A / The tiger hunts. | Tigers hunt. [generic reference]


Senior Member
As generic references, we often use 3 forms
A: A tiger hunts by night
B: The tiger hunts by night
C: Tigers hunt by night
​Is there any difference among these sentences?
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  • Biffo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Yes, but the difference can only be seen within context.

    C: "Tigers hunt by night" is unambiguous. It refers to tigers in general.

    A, B
    As isolated sentences it is not possible to know the precise meaning of A and B.


    There is a tiger living in my garden so keep your animals indoors after dark. The tiger hunts by night. (specific)


    The habits of carnivores vary. The wild dog hunts by day. The tiger hunts by night. (general)
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