a mindset to do something

VicNicSor

Banned
Russian
Van Damme says in an advertising clip:
"What you see is ..... and a mindset to master the most epic of splits
."
So, when someone says, say,
... I have a desire to go swimming today.
... We have a necessity to set a world record.

This means that the indefinite articles here relate to these nouns only (mindset, desire, necessity), and it doesn't matter what these nouns are followed by -- it can be any specific action (here -- expressed by the infinitive) and it (this action) doesn't affect the indefinite article before the noun. Am I right?
Thank you.
 
  • owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    I think you're right, Vik. "I have a desire to go swimming today" - the article "a" isn't affected by the phrase "to go swimming". It tells readers that this is one of many possible desires I could have.
     

    VicNicSor

    Banned
    Russian
    I think you're right, Vik. "I have a desire to go swimming today" - the article "a" isn't affected by the phrase "to go swimming". It tells readers that this is one of many possible desires I could have.
    One question:)
    I wonder if we can replace the indefinite articles with definite ones in these phrases without changing the meanings.
    So that "one of many possible desires I could have" turns into "a particular desire/mindset/necessity to do a particular thing.

    You see a/the mindset to master the most epic of splits.
    I have a/the desire to go swimming today.
    We have a/the necessity to set a world record.


    Or will the meaning change in this case?
     

    owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    I wouldn't notice any difference in meaning if you replaced "a" with "the" in those sentences, Vik. I'd say that the sentences all serve to illustrate the idea that there often isn't any real difference in meaning between the definite and indefinite articles in various phrases. If you use "the mindset", I'll tend to believe that there is only one mindset necessary to master the "most epic of splits" (whatever that is). If you use "a mindset", I'll tend to believe that people can have more than one mindset as they try to master the split.
     
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