The text that you have is <a> descriptive narrative.

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JJXR

Senior Member
Russian
Hello to all,

Thanks for reading my post.


Sample sentence:

The text that you have is <a> descriptive narrative.

Question:

Is the bolded "a" optional? If so, why would one include it in the sentence?


Thanks a lot for any comments, corrections or suggestions!

Regards,
JJXR
 
  • Florentia52

    Modwoman in the attic
    English - United States
    Please give us the context for this sentence. If you didn't write it yourself, please tell us where you found it.
     

    JJXR

    Senior Member
    Russian
    Thanks for the response, Florentia52. I wrote it myself. For example, someone answers another person's question regarding the use of the past perfect tense: "The text that you have is a descriptive narrative and therefore the past perfect tense is required."
     

    Uncle Jack

    Senior Member
    British English
    What you have is an example of a descriptive narrative text, and in this case the indefinite article is almost always used. I think the only time it can be omitted (and that optionally) is when referring to a work by a named person:
    The text that you have is early Shakespeare.
    The text that you have is an early Shakespeare.​

    Naturally, when the meaning is not "an example of" but the thing itself, then you use "the" (or nothing for a person or animal's name):
    Congratulations, what you have here is the Mona Lisa. However did you acquire it?​
    This form only works if there is only one of the thing in existence.
     

    ain'ttranslationfun?

    Senior Member
    US English
    Hi, Uncle Jack,

    I'm not sure why, but I wouldn't say "an early xxxx" about writers, athough we do say "an early Matisse/Rodin, etc." - mightn't it be preferable to use a noun ("an early poem/play by xxxx"?
     
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