<a> script came along

VicNicSor

Senior Member
Russian
When something or someone comes along, they occur or arrive by chance.
I waited a long time until a script came along that I thought was genuinely funny...
Collins Cobuild

A script came along, then, when I was reading it, it seemed funny to me. But before the reading it was just some script, not funny yet, and that's why the green indefinite article is used. Am I right?
Thank you.
 
  • PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    I waited a long time until a script came along is the only part of the sentence that is important. The matter of its being funny is irrelevant to the use of a.

    All singular, countable nouns have to be qualified by a determiner. In your example, it could be either the or a. A is used as it is "one script amongst many scripts." and although it is, as you say, undistinguished upon arrival, that does not matter.

    I waited a long time until the script came along -> the particular script.
     

    Glasguensis

    Signal Modulation
    English - Scotland
    It's also worth pointing out that "that I thought was genuinely funny" is a qualifier of "script". You could say "...until a funny script came along". It is clearly not the only funny script, in addition to not being the only script.
     

    VicNicSor

    Senior Member
    Russian
    But look, that I thought was genuinely funny is a restrictive clause. At least, a comma before "that" should've been put, am I wrong?

    cross-posted with Glasguensis
     

    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    All I am saying is that your question seems to be about the use of a, not the quality of the script -> the use of a particular determiner is not, in itself, affected by the adjective.
     

    VicNicSor

    Senior Member
    Russian
    Yes, of course 'funny' itself doesn't matter so much. If it were: I waited a long time until a funny script came along... - it'd be ok to me...
    But the "that-clause" makes the script s specific one...

    I see no difference between these:
    I waited a long time until the script that I'd ordered came along.
    I waited a long time until the script came along that I thought was genuinely funny...
    :(
     

    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    Yes, of course 'funny' itself doesn't matter so much. If it were: I waited a long time until a funny script came along... - it'd be ok to me...
    But the "that-clause" makes the script s specific one...

    I see no difference between these:
    I waited a long time until the script that I'd ordered came along.
    I waited a long time until the script came along that I thought was genuinely funny...
    :(
    Until the "that clause" it is still the first time the script has been mentioned. The "that clause" specifies it after the "a" has been used. Any time it is mentioned after this sentence, it will be "the script".
     

    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    VikNikSor, you should bear in mind that a often means 'one':

    1. I waited a long time until a/one script came along that I thought was genuinely funny...
    and the can mean that
    2. I waited a long time until the/that script came along that I thought was genuinely funny...

    All these mean the same thing.
     

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    "The script that I ordered" is a specific script to you because you've already ordered it. You ordered it, then you waited.
    If the sentences are the same, then the second sentence must mean that you thought the script was funny before it came along.
     

    VicNicSor

    Senior Member
    Russian
    Thank you, everyone.

    One question:
    I waited a long time until a script came along that I thought was genuinely funny... -- the script came along, then I read it and learned it was funny.
    I waited a long time until the script that I thought was genuinely funny came along... -- before the script came along I already knew it was funny.
    I waited a long time until a script that I thought was genuinely funny came along:cross:
    That is, shifting 'came along' matters.
    Does this reasoning make sense?
     

    VicNicSor

    Senior Member
    Russian
    No, to me the first and third sentences have the same meaning.
    That means the pink article in both these sentences would be correct?:
    A month ago a new boy that we later became best friends with appeared in my class.
    A month ago a new boy appeared in my class that we later became best friends with.
    (self-made)
     
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