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    #1

    Usage of "the" and "a(an)"

    Please tell me if my understanding is correct.
    a) I went to an Italian restaurant that newly opened recently.
    b) I went to the Italian restaurant that newly opened recently.
    I can say a) to somebody who does not know that the new Italian restaurant opened recently (because it means I went to an Italian restaurant, and it newly opened recently) while I can say b) to somebody who knows that the new Italian restaurant opened recently (because it means an Italian restaurant newly opened recently, and I went to the Italian restaurant).
    Similarly, c) is possible.
    c) Did you go to the Italian restaurant that newly opened recently?
    However, d) will occur less frequently (because it is a question asking somebody if s/he went to just any newly opened Italian restaurant).
    d) Did you go to an Italian restaurant that newly opened recently?

  1. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Usage of "the" and "a(an)"

    Quote Originally Posted by Snappy View Post
    a) I went to an Italian restaurant that newly opened recently.
    b) I went to the Italian restaurant that newly opened recently.
    I can say a) to somebody who does not know that the new Italian restaurant opened recently (because it means I went to an Italian restaurant, and it newly opened recently) while I can say b) to somebody who knows that the new Italian restaurant opened recently (because it means an Italian restaurant newly opened recently, and I went to the Italian restaurant).
    Similarly, c) is possible.
    c) Did you go to the Italian restaurant that newly opened recently?
    However, d) will occur less frequently (because it is a question asking somebody if s/he went to just any newly opened Italian restaurant).
    d) Did you go to an Italian restaurant that newly opened recently?
    "...that newly opened recently" sounds very unnatural. I would use
    - I went to the/an Italian restaurant which opened recently.
    - I went to the/a newly-opened Italian restaurant.
    - I went to the/a new Italian restaurant.
    - I went to the/a recently-opened Italian restaurant.

    That aside, you're right that using a) to someone who doesn't know the restaurant in question is appropriate, using b) to someone who does know the restaurant is appropriate. Equally, c) would be said to someone who you believe knows which restaurant you're talking about and that d) would be a rather odd question.

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