Results 1 to 7 of 7

    • Join Date: Feb 2009
    • Posts: 1
    #1

    which is correct and why

    Please guide which usage is correct and why.

    (1)'I will stay with the friend who is an artist'
    or
    'I will stay with a friend who is an artist.'

    (2)'We saw an island in the middle of a lake.'
    or
    'We saw an island in the middle of the lake.'

    (3) 'The cobbler mends the shoe.'
    or
    'A cobbler mends the shoe.'

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • England

    • Join Date: Nov 2008
    • Posts: 57
    #2

    Re: which is correct and why

    I am not a teacher.

    All the sentences are grammatically correct.

  1. bhaisahab's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • Ireland

    • Join Date: Apr 2008
    • Posts: 25,627
    #3

    Re: which is correct and why

    Quote Originally Posted by Varsh View Post
    Please guide which usage is correct and why.

    (1)'I will stay with the friend who is an artist' The only artist friend you have.
    or
    'I will stay with a friend who is an artist.' An artist friend, maybe you have others.

    (2)'We saw an island in the middle of a lake.' Any lake.
    or
    'We saw an island in the middle of the lake.' A specific lake.

    (3) 'The cobbler mends the shoe.' A specific shoe.
    or
    'A cobbler mends the shoe.' Any shoe.
    They are all correct, but mean slightly different things.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • England

    • Join Date: Nov 2008
    • Posts: 57
    #4

    Re: which is correct and why

    That last one should say:
    'A cobbler mends the shoe.' Any cobbler.

    I'm sure that's what you meant.

  2. bhaisahab's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • Ireland

    • Join Date: Apr 2008
    • Posts: 25,627
    #5

    Re: which is correct and why

    Quote Originally Posted by Masood_S View Post
    That last one should say:
    'A cobbler mends the shoe.' Any cobbler.

    I'm sure that's what you meant.
    Yes I did indeed! Thankyou.

  3. Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Jan 2009
    • Posts: 3,600
    #6

    Re: which is correct and why

    Quote Originally Posted by Varsh View Post
    Please guide which usage is correct and why.

    (1)'I will stay with the friend who is an artist'

    This says which of several friends you will stay with: I know an artist, a lawyer, and a bartender, and I'm staying with the artist.

    or
    'I will stay with a friend who is an artist.'

    This describes the friend you're staying with: I'm staying with a friend, and here's some interesting information about her.

    (2)'We saw an island in the middle of a lake.'

    The person you're talking to doesn't know what lake you mean.

    or
    'We saw an island in the middle of the lake.'

    The person you're talking to knows which lake you mean.

    (3) 'The cobbler mends the shoe.'

    Again, you're talking about a particular cobbler.

    or
    'A cobbler mends the shoe.'
    Again, you're talking about any cobbler: What kind of person would mend a shoe? A cobbler. You could take it to the cobbler who works down the street.

    The usually refers to a particular person, thing, or idea. A usually refers to a general group.

    There are exceptions. (Of course! This is English!) I was tutoring an angry ESL student who said, "Why is it a cold, but the flu, but pneumonia?"

    There is no answer.

    [I am a copy editor and have tutored university writing.]

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • England

    • Join Date: Nov 2008
    • Posts: 57
    #7

    Re: which is correct and why

    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie Bernstein View Post
    Again, you're talking about any cobbler: What kind of person would mend a shoe? A cobbler. You could take it to the cobbler who works down the street.
    I think you're talking cobblers!

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •