Thinker
using preposition to make sentences definite. Is it fine? Hi! I was doing an exercise and came across the following sentence: When the(1) car behind me gets too close to my rear bumper, I get angry. So I assumed that the definiteness here is due to the preposition ''behind me'' Similarly '' I don’t always watch the road in front of me carefully enough.'' So we can take THE even when it's not clearly stated which road, just any road in front of me. Using the rule which I learned I have to use THE in the second example. Not just any people but only those who are around them: ''Harry was knocked off his feet, and Hedwig’s cage bounced onto the shiny floor, and she rolled away, shrieking indignantly; people (2) all around them stared and a guard nearby yelled.'' Why does the word 'people' have no article?
Oct 18, 2019 7:02 PM
Answers · 15
Thinker: A preposition *may* make a noun definite, but only if there is one and only one example of the noun that the preposition can refer to. There is only one car behind you that is in position to get too close to your rear bumper. On the other hand, there are many people all around them. Some of those people may stare and some may not. If we said “the people”, it would mean all of the people.
October 18, 2019
because you are not specifying which people exactly. People like to dine out at night. ( in general ) The people in this group are so funny. ( specific )
October 18, 2019
You can also say "the" article for many animals in a field "the cows in the field", "The cars on the road" "The books on the shelf" etc
October 18, 2019
The people all around them stared and a guard nearby yelled.' people all around them stared and a guard nearby yelled. You can use the article or leave it out to finish that sentence. The people all around them stared and a guard nearby yelled.'= all the people they are now all seen regarded as one unit of many people. People all around them stared and a guard nearby yelled.' = common way to say the same thing, I think speakers when speaking misunderstand that "the" article does not always have to be a singular specific item. THE: DETERMINER denoting one or more people or things already mentioned or assumed to be common knowledge.Compare with a.
October 18, 2019
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Thinker
Language Skills
English, Russian
Learning Language
Russian