a / the worker - mentioned before?

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Senior Member

I am not sure if I can use the definite article before 'worker'; my reasoning is that it is the worker / the fatality we mentioned in the first sentence. Is it ok?

'In December 2014, the news media reported on a single-fatality accident that occurred at Highland Mining Company, a subsidiary of Patriot Coal Corporation (Patriot Coal), in the US. The worker was struck by a coal hauler and died at an underground coal mine in Kentucky.'

(I am the author of the sentences.)

Thanks a lot!
  • entangledbank

    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    Yes, the fatality is a person who was already been mentioned. It was not stated at that point that it was a worker, so 'the worker' gives extra information: it's like bundling up "the fatality, who was a worker". It is quite a normal way of saying this, especially as a fatality at a mining company is likely to be a worker, rather than a manager or a visitor, so the 'extra' information isn't a surprise.


    Senior Member
    England English
    Hello, I'm afraid I disagree with entangledbank. It hasn't been mentioned before that the fatality was a worker, so I would find it much more normal to read 'a worker'.
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