"a big house" or "the big house"

aspirant90

New Member
MALAYALAM
Recently I saw a question to use the correct article .
Which is the correct usage:

1) We live in a big house with a white door

2) We live in the big house with a white door

The question didn't provide any extra context . It is just a simple sentence. which is the right answer?
 
  • velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    2 We live in the big house with the white door.:tick:

    We live in the big house with a white door (?) -
    They live in the big house, and they have a white door for company. I would prefer to keep a dog or a cat:cool:.
     

    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    Velisarius indicated the usual form for #2. However, my following comment was based on a context where the are two houses next to each other, each with a white door - I live in the big house with a white door. This is why the forum places so much emphasis on context and why tests, such as yours, (without context) are flawed, sometimes badly:(
     

    Hercules Grytpype-Thynne

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    2 We live in the big house with the white door.:tick:

    We live in the big house with a white door (?) -
    They live in the big house, and they have a white door for company. I would prefer to keep a dog or a cat:cool:.
    There's a big house with a white door, a little house with a white door, and a big house with a green door. I think I'd accept We live in the big house with a white door from someone who lives in the first of these houses.
     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    Since the OP stated that there was no context, I think the answer should be the obvious one.

    Sentence #1 is fine - but sentence #2 (as it stands) sounds odd or unidiomatic.
     

    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    Since the OP stated that there was no context, I think the answer should be the obvious one.

    Sentence #1 is fine - but sentence #2 (as it stands) sounds odd or unidiomatic.
    I agree - and I'm sure that's what the person who set the test intended. That's why a "contextless" test is flawed if it leads the student to think # 2 is always "INCORRECT".
     
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