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  1. #1
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    take a train vs take the train

    What is the difference between the 2 sentences:

    1. If you take the train to Tokyo Disneyland from here, you have to change 3 times.

    2. If you take a train to Tokyo Disneyland from here, you have to change 3 tmies.

    Does #1 imply that there is only 1 train that goes to Disneyland from here & does #2 imply that there are several?

  2. #2
    heidita's Avatar
    heidita is offline Senior Member
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    Re: take a train vs take the train

    Exactly.

  3. #3
    mykwyner is offline Key Member
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    Re: take a train vs take the train

    I have a different opinion. To my ear it sounds like take a train means you'll be on only one train, and take the train means rail travel in general.

    I usually take a train when I go to New York.

    When I travel in Europe, I prefer to take the train.

  4. #4
    riverkid is offline Banned
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    Re: take a train vs take the train

    Quote Originally Posted by raes112 View Post
    What is the difference between the 2 sentences:

    1. If you take the train to Tokyo Disneyland from here, you have to change 3 times.

    2. If you take a train to Tokyo Disneyland from here, you have to change 3 times.

    Does #1 imply that there is only 1 train that goes to Disneyland from here & does #2 imply that there are several?
    I'd say that this situation just happens to sit in the middle of the scale determining usage for 'a' & 'the' because both, obviously, can be used. If there's any difference, it's a slightly higher degree of specificity in the speaker's mind. Maybe the people are standing in the station.

    Without knowing the context perfectly, though it may well not make any difference, I don't think that either suggests that there's only one train or several trains.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
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    Re: take a train vs take the train

    Thank you

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