(the) tire is flat

buoo

Senior Member
Korean
Hello.

I can't drive to work today--- __ tire is flat.

Can I use 'the' here?
What is the correct article for the blank?
 
  • Copyright

    Senior Member
    American English
    You can, I suppose, use "a" or "the," but the sentence will remain odd. Instead, we would say, "My car/bicycle/motorcycle has a flat tire."
     

    e2efour

    Senior Member
    UK English
    It depends on the context. :)

    If you are talking about a particular tyre that you may have been having problems with, then you could say "the tyre".
    But if you have a flat tyre, you would say "my tyre" or "one of my tyres" or (best!) "I have a flat tyre."
    Without a context, I think it is a poor exercise.

    (tire = AE, tyre = BE)

    (cross-posted with Copyright)
     

    buoo

    Senior Member
    Korean
    You can, I suppose, use "a" or "the," but the sentence will remain odd. Instead, we would say, "My car/bicycle/motorcycle has a flat tire."
    Does "I've got a flat tire" work too (in AmE)?

    To both of you, if I use the does it wrongly imply there is only one relevant tire?
     

    buoo

    Senior Member
    Korean
    I though 'drive' was a good enough context(or frame) given for use of the. so called inferred uniqueness. or it could be 'car-tire' frame invokes the as 'room-window' frame does in "can you open the window?" Anyway, thank you for the reply.
     
    Last edited:

    e2efour

    Senior Member
    UK English
    It is true that we say Can you open the window when we mean a window. But if you go into a garage and say "Can you repair the tyre?", the mechanics would want to know which tyre.
     

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    so there lies my question. Just weird.
    There are four tires which are equally capable of going flat. "Driving" is not enough context to tell us which tire. Rooms often have only one window. Even if there is more than one window, the people who live in a house may know which window they open to get the best breeze. "Open the window" frequently has enough context to tell us specifically which window. We do say "open a window" if we don't have such context.
     
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