# Thread: at a zero-to-eighteen-month level of a typical development (article use)

1. ## Re: at a zero-to-eighteen-month level of a typical development (article use)

Originally Posted by Alexey86
What example would be more suitable for analysis?
Can we refresh for clarity, please? The thread is getting long and harder to follow.

What exactly do we want to analyse? Why? What kind of analysis do we want to do?

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## Re: at a zero-to-eighteen-month level of a typical development (article use)

Originally Posted by Alexey86
I haven't seen a grammar guide saying "Forget logic when you're choosing what article to use because common sense trumps logic in 99% of the time".
Of course not, because it's not true. Read what I said in #40 again.

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## Re: at a zero-to-eighteen-month level of a typical development (article use)

Originally Posted by jutfrank
Can we refresh for clarity, please? The thread is getting long and harder to follow.

What exactly do we want to analyse? Why? What kind of analysis do we want to do?

I mean an example with a/an NP that might seem unique, while in fact it can easily represent just an instance. If you remember, at first I thought there could be only one 0-18 month level of typical development. That's why "a 0-18 month..." confused me. Then, you suggested thinking of it as an instance, which I tried to do in #32. I coupled the level example with the temperature one because a 100-degree temperature might seem unique too. I mean there's only one 100-degree point on the scale. So, I tried the way you suggested:

1) Water boils at a 100-degree temperature = a temperature of 100 degrees = an instance of temperature equal to 100 degrees.
2) This child is at a 0-18-month level of typical development = a level of development typical for a 0-18-month child = an instance of a developmental level typical for a 0-18-month child.

Then you said (#42) the example was poor. That's why I ask you what example would serve better for analysis.

4. ## Re: at a zero to eighteen month level of a typical development (article use)

Originally Posted by Alexey86

I mean an example with a/an NP that might seem unique, while in fact it can easily represent just an instance.
That's precisely what I tried to introduce with my example in post #13, which I tried to bring up again in post #24. I asked you two questions in that post, neither of which you answered. Here's my example again:

He's at an intermediate level.

I chose this as an example because it's something I do say and therefore something I'm sure of the meaning of. It's also a good example because EFL teachers do tend to think in terms of discrete levels—that is, that there is only one intermediate level, only one upper-intermediate level, only one advanced level, etc. It's also a good example to work with in that it is similar to the original example in post #1.

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## Re: at a zero to eighteen month level of a typical development (article use)

Originally Posted by jutfrank
He's at an intermediate level.
My try: There're many intermediate levels. He's at an instance of a level that can be described as intermediate.

Frankly, I still can't convince myself by this analysis. What makes it difficult for me to get the idea of an instance here is that I see English levels as a building's floors. If somebody asked me Where're you?, I could reply I'm on the fifth floor, not on a fifth floor.

I've also found this thread (https://www.usingenglish.com/forum/t...rmediate-level) where two English teachers say intermediate level doesn't require 'a' at all. I'm a bit confused.

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## Re: at a zero to eighteen month level of a typical development (article use)

Originally Posted by Alexey86
My try: There're are
many intermediate levels.

If somebody asked me Where're are you? ….
Don't write "there're" except in quoted dialog. "Are" is stressed in "Where are you?" so no contraction is possible.

7. ## Re: at a zero to eighteen month level of a typical development (article use)

Originally Posted by Alexey86
Frankly, I still can't convince myself by this analysis.
Okay, that's fair enough.

I've also found this thread (https://www.usingenglish.com/forum/t...rmediate-level) where two English teachers say intermediate level doesn't require 'a' at all. I'm a bit confused.
No, that's right. It doesn't. I'm not sure what you mean by 'require'.

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## Re: at a zero to eighteen month level of a typical development (article use)

Originally Posted by jutfrank
Okay, that's fair enough.
What's wrong with my floor metaphor? Would you suggest any helpful metaphor please?

Originally Posted by jutfrank
No, that's right. It doesn't. I'm not sure what you mean by 'require'.
5jj says ''No article is necessary there.'' I take it to mean that both intermediate level and an intermediate level are possible.

But level is a singular countable noun. We use articles with such nouns, except for cases like level five or page three. That's why I'm confused.
Last edited by Alexey86; 11-Oct-2020 at 12:54.

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## Re: at a zero to eighteen month level of a typical development (article use)

Originally Posted by Piscean
If we know that a person is on the fifth floor of a building, we know precisely where they are. The floors are discrete; there is no overlapping.

If we know that a person's English is at intermediate level, we do not know precisely how good their English is. A person who has just reached this level may be only marginally better than a very good pre-intermediate-level person. Another might be almost at advanced level.

So, there is no precisely defined intermediate level in the way that there is a precisely defined fifth floor.
But when we say that water boils at a temperature of 100 degrees Celsius, the temperature is precise, but we still use 'a'. That's what confuses me.

10. ## Re: at a zero-to-eighteen-month level of a typical development (article use)

For me, "Water boils at a temperature of 100 degrees Celsius" is a shorter way of saying:

Water boils at a specific temperature. What temperature? 100 degrees Celsius.

The same construction appears all over the place. For example, "Planes generally fly at a height of 30,000 feet", "I will worry when he reaches a weight that equals his older sister's", "Motorways have a speed limit of 70mph".

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