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    • Join Date: Oct 2006
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    #1

    split a fare / split the fare

    I know that "a / an" is before new information, and that "the" is before old information. The following is an example.
    There was a boy in Summerville. (new information)
    The boy's name was Jack Smith. (old information)

    Is it possible for me to apply this principle to the question below?


    Question > A: I'm going downtown.
    B: So am I. Why don't we share a taxi and split _____?

    a) a fare b) the fare c) fare d) fares


    Many thanks in advance.

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    #2

    Re: split a fare / split the fare

    The distinction is not between old and new.
    Generally speaking, "a" refers to a nonspecific person or thing while "the" refers to a specific person or thing.

    A...Let's take a cab to the stadium. (there are many cabs but only one stadium that we want to go to)
    B...Good idea, let's take the empty cab waiting over there. (B is referring to the specific cab waiting over there)

    In your question, I would choose "the" to refer to the fare that you will split. (actually this is not the best example to illustrate the difference and some people may choose "a", but I wouldn't)
    Last edited by 2006; 29-Jul-2007 at 05:44.


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    #3

    Re: split a fare / split the fare

    Quote Originally Posted by 2006 View Post
    The distinction is not between old and new.
    Generally speaking, "a" refers to a nonspecific person or thing while "the" refers to a specific person or thing.

    A...Let's take a cab to the stadium. (there are many cabs but only one stadium that we want to go to)
    B...Good idea, let's take the empty cab waiting over there. (B is referring to the specific cab waiting over there)

    In your question, I would choose "the" to refer to the fare that you will split. (actually this is not the best example to illustrate the difference and some people may choose "a", but I wouldn't)

    Many thanks to your help.
    The examples you gave me are so helpful that it is very clear to understand the difference between "a" and "the".
    Have a nice day.

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    #4

    Re: split a fare / split the fare

    You're welcome, but say 'Many thanks for your help.'

    I am glad you understand, but this question can be confusing. For example, a person or thing can change from an "(a)(an)" to a "the" just by being mentioned.

    student...I have a question about that. (even though the student has a specific question to ask, it is just one of many possible questions)

    teacher...Good, ask the question. (the specific question the student wants to ask)


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    #5

    Re: split a fare / split the fare

    Quote Originally Posted by 2006 View Post
    You're welcome, but say 'Many thanks for your help.'

    I am glad you understand, but this question can be confusing. For example, a person or thing can change from an "(a)(an)" to a "the" just by being mentioned.

    student...I have a question about that. (even though the student has a specific question to ask, it is just one of many possible questions)

    teacher...Good, ask the question. (the specific question the student wants to ask)
    Haha. You are right. I made a mistake.
    Many thanks for your help.

    The notion "a" and "the" is quite confusing because Korean doesn't have any articles. If I make a mistake related to this, please correct me any time.
    Thanks to your help, I think I can tell the difference between "a" and "the" to some extent.

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