entire year)
    It was a memorable St. Patrick's Day.
    It was a festive Fourth of July.

    Each time you have a modifier like this, you use "a."

    Thank you very much.

    It's just... My colleague asked me yesterday about the indefinite articles
    in congrats like the above ones because he had gotten an e-mail from the U.S.
    and as he told me it went like this:
    "wish you a Merry Christmas and a wonderful Happy New Year" .

    As I see it now, the article does imply a day or a season in the above case.
    In the Longman Dictionary, the noun "Christmas" is marked as both uncountable and countable.
    So I guess if we use the indefinite article we imply a day or a season.
    If we do not use the indefinite article it's a sort of festive activites or something like that.
    Is my logics correct?

  4. Barb_D's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Mar 2007
    • Posts: 19,221
    #7

    Re: X-mas

    I hope someone else will respond to this thread. I've tried to say twice now that it's when you add a descriptive word that you use the article.

    Easter is almost here. I hope it will be a happy Easter for us all.
    Christmas is on Dec 25. I wiish you a Merry Christmas.
    Independence Day is an important holiday. Have a celebratory Independence Day.
    Peter is a nice guy. It was a very happy Peter who told us of his engagement.

    I've now tried three times. If it's still not clear to you that it's the descriptive word (happy, merry, celebratory, happy again) that makes the diffrence, then someone else will need to try to explain it another way.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Russian
      • Home Country:
      • Russian Federation
      • Current Location:
      • Russian Federation

    • Join Date: Feb 2010
    • Posts: 269
    #8

    Re: X-mas

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    I hope someone else will respond to this thread. I've tried to say twice now that it's when you add a descriptive word that you use the article.

    Easter is almost here. I hope it will be a happy Easter for us all.
    Christmas is on Dec 25. I wiish you a Merry Christmas.
    Independence Day is an important holiday. Have a celebratory Independence Day.
    Peter is a nice guy. It was a very happy Peter who told us of his engagement.

    I've now tried three times. If it's still not clear to you that it's the descriptive word (happy, merry, celebratory, happy again) that makes the diffrence, then someone else will need to try to explain it another way.

    Ok-Ok!
    Got it.
    It's just quite strange to me that a descriptive word could make a difference. I thought a change in the sence of the word is important.
    I just thought that something else is standing behind the use of the indefinite article. (I mean whether or not is the noun countable/uncountable).

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

    • Join Date: Jun 2008
    • Posts: 24,104
    #9

    Re: X-mas

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack8rkin View Post
    It's just... My colleague asked me yesterday about the indefinite articles
    in congrats like the above ones because he had gotten an e-mail from the U.S.
    and as he told me it went like this:
    "wish you a Merry Christmas and a wonderful Happy New Year" .
    "a wonderful Happy New Year" is wrong. "Happy" and "Merry" are capitalised because they have become common greetings. I suppose, so too is "New Year".
    You can have a wonderful, happy New Year. You can't have a miserable Happy New Year.

    Is my logics correct?
    Is my logic correct?
    No, I think Barb's right. Your logic has led you to the wrong conclusion.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Russian
      • Home Country:
      • Russian Federation
      • Current Location:
      • Russian Federation

    • Join Date: Feb 2010
    • Posts: 269
    #10

    Re: X-mas

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    No, I think Barb's right. Your logic has led you to the wrong conclusion.
    What a wrong conclusion do you mean?

Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. help with Mas media English
    By ALBINA CIFUENTES in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 11-Mar-2008, 21:40

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
  •