a table load of Japanese

VicNicSor

Banned
Russian
Hello.
The definite article with a plural nationality noun does not always show generic reference; it could also be a case of specific reference:
Between her and the Americans was a table load of Japanese.
(English guides, articles)


What does "a table load of Japanese" mean ? That's not "plural nationality" like "the Americans", is it?

Thanks
 
  • VicNicSor

    Banned
    Russian
    If so, why is it not "the Japanese"? Because of "a load of <<something>>"? ("of" is not followed by "the") Right?
     
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    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    I suppose there's no more context as usual. :(
    It could be that she's sitting across a table from the Americans and the table is loaded with Japanese food.
    (Remember that "smth" is not a word or abbreviation used by native English speakers.)
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    If so, why is it not "the Japanese"? Because of "a load of smth"? ("of" is not followed by "the") Right?
    Why would it be "the Japanese", Vik? Any more than it would be "the Americans"?

    (It might be worth explaining that "Japanese" can be countable: one Japanese, two Japanese....)
     

    VicNicSor

    Banned
    Russian
    Zero article before "Japanese" is still not fully understandable to me. So:
    1)"Japanese" can be a food (or something else) here
    2)or it can be a part of construction "a load of something".
    And if it looked like
    Between her and the Americans were the Japanese, then the definite article would be necessary

    Is that right?

    I suppose there's no more context as usual. :(
    Yes, unfortunately all the examples in this book are without context.
     
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    Beryl from Northallerton

    Senior Member
    British English
    It seems that the authors haven't given much thought to this, which is odd, given that the book is on articles. The context vacuum is the problem.

    It would seem from reading the OP example that the Americans have already been mentioned (hence 'the Americans'), and that the Japanese had not (hence 'Japanese').

    Swapping the Americans for the Japanese, you'd get this: 'Between her and the Japanese was a table load of Americans.'.

    > 1)"Japanese" can be a food (or something else) here

    I can't fully exclude Japanese food, for the simple reason that there's mention of a "table load", which, to me, seems more appropriate to food than people.
    That said, I think it highly unlikely that they were talking about a mound of assorted sushi.

    > 2)or it can be a part of construction "a load of something".
    No, sorry. I think that's a non-starter, and a red herring.

    > And if it looked like
    Between her and the Americans were the Japanese, then the definite article would be necessary.

    In this case, I would imagine that both parties had previously been mentioned, otherwise, you're left with the impression that she was engaged in some kind of contest, political intrigue, or war.
     
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    VicNicSor

    Banned
    Russian
    Thank you:)
    In this case, can we say that if "Japanese" were previously mentioned it could be like:
    "Between her and the Americans was a table load of the Japanese." ? Or it would be correct to say were the Japanese then?
     

    Copyright

    Senior Member
    American English
    Thank you:)
    In this case, can we say that if "Japanese" were previously mentioned it could be like:
    "Between her and the Americans was a table load of the Japanese." ? Or it would be correct to say were the Japanese then?
    No, don't use "the Japanese" here. The uses of "the Americans" and "Japanese" are different here.

    Between her and the Japanese was a table load of Americans.
    There was a table load of Americans to the left, and a table load of Japanese to the right.
     
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