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    #1

    Smile The use of article a and the

    Hi,

    Can we say a zebra belongs to the horse family or should it be the zebra because we refer to zebras in general?

    Thank you in advance.
    Tri

  1. poorboy_9's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: The use of article a and the

    Dear Tri3hary,
    welcome to the site!
    When I try to teach these articles, I use “a” as a short form of “any” = a(ny); while “the” is one specific “unit”. For example: A giraffe is tall; the Rothchild giraffe is the most beautiful. [ A(ny) giraffe is tall; the Rothchild (species of ) giraffe is the most beautiful. ]

  2. Raymott's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: The use of article a and the

    Quote Originally Posted by tri3hary View Post
    Hi,

    Can we say a zebra belongs to the horse family or should it be the zebra because we refer to zebras in general?

    Thank you in advance.
    Tri
    You need "the" here: "The zebra belongs to the horse family."
    However, it's not necessarily because we're referring to zebras in general. We'd say, "A zebra eats grass" or "Zebras eat grass" even though this also refers to zebras in general.
    In you sentence "the zebra" means "the zebra species" (or genus, or whatever, if there are more than one species of zebras.)

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    #4

    Re: The use of article a and the

    Thank you for the replies.

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