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    #1

    If you dial a/the wrong number, apologize first.

    Hi,

    1. If you dial a/the wrong number, apologize first.
    2. Yesterday I dialed a/the wrong number to the office, so I couldn't talk to the boss.

    I guess 1 would take 'a wrong number' but 2 takes 'the wrong number'. Am I right?

    And one more thing: is it grammatically wrong to say "If you dial the wrong number, apologize first."?

    Thanks in advance.

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    #2

    Re: If you dial a/the wrong number, apologize first.

    Quote Originally Posted by taked4700 View Post
    Hi,

    1. If you dial a/the wrong number, apologize first.
    2. Yesterday I dialed a/the wrong number to the office, so I couldn't talk to the boss.

    I guess 1 would take 'a wrong number' but 2 takes 'the wrong number'. Am I right?

    And one more thing: is it grammatically wrong to say "If you dial the wrong number, apologize first."? It's OK.

    Thanks in advance.
    Either "a" or "the" works in both 1. and 2.

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    #3

    Re: If you dial a/the wrong number, apologize first.

    Thank you, Billmcd.

    Let me make sure of my understanding.

    1. If you dial a/the wrong number, apologize first.
    2. Yesterday I dialed a/the wrong number to the office, so I couldn't talk to the boss.

    "If you dial a wrong number, apologize first." implies that there would be a slim chance you dial wrongly.
    "If you dial the wrong number, apologize first." just means that when you dial wrong numbers, the first thing you must do is apologize.

    "Yesterday I dialed a wrong number to the office, so I couldn't talk to the boss." is not grammatically wrong, but "
    Yesterday I dialed the wrong number to the office, so I couldn't talk to the boss." sounds more natural.

    Am I right?

    Thanks in advance.
    Last edited by taked4700; 20-Aug-2013 at 17:27.

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    #4

    Re: If you dial a/the wrong number, apologize first.

    Quote Originally Posted by taked4700 View Post
    Thank you, Billmcd.

    Let me make sure of my understanding.

    1. If you dial a/the wrong number, apologize first.
    2. Yesterday I dialed a/the wrong number to the office, so I couldn't talk to the boss.

    "If you dial a wrong number, apologize first." implies that there would be a slim chance you dial wrongly. This statement has nothing to do with the degree of possibility ("slim"). It is simply advice.
    "If you dial the wrong number, apologize first." just means that when you dial wrong numbers, the first thing you must do is apologize. Lacking any context, it could mean that the speaker was simply advising the listener of the courtesy expected if one dials the wrong number. But the same meaning could be implied/inferred if "a" was used instead of "the".

    "Yesterday I dialed a wrong number to the office, so I couldn't talk to the boss." is not grammatically wrong, but "
    Yesterday I dialed the wrong number to the office, so I couldn't talk to the boss." sounds more natural.

    Am I right? If you think so.

    Thanks in advance.
    b.

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