<the> cough syrup

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— I was in the pharmacy a while ago, and there was a really good-looking pharmacist behind the counter. Really good-looking. And I went up and I asked her where the cough syrup was. I didn't even have a cough. And I almost bought it.
The Happening, film

Does it mean that instead of asking "Do you have (any) cough syrup?", he assumed that they did have that thing, and he just asked where this particular syrup that they had (hence "the cough syrop") was; am I correct?
Thank you.
  • e2efour

    Senior Member
    UK English
    He's not asking about a particular syrup, but a type of medicine that comes under the name cough syrup (I assume that pharmacies do not sell "syrup").
    He is also assuming that they sell cough syrup, which explains the use of "the".

    In the same way he might say Where do you keep the painkillers? This would mean the same as Do you have any painkillers? (since the question is not to be taken literally, i.e. it does not expect the answer yes or no).
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