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    #41

    Re: I saw a blackbird vs I've read a book (reference and article usage)

    Quote Originally Posted by jutfrank View Post
    I'm not sure what you mean. Do you mean in my imagined context where the speaker is picking out one amount from many?

    Yes. The speaker is picking up one amount from many taking into account if the listener is already aware of this amount.

    Quote Originally Posted by jutfrank View Post

    No. Use either an or remove the entire bracket part.
    I'm confused. There are two amounts to choose from. The speaker is referring to the amount (s)he has already mentioned, i.e. 100mg. Why is the amount incorrect? I'm asking only about grammar, not naturalness.

    Quote Originally Posted by jutfrank View Post

    Huh? Does what mean what?
    I mean the specificity of reference the speaker chooses depends on his/her knowledge of the listener's knowledge or shared knowledge (conversational courtesy).

    Quote Originally Posted by jutfrank View Post
    I'll have to think about this more before, but I'm not sure it's possible to say.
    Why would you choose these definite NPs if you were the speaker?
    Last edited by Alexey86; 08-May-2020 at 12:41.
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    #42

    Re: I saw a blackbird vs I've read a book (reference and article usage)

    I don't think we're getting anywhere. I can't say anything more without repeating myself.

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    #43

    Re: I saw a blackbird vs I've read a book (reference and article usage)

    Quote Originally Posted by jutfrank View Post
    I don't think we're getting anywhere. I can't say anything more without repeating myself.
    Earlier I asked you if there was any possibility for "...given the amount of the agent X that was twice the dose typically prescribed."
    You said, "Yes, of course. When the speaker wants to make specific reference to which amount, for example. Imagine there were a few different amounts to choose from."

    Then, I gave you such a context: two amounts, specific reference to one of them. Nevertheless, you suggested using "an". What's wrong with my example? How should I change it for "the" to be possible. There is no need for repeating yourself to clarify this.
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    #44

    Re: I saw a blackbird vs I've read a book (reference and article usage)

    Quote Originally Posted by Alexey86 View Post
    I gave you such a context: two amounts, specific reference to one of them.
    Oh, I see. Now I understand what you were doing with the dialogue in post #39. Yes, the point of the specific reference (the use of the) in that case is to pick out which amount.

    Sorry for the misunderstanding, but I sometimes find it very taxing to respond to your questions because I first have to work out what you're saying, and then try to understand how you are understanding things, and then work out how I understand things differently, and then work out how to respond concisely. In general, the less work you give me, the better my answers will be.

    Keep in mind that we're talking about basic principles here (at least I am). If you ask me whether there's any possibility to use the instead of a in any phrase, I'll almost certainly say yes. This is what I meant earlier when I say you were being more practical than me. I interpret 'any possibility' to mean in principle, not in practice. That's an important distinction.

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    #45

    Re: I saw a blackbird vs I've read a book (reference and article usage)

    Quote Originally Posted by jutfrank View Post
    I sometimes find it very taxing to respond to your questions
    I'm really sorry for that. I didn't mean to burden you that much.

    Now that we've clarified the first (red) part of "an/the mount of the X", would you help me clarify the blue one? I mean ''The amount of (the) work he did is hard to estimate.''

    Context 1:
    A: How much will you pay me for my work?
    B: It depends on how much you did.
    A: [The amount of work] [I did] is hard to estimate.

    Context 2:
    A: How much will you pay me for my work?
    B: It depends on how much of the work YOU did. There were two other workers at the construction site besides you.
    A: [The amount of] [THE WORK I DID] is hard to estimate.

    Have I chosen the right context for 'the'? And have I divided the phrases into logical parts correctly? If not, how should I change it?
    Last edited by Alexey86; 09-May-2020 at 12:58.
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    #46

    Re: I saw a blackbird vs I've read a book (reference and article usage)

    Context 1 is all fine.

    In context 2, it's not right that person B would use the work when person 1 has just determined my work. I think you should delete my work and leave it as How much will you pay me?, in which case the rest is fine. In this case, we understand the amount as more precisely meaning 'the proportion'.

    You haven't divided the final line logically, no. It should be [The amount of the work][I did].

    [the proportion of] [the work I did] = proportion of my work
    [the proportion of the work] [I did] = my proportion of all work

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    #47

    Re: I saw a blackbird vs I've read a book (reference and article usage)

    Quote Originally Posted by jutfrank View Post
    [the proportion of] [the work I did] = proportion of my work
    [the proportion of the work] [I did] = my proportion of all work
    It seems that the phrase in itself is ambiguous, isn't it? I think it was the core of my difficulties.

    I've tried to visualize all three variants:


    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	amount.png 
Views:	17 
Size:	18.7 KB 
ID:	3491 or Click image for larger version. 

Name:	amount1.png 
Views:	9 
Size:	11.3 KB 
ID:	3492

    What do you think?
    Last edited by Alexey86; 10-May-2020 at 19:42.
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    #48

    Re: I saw a blackbird vs I've read a book (reference and article usage)

    Quote Originally Posted by Alexey86 View Post
    It seems that the phrase in itself is ambiguous, isn't it? I think it was the core of my difficulties.

    Written in isolation, yes. In natural speech, intonation would remove any ambiguity, as usual.

    What do you think?

    I'm not sure what the diagram on the left means but the other two represent the interpretations we're talking about clearly enough.

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    #49

    Re: I saw a blackbird vs I've read a book (reference and article usage)

    Quote Originally Posted by jutfrank View Post
    I'm not sure what the diagram on the left means
    I just mean that the speaker isn't implying any portion or ratio while speaking.
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    #50

    Re: I saw a blackbird vs I've read a book (reference and article usage)

    Quote Originally Posted by Alexey86 View Post
    I just mean that the speaker isn't implying any portion or ratio while speaking.
    How's that?

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