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    #1

    Question The... of a...

    From "Practical English Usage" of Michael Swan:
    "the... of a...
    In classifying expressions of this kind, the first article is definite even if the meaning of the whole expression is indefinite.
    Lying by the side of the road we saw the wheel of a car."

    Several times I have find these rule broken. Should I apply this rule or not?

    Thanks,
    Nyggus

  1. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: The... of a...

    Quote Originally Posted by nyggus View Post
    From "Practical English Usage" of Michael Swan:
    "the... of a...
    In classifying expressions of this kind, the first article is definite even if the meaning of the whole expression is indefinite.
    Lying by the side of the road we saw the wheel of a car."

    Several times I have find these rule broken. Should I apply this rule or not?

    Thanks,
    Nyggus
    For me, Swan's description is not a rule. His version might be more common than the one with an indefinite article, but I hear both.

    By the way, if that sentence is from Swan's book, someone should tell him about dangling participles.

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    #3

    Smile Re: The... of a...

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeNewYork View Post
    By the way, if that sentence is from Swan's book, someone should tell him about dangling participles.
    Thanks, MikeNewYork. It is from Swan's book, but I have no idea about dangling participles, so could you explain what you meant?

    Thanks,
    Nyggus

  2. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: The... of a...

    Quote Originally Posted by nyggus View Post
    Thanks, MikeNewYork. It is from Swan's book, but I have no idea about dangling participles, so could you explain what you meant?

    Thanks,
    Nyggus
    When a sentence begins with a participial phrase, it is logical to attach it to the closest noun or pronoun.

    "Lying on the ground, we...." reads that we were lying on the ground instead of the wheel.

    His sentence should have been: We saw a/the wheel of a car lying on the ground.

    Try this one: Licking his butt, John saw his dog in the kitchen.

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    #5

    Smile Re: The... of a...

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeNewYork View Post
    When a sentence begins with a participial phrase, it is logical to attach it to the closest noun or pronoun.

    "Lying on the ground, we...." reads that we were lying on the ground instead of the wheel.

    His sentence should have been: We saw a/the wheel of a car lying on the ground.

    Try this one: Licking his butt, John saw his dog in the kitchen.
    Got it! I knew the problem but did not now the name of it. But your example is excellent, especially because Jonh would have be to a real gymnast! I won't try it, and I hope no one will!

    All the best,
    Nyggus
    Last edited by nyggus; 16-Oct-2006 at 08:18. Reason: stupid, stupid mistake!

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    #6

    Re: The... of a...

    Quote Originally Posted by nyggus View Post
    Got it! I knew the problem but did not now the name of it. But your example is excellent, especially because Jonh would have to a real gymnast! I won't try it, and I hope no one will!

    All the best,
    Nyggus
    Thanks. I'm glad you understand.

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