Re: CHAT: Definite/Indefinite Article Distinction
|From:||Tim May <butsuri@...>|
|Date:||Monday, September 16, 2002, 19:07|
Andreas Johansson writes:
> Christophe Grandsire wrote:
> >En réponse à Joe <joe@...>:
> > >
> > > In that case, english has 3 articles 'a/an', 'the' and 'some'.
> > >
> >Not really. 'Some' isn't as much used as the articles 'a/an' and 'the', and
> >certainly not comparable to the frequency of use of the partitive article
> >French. But it's true that it's quite comparable to a plural version of
> >and we are taught in France that it works like French plural article 'des'
> >the partitive article, just not used as often.
> Don't "some" indicate a fairly small number of whatever one's talking about?
> It does to this L2 speaker, at any rate ...
> If so, it's a paucal indefinite article, if an article at all.
Yes and no. It indicates less than the totality, whether numbered or
mass, if there's some totality understood. Partitive is probably a
better term, as used in French. You wouldn't normally use it where
you could also use "many" or "a lot of", but it's a little hard to say
whether this is because "some" implies a small number/quantity, or
because you'd just be withholding relevant information. It'd be
considered understatement, but not exactly a lie. At least, this is