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Thread: Which article to choose: "a" or "the"?

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    Почтенный гражданин oldboy's Avatar
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    Which article to choose: "a" or "the"?

    For example, there's this kind of a situation:
    I talk to someone about my city, and they know nothing about it. Which article should I use - "a" or "the" before "bridge" - when I say "In the city, there is ? bridge.", this bridge the only one in my city?
    Thanks for correcting me.

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    Завсегдатай rockzmom's Avatar
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    "a" or "the" before "bridge" - when I say "In the city, there is ? bridge", this bridge the only one in my city?
    I would only say "the" when I use the name of the bridge.

    "Once you get to Bowie, you will see a bridge. Cross over it and make a right."

    "Once you get to Bowie, you will see the Fox Hill Lake Bridge. Cross over it and make a right."
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    Почтенный гражданин bitpicker's Avatar
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    A name is a further definition of the bridge, it puts it on the map, so to speak. You can also use the article "the" if you say "in my city there is the only bridge, which permits you to cross the river within forty miles" or something like that. Just like when you say "this bridge being the only one in my city".

    That means that if you use "the" when you mention something for the first time, it awakens the expectation in the listener that you are going to define it further right away. Even if you end the sentence after "bridge" you have to phrase it differently. "In my city there is only one bridge. It is the only one within forty miles which permits you to cross the river."

    In "the only bridge, which" the article establishes a link with the following subordinate sentence, announcing it, so to speak.
    Спасибо за исправления!

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    Почтенный гражданин oldboy's Avatar
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    bitpicker,
    Well, but... then such a situation: my friend from England has arrived in my city for the first time, he call me...

    he: -Hi oldboy! It's Harry. I'm at the airport now. Let's met.
    I: -Hi! I'd love to. I will be waiting for you on the/a bridge in an hour. Try to catch a taxi and drove up to there.

    Conditions is the same: that bridge is the only one in my city, but my friend doesn't about it (nor about the bridge itself, nor that it's the only one in my city). But if he ask a taxi driver to take him to the bridge, the driver can see where to go. So how should I act: say him "...on a bridge in an hour. it's the only one in the city, so If you ask somebody about it, they will explain you how to reach." or just say "...on the bridge in an hour."?
    Thanks for correcting me.

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    Завсегдатай chaika's Avatar
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    >I will be waiting for you on the/a bridge

    If it's the only bridge and he knows that too, then "the". If you said 'on a bridge' or if he is not aware of the bridge you are referring to, the next thing he will say is "What [Which] bridge?"

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    Почтенный гражданин oldboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chaika View Post
    >I will be waiting for you on the/a bridge

    If it's the only bridge and he knows that too, then "the". If you said 'on a bridge' or if he is not aware of the bridge you are referring to, the next thing he will say is "What [Which] bridge?"
    I see. Many thanks.
    Thanks for correcting me.

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    Завсегдатай rockzmom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oldboy View Post
    bitpicker,
    Well, but... then such a situation: my friend from England has arrived in my city for the first time, he calls me...

    he: -Hi oldboy! It's Harry. I'm at the airport now. Let's meet.
    I: -Hi! I'd love to. I will be waiting for you on the/a bridge in an hour. Try to catch a taxi and droive up to there.

    Conditions is are the same: that bridge is the only one in my city, but my friend doesn't know about it (nor about the bridge itself, nor that it's the only one in my city). But if he asks a taxi driver to take him to the bridge, the driver can see knows where to go. So how what should I act: say to him "...on a bridge in an hour. It's the only one in the city, so if you ask somebody about it, they will explain to you how to reach it." or just say "...on the bridge in an hour."?
    oldboy... it's late for me so I hope I got them all and corrected them correctly
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    Почтенный гражданин oldboy's Avatar
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    rockzmom, thank you for the corrections!
    Thanks for correcting me.

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