a - the or nothing

veracity

Senior Member
1 "We are the primary manufacturer of particles for research."
Implies : others are not?
2 "We are a primary manufacturer of particles for research."
Implies there are a lot of others?
3 "We are primary manufacturer of particles for research."
Implies nothing?

What do you think? I want to state this in an advertisement, which one should be chosen?

Thanks.
 
  • nzfauna

    Senior Member
    New Zealand, English
    1. Your sentence means that they are the first, best, biggest etc manufacturer.

    2. Your sentence means that they are one of the first, best, biggest etc manufacturer, but there is at least one other comparable manufacturer.

    3. Is not acceptable.
     

    veracity

    Senior Member
    We are big boys. No a. If plural no need for a, if single it is a must. We are - is plural, but it doesn't matter, the sencond has an importance.?

    We are primary manufacturers - is OK?
     

    nzfauna

    Senior Member
    New Zealand, English
    What? Your sentences are not clear.

    We (the company) are the primary manufacturer...
    Our company is the primary manufacturer...

    We (referring to people or more than one company) are the primary manufacturers...
    Our company is the primary manufacturer...

    We (the company) are one of the primary manufacturers...
    Our company is one of the primary manufacturers...

    We (the company) are a primary manufacturer...
    Our company is a primary manufacturer...
     

    Scalloper

    Senior Member
    UK, English
    You're right to say that "We are primary manufacturers" would be OK but it is "manufacturers" rather than "We" that the article would attach to. So, if it is a singular noun in this position - "manufacturer" - it needs the article.
     

    icecreamsoldier

    Senior Member
    New Zealand English
    We are primary manufacturers...

    Yes...this is grammatically correct, but the problem is that the meaning of primary (see nzfauna's definitions) suggests they are the only (1.) or one of the only (2.) key manufacturing companies - to say "we are primary manufacturers" suggests that this is one of many such companies, and this seems to me like a slight contradiction.
     

    George French

    Senior Member
    English - UK
    You're right to say that "We are primary manufacturers" would be OK but it is "manufacturers" rather than "We" that the article would attach to. So, if it is a singular noun in this position - "manufacturer" - it needs the article.
    Just to get it clear.... are you saying:-

    "We are primary manufacturers of particles for research" is grammatically correct &
    "We are primary manufacturer of particles for research" is not?

    is it simply because manufacturers must be plural to "go with" we (plural)?

    Note I am only asking the question for clarity and my grammar lessons were long ago. I'm sure many of us are in the same boat!

    Thanks in anticipation of a reply, GF
     

    Scalloper

    Senior Member
    UK, English
    Just to get it clear.... are you saying:-

    "We are primary manufacturers of particles for research" is grammatically correct &
    "We are primary manufacturer of particles for research" is not?

    is it simply because manufacturers must be plural to "go with" we (plural)?

    Note I am only asking the question for clarity and my grammar lessons were long ago. I'm sure many of us are in the same boat!

    Thanks in anticipation of a reply, GF
    No, manufacturers doesn't have to be plural but, if it isn't, I think it needs an article.
     

    George French

    Senior Member
    English - UK
    No, manufacturers doesn't have to be plural but, if it isn't, I think it needs an article.
    Scalloper, thanks for the partial answer. My question posed a few post earler about the specific wording is still open. Any takers?

    GF

    Added: I have just re-read the posting and I/we seem to be spinning round the same point but with no actual hard concluding post. I am not sure whether we agree or not or if we don't agee ......
     

    veracity

    Senior Member
    What made me wonder was the "an" article after "are".
    In the same way:
    "We are good friends."
    Let me say "we" means some contries. Friendly contries to USA. Can we say now:
    "We are good friends of the USA."
    or
    "We are a good friend of the USA."

    (I used friend in place of manufacturer.)

    ?
     

    George French

    Senior Member
    English - UK
    What made me wonder was the "an" article after "are".
    In the same way:
    "We are good friends."
    Let me say "we" means some contries. Friendly contries to USA. Can we say now:
    "We are good friends of the USA."
    or
    "We are a good friend of the USA."

    (I used friend in place of manufacturer.)

    ?
    I'm sure both are correct. Anyone want to blow this out of the water?

    Thanks GF.....
     

    icecreamsoldier

    Senior Member
    New Zealand English
    "We are primary manufacturer of particles for research" is indeed ungrammatical, because we requires an agreement, just like "we are doctors."

    However if there is an article with manufacturer we have an exception where we represents a collective body, as nzfauna explained in post #6.
     
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