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Thread: a (the) leg of the table

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    Властелин
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    a (the) leg of the table

    My grammar book says that in English in phrases like a (the) leg of the table, a (the) wheel of the car both definite and indefinite article can be used. What would native speakers say to that? Are the and a completely interchangeable in such phrases?

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    Завсегдатай chaika's Avatar
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    No. любая нога стола = a leg; oпределенная нога - the leg. нормальное употребление артиклей.

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    Here is the exact quote from the book:

    The definite article is used, alongside the indefinite, when 
    there is a definite number of component parts: the (a) leg of the
    table, the (a) wheel of the car, the (an) ear of a dog.

    Does that make sense? Or it's arguable?

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    zxc
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    Quote Originally Posted by alexsms View Post
    My grammar book says that in English in phrases like a (the) leg of the table, a (the) wheel of the car both definite and indefinite article can be used. What would native speakers say to that? Are the and a completely interchangeable in such phrases?
    Well, yes and no. Either article can be used, but the meaning doesn't stay the same, they're not interchangeable with a constant meaning.

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