# The definite article is seemingly indefinite...

Status
Not open for further replies.
U

#### Unregistered

##### Guest
"But the fact remains, Kristjansen is unbeaten in 10 outings and three years since the lone setback to Zoff."

Should it be 'the' 10 outings and three years...?

#### David L.

##### VIP Member
"But the fact remains, Kristjansen is unbeaten in 10 outings and three years."

"But the fact remains, Kristjansen is unbeaten in the 10 outings and three years since the lone setback to Zoff."

You're sharp!

I would have written:
"But the fact remains, Kristjansen is unbeaten in the 10 outings and three years since that lone setback to Zoff."

#### puzzle

##### Senior Member
David L.Re: The definite article is seemingly indefinite...
"But the fact remains, Kristjansen is unbeaten in 10 outings and three years."

"But the fact remains, Kristjansen is unbeaten in the 10 outings and three years since the lone setback to Zoff."

You're sharp!

I would have written:
"But the fact remains, Kristjansen is unbeaten in the 10 outings and three years since that lone setback to Zoff."

:?: Without "the" before "10 outings" , the sentence becomes worng? Please.

#### Neillythere

##### Senior Member
I'm not a teacher, but I personally would have no problem leaving out the word "the" in this context.

I would, however, agree with DavidL that adding "that" does improve the sentence.

#### David L.

##### VIP Member
"But the fact remains, Kristjansen is unbeaten in 10 outings.
Correct.

"But the fact remains, Kristjansen is unbeaten in the 10 outings and three years since the (lone) setback to Zoff."

'the' would be incorrect in the first first sentence but not in the second. That's what Unregistered picked up on.

Is everyone clear just why this is so?

#### Neillythere

##### Senior Member
Let's try another wording:

"But the fact remains, Kristjansen is/remains unbeaten in 10 outings and the three years since that setback to Zoff." - i.e the last part is similar to a recent thread "Thursday" (next Thursday) and [which Thursday?] "the Thursday after next"

Would this work for you, David or would you still be looking for "the 10" in this situation? :-?

I'm afraid I'm not as sharp as you, this (weekend, for us) morning!

#### David L.

##### VIP Member
But the fact remains, Kristjansen is/remains unbeaten in 10 outings and the three years since that setback to Zoff."

Would this work for you, David or would you still be looking for "the 10" in this situation?

A speaker (hopefully) structures his sentence to convey his meaning clearly. This commentator is giving information. Let's start by being clear what this information is:
The team lost to Zoff.
That was 3 years ago.
Over that 3 years, they have played 10 games (outings) and won.

"...unbeaten in 10 outings and the three years since..(they were beaten by Zoff)."
This could mean: in the ten days after they lost to Zoff, they played 10 more games and won. They have played no more games since then. That was three years ago; and so of course, they remain unbeaten.

The meaning that is intended is: Since that game when they lost to Zoff, they have played 10 more times over a period of three years and have not been beaten in all that time.
In the original sentence, the inclusion of 'the' before 10 outings means that of all the games this team have played in their sporting life, we are referring to the 10 games since they played Zoff. As you point out, 'the' before 'three years' would have the same implication.
The original sentence is 'commentator talk' - and depending on how 'gentlemanly' the sport, correct grammar might be regarded as 'prissy' - a bit like saying, run along and play football but don't get your nice white shorts dirty now! Fans 'read in' and give a sentence the intended meaning even when the words uttered don't.
What we have been doing is looking at it grammatically!
What I would have said is:
"But the fact remains, Kristjansen is unbeaten in 10 outings over three years, ever since that setback to Zoff."
or ( and more of a mouthful)
"But the fact remains, Kristjansen is unbeaten in the 10 outings of the past three years, ever since that setback to Zoff."

Last edited:

#### Neillythere

##### Senior Member
"This could mean: in the ten days after they lost to Zoff, they played 10 more games and won. They have played no more games since then. That was three years ago; and so of course, they remain unbeaten."

But is there any reason why the sentence isn't grammatically correct, whether interpreted that way or not?

#### David L.

##### VIP Member
Dogs are friendly.
The dogs are friendly.

Both are grammatically correct but with possibly very different meanings!
Because something is grammatically correct does not automatically guarantee that it conveys the meaning intended!

Dogs, as a rule, may be friendly creatures. But when I see a notice on a gate saying 'Beware. Vicious Dogs Roam This Yard and Liable to Maul', then some sweeping generalization about the nature of dogs, as reassurance, ain't going to get me to budge inside. If the owner called out, "The dogs are friendly. That's just to scare off burglars" then the definite article is very meaningful. He means these specific dogs are friendly

Last edited:

#### Neillythere

##### Senior Member
The only reason I asked was:

What we have been doing is looking at it grammatically!

I assume, from your response that, although different in meaning, it was in fact grammatically correct, which was what we were discussing.

Status
Not open for further replies.