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    #1

    Then what's the difference?

    Teachers,

    I asked a similar question before, but then what is the actual difference in meaning between:
    I have a pain in my elbow.
    I have pain in my elbow.

    How these two differ?

    Thank you in advance for your help

  1. RonBee's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Then what's the difference?

    There might be a difference in usage if not in meaning.
    A: What is the problem?
    B: I have a pain in my elbow.


    A: Where is the pain?
    B: I have pain in my elbow.


    • Join Date: Dec 2007
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    #3

    Re: Then what's the difference?

    Quote Originally Posted by RonBee View Post
    There might be a difference in usage if not in meaning.
    A: What is the problem?
    B: I have a pain in my elbow.


    A: Where is the pain?
    B: I have pain in my elbow.
    If so when people say "I have pain in my elbows.", would it also be saying where the pain is located (in this case in both elbows)? Not stating the fact that you have some kind of pain in both elbows?

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    #4

    Re: Then what's the difference?

    I have a (specific) pain in my elbow.

    I have (generalized feeling of) pain in my elbow.

  2. Raymott's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: Then what's the difference?

    Quote Originally Posted by jibou View Post
    Teachers,

    I asked a similar question before, but then what is the actual difference in meaning between:
    I have a pain in my elbow.
    I have pain in my elbow.

    How these two differ?

    Thank you in advance for your help
    One difference would be the duration of the pain. "A pain" signifies a discrete entity. It will go away, and if it comes back it's a different pain.
    So, "I have a pain in my neck" is more likely to be a more recent event, and undiagnosed.
    "I have pain in my neck" is more likely to signify a long-term condition, in which the pain has never gone away, possibly thoroughly diagnosed, and investigated. The person might say "I have chronic neck pain".
    But that's only one subtle distinction.

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