Results 1 to 5 of 5
  1. Lenka's Avatar

    • Join Date: May 2004
    • Posts: 863
    #1

    articles

    There may be low flying aircraft overhead. (a road sign)

    I've read this sentence in "English Vocabulary in Use" (Cambridge)...
    Why is no indefinite article used in front of "low flying"?

    (By the way, is the previous sentence correct or should I rather say "Why isn't there the (or a ??) indefinite article?")

  2. Ouisch's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Mar 2006
    • Posts: 4,142
    #2

    Re: articles

    Your question was phrased just fine.

    The sign doesn't use an article mainly because on road signs they want to keep the text as concise and brief as possible. People are driving by and have to be able to read and understand the text on a sign quickly.

    Also, because there might be more than one low flying aircraft, no article is necessary. "Aircraft" is plural in this instance.

  3. Lenka's Avatar

    • Join Date: May 2004
    • Posts: 863
    #3

    Re: articles

    Quote Originally Posted by Ouisch View Post
    Your question was phrased just fine.

    The sign doesn't use an article mainly because on road signs they want to keep the text as concise and brief as possible. People are driving by and have to be able to read and understand the text on a sign quickly.

    Also, because there might be more than one low flying aircraft, no article is necessary. "Aircraft" is plural in this instance.
    It wan't written on a road sign, in fact. A traffic sign with a picture of an airplane is explained by the sentence (at least in the book).

    Then, the reason for not using the article is probably the second fact you mentioned. However, I don't understand how can (one) aircraft be a plural... But you are a native speaker - not me ... you must understand it better.

  4. Ouisch's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Mar 2006
    • Posts: 4,142
    #4

    Re: articles

    Quote Originally Posted by Lenka View Post
    It wan't written on a road sign, in fact. A traffic sign with a picture of an airplane is explained by the sentence (at least in the book).

    Then, the reason for not using the article is probably the second fact you mentioned. However, I don't understand how can (one) aircraft be a plural... But you are a native speaker - not me ... you must understand it better.
    I misunderstood your original post, sorry. You had (a road sign) in parentheses. And in some areas, a road sign with nothing more than a picture of an airplane simply indicates that there is an airport nearby. It doesn't necessarily mean there are low-flying aircraft (depending upon how far the airport is from the road, etc.).

    The word "aircraft" is similar to "fish" or "sheep" - the singular form of the word is the same as the plural.

  5. BobK's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • UK

    • Join Date: Jul 2006
    • Posts: 16,038
    #5

    Re: articles

    Quote Originally Posted by Ouisch View Post
    ...
    The word "aircraft" is similar to "fish" or "sheep" - the singular form of the word is the same as the plural.
    And the same is true of any word that ends in -craft and refers to a vehicle of some kind: one hovercraft, 10 hovercraft - or indeed the word on its own (with this meaning: They were surrounded by enemy craft.)

    Why I keep saying 'with this meaning' is that there is a plural 'crafts'; but it refers to handicrafts - a lot of people in Devon and Cornwall make a living from arts and crafts - selling their goods to holiday-makers.

    b

Similar Threads

  1. editing
    By hashem in forum Editing & Writing Topics
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 15-Jan-2008, 01:52
  2. The articles
    By erihime in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 05-Nov-2006, 01:40
  3. using articles
    By MashaT in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 15-Dec-2005, 17:43
  4. Seminal articles
    By NewHope in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 09-Dec-2004, 04:59

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •