a little trouble with the/a getaway

VicNicSor

Banned
Russian
Jake shows up in the precinct and tells the colleagues:
-- Well, ring it up, nerds. I just arrested my first Halloween idiot of the season. He was trying to rob a bank but had a little trouble with the getaway.
Brooklyn Nine-Nine, TV series

Explain please why a definite article is used. I have a guess though: he considers "getaway" to be inalienable established part of a (edit) roberry. But, on the other hand, an indefinite article would have been possible too. Am I correct? Thank you.
 
Last edited:
  • Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    Hi Vic

    I agree with your suggestion in post 1 - the speaker is presenting the getaway as an essential element in the robbery.

    In the Longman example, I'd have expected "made their getaway" rather than "made a getaway". (I might use the indefiinite article with an adjective: "made a rapid getaway".)
     

    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    Hi Vic

    I agree with your suggestion in post 1 - the speaker is presenting the getaway as an essential element in the robbery.

    In the Longman example, I'd have expected "made their getaway" rather than "made a getaway". (I might use the indefiinite article with an adjective: "made a rapid getaway".)
    Wrongman strikes again:(
     

    Glasguensis

    Signal Modulation
    English - Scotland
    If you consider "on foot" to act as an adjective on "getaway", it would be a similar case...

    I would also use "their", but I don't find "a" problematic.
     
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