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    #1

    An/The elephant has a long trunk???

    When we are saying a fact, for example:

    Elephants have long trunks. (this is plural)

    What about saying it in singular form? Should it be
    1. An elephant has a long trunk.
    2. The elephant has a long trunk.


    Which is correct? I personally think that it should be 1. 2 sounds like that particular elephant has a long trunk but others don't have. Am i correct?

    Thanks in advance.

  1. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: An/The elephant has a long trunk???

    Quote Originally Posted by snoopy5376 View Post
    When we are saying a fact, for example:

    Elephants have long trunks. (this is plural)

    What about saying it in singular form? Should it be
    1. An elephant has a long trunk.
    2. The elephant has a long trunk.


    Which is correct? I personally think that it should be 1. 2 sounds like that particular elephant has a long trunk but others don't have. Am i correct?

    Thanks in advance.
    Both and 2 are possible.

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    #3

    Re: An/The elephant has a long trunk???

    Quote Originally Posted by bhaisahab View Post
    Both and 2 are possible.
    Oh, ok. Which is better or both are the same? Thanks ya.

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    #4

    Re: An/The elephant has a long trunk???

    [not a teacher]

    An elephant has a long trunk. - always means a fact that applies to all elephants.
    The elephant has a long trunk. - can be either a general fact, or a fact about a specific elephant, depending on context.

    If it's a general fact, "the" references a hypothetical exemplar elephant. For example, in a film documentary, they might show you an elephant and say, "The elephant has a long trunk.", but it is understood that the fact applies to all elephants, and is (probably) not really referencing the one shown.

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    #5

    Re: An/The elephant has a long trunk???

    If a picture as below is given,
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	10022012665.jpg 
Views:	5 
Size:	99.1 KB 
ID:	1250

    which is more appropriate?

  2. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: An/The elephant has a long trunk???

    Quote Originally Posted by snoopy5376 View Post
    If a picture as below is given,
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	10022012665.jpg 
Views:	5 
Size:	99.1 KB 
ID:	1250

    which is more appropriate?
    "The crocodile has a long tail" is appropriate, because we are talking about the crocodile in the picture.

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