a/the lookout

Phoebe1200

Senior Member
Russian-Russia
School of Rock, TV series
Context: Lawrence, Tomika, and Mr. Finn have snuck into the Principal's office while she's out to delete a video from her computer. Lawrence is on the lookout.

Lawrence
: Guys, I'm really uncomfortable being here. There's a huge risk and every risk I've taken lately has backfired.
Tomika: Relax. All you have to do is be a/the lookout.


I can't make out which one she says. Please help.:)
 
  • Barque

    Senior Member
    Tamil
    The lookout - Being the lookout that we need.
    A lookout - Playing the role of a lookout for us.
     

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    I would say it is more likely "the" as it's typical of a criminal heist to appoint one lookout, one getaway driver, ... Certainly in this particular context, there aren't enough people to have more than one.
     

    Phoebe1200

    Senior Member
    Russian-Russia
    Thank you, Barque.:)

    Bella and the Bulldogs, TV series
    Context: Troy helps his new team prank the Bulldogs before their big game. And so they TP'd their whole locker room. But Troy didn't even see the prank because he was just keeping a lookout outside and so now the Bulldogs have come to confront him about the prank.

    Bella: How could you do that to our locker room?
    Troy: It was just a little prank.
    Bella: This was way more than a prank. (shows him the video of their locker room after the prank)
    Troy (after seeing it): Oh, man. I didn't know it was this bad. I never even walked in. I was just a/the lookout.

    Again I can't make out which one he says. Please help me with this too.:) Is "the" more likely to have been used here as well?
     

    Phoebe1200

    Senior Member
    Russian-Russia
    Thank you, Barque.:)

    So I guess that "a" could have been used here and would mean what you explained "Playing the role of a lookout for them".
    But I'm not sure about "the", would it mean "Being the lookout that they needed" here?
     

    Barque

    Senior Member
    Tamil
    I'm not sure what you mean by that . "The" refers to a specific lookout. You could think of it as the one they needed or the one that's usually used.
     

    Phoebe1200

    Senior Member
    Russian-Russia
    Thank you.
    I'm not sure what you mean by that.
    I meant like "The lion is a dangerous animal", the general case we were talking about in this threadYou're fearless on <the> skateboard:)

    Also, is it actually OK to use "the" in my second example "I never even walked in. I was just the lookout." because the context is a bit different since Troy kind of introduces that information to his listeners?
     

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    I got in a taxi. The driver said hello to me.
    I expect there to be one driver in a taxi. It is the natural order of things. The driver doesn't need to be mentioned in advance to be "the" driver. It's part of "taxi" that there is a driver.
    It looks like those people are going to rob this bank. He must be the lookout. That woman in the car is the getaway driver.
    I expect there to be one lookout involved in the robbery.
     

    Phoebe1200

    Senior Member
    Russian-Russia
    This is not a "general case". It refers to a specific lookout.

    Please refer to #9.
    Thank you very much for your answers, Barque.:)
    I got in a taxi. The driver said hello to me.
    I expect there to be one driver in a taxi. It is the natural order of things. The driver doesn't need to be mentioned in advance to be "the" driver. It's part of "taxi" that there is a driver.
    It looks like those people are going to rob this bank. He must be the lookout. That woman in the car is the getaway driver.
    I expect there to be one lookout involved in the robbery.
    Thank you so much, Myridon.:)
     
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