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    #1

    A bee is next to a fly/The bee is next to the fly

    Could someone give me some examples of the situations in which we would say:
    1. A bee is next to a fly.
    2. The bee is next to the fly.
    3. The bee is next to a fly.
    4. A bee is next to the fly.

    The same problem with:
    5. There is a book on the table.
    6. There is a book on a table.

    I would be really grateful.
    I know the basic rules connected with definite and indefinite articles but I can't put them into practice.

  1. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: A bee is next to a fly/The bee is next to the fly

    Quote Originally Posted by angelene001 View Post
    Could someone give me some examples of the situations in which we would say:
    1. A bee is next to a fly. Any bee is next to any fly.
    2. The bee is next to the fly. A particular bee is next to a particular fly.
    3. The bee is next to a fly. A paticular bee is next to any fly.
    4. A bee is next to the fly.

    The same problem with:
    5. There is a book on the table.
    6. There is a book on a table.

    I would be really grateful.
    I know the basic rules connected with definite and indefinite articles but I can't put them into practice.
    I have given you the meanings of the first three above in red. The others follow the same pattern.

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    #3

    Re: A bee is next to a fly/The bee is next to the fly

    When a teacher tells children to make a sentence and gives them 3 words from the dictionary ('bee', 'fly', 'next to') are 1,2,3,4 correct?
    This sentence doesn't represent any visible situation and it is not specified if 'bee' and 'fly' are just any insects or particular insects.

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    #4

    Re: A bee is next to a fly/The bee is next to the fly

    It's a huge problem for me because in Polish we don't have indefinite and definite articles.
    Grammatically, a sentence doesn't indicate if this is any bee or a particular bee.
    It's like in an incorrect English sentence:
    Bee is next to fly.
    It's just an insect called bee.

    When you know the context or see the situation you can choose whether it's "a bee" or "the bee".
    But when a teacher gives a single sentence to translate and it's just a Polish sentence meaning "Bee (an insect called bee) is next to fly (an insect called fly)" and it's out of any context and it's not about any picture, how can a Pole know whether it's "a bee" or "the bee"?

    Could you tell me if I get it right with these sentences?
    1. Look! A bee is next to a fly. --> I see these insects in the grass.
    2. The bee is next to the fly. --> I describe a picture in a book.
    3. Look! A bee is next to the fly. --> I'm observing this fly for a while, I've already talked to my friend about it, so it's a particular fly and suddenly some bee has appeared.
    4. Look! The bee is next to a fly. --> My already mentioned and described bee has moved and now it's next to some fly.

  2. 5jj's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: A bee is next to a fly/The bee is next to the fly

    Quote Originally Posted by angelene001 View Post
    I
    1. Look! A bee is next to a fly. --> I see these insects in the grass.
    That's correct, thought it's an unlikely sentence. We are more likely to say "There's a bee next to a fly".
    2. The bee is next to the fly. --> I describe a picture in a book.
    3. Look! A bee is next to the fly. --> I'm observing this fly for a while, I've already talked to my friend about it, so it's a particular fly and suddenly some bee has appeared.
    4. Look! The bee is next to a fly. --> My already mentioned and described bee has moved and now it's next to some fly.
    They are OK.

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