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  1. #1
    asako87 is offline Newbie
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    the book/ a book/ books

    Tom was in the classroom and Paul saw Tom. I have four sentences.

    (1) Paul saw Tom reading a book in the classroom.
    (2) Paul saw Tom reading the book in the classroom.
    (3) Paul saw Tom reading the books in the classroom.
    (4) Paul saw Tom reading books in the classroom.

    I think it's possible to say like number (1), (2), and (3). How about number (4)(just plural without any aricles)? Is it possible? This is not homework.
    Last edited by emsr2d2; 06-Oct-2017 at 07:32. Reason: Improved layout of post

  2. #2
    asako87 is offline Newbie
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    Re: the book/ a book/ books

    Quote Originally Posted by asako87 View Post
    Tom was in the classroom and Paul saw Tom. I have four sentences.

    (1) Paul saw Tom reading a book in the classroom.
    (2) Paul saw Tom reading the book in the classroom.
    (3) Paul saw Tom reading the books in the classroom.
    (4) Paul saw Tom reading books in the classroom.

    I think it's possible to say like number (1), (2), and (3). How about number (4)(just plural without any aricles)? Is it possible? This is not homework.
    Thank you for editing my post!! I tried to paragragh my writing but it didn't work.
    Last edited by asako87; 06-Oct-2017 at 08:42.

  3. #3
    asako87 is offline Newbie
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    Re: the book/ a book/ books

    Quote Originally Posted by Piscean View Post
    All four sentences are possible in the right contexts.
    Does your "the right contexts" include the scene, "Paul saw Tom and Tom was reading two books in the classroom."? I mean in this situation, is it natural to say "Paul saw Tom reading books(without article) in the classroom."?
    Last edited by asako87; 06-Oct-2017 at 08:56.

  4. #4
    Matthew Wai's Avatar
    Matthew Wai is offline VIP Member
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    Re: the book/ a book/ books

    I think whether 'the' is needed depends on whether the books are mentioned previously.
    I am not a teacher.

  5. #5
    teechar's Avatar
    teechar is offline Moderator
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    Re: the book/ a book/ books

    Quote Originally Posted by asako87 View Post
    Does your "the right contexts" include the scene, "Paul saw Tom and Tom was reading two books in the classroom."? I mean in this situation, is it natural to say "Paul saw Tom reading books(without article) in the classroom."?
    I'm not sure I understand your question, but I hope that Matthew's post above answers it. If not, post below.

  6. #6
    asako87 is offline Newbie
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    Re: the book/ a book/ books

    Quote Originally Posted by teechar View Post
    I'm not sure I understand your question, but I hope that Matthew's post above answers it. If not, post below.
    What is "the right context" for the sentence number (4)? When Paul saw Tom reading some books in the classrom and the books were not mentioned previously, can I say "Paul saw Tom reading books in the classroom."?

  7. #7
    bubbha is offline Senior Member
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    Re: the book/ a book/ books

    Quote Originally Posted by asako87 View Post
    What is "the right context" for the sentence number (4)? When Paul saw Tom reading some books in the classroom and the books were not mentioned previously, can I say "Paul saw Tom reading books in the classroom."?
    Yes.
    NOT A TEACHER. Translator and editor, and I hold a TESOL certificate. Native speaker of American English (West Coast)

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