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  1. #1
    erintabrett is offline Newbie
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    I checked the dictionary?

    Hi!

    I feel a bit silly asking this because I'm a native English speaker, but I was just writing something and initially wrote "I checked the dictionary" and then wondered if I shouldn't instead write that I checked *a* dictionary. I'm talking about a specific dictionary, but if that's not known to my audience, should it be "a"?

    Thank you in advance! It's so great to be able to ask for help here :)

  2. #2
    AirbusA321 is offline Banned
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    Re: I checked the dictionary?

    Google hits:
    I checked a dictionary 18,300
    I checked the dictionary 57,900

  3. #3
    GoesStation is offline Moderator
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    Re: I checked the dictionary?

    Quote Originally Posted by AirbusA321 View Post
    Google hits:
    I checked a dictionary 18,300
    I checked the dictionary 57,900
    This information might be useful in some situations but it doesn't provide any guidance as to which article the OP should use.
    I am not a teacher.

  4. #4
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Re: I checked the dictionary?

    How about I checked my dictionary?

  5. #5
    jutfrank's Avatar
    jutfrank is offline VIP Member
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    Re: I checked the dictionary?

    I would urge you to avoid using the phrase the dictionary in this sense. It suggests that there is just one authoritative source. This idea is outdated and inappropriate in this day and age.

    I checked a dictionary.

  6. #6
    GoesStation is offline Moderator
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    Re: I checked the dictionary?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tdol View Post
    How about I checked my dictionary?
    That's fine.
    I am not a teacher.

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