take a train vs take the train

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raes112

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What is the difference between the 2 sentences:

1. If you take the train to Tokyo Disneyland from here, you have to change 3 times.

2. If you take a train to Tokyo Disneyland from here, you have to change 3 tmies.

Does #1 imply that there is only 1 train that goes to Disneyland from here & does #2 imply that there are several?
 

mykwyner

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I have a different opinion. To my ear it sounds like take a train means you'll be on only one train, and take the train means rail travel in general.

I usually take a train when I go to New York.

When I travel in Europe, I prefer to take the train.
 

riverkid

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What is the difference between the 2 sentences:

1. If you take the train to Tokyo Disneyland from here, you have to change 3 times.

2. If you take a train to Tokyo Disneyland from here, you have to change 3 times.

Does #1 imply that there is only 1 train that goes to Disneyland from here & does #2 imply that there are several?

I'd say that this situation just happens to sit in the middle of the scale determining usage for 'a' & 'the' because both, obviously, can be used. If there's any difference, it's a slightly higher degree of specificity in the speaker's mind. Maybe the people are standing in the station.

Without knowing the context perfectly, though it may well not make any difference, I don't think that either suggests that there's only one train or several trains.
 
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