a/the British engineer who developed ......

Discussion in 'English Only' started by sb70012, Aug 31, 2016.

  1. sb70012

    sb70012 Senior Member

    Persian
    …… watt is named after James Watt, ….. British engineer who developed ….. steam engine.
    a) The-the-the (Answer Key)
    b) The-a-a
    c) The-a-the

    Source: school exam

    Hi,
    I think option C is also correct because both "the British engineer" and "a British engineer" would be acceptable in the above question. This is just my opinion.

    What's your opinion about C?

    Thank you.
     
  2. Myridon

    Myridon Senior Member

    Texas
    English - US
    The watt is named after James Watt, a British engineer. :tick: He is one of many British engineers.
    The watt is named after James Watt, a British engineer who developed the steam engine. :confused: How many British engineers developed the steam engine?
     
  3. sb70012

    sb70012 Senior Member

    Persian
    Thank you. Now I understand.

    One more question:

    Can I omit "The" from the beginning of the sentence?

    I mean => Watt is named after James Watt, the British engineer who developed the steam engine.

    Is it acceptable?
     
  4. Myridon

    Myridon Senior Member

    Texas
    English - US
    No. The unit of measurement called the watt is countable and therefore needs a determiner. If the city of Watt was named after James Watt, then you could use that sentence to refer to the city.
     
  5. Andygc

    Andygc Senior Member

    Devon
    British English
    Thomas Savery, James Watt, Thomas Newcomen, William Murdoch - to name a few of them. We could include Matthew Boulton, Watt's business partner. In the sentence the use of "a British engineer" is not wrong.

    PS. Watt's engine was, of course, an atmospheric engine. The steam engine came later.
     
  6. Myridon

    Myridon Senior Member

    Texas
    English - US
    That's exactly why I said :confused: instead of :cross:. Even if you had a passage preceding the question which said "James Watt invented the steam engine.", it could be a trick.
     
  7. Andygc

    Andygc Senior Member

    Devon
    British English
    I'm afraid that I didn't find that clear, so it's possible others won't either.
     

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