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    #1

    A

    What does it mean when we use the article "a" as in the sentences below?

    1- Detective: So, what do we have in here, officer?
    Officer: Well, a James Ashley, 23 year old, American.

    (This is a murder case and they are talking about a dead man.)

    2- Don't confuse me with a Cannabis or Jermaine Dupre.

    (This is from a song by Eminem, and the names he mentions are his enemies in the industry.)

    Thanks in advance.

  1. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: A

    Welcome to Using English.

    The first one means "a person by this name, but I didn't know him."
    You could also say it means "a [person whose name is]..."

    Other times you might hear this:
    A "Jim Smith" called for you.
    A "Marge Simpson" stopped by. She left her card.
    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.

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    #3

    Re: A

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    Welcome to Using English.

    The first one means "a person by this name, but I didn't know him."
    You could also say it means "a [person whose name is]..."

    Other times you might hear this:
    A "Jim Smith" called for you.
    A "Marge Simpson" stopped by. She left her card.
    Now I understand the use thanks to you, but I still have some questions:

    So, in the first sentence, it is not a dedective jargon, right? Because a native English speaker told me that dedectives use the article "a" for dead people - as if to emphasize that they have turned into objects.

    And for the second sentence, why would Eminem add the article "a" before the names he mentions? In fact, he knows exactly who Cannabis and Jermaine are. In my language - Turkish - we use "teki" meaning the article "a" before a proper noun in order to insult a person. Does it have the same function in English as well? If so, does Eminem use the article in order to imply something like: You can confuse me with some idiots/ cowards etc.. like Cannabis and Jermaine.

  2. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: A

    My two examples are from "normal" situations, not a detective show. It is not jargon.

    I have no idea about anything Eminem says. I need to leave that to others
    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.

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    #5

    Re: A

    not a teacher

    Don't confuse me with a Cannabis or Jermaine Dupre.

    I think the sense of Eminem's lyric is probably: "Don't confuse me with somebody like Cannabis or Jermaine", i.e. somebody of that sort/nature.
    This form doesn't have to be derogatory, for example: "My football skills are quite good but you wouldn't confuse me with a Messi or Ronaldo".

  3. Raymott's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: A

    You'll also see and hear, "My football skills are quite good but I'm no Messi or Ronaldo".
    This is not a typo for 'not'. It means, "I'm no kind of Messi or Ronaldo."

  4. Boris Tatarenko's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: A

    Eminem doesn't like Cannabis and Jermaine (they're rappers).
    Please, correct all my mistakes. I should know English perfectly and if you show me my mistakes I will achieve my dream a little bit faster. A lot of thanks.

    Not a teacher nor a native speaker.

  5. Raymott's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: A

    Quote Originally Posted by Boris Tatarenko View Post
    Eminem doesn't like Cannabis and Jermaine (they're rappers).
    Eminem is a rapper too. Are you saying that rappers all dislike each other, or that rappers don't like anyone?

  6. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: A

    Many rappers dislike other rappers. It is a competition.

  7. Roman55's Avatar
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    #10

    Re: A

    I am not a teacher.

    Or they pretend to. It's part of the persona.

    Eminem has made a career out of it.

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