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  1. NortT's Avatar
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    Using of articles before a noun "bed"

    I am reading a book. It has two following sentences.
    Then Winnie snuggled into bed. Wilbur curled up at the foot of the bed and purred.
    Why don't we use articles before "bed" in the first sentence and use "the" before "bed" in the second one? In my opinion we have to use "a" in the the first sentence, because that was the first time we heard about Winnie's bed. The only my explanation is that "bed" in this case is not a piece of furniture, it is just a place for sleeping (it could be a sofa or a hammock), so "bed" is an uncountable noun in this case. In the second sentence a cat was purring on a piece of furniture which was certainly Winnie's bed so we use "the" in this case. Can you comment on my suggestions?
    Please, show me every single one of my mistakes. Thank you.

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    Re: Using of articles before a noun "bed"

    ***** NOT A TEACHER *****

    Hello, Nort:

    1. One very reliable and popular usage handbook * says that the noun "bed" is used with the zero article [no article] "when we refer to [its] 'primary purpose,' that is the activity associated with [it]."

    a. It gives this example: "He's in bed."

    i. "For the purpose of sleeping."

    2. The book says that we use "the" when "the item is specified."

    a. Its example: "Your bag is under the bed."


    * L.G. Alexander, Longman English Grammar (1988 edition), page 68.

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