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    #1

    Use of definite article

    Hi,
    I have two questions:

    1. What time does the train arrive?
    2. What time does train forty-five arrive?

    Why in the second question we do need to use the definite article?
    The only thing I notice is that second sentence is more specific than the first question.

  1. englishhobby's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Use of definite article

    Quote Originally Posted by zoltankr View Post
    Hi,

    1. What time does the train arrive?
    2. What time does train forty-five arrive?
    Before the structure NOUN + NUMERAL we do not use an article (it's a grammar rule). E.g. Let's go to Room 5.
    This is a very useful rule which may come in handy if you are not sure which article to use.)
    But there is a problem for me with capitalization of the noun in this structure - I can't see any consistent pattern or rule when the noun should be capitalized.
    Why did I capitalize Room in my example? I don't know - might have seen it in some English text.

    Last edited by englishhobby; 28-Dec-2013 at 21:47.
    If I were a native speaker of English, I would never shut up. :-)

  2. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Use of definite article

    Quote Originally Posted by englishhobby View Post
    Before the structure NOUN + NUMERAL we do not use an article (it's a grammar rule). E.g. Let's go to Room 5.
    This is a very useful rule which may come in handy if you are not sure which article to use.)
    But there is a problem for me with capitalization of the noun in this structure - I can't see any consistent pattern or rule when the noun should be capitalized.
    Why did I capitalize Room in my example? I don't know - might have seen it in some English text.

    Capitalization indicates that "Room 5" is the name of the room.

  3. englishhobby's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Use of definite article

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeNewYork View Post
    Capitalization indicates that "Room 5" is the name of the room.
    I still don't understand. I thought we can say both "the fifth room" and "Room 5" about any room inside a building which has number "5" written on its door. Do rooms have names?
    If I were a native speaker of English, I would never shut up. :-)

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    #5

    Re: Use of definite article

    Quote Originally Posted by englishhobby View Post
    I still don't understand. I thought we can say both "the fifth room" and "Room 5" about any room inside a building which has number "5" written on its door. Do rooms have names?
    Yes, rooms have names. Consider "The Oval Office" and "Room 101" in Orwell's 1984.

  5. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: Use of definite article

    You can have "Exam Room 5" in a doctor's office. There might be one room for drawing blood, another for meeting patients, and the doctor's office. Room 5 does not have to be the fifth room.

    Depending on how rooms are numbered or named, "the fifth room on the right" could be "Room 5" or "the Kennebec Room" or "Room 211" -- you can name a room whatever you want.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  6. englishhobby's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: Use of definite article

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post

    Depending on how rooms are numbered or named, "the fifth room on the right" could be "Room 5" or "the Kennebec Room" or "Room 211" -- you can name a room whatever you want.
    In Russia we do not often give names to rooms which have numbers, rooms usually just have numbers (or just names, without any numbers, but for very few exceptions, perhaps, that I have never heard of). I mean, if you come, supposingly, to an outpatient clinic, the receptionist may send you to room number 55 which is on the fifth floor. Do I understand you correctly - if there is number 55 written on the room door (and nothing else), say in a policlinic, she can't send the patient "to the fifty-fifth room" to be examined by the doctor? How should she say it properly in the described situation?
    If I were a native speaker of English, I would never shut up. :-)

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    #8

    Re: Use of definite article

    Quote Originally Posted by englishhobby View Post
    In Russia we do not often give names to rooms which have numbers, rooms usually just have numbers (or just names, without any numbers, but for very few exceptions, perhaps, that I have never heard of). I mean, if you come, supposingly, to an outpatient clinic, the receptionist may send you to room number 55 which is on the fifth floor. Do I understand you correctly - if there is number 55 written on the room door (and nothing else), say in a policlinic, she can't send the patient "to the fifty-fifth room" to be examined by the doctor? How should she say it properly in the described situation?
    She would say "Please go to Room 55 [which is] on the fifth floor".
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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    #9

    Re: Use of definite article

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    She would say "Please go to Room 55 [which is] on the fifth floor".
    Thank you. I didn't know that. So, it sounds absurd in all cases to send someone to "the fifty-fifth room" because it would take ages to count?
    If I were a native speaker of English, I would never shut up. :-)

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    #10

    Re: Use of definite article

    Yes. It's quite normal to say something like "it's the third room on the right" or "it's the first room on the left once you pass the water fountain" but those rooms could have any number/name.

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