An accident

Calcutta Miss

Hindi - India

Someone tells me she's just had an accident.

My response:

Well, I am sorry to hear about the accident.
Well, I am sorry that you've had an accident.

Can someone please tell me why the definite article is more natural in the first one and the indefinite in the second?

Or is it just because that's how it is? Thank you.
  • Hildy1

    Senior Member
    English - US and Canada
    In the first sentence, you are referring to the particular accident that you have just heard about.

    In the second sentence, you are sorry that the person has had an accident. Any accident is a bad thing. You don't mean that it would have been all right to have a different accident.

    The Newt

    Senior Member
    English - US
    I probably would say "I'm sorry to hear about your accident," but if you did use an article I agree with Hildy1. You wouldn't say "I'm sorry to hear that you've had the accident" any more than you'd ask someone "Have you ever had the accident?"
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