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  1. Senior Member
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    #1

    Do you remember a/the time before the Internet?

    Do you remember a time before the Internet? = Do you remember ever living without the Internet?

    Do you remember the time before the Internet? = Can you actually recall what your life was like before the Internet came into our lives?


    Do I grasp the difference correctly?
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  2. VIP Member
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    #2

    Re: Do you remember a/the time before the Internet?

    You are trying to read too much into this. I see no significant difference between the two.
    Typoman - writer of rongs

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    #3

    Re: Do you remember a/the time before the Internet?

    ... and internet no longer needs to be capitalised.

  4. Senior Member
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    #4

    Re: Do you remember a/the time before the Internet?

    Quote Originally Posted by Piscean View Post
    You are trying to read too much into this. I see no significant difference between the two.
    But if time = occasion, there would be a difference:

    Do you remember a time when we went shopping (= any one of the several/many occasions of going shopping together)?
    Do you remember the time when we went shopping (= we went shopping once)?

    What do you think?
    Last edited by Alexey86; 30-Sep-2020 at 12:58.
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  5. Tarheel's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: Do you remember a/the time before the Internet?

    Do you remember a time when we went shopping?

    Do you remember if we ever went shopping?

    Do you remember the time when we went shopping?

    Do you remember that time we went shopping?
    Last edited by Tarheel; 30-Sep-2020 at 18:33. Reason: Insert missing word
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  6. Senior Member
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    #6

    Re: Do you remember a/the time before the Internet?

    Quote Originally Posted by Alexey86 View Post
    But if time = occasion, there would be a difference:

    Do you remember a time when we went shopping (= any one of the several/many occasions of going shopping together)?
    Do you remember the time when we went shopping (= we went shopping once)?

    If time = period, there would be a difference too:

    Do you remember a time when we went shopping? ( = any one of the several/many periods of time when we regularly went shopping)
    Do you remember the time when we went shopping? (= that period when we regularly went shopping)

    To my ear, time in the OP is used a bit differently:

    Do you remember a time before the internet? ( = how you lived without the internet (
    I used this interpretation for ''the time'' in the OP, so I'm hesitating))
    Do you remember the time before the internet? (= the period of your life before the internet)

    What do you think?
    Last edited by Alexey86; 30-Sep-2020 at 16:56.
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  7. jutfrank's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: Do you remember a/the time before the Internet?

    Quote Originally Posted by Alexey86 View Post
    Do you remember a time before the Internet? = Do you remember ever living without the Internet?
    Yes, that's a good rephrase.

    Here's a link to lots of other similar examples: https://www.english-corpora.org/bnc/

    (If you can't see the results, just type in 'remember a time'.)


    Do you remember the time before the Internet? = Can you actually recall what your life was like before the Internet came into our lives?

    Yes, that's one possible and reasonable interpretation.

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