A picture of

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xiaokyao

Senior Member
chinese
A friend posted a picture of young Bob Dylan online.
I wonder if I can say 'a picture of young Bob Dylan'.
Or 'a picture of Bob Dlyan when he was young'?
It's a little strange to say young Bob Dylan.
Are my sentences are correct?
Can you suggest some other sentences?
Thanks
 
  • kimmoz

    New Member
    English - UK
    You can say "a picture of a young Bob Dylan".

    "A picture of Bob Dlyan when he was young" is also fine!
     

    xiaokyao

    Senior Member
    chinese
    Thanks kimmoz,Copyright.
    Can you please tell me why you both add an article 'a'?
    How did you feel my without 'a' version?Now I know it's incorrect.But I'm curious to know how you would see my version.
     

    Copyright

    Senior Member
    American English
    I know usage better than grammar, so I can only say that that's the way we say it – with an article. But perhaps a grammarian can add to that.

    Since we both added an "a," I would say that we both consider the non-a version incorrect. How would I see it? As written by someone who hasn't mastered all the nuances of English ... but that could apply to all of us. :)

    Edit: Correcting typo ... thank you.
     
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    Englishmypassion

    Senior Member
    India - Hindi
    Thanks kimmoz,Copyright.
    Can you please tell me why you both add an article 'a'?
    How did you feel my without 'a' version?Now I know it's incorrect.But I'm curious to know how you would see my version.

    I'm no grammarian, but I'd add to the excellent answers above that we usually use an article with a proper noun when the noun is preceded by an adjective, e.g. a puzzled Emp, an excited James, a tired Maria. When the adjective shows just one of the several (usual) traits/qualities of the person, we use the indefinite article but when the adjective shows a well-known/world-famous quality of the person, we usually use the definite article.

    The middle-aged woman was pleasantly surprised to get a marriage proposal from a young James.
    A tired James returned home at the end of the hectic day. (I couldn't think of a good example.)

    I'm lucky to have met the great Mother Teresa.
    No other writer has ever been as popular as the great Shakespeare.
    Nobody could challenge the brave/powerful Alexander.


    I hope this post makes sense.
     

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    I agree with Englishmypassion.

    Consequently, you can also say 'A friend posted a picture of the young Bob Dylan' (which I happen to prefer to 'a picture of a young Bob Dylan', as there is only one famous eponymous person)).
    I don't think you are agreeing. He was young on many, many occasions though, and this is only one of those. Also, he is not young now. I think "the" tends to suggest that he is young now. With "young," it should be "a". It should be "the" with "talented," "famous," ...
     

    VicNicSor

    Banned
    Russian
    Yes, the photo is one occasion of "young Bob Dylan". But, consider this: (not true, juts a made-up) "Dylan comes to the US, visits a pub and sees a singer performing with a harmonica. This was the first time the young Bob Dylan heard a harmonica." Here, you would not use "a".
     
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    xiaokyao

    Senior Member
    chinese
    Thank you.
    He was young on many, many occasions though, and this is only one of those.
    Yes he was young on many, many occasions. But the occasion when he was in the picture is unique, isn't it? Why can't I say 'the occasion' to refer to that unique occasion?
     
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