Nesta edição, vamos aprender ou revisar, para alguns, o bom uso do artigo definido THE e indefinidos A e AN. Além disso, mais dicas em como usar EACH and EVERY, e também o uso correto das formas SOME and ANY.
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Até a próxima.
Determiners: A, An or The?
When do we say “the dog” and when do we say “a dog”? (On this page we talk only about singular, countable nouns.)
The and A/An are called “articles”. We divide them into “definite” and “indefinite” like this:
The A, An
We use “definite” to mean sure, certain. “Definite” is particular.
We use “indefinite” to mean not sure, not certain. “Indefinite” is general.
When we are talking about one thing in particular, we use the. When we are talking about one thing in general, we use a or an.
Think of the sky at night. In the sky there is 1 moon and millions of stars. So normally we could say:
• I saw the moon last night.
• I saw a star last night
Look at these examples:
The A, An
• The capital of France is Paris.
• I have found the book that I lost.
• Have you cleaned the car?
• There are six eggs in the fridge.
• Please switch off the TV when you finish. • I was born in a town.
• John had an omelet for lunch.
• James Bond ordered a drink.
• We want to buy an umbrella.
• Have you got a pen?
Of course, often we can use The or A/An for the same word. It depends on the situation. Look at these examples:
• We want to buy an umbrella. (Any umbrella, not a particular umbrella.)
• Where is the umbrella? (We already have an umbrella. We are looking for our umbrella, a particular umbrella.)
This little story should help you understand the difference between The and A, An:
• A man and a woman were walking in Oxford Street. The woman saw a dress that she liked in a shop. She asked the man if he could buy the dress for her. He said: “Do you think the shop will accept a cheque? I don’t have a credit card.”
Determiners: Each, Every
Each and every have similar but not always identical meanings. Verbs with each and every are always conjugated in the singular.
Each = every one separately.
Every = each, all.
Sometimes, each and every have the same meaning:
• Prices go up each year.
• Prices go up every year.
But often they are not exactly the same.
Each expresses the idea of ‘one by one’. It emphasizes individuality.
Every is half-way between each and all. It sees things or people as singular, but in a group or in general.
Consider the following:
• Every artist is sensitive.
• Each artist sees things differently.
• Every soldier saluted as the President arrived.
• The President gave each soldier a medal.
• Each soldier received a medal from the President.
Each can be used in front of the verb:
• The soldiers each received a medal.
Each can be followed by ‘of’:
• The President spoke to each of the soldiers.
• He gave a medal to each of them.
Every cannot be used for 2 things. For 2 things, each can be used:
• He was carrying a suitcase in each hand.
Every is used to say how often something happens:
• There is a plane to Bangkok every day.
• The bus leaves every hour.
Determiners: Some and Any
Some = a little, a few or a small number or amount
Any = one, some or all
Usually, we use some in positive (+) sentences and any in negative (-) and question (?) sentences.
some any example
+ I have some money. I have $10.
– I don’t have any money. I don’t have $1 and I don’t have $10 and I don’t have $1,000,000. I have $0.
? Do you have any money? Do you have $1 or $10 or $1,000,000?
In general, we use something/anything and somebody/anybody in the same way as some/any.
Look at these examples:
• He needs some stamps.
• I must go. I have some homework to do.
• I’m thirsty. I want something to drink.
• I can see somebody coming.
• He doesn’t need any stamps.
• I can stay. I don’t have any homework to do.
• I’m not thirsty. I don’t want anything to drink.
• I can’t see anybody coming.
• Does he need any stamps?
• Do you have any homework to do?
• Do you want anything to drink?
• Can you see anybody coming?
We use any in a positive sentence when the real sense is negative.
• I refused to give them any money. (= I did not give them any money)
• She finished the test without any difficulty. (= she did not have any difficulty)
Sometimes we use some in a question, when we expect a positive YES answer. (We could say that it is not a real question, because we think we know the answer already.)
• Would you like some more tea?
• Could I have some sugar, please?