with <a><the> supporting cast

Henares

Senior Member
Polish
Hi,
I have a question regarding the following sentence :

“Tootsieis a 1982 American comedy film directed by Sydney Pollack and starring Dustin Hoffman, with a supporting cast that includes...” (Wikipedia)

Why “a supporting cast” not the supporting cast”? Isn’t it obvious that every film has some cast?
Thanks
 
  • srk

    Senior Member
    English - US
    I wear a shirt that has buttons. Why would I say "the shirt"? Most men own a shirt.

    "... with the supporting cast that includes ...." says that one of several supporting casts was selected for the film. "I wear the shirt that has buttons" says I choose to wear the only one that does.
     

    dojibear

    Senior Member
    English - Northeast US
    “Tootsieis a 1982 American comedy film directed by Sydney Pollack and starring Dustin Hoffman, with a supporting cast that includes...” (Wikipedia)

    Why “a supporting cast” not the supporting cast”? Isn’t it obvious that every film has some cast?
    Yes, that is obvious. And in a different sentence we use "the":

    Dustin is the star (of this film). The supporting cast (of this film) includes Moe, Larry, and Curly.

    This "with" phrase uses "a" because every film has a different supporting cast, but this film has one that includes this people. In English, "a" often means "one", and "the" often means "this" or "that".
     
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