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    #1

    A kagaroo is the national animal of Australia: Indefinite article

    Hello Teachers,
    Greetings.
    Is it grammatically correct to say
    "A kangaroo is the national animal of Australia"?
    I know we can use "a/an" or "the" to refer to a whole class of people or things. I am concerned about the use of "a" before "kangaroo" in this particular context, which somehow seems a bit more specific to me and makes me think that only "the" is natural English.
    Many many thanks for your help in advance.

  1. Skrej's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: A kagaroo is the national animal of Australia: Indefinite article

    Either is grammatically correct, but they carry different meanings.

    Using 'the national animal' means that there is only one national animal of Australia.

    Using 'a national animal' means that there are several national animals, and the kangaroo is one of them.

    Edit: If you can trust Wikipedia, Australia does have two national animals, so 'a national animal' may be the better choice if you're concerned about making your sentence accutate as well as grammatically correct.

    Edit #2. I guess though, that one is a national animal, and the other is a national bird. So depending upon how semantically accurate you wish to be, perhaps 'the national animal' is the most accurate choice.
    Last edited by Skrej; 20-Jul-2015 at 16:40.

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    #3

    Re: A kagaroo is the national animal of Australia: Indefinite article

    I think you missed his question. It should be "The kangaroo."

    Saying "A kangaroo is the national animal of Australia" makes it sound like it is one specific kangaroo.

  2. Skrej's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: A kagaroo is the national animal of Australia: Indefinite article

    Yup, I misread and focused on the wrong article.

    Agree, it should be 'the'.

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    #5

    Re: A kagaroo is the national animal of Australia: Indefinite article

    Thank you very much, SoothingDave and Skerj. You guys have been really nice and helpful. It's my first post on the forum, and I hope to learn a lot from you all knowledgeable members.
    Don't we also use the indefinite article to determine a whole class? We do. "A/ The tiger is ferocious by nature." Then what makes "the" obligatory here, or is it?
    Thanks a bunch.

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    #6

    Re: A kagaroo is the national animal of Australia: Indefinite article

    The indefinite article carries a meaning similar to any when talking about a whole class, which doesn't really fit when talking about a national symbol.

  3. Boris Tatarenko's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: A kagaroo is the national animal of Australia: Indefinite article

    Can we say "Kangaroo is the national animal of Australia."?
    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.

  4. Piscean's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: A kagaroo is the national animal of Australia: Indefinite article

    No.

  5. Boris Tatarenko's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: A kagaroo is the national animal of Australia: Indefinite article

    I'm still wondering if it's OK to say: "Kangaroos are the national animal of Austrlia."

    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.

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    #10

    Re: A kagaroo is the national animal of Australia: Indefinite article

    Quote Originally Posted by Boris Tatarenko View Post
    I'm still wondering if it's OK to say: "Kangaroos are the national animal of Australia."
    No.

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