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2 Comments

  • There are some interesting uses here – especially, I think, the difference between ‘the’ in ‘the kids’ and ‘the wall’. It’s “the kids and we all know who THEY are” versus the generic ‘the wall’, representing all the walls in a house. No wonder non-native speakers have trouble with articles in English – it’s a minefield.

  • Following on from Gill’s comment about ‘the’: there’s a situation I once heard described (I think by Mike McCarthy) which goes like this. A woman (let’s call her Jane) is standing in her front garden and asks the following questions to 3 different people: to person A: ‘Have you seen a dog?”; to person B: ‘Have you seen our dog?’; to person C: ‘Have you seen the dog?’. (Jane has lost her dog.) Person A is a random passer-by who does not know Jane or her dog; person B is a neighbour who knows the dog; person C is a member of Jane’s family, for whom ‘the dog’ is ‘the one we all know’.. These little words make all the difference.