a backdrop of

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ironman2012

Senior Member
Chinese
Hi,

The NASA Selfies app lets you place your face, or that of your pet, into a spacesuit with a backdrop of stunning images taken by the Spitzer Space Telescope of the last 15 years.

(This comes from mirror.co.uk NASA tool could make your SELFIES out of this world by putting you in space by Luke Edwards on August 27, 2018.)

We usually say "the noun of", so why is "a" used here? Is there any difference if I changed it to "the" (the backdrop of...)?

Thanks in advance!
 
  • sdgraham

    Senior Member
    USA English
    We usually say "the noun of", so why is "a" used here? Is there any difference if I changed it to "the" (the backdrop of...)?
    Your assumption is incorrect. "A backdrop of" is perfectly idiomatic since it's not precisely identified.
    It seems as though you are letting so-called "rules" get in the way of learning our language.
     

    sdgraham

    Senior Member
    USA English
    To me, it implies there is only one such backdrop, whereas the quoted page says" a choice of backgrounds from the Orion Nebula to the Milky Way."
     

    ironman2012

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    Does that mean:

    A backdrop of stunning images: there are many backdrops and each backdrop contains one or more than one stunning images. It's one of these backdrops.

    The backdrop of stunning images: the only backdrop which contains many stunning images
     
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