"With a/the maximum length of * meters"

cmyguo3o

Senior Member
Russian
Which article should I use here? Both variants of this exact phrase return a comparable number of hits from Google. If not for the "maximum" qualification, I'd use "a" without hesitation. With "maximum", using "the" would be logical to me since there is only one defined maximum, but "a" seems to be just as popular here, hence the confusion.
 
  • Glenfarclas

    Senior Member
    English (American)
    It would be uncommon. I suppose something like: "The maximum length of 2 meters that you specified is going to be insufficient for this project."
     

    Glenfarclas

    Senior Member
    English (American)
    Not exactly; it relates to the grammatical function of the phrase within the sentence. It doesn't have to have been introduced previously in what you are saying. An equally valid usage might be, "The maximum length of 2 meters for electrical cables permitted by law is going to present a challenge for this installation."
     
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