Results 1 to 2 of 2
  1. HaraKiriBlade's Avatar
    Student or Learner
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Korean
      • Home Country:
      • South Korea
      • Current Location:
      • South Korea

    • Join Date: Apr 2005
    • Posts: 449

    Definite and indefinite articles in real life


    1. Everyone has a right to life.
    2. Everyone has the right to life.

    In effect, I guess both mean the same. However, I would like to know the subtle difference that might exist between the two. I used to think that only the second example was grammatically correct, because this right to life isn't just any right, but a specified right with a limited scope (right to life). However, I noticed that people generally go with the first example. Can anyone explain the difference? Articles in English are sure a tough nut to crack.

    Thank you.

  2. Grumpy's Avatar
    Senior Member
    Interested in Language
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • UK

    • Join Date: Aug 2009
    • Posts: 965

    Re: Definite and indefinite articles in real life

    Practically, there is no difference whatsoever. I suppose one could surmise that "the right" refers to Article 3 of the UN's Universal Declaration of Human Rights Article 3, "Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person", whereas "a right" is a more general expression. I wouldn't lose any sleep over these nuances.
    I'm not a teacher of English, but I have spoken it for (almost) all of my life....

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts