(a) part of something

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CarloSsS

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I've been puzzled about the usage of "part" as uncountable noun. It often seems to me that there is no difference in meaning between its countable and uncountable form. Is there any difference in the following statement pairs?

You've become a part of our team. You've become part of our team. (You're a member of our team now.)
A part of the building collapsed. Part of the building collapsed. (A certain section (e.g. left wing) does not exist anymore.)
I've seen only a part of his new play. I've seen only part of his new play. (I saw only the first two acts.)

I could go on giving more such pairs, but I guess you get the gist of what I don't understand.
 

a_vee

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I think the "a" adds more formality, but it is completely optional. You can count "parts" in some cases, so if you want to say "a part" that's permissible. :)
 
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