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Difference: Image of Soldier

Discussion in 'English Only' started by Lark-lover, May 6, 2012.

  1. Lark-lover

    Lark-lover Senior Member

    Arabic
    Hi, folks.

    I am always puzzled by the following sorts of sentences, are there any differences ?:


    1. An image of a soldier fighting his enemies.
    2. An image of the soldier fighting his enemies.
    3. The image of a soldier fighting his enemies .
    4.The image of the soldier fighting his enemies.


    I appreciate your help.





    Lark-lover woke up late and rubbing his eyes
     
  2. Beryl from Northallerton Moderator

    British English
    Can you be more specific about your puzzlement?
     
  3. se16teddy

    se16teddy Senior Member

    London
    English - England
    These are not sentences, they are noun phrases.

    Do they puzzle you in a way that the ordinary use of the and a does not? It is not immediately apparent to me that the or a is used in any exceptional way here.
     
  4. Lark-lover

    Lark-lover Senior Member

    Arabic
    Thank you Beryl from Northallerton and se16teddy for your help..

    The puzzelement is that I feel No.1 and No.4 is contrary to each other and that No.2 and 4 are similar to me.

    Am I right or off the track?
     
  5. se16teddy

    se16teddy Senior Member

    London
    English - England
    In each case
    - the indicates that we are thinking of a specific image or soldier
    - a indicates that we are not.
    There are many different ways to understand the word "specific".
     
  6. Mona 999

    Mona 999 New Member

    Ukraine
    Ukrainian
    I may be wrong, but I think that everything here depends on the context.
    1. An image of a soldier fighting his enemies. We do not know what image and what soldier are meant, we speak about some image and some soldier as the representatives of many other images and soldiers, we do not specify them.
    2. An image of the soldier fighting his enemies. In this case we have probably spoken about this soldier before, so that the listener knows whom we mean. The makes this soldier specific.
    3. The image of a soldier fighting his enemies. Here vice versa, the image is specific, as if the listener knows which exactly image is meant. While a person of soldier is not so important for us.
    4.The image of the soldier fighting his enemies. In this case, it looks like the listener knows both, the image and the soldier, as if the previous context makes them both specific.
    That's the way I see it :)
     
  7. Beryl from Northallerton Moderator

    British English
    :thumbsup:
     

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