4

Are there multiple indefinite(/definite) articles in such constructions as the title implies?

Example sentences: a. 'I want a piece of a pie.' vs 'I want a piece of pie.' b. 'I want a piece of a pie and an apple'

Thank you very much, I got kind of lost after searching.

  • No, I want a piece of pie. And other food, too. A piece of a rocket might be found in the desert. – Lambie Jan 18 '17 at 17:14
  • Someone might have spit out a piece of a peach next to the rocket piece! – Jim Reynolds Jan 18 '17 at 17:28
  • Indeed. :) True. – Lambie Jan 18 '17 at 19:21
  • This actually helped though no idea where the rocket came from guys. ;-0 – Vico Lemp Jan 18 '17 at 19:57
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Your examples are pretty simple. You don't want any article:

I want a piece of pie.
He asked for a piece of cherry pie and an apple.
There are too many slices of pepperoni pie.

Here, "pie" is a mass noun.



You will find that articles can (and should) be used in some cases. (This is more advanced, so you probably don't need to worry about this yet.)

It's important to note that the meaning of the phrase is often idiomatic when an article is used.

Context is the best way to sort this out.

For example, the following headline means that landlords get some of the profit from Airbnb (so it's an idiom):

Airbnb is giving landlords a piece of the pie

And it's also an idiom here:

That means retailers are fighting for a piece of a pie that's still pretty meager.
The three myths of Black Friday

But it's literal in both of these sentences:

I want a piece of the cherry pie.
I want a piece of a pie that he didn't touch!

The mechanics behind this are already explained here.

  • Thanks a lot, after re-reading it I got the point and connected it to things I already knew. But what a headache it was! xD – Vico Lemp Jan 18 '17 at 19:57

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