a baked dish consisting of <a> filling over a pastry base

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bcchagas

Senior Member
Portuguese - Brazil
Hello, Guys,

I was reading an article about tarts on Wikipedia and I read this sentence that didn't feel right to me, is that first article necessary or am I missing something?

A tart is a baked dish consisting of a filling over a pastry base with an open top not covered with pastry.
It seems to me like the author meant: A tart is a baked dish consisting of filling over a pastry base with an open top not covered with pastry.

I really appreciate your reply
 
  • mtmjr

    Senior Member
    English (US)
    In this case, both versions of the sentence are acceptable. There is a subtle difference in meaning when the noun "filling" is preceded by an indefinite article. That is, saying "a filling" here is essentially equivalent to saying "any filling." The idea here is that there are many different options to use as your tart's filling, thus the article is indefinite.

    While your version isn't grammatically wrong, you're much more likely to see phrases like this use an indefinite article before a noun that represents a general category (often in reference to foods). Another example would be if a chef explained his pasta dish as being topped with "a spicy marinara sauce." Because there are many ways to make a marinara sauce and because this version is his own recipe, his use of the indefinite article is appropriate.
     

    bcchagas

    Senior Member
    Portuguese - Brazil
    Now I got it. I was interpreting wrongly. I thought "filling" was being used as a phrasal verb, not a noun. Thus, I read something like this: "A tart is a baked dish consisting of filling a pastry base with something", which makes no sense now when I look back.

    Thanks for your excellent explanation mtmjr.
    Whoever changed the title, it's much better now. :)
     
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