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    #1

    Useful dogs

    Hello everyone,

    I was asked a question by a friend and it got me thinking. My friend said that her teacher had told there there were slight differences in the following three sentences, and she wanted to know what they were:

    1) A dog is a useful animal.
    2) The dog is a useful animal.
    3) Dogs are useful animals.

    Now, I'm aware of the difference between the definite and indefinite article. For example:
    I'm going to a libary. - It could be any library.
    I'm going to the library. - It's a specific library the speaker is going to.

    But to me, if you say 'The dog is a useful animal' the way I see it, it could still refer to any dog. If you wanted to highlight a specific dog, I would use 'that', 'this' or 'my' to name a few examples.

    Thanks for any insight/advice.

    • Member Info
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    #2

    Re: Useful dogs

    Quote Originally Posted by shroob View Post
    But to me, if you say 'The dog is a useful animal' the way I see it, it could still refer to any dog. If you wanted to highlight a specific dog, I would use 'that', 'this' or 'my' to name a few examples.
    It could be a general reference. I agree that with a specific dog this/that/my would be more common, but we could use the to refer to a particular dog too.

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