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Bogdan



Joined: 06 Jul 2003
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Sun Jul 06, 2003 11:13 am    Post subject: Articles Reply with quote

Hello,
Does anybody know how to learn how to use articles? The rules I find in textbooks are somewhat helpful, unfortunatelly whenever I need to write a more advanced text they prove insufficient. They are good for doing homeworks but do not capture all complications that arise when in comes to express what I mean. It is particulary important to me to use articles properly in science, where "structure" and "the structure", or "velocity" and "a velocity" may totally change the meaning of the sentence. There are no articles in my first language, and although I have been in the U.S. for a while I seem to be too old to pick it up. I just do not have the feeling. Does anybody know any techniques, web sites, or papers elaborating on that point? Or maybe some people willing to correct my mistakes online?
Thanks a lot
Bogdan
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obelix



Joined: 09 Feb 2003
Posts: 304

PostPosted: Sun Jul 06, 2003 6:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"A "and "an" are indefinite articles. They single out any one unspecified member of a class.

"The" is called the definite article. It specifies a particular member of a class or a particular group of members of a class.

You probably already know this. It seems that your English is better than my Slavic languages, at least.

I am interested to know how you deal with this in your own language so that it does not cause you problems in science?
If you want someone to check out your writing, you can post it here on the open forum or you can pm me.
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Bogdan



Joined: 06 Jul 2003
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Sun Jul 06, 2003 7:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Obelix,
Thank you for your reply.
Honestly, I believe that Slavic languages are not meant to be used in science. There is more abiguity in these languages than in English, so they are more appropriate for writing poetry, or talking about love. As you probably know, we use a case system, which eliminates ambiguity to some extent. The side effect of using cases is that the word order becomes somewhat flexible, which again may lead to ambiguity. Please, excuse my intricate explanation. I am not a linguist.
What Slavic languages are you learning? And how do you know Asterix ???
Bogdan
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obelix



Joined: 09 Feb 2003
Posts: 304

PostPosted: Wed Jul 09, 2003 11:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I learned Russian many years ago but I have let it fall into disuse. I used to have a Polish friend with whom I communicated in either Russian or German. Strangley enough it worked rather well.
Asterix and I are not very fond of Romans.
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