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  1. mamen's Avatar
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    #1

    Post To express action or To express an action?

    Here is the sentence: Regular verbs take the -d or -ed ending to express action in the past.

    Should I still put an in the given sentence, or it is already correct?

    Regular verbs take the -d or -ed ending to express an action in the past.

    Please explain my dear teachers.

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    #2

    Re: To express action or To express an action?

    An action in the past.

    You use the indefinite article 'a/an' in a general statement.

    not a teacher

  2. Raymott's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: To express action or To express an action?

    No, 'an' is not necessary there. "Action in the past is expressed by... "
    An action is expressed that way, but so is action, and it's action that is being referred to.

  3. mamen's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: To express action or To express an action?

    My dear teachers,
    I am already confused now. When am I allowed to remove or omit a or an in a sentence then? I really thought that an was necessary in the sentence that I gave.

    Thanks in advance.

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    #5

    Re: To express action or To express an action?

    tedmc is a well-meaning native speaker of Chinese who is interested in English and often gives undisputed answers.

    Raymott is an academic and a native English speaker. Emsr2d2 and I both 'Liked' the answer he gave you.

    You can choose what you think the better answer is likely to be.
    Last edited by Rover_KE; 21-Oct-2014 at 22:34.

  4. mamen's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: To express action or To express an action?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rover_KE View Post
    tedmc is a well-meaning native speaker of Chinese who is interested in English and often gives undisputed answers.

    Raymott is an academic and a native English speaker. Emsr2d2 and I both 'Liked' the answer he gave you.

    You can choose what you think the better answer is likely to be.
    Thanks, sir. I believe that Sir Raymontt is right, but I am just asking for the rule about the omission/removal of the word "a or an" in a sentence.

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    #7

    Re: To express action or To express an action?

    When was Raymott knighted?
    I agree with Raymott that 'a' is optional.
    However,you find that grammar books often use 'a' when talking about usage of the tenses.

    http://www.englishpage.com/verbpage/simplepast.html


    not a teacher

  5. probus's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: To express action or To express an action?

    Well, since it was written by a teacher and presumably a native speaker, you should begin by assuming it is correct (@tedmc). "An action in the past" would be correct if there were only one action. "Action in the past" is far preferable. It also covers cases in which the past actions were multiple or continuous.

  6. probus's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: To express action or To express an action?

    Enough already. In my opinion it is time to ban tedmc. He misleads our students and disrespects our teachers.

    Quote Originally Posted by tedmc View Post
    When was Raymott knighted?
    I agree with Raymott that 'a' is optional.
    However,you find that grammar books often use 'a' when talking about usage of the tenses.

    http://www.englishpage.com/verbpage/simplepast.html


    not a teacher

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    #10

    Re: To express action or To express an action?

    probus
    I am surprised that what was said in jest has been construed as disrespect.

    not a teacher

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