An in-depth knowledge of

Allegro molto

Senior Member
Japanese
Hello

A. They had extensive knowledge of ‘best buy’ food and food shops within their areas.
B. And she acquired an in-depth knowledge of the hotel business.

Why did the writer use the indefinite article in B, while in A it is not used?

Thank you
 
  • Cameljockey

    Senior Member
    British English
    In-depth infers deep knowledge in a subject which has complexities or subtleties. Extensive infers more breath of knowledge, covering a wider but shallower area rather than a deep insight into a particular field.

    It's the difference between the words depth and extent.

    I say infers because the two often seem to be used interchangably.
     
    Last edited:

    b1947420

    Senior Member
    British English
    Hello

    A. They had extensive knowledge of ‘best buy’ food and food shops within their areas.
    B. And she acquired an in-depth knowledge of the hotel business.

    Why did the writer use the indefinite article in B, while in A it is not used?

    Thank you
    I would say that in the first example the knowledge is extensive but general across the subject.
    In the second I read this as having particular knowledge of the hotel business.
     

    EStjarn

    Senior Member
    Spanish
    Why did the writer use the indefinite article in B, while in A it is not used?
    Because the noun knowledge is uncountable, you'd expect it to not be preceded by the indefinite article. But there are exceptions to this rule. Here's from the grammar:

    "With certain uncountable nouns - especially nouns referring to human emotions and mental activity - we often use a/an when we are limiting their meaning in some way: We need a secretary with a first-class knowledge of German. (Not ...with first-class knowledge of German.) She has always had a deep distrust of strangers. My parents wanted me to have a good education. You've been a great help. I need a good sleep." (Swan, 2005).
     
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