she felt the/a sting of tears in her eyes

VicNicSor

Banned
Russian
She felt the sting of tears in her eyes.
Longman dictionary

She felt a sting of tears in her eyes. -- this one tells us that people feel that sting of tears differently and how she feels it is one of the examples/cases (though unspecified). In other words, "a" works here. Correct?
Thank you.
 
  • BobbieCB

    Member
    English - USA Midwest & Southern
    Normally, an English speaker would say "the sting of tears," but you could use "a sting of tears" and there would be nothing wrong with it.
     

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    The sting of tears is the specific sting of tears that we are all familiar with.
    A sting of tears is some non-specific sting of tears. Iit seems that there is more than one possible sting of tears. Perhaps this is an unusual one - her tears sting because she's crying blood, acid, ice crystals, ...
    (I feel I've told you this difference between "a" and "the" many times over the years. ;))
     

    VicNicSor

    Banned
    Russian
    There are many other differences between "a" and "the" and other cases where they are used so it's all still sometimes confuses me:D.
    Thank you!
     
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