<a> pale green

Discussion in 'English Only' started by VicNicSor, Jun 3, 2015.

  1. VicNicSor

    VicNicSor Senior Member

    Russia
    Russian
    start out
    to begin happening or existing in a particular way, especially when this changes later
    The leaves start out a pale green, and later get darker.
    Longman dictionary

    I believe that with ot without the a the meaning wouldn't change. Do you think I'm correct?
    Thanks.
     
  2. Barque Senior Member

    India
    Tamil
    I think a pale green means a pale shade of green, which is the reason for the article.

    No, in this sentence, I don't think the meaning would change if you took the a out.
     
  3. VicNicSor

    VicNicSor Senior Member

    Russia
    Russian
    Thank you.
    (.... if native speakers don't disagree)
     
  4. RM1(SS)

    RM1(SS) Senior Member

    Connecticut
    English - US (Midwest)
    I don't, though I do think the sentence sounds better with it.
     
  5. VicNicSor

    VicNicSor Senior Member

    Russia
    Russian
    You mean... "without" it?
     
  6. JustKate

    JustKate Moderate Mod

    What "a pale green" means is "a particular shade of pale green." I'd say the meaning here is the same whether you use the or not, though I'm not sure that's always the case. When there is a difference, it would be quite subtle, though.
     
  7. Myridon

    Myridon Senior Member

    Texas
    English - US
    "With". A particular shade of pale green is more interesting (and probably more correct) than generic pale green. All species of trees are not the same shade of green.
     
  8. VicNicSor

    VicNicSor Senior Member

    Russia
    Russian
    By this you mean that "pale green" has different shades and "a pale green" is one of them, right?
    You mean "use a", right?
    Opps, I read it as "I don't think":oops:.
     
  9. JustKate

    JustKate Moderate Mod

    Yes, I did mean "a pale green" - sorry for the error.

    Sort of, but I'm not sure I can explain better than I have already. I'll try, though. :)

    What the writer means by "a pale green" is "a particular shade of pale green." It's a way to indicate that there is differentiation without, in fact, explaining that differentiation. That's why the meaning doesn't change much (if at all) even if you drop the a.
     
  10. VicNicSor

    VicNicSor Senior Member

    Russia
    Russian
    One question please: it's that I was not sure if "green" here was countable or uncountable.
    If the former, then "a pale green" is like "a good girl".
    If the latter, then "pale" is, like, a descriptive attribute denoting a certain aspect of "green".
    But judging from what you said, it's the former, am I right?
     
  11. Myridon

    Myridon Senior Member

    Texas
    English - US
    You are given the instruction: Color the leaf pale green.
    1) You have a box of 8 crayons. You use the crayon labelled "Green" and press very lightly.
    2) You have a box of 16 crayons. You use the crayon labelled "Yellow-green".
    3) You have a box of 120 crayons. You make a choice between several crayons that could all be considered "pale green" such as "Yellow-green", "Inchworm", "Granny Smith Apple", ...
    4) You have yellow, blue and white paints. You can make any shade of green that pleases you as long as it can be considered "a pale green (color)".

    You are told the leaf is "pale green." You think of a specific color - your personal ideal (your default) of "pale green".
    You are told the leaf is "a pale green." You allow yourself to think of all the pale greens that different trees might be.
     
  12. JustKate

    JustKate Moderate Mod

    I like Myridon's explanation a lot. And yes, Vik, I'd say that in this sentence, green is indeed countable.
     
  13. VicNicSor

    VicNicSor Senior Member

    Russia
    Russian
    And so do I.

    Thank you, everyone !
     

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