Definite or indefinite article?

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Alan Newcastle
Posts: 9
Joined: Mon Oct 26, 2015 10:11 am
Location: Gateshead, England

Definite or indefinite article?

Post by Alan Newcastle » Mon Nov 16, 2015 2:30 pm

If saying 'I have a blue car' should I say 'ho la macchina blu' or use the indefinite article una? I feel that 'la' is correct but i am not certain!

If describing 'a small car with five seats' should macchina and sedi have there own definite articles?
è una piccola macchina con sedi cinque.

Thanks in advance for any replies!

Geoff
Posts: 251
Joined: Fri Mar 07, 2008 7:55 am
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: Definite or indefinite article?

Post by Geoff » Wed Nov 18, 2015 5:10 am

Yes, "Ho la macchina blu" is correct. As well as being used for parts of the body, to quote from my favourite grammar book Maiden & Robustelli, "The definite article is also used in a wide variety of cases where the noun is a normal, expected (even if not necessary), attribute of persons and their everyday lives (for example, clothes, physical conditions and illnesses, family members, possessions, documents, social rituals, civil procesures). In may of these cases, English uses an indefinite article or even a possessive adjective". A car is a possession that one might be expected to own, even if not everyone does, so the definite article is appropriate as long as one owns just the one.

Your example sentence should be "è una piccola macchina con cinque sedili" - sedile, not sedia for a seat in a vehicle.

Alan Newcastle
Posts: 9
Joined: Mon Oct 26, 2015 10:11 am
Location: Gateshead, England

Re: Definite or indefinite article?

Post by Alan Newcastle » Wed Dec 23, 2015 7:53 pm

Thanks for the reply.

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