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A. Every Sunday, he has lunch in restaurant.

B. Every Sunday, he has lunch in a restaurant.

Which of above sentences is correct? I want to tell the habit, not to specify any restaurant.

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  • Restaurant is a countable noun, so it has to be in a restaurant. Whether it's a habit or not, or a specific restaurant or not, doesn't make any difference; restaurant is a countable noun so it needs an article. – stangdon Dec 31 '16 at 15:12
  • @stangdon, "so it has to be in a restaurant. Whether it's a habit or not, or a specific restaurant", I don't agree about that part. when we speak about a specific restaurant, we should use the definite article not the indefinite one. – Abbasi Dec 31 '16 at 19:10
  • @Abbasi - What I mean is that you have to use an article whether you mean "one specific restaurant" or "any restaurant". But I could see saying "he has lunch in a restaurant" even if you mean a specific one. For example, "Every Sunday he has lunch in a restaurant. You know the little Greek one by the seaport? That's the one." – stangdon Dec 31 '16 at 22:34
  • No I don't know that little Greek one. – Abbasi Jan 1 '17 at 5:37
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I understand your confusion: You want to say he does this every week, but not necessarily at any specific restaurant. It's just a habitual practice.

Even in this case, some determiner is necessary, and "a" works well because it is indefinite -- it could mean the same restaurant week after week, although it strongly implies that he eats at different restaurants.

Other examples:

Every morning on her walk through her neighborhood, she picks up a newspaper from a shop.

I like to stop by a coffee shop on my way to work.

Every year at Christmas he steps into a pub to toast the Queen's health.

If you want to be more definite about where he eats, you would use "the" to specify a restaurant.

Every Sunday he has lunch at the restaurant on the corner.

Every Sunday he has lunch at the ELL Cafe.

On the other hand, if you want to be clear he does different restaurants each week, use "some".

Every Sunday he has lunch at some restaurant.

Or, if you want to imply he doesn't care which and just picks a restaurant each time, use "any":

Every Sunday he has lunch at any restaurant.

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  • Your view is fine to me but we don't have to use some article in that sentence and nor is it necessary. We could use my which is not an article, instead of a. – Abbasi Dec 31 '16 at 19:16
  • Yeah, it may be like spitting hairs but with that comment I hoped that you changed the word article to determiner. That was all. – Abbasi Dec 31 '16 at 20:38
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Use "a": Every Sunday he has lunch in a restaurant.

Native speakers will often say "at a restaurant" rather then "in a restaurant". They mean basically the same, and both are common. The one potential difference is that "in a restaurant" would technically exclude eating the restaurant's food at their outside patio.

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“Every Sunday, he has lunch in restaurant” or “…a restaurant”? Which of above sentences is correct?

Only the latter.
The reason is that the word restaurant is a singular countable noun, and, we must use some type of determiners for it. Of course there are exceptions as well.
We have generally (to me) 4 kinds of determiners which one of them is the articles. Here we have some choices but the indefinite article is to be used here (since you haven't supply any further context).

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In your example, the correct sentence(s) is(are):

  • “Every Sunday, he has lunch in a restaurant.” CORRECT

OR

  • “Every Sunday, he has lunch at a restaurant.” CORRECT

BUT YOU SHOULD ALSO NOTE:

It is worth mentioning that if the speaker was talking about a specific restaurant, it would be correct to use ".... in {restaurant 1}" or ".... at {restaurant 2}."

This is the case, even if they are countable, such as with brand named chain restaurants. In these specific cases you may use either example correctly. The brand or chain is treated as one specific, non-countable location [noun] (even though there are actually many restaurants, there is just one brand).

FOR EXAMPLE:

  • “Every Sunday, he has lunch in McDonald's.” CORRECT
  • “Every Sunday, he has lunch in a McDonald's.” CORRECT
  • “Every Sunday, he has lunch at McDonald's.” CORRECT
  • “Every Sunday, he has lunch at a McDonald's.” CORRECT

OR

  • "Each week, he works at Walmart full-time." CORRECT
  • "Each week, he works at a Walmart full-time." CORRECT

I know this may seem a bit confusing and contradictory, but hey, welcome to the English language! It is always contradicting its own rules and has many exceptions to them.

Which is why I thought I would mention this specific "exception to the rule" while you were learning "the rule" [to place "a" before countable nouns] itself.

Good luck with your studies. Cheers!

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