# give me a/the red triangle

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#### Renatrix

##### Senior Member
You have 16 cards with 4 shapes in 4 colors. In each card, there is one of the four shapes in one of the four colors, so you have one red triangle, one blue circle, one green square, etc. You ask the child: "Give me a/the red triangle"?
Similar situation: you have two 10-picture sets (one with fruits, the other with vegetables). You ask the child: "Put a/the tomato under a/the beetroot and the banana under the apple"?

• #### Edinburgher

##### Senior Member
On your coloured shape cards, it seems there are four red shapes, and four triangles, but there is only one red triangle.
In that situation you would use "the red triangle". If there are two or more tomatoes, use "a tomato".

Of course your child (or even you) might not know that there is only one red triangle, so it really is never wrong to say "a red triangle". But if you do say "the", you are giving the child the information that that card is unique. If you say "a", on the other hand, you are not giving information that the card is not unique.

#### PaulQ

##### Senior Member
You have 16 cards with 4 shapes in 4 colors. In each card, there is one of the four shapes in one of the four colors, so you have one red triangle, one blue circle, one green square, etc. You ask the child: "Give me a/the red triangle"?
As each card is unique, then you should say, "Give me the red triangle."
Similar situation: you have two 10-picture sets (one with fruits, the other with vegetables). You ask the child: "Put a/the tomato under a/the beetroot and the banana under the apple"?
Again, if each card is unique, then use the.

(Crosspost with Edinburger)

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