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  1. Key Member
    Student or Learner
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      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
      • Home Country:
      • China
      • Current Location:
      • China

    • Join Date: Oct 2007
    • Posts: 1,618

    (a?) clear blue sky

    For most of the journey there was clear blue sky.

    This sentence is taken from Cambridge Advanced Grammar In Use. Could we add 'a' before 'clear blue sky'?

    Thanks a lot.

  2. BobK's Avatar
    Harmless drudge
    English Teacher
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      • Native Language:
      • English
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      • UK
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      • UK

    • Join Date: Jul 2006
    • Posts: 16,037

    Re: (a?) clear blue sky

    The meaning would be different. If you say 'a clear blue sky', you are referring either to the sky at one particular moment, or - idiomatically - to an unexpected event.

    There was clear blue sky throughout the journey.
    There was a clear blue sky when we set out, but the clouds got thicker and thicker as we neared the camp-site, and we had to put the tent up in pouring rain.

    And, idiomatically:
    We were getting on fine, when out of a clear blue sky she suddenly started crying.


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