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jack

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Apr 24, 2004
Are these correct? What do they mean?

1. Only the side of my truck went over the curb. (
2. Only one side of my truck went over the curb. (Does this make sense? If I say one side, so does that mean my car has two sides? Is that right?)

What is the difference in meaing between #1 and #2?

Are these correct? What do they mean?
3. Only a part of my truck went up.
4. Only part of my truck went up.
 

Mister Micawber

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Hi Jack,

Re 1 & 2: Both mean essentially the same thing-- not all of the truck went over the curb, but just the two wheels on one side or the other.

Re 3 & 4: Both are grammatically correct, but neither is semantically meaningful to me. If we finished the sentence thus: 'only (a) part of my truck went up over the curb', then they would have about the same meaning as 1 & 2.
 

jack

Senior Member
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Apr 24, 2004
'only (a) part of my truck went up over the curb', then they would have about the same meaning as 1 & 2.

So I can either use 'a' or leave it out? Why can I do that? Isn't 'part' countable? Don't I need an article there?
 

Mister Micawber

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jack said:
So I can either use 'a' or leave it out? Why can I do that? Isn't 'part' countable? Don't I need an article there?

'Part' is one of those words that can be countable or non-count, Jack, considered to mean either 'a section of' or 'some of'.

Swan (Practical English Usage) expresses it more tentatively, saying " 'A' is usually dropped before 'part' if there is no adjective':

'Part of the roof was missing.'
'A large part of the roof was missing.' "
 
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