noun + "number" + number

< Previous | Next >

hunnyball_lector

Member
Serbian
Hello! Can someone tell me if it's okay to omit the indefinite article when we have noun + "number" + number construction. For example:

This is (a?) house number eighteen.
Is this (a?) bus number twelve?

Thanks!
 
  • Barque

    Banned
    Tamil
    In those sentences, it's not just okay, but necessary to omit the article. Using the article suggests that there's more than one house with number 18, to take the first example.

    Cross-posted.
     

    hunnyball_lector

    Member
    Serbian
    There will usually be only one house number 18, or bus number 12, so 'a' would be wrong.

    Having said that, neither sentence sounds very natural.
    In those sentences, it's not just okay, but necessary to omit the article. Using the article suggests that there's more than one house with number 18, to take the first example.
    Thank you both! But if the first sentence, for example, refers to the picture in which that house is shown, isn't it okay to put the indefinite article in front of "house number eighteen" since it's not specified where that house is located and since there is no context to it? I mean - there are many 18 houses in the world, thus the one shown in the picture is just one of them? Or am I wrong?
     

    Barque

    Banned
    Tamil
    No, you don't need any article.

    This is number 18.
    This is number 12.

    Usually the context will tell the listener if it's a house or a bus or something else that's being referred to.
     

    Barque

    Banned
    Tamil
    isn't it okay to put the indefinite article in front of "house number eighteen" since it's not specified where that house is located and since there is no context to it? I mean - there are many 18 houses in the world, thus the one shown in the picture is just one of them?
    It'd still be the only house number 18 on the road that's shown in the picture.

    I can imagine contexts in which you might need "a house number 18" or "a bus number 12" but those aren't very likely ones.
     

    hunnyball_lector

    Member
    Serbian
    house

    This is the picture and the sentence that goes with it. As you can see, there is no road shown. Would the sentence still be correct? If it isn't possible to use the indefinite article, should I just leave it like this or should I insert "the" in front of it?
     

    Keith Bradford

    Senior Member
    English (Midlands UK)
    What do you think should be the natural way of saying this thing?
    See Barque's #6.

    house

    This is the picture and the sentence that goes with it. As you can see, there is no road shown. Would the sentence still be correct? If it isn't possible to use the indefinite article, should I just leave it like this or should I insert "the" in front of it?
    I don't think this is the same type of question. "Is this house no. 17?" is like asking "Is this man William Shakespeare?" It doesn't mean that the construction "man William Shakespeare" is a normal one. The sentence falls into two halves: "<Is this house> <no. 17>?"
     

    Lun-14

    Banned
    Hindi
    No, you don't need any article.

    This is number 18.
    This is number 12.

    Usually the context will tell the listener if it's a house or a bus or something else that's being referred to.
    This is the house number 18. -> the only one house number 18.
    Is this the bus number 12? -> the only one bus number 12.

    Doesn't using the definite article suggest that there's only one house or bus there?
     

    Keith Bradford

    Senior Member
    English (Midlands UK)
    Sorry, Lun, trust us that these constructions are not normal and not common. We do not usually put "the" when giving a number; the number is enough on its own to show that there's only one of them.
     

    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    This is the house number 18. -> the only one house number 18.
    Is this the bus number 12? -> the only one bus number 12.
    Do not forget that "the" operates as a demonstrative adjective similar to "that" (You will have to work out the context for yourself.)

    This is the house number 18. -> This is that {house number 18} of which I was speaking. -> specifying by demonstration.
    Is this the bus number 12? -> Is this that {bus number 18} of which you were speaking. -> specifying by demonstration.
     

    hunnyball_lector

    Member
    Serbian
    Thank you all!
    I don't think this is the same type of question. "Is this house no. 17?" is like asking "Is this man William Shakespeare?" It doesn't mean that the construction "man William Shakespeare" is a normal one. The sentence falls into two halves: "<Is this house> <no. 17>?"
    Yes, I thought the same at first, but then again I was sure that sintaxically these two sentence members aren't separatable and need to be perceived as one syntagm (for example, I thought that you can't say: "This house is number 12."). Apparently, I was wrong. :)
     

    Murphy Wu

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    See Barque's #6.



    I don't think this is the same type of question. "Is this house no. 17?" is like asking "Is this man William Shakespeare?" It doesn't mean that the construction "man William Shakespeare" is a normal one. The sentence falls into two halves: "<Is this house> <no. 17>?"
    Since I read lots of replies here, may I ask you again? Room No. six (Six) = Room number six = Room No. six(Six)? Appreciate it.
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top