<a> Don Juan complex

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VicNicSor

Banned
Russian
At a psychologist's:
- What seems to be the problem?
- My wife. She thinks I'm a, uh, Don Juan.
- We have a psychiatrist here who specializes in men with a Don Juan complex. He's treating one case now who's very rare. You would be his second.
Sex and the Single Girl, movie

Is it like there are different kinds of the Don Juan complex? Otherwise, why is she using "a"?
Thanks.
 
  • MuttQuad

    Senior Member
    English - AmE
    It's about the only way one would say it. We certainly wouldn't say "the" Don Juan Complex. If you have a complex "a" is normally used. There's only one type, usually, of any named complex.
     

    VicNicSor

    Banned
    Russian
    It's about the only way one would say it. We certainly wouldn't say "the" Don Juan Complex. If you have a complex "a" is normally used. There's only one type, usually, of any named complex.
    Oen question: does "a" here mean a kind/type of complex, like: a Don Juan Complex, a persecution complex, a XXXX complex , or one of Don Juan Complexes (every diseased person has his/her Don Juan Complex)?
     

    MuttQuad

    Senior Member
    English - AmE
    >>Oen question: does "a" here mean a kind/type of complex, like: a Don Juan Complex, a persecution complex, a XXXX complex<<

    Yes.
     

    VicNicSor

    Banned
    Russian
    A question:). What I don't understand is how "complex" differs from, say, "industry".
    "He works in the transport / hotel / nuclear industry".
    Both, complex and industry are countable nouns (in this meaning). Why do we consider industry in general and use "the", but complex -- as a type and use "a"?
    :(
     

    MuttQuad

    Senior Member
    English - AmE
    I just know that we do it, but I don't know why that is. However, you can say "an industry," in some cases as in, for example, "Steel is an industry that has experienced a comeback in the US."
     

    VicNicSor

    Banned
    Russian
    Yes, in this sentence I'd use "a" too.:) But there are similar cases (like with complex and industry) where I'm confused not knowing which article to use. Probably, they are cases to learn/remember...
     

    MuttQuad

    Senior Member
    English - AmE
    I didn't mean "cases" in the grammatical sense, but of the sense of instances. Most of us don't learn much about cases, moods. pluperfects, and other other grammatical concepts/terminology. English just isn't taught that way in the elementary grades. We do get a good dose of learning about some grammar and syntax practices, but usually not by their formal names (unless, of course, you study Latin or Greek).
     
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