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Thread: act as

    • Join Date: May 2006
    • Posts: 19

    Red face act as

    (a) My little sister acts as a messenger between my parents when they have had a fight.
    (b) My little sister acts as messenger between my parents when they have had a fight.

    Is it necessary to omit 'a' in sentence (a)?

    According to Macmillan English Dictionary, to 'act as' is to have a particular effect: The drugs act as a brake on the spread of the disease.
    to 'act as' is to do the job of a particular kind of person: Will you act as interpreter?

  1. Barb_D's Avatar
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      • Native Language:
      • American English
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      • United States
      • Current Location:
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    • Join Date: Mar 2007
    • Posts: 19,269

    Re: act as

    Unless there is someone else who is also acting as a messenger, then omit the a.

    Your tenses are bit off. She acts ... when they have a fight. It seems to me that if they are still not speaking and therefore require a messenger, they fight is not over, and the past perfect isn't appropriate.

    (I hope this is not a true statement and that it's simply a grammar exercise.)

    {not a teacher}


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