Page 1 of 1

Why indefinite?

Posted: Mon Aug 28, 2017 9:50 am
by rowan
I'm marking a students homework and have come across the phrase "the increased chances of the local extinction for this specie" and I'm having trouble with "the local extinction" as I think it sounds more natural to say "a local extinction of this species" but I can't explain why. This is talking about a specific event so I want to say it should be 'the' but my heart says indefinite. Any help? Cheers

Re: Why indefinite?

Posted: Mon Nov 20, 2017 7:54 am
by Joe
Maybe with "local" the indefinite article is possible since you can indeed have multiple local extinctions as opposed to only one global extinction. But depending on your viewpoint (geographically - are you looking at THIS locality or many?) the definite article might also be possible. Hard to say without more context.

Re: Why indefinite?

Posted: Tue Dec 12, 2017 2:11 pm
by cerealkillah
You can't put indefinite article before "extinction", because it is uncountable noun. I would omit the article. If we want to talk more specifically and to differentiate this extinction from another, we should add a noun, for example "instance of extinction", though in my opinion it looks a bit clumsy.
It is the same as with "evidence", "information" or "advice". We have to use "piece of" if we want to make it plural.

Re: Why indefinite?

Posted: Mon Jan 01, 2018 5:27 pm
by NiallHoughton
Your idea to use the indefinite article could be appropriate as it can have the function to be a form of one e.g. A local extinction, refers to one extinction.