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    #1

    "the" or "a"

    Please would you correct the mistakes in these sentences. I am not sure if I should use "a" or "the" in these kinds of sentences. This is not a school work. I just would like to know where I made the mistakes, or if there are any rules about the use of the articles in these kinds of sentences.

    1. I had a meeting with John, a solicitor.
    2. I went into the hotel and chatted with Anna, the waitress.
    3. The newspaper published an interview with Peter Fox , the actor.
    4. I saw Bob, the journalist, in the street.

  1. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: "the" or "a"

    The sentences are fine except for the unneeded space after "Fox".

  2. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: "the" or "a"

    Quote Originally Posted by Bassim View Post
    Please would you correct the mistakes in these sentences. I am not sure if I should use "a" or "the" in these kinds of sentences. This is not a school work. I just would like to know where I made the mistakes, or if there are any rules about the use of the articles in these kinds of sentences.

    1. I had a meeting with John, a solicitor.
    2. I went into the hotel and chatted with Anna, the waitress.
    3. The newspaper published an interview with Peter Fox , the actor.
    4. I saw Bob, the journalist, in the street.
    Given that your question was about articles, it is worth mentioning that all of your sentences would be possible with either the definite or indefinite article or, in the first example, a different choice entirely.

    I had a meeting with John, the solicitor.
    I had a meeting with John, my solicitor.

    I went into the hotel and chatted with Anna, a waitress.
    I went into the hotel and chatted with Anna, one of the waitresses.

    The newspaper published an interview with Peter Fox, an actor.

    I saw Bob, a journalist, in the street.

    With the journalist example, I find the indefinitely article more likely. I doubt that there is only one journalist called Bob so the person you are speaking to would have to be very certain which journalist called Bob you were talking about to use the definite article. It is not wrong, however.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  3. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: "the" or "a"

    I agree with everything ems wrote.

    Let's say your friend knows you have two friends named Bob. One is a journalist and one is an accountant. That's when "Bob, the journalist" would make sense -- you're telling your friend "which Bob."

    With "the actor" it's assumed there is a famous actor named Peter Fox. You want to say it wasn't just any person named Peter Fox, it was that famous actor, Peter Fox. That's when "Peter Fox, the actor" means.
    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: "the" or "a"

    2. I went into the hotel and chatted with Anna, the waitress.
    This is OK if she's the only waitress or you have already referred to her. If she's one of a number, a would work better.

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