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    #1

    the or a

    I heard this expression quite often on the news, but never managed to make out whether it's "the" or "a". Is it:

    "beyond the shadow of the doubt",

    "beyond the shadow of a doubt",

    "beyond a shadow of the doubt",

    "beyond a shadow of a doubt", or

    "beyond shadow of a/the doubt"



    Thanks a lot
    NT

  1. stuartnz's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: the or a

    Quote Originally Posted by NearThere View Post
    I heard this expression quite often on the news, but never managed to make out whether it's "the" or "a". Is it:

    "beyond a shadow of a doubt"

    Thanks a lot
    NT
    I'm not a teacher, but this is the version that sounds most natural to me, and is what is used here in NZ.

  2. rmsh16's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: the or a

    "beyond the shadow of a doubt" is grammatically correct

  3. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: the or a

    Hi, while "Beyond the shadow of a doubt" is grammatically correct, the more usual form for this expression (in England) is "Beyond a shadow of a doubt"

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    #5

    Re: the or a

    Thank you all. I just have a few more questions.

    but this is the version [beyond a shadow of a doubt] that sounds most natural to me, and is what is used here in NZ
    Stuart, why is it most natural to your ear? Is there a rule to this?

    beyond the shadow of a doubt" is grammatically correct
    If it's grammatically correct, does it also mean the "most natural version" is not? And if this is grammaticallly correct, how come it's not the choice version?

    I'm just trying to get the hang of it so next time a similiar phrase comes up, I'd know which is which. Thanks a lot.

    NT

  4. Neillythere's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: the or a

    Hi rmsh16

    Please help us understand.

    What is the rule that you are applying to determine that your quote is the correct grammatical version?

    Quote Originally Posted by rmsh16 View Post
    "beyond the shadow of a doubt" is grammatically correct
    Regards

  5. rmsh16's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: the or a

    hi Neillythere,

    just a thought & hv not applied any rule. normally people use both the forms

    1) beyond a shadow of a doubt
    2) beyond the shadow of a doubt

    can u send me the rules??

    cheers
    rasna

  6. Neillythere's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: the or a

    Hi Rasna

    I'm not aware of any grammatical rules that apply and was just interested if you'd found one.

    The reason I asked was because you appeared authoritive that your version was the grammatically correct one (having not declared whether you are a teacher or native English speaker) and assumed you had found a rule.

    Be mindful of the effect of making statements (that you can't back up with the authority of a teacher, via rules or as a native English speaker), on other readers of these posts, who are constantly looking for very definitive/authoritive guidelines.

    If expressing your preference or your belief on a particular topic, on "Ask a teacher", you should always try to remember to add "not as a teacher" in your text, unless you are replying to someone you regularly reply to and have previously declared your status.

    No problem, just thoughts for future posts.

    Keep up the posting!

    Best regards
    NT

  7. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: the or a

    Hi everyone,
    Both forms are grammatically correct, it's just that "the shadow of a doubt" implies a shadow in particular, whila "a shadow of a doubt" means any shadow; which is more in keeping, in my view, with the spirit of the expression and is therefore the most widely used.

  8. rmsh16's Avatar
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    #10

    Re: the or a

    hi NT,

    thanks for ur suggestions.... what i read & thought, based on that i had mentioned that as an grammatically correct. in future, i will reply with "not as a teacher"

    cheers

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