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    #1

    a or the

    A thermometer, (a/the) instrument for measuring temperature, can be found in any home.

    I can't decide which article to use with 'instrument'.

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    #2

    Re: a or the

    Quote Originally Posted by Clark View Post
    A thermometer, (a/the) an instrument for measuring temperatures, can be found in any home.

    I can't decide which article to use with 'instrument'.
    Not a teacher

  1. Harry Smith's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: a or the

    Quote Originally Posted by Clark View Post
    A thermometer, (a/the) instrument for measuring temperature, can be found in any home.

    I can't decide which article to use with 'instrument'.
    I'd vote for "the" as it's the only instrument fot measuring temperature.
    A thermometer, the instrument for measuring termperature, can be found in any home.


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    #4

    Re: a or the

    I'd vote for "the" as it's the only instrument fot measuring temperature.
    There are other devices for measuring temperature. We know how hot the sun is, but it would melt any glass tubed instrument.

    A thermometer, the instrument for measuring termperature, can be found in any home.
    You cannot mix the indefinite and the definite article like this.

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    #5

    Re: a or the

    Quote Originally Posted by thod00 View Post
    There are other devices for measuring temperature. We know how hot the sun is, but it would melt any glass tubed instrument.



    You cannot mix the indefinite and the definite article like this.
    Fully agree with you


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    #6

    Re: a or the

    I believe it depends on whether the speaker expects the listener to know what a thermometer is normally used for or not. Then if the information contained in the apposition fragment is new, 'a' is used, if it is known 'the' is used. Do you agree?

  2. Harry Smith's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: a or the

    Quote Originally Posted by thod00 View Post
    There are other devices for measuring temperature. We know how hot the sun is, but it would melt any glass tubed instrument.



    You cannot mix the indefinite and the definite article like this.
    I'm still thinking that I am right. The thermometer is the only instrument for measuring temperature at home.

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    #8

    Re: a or the

    Quote Originally Posted by Clark View Post
    I believe it depends on whether the speaker expects the listener to know what a thermometer is normally used for or not. Then if the information contained in the apposition fragment is new, 'a' is used, if it is known 'the' is used. Do you agree?
    1/ "a" cannot be used before a vowel sound.
    2/ this is a definition of a new object so that "the" cannot be used here. Furthermore one cannot mix the indefinite and the definite article like this:
    Code:
    A thermometer, the instrument for measuring termperature, can be found in any home.

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    #9

    Re: a or the

    Quote Originally Posted by Harry Smith View Post
    I'm still thinking that I am right. The thermometer is the only instrument for measuring temperature at home.
    If those sentences are just to define what a thermometer is, then I would say that you should check one of the following links:
    Code:
    http://www.yourdictionary.com/thermometer
    http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/thermometer
    http://www.askoxford.com/concise_oed/thermometer?view=uk

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    #10

    Re: a or the

    Quote Originally Posted by hanky View Post
    1/ "a" cannot be used before a vowel sound.
    2/ this is a definition of a new object so that "the" cannot be used here. Furthermore one cannot mix the indefinite and the definite article like this:
    Code:
    A thermometer, the instrument for measuring termperature, can be found in any home.

    I agree, it has to be, 'A thermometer, an instrument for measuring temperature, .......'

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