I have asked my teacher about articles and she gave me such an example:
A: Today we are going to a concert.
B: Okay! (the person does not want any details)

A: Where are we going now?
B: To a concert. I told you we are going to a concert today.

She said everything is correct here because the person I am talking to in the dialogue doesn't know what concert and I did not specify it but since she has been mistaken many times before, I want to ask you here. I would you "the" in "B: To a concert."

  • (I am a native speaker.) Either a or the is possible here, but they mean slightly different things. a means an unspecified concert, and the means a specific concert. This isn't exactly the same as "has been mentioned before". I would probably not say "the concert", because means a specific concert, and B probably would not understand what concert we were talking about without more context. You might find these helpful: Using Articles and A vs. The – stangdon Aug 28 '17 at 16:40
  • @stangdon But could this (using the in B) mean "the concert I have recently told you about," as a reminder of their recent talk rather than an attempt to specify the concert itself like what sort of concert is the concert in question? – Giorgi Aug 29 '17 at 7:35
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    @Giorgi - Sure, the could mean "the specific concert I told you about", if that was going to be clear to B. – stangdon Aug 30 '17 at 14:14
  • There are some major problems there and if this came from a private tutor, as opposed to a school teacher, I hope my family would be looking for a new tutor ASAP. Your teacher’s examples are simple nonsense and while the subject isn’t any all hard, she needs to work a great deal harder. “Today we are going to a concert” isn’t a very bad example but what is it supposed to be compared to? Why does it need “Today” rather than just “We are going to a concert” or more simply “… a concert” Very seriously, who cares what Person B thinks or wants? How could that ever matter in any way? More… – Robbie Goodwin Jun 5 '18 at 0:05
  • Further, “Where are we going now?” was a fair question and “To a concert” a reasonable answer but “I told you we are going to a concert today” is a worse than useless contribution, adding nothing helpful. She needs to understand that what the person you might be talking to in the dialogue doesn't know can’t ever matter; not in any way at all. If you’re saying your teacher has been mistaken before, that doesn’t seem surprising but clearly, we have only your description on which to judge. There are many other considerations but on the basis of what you posted, they’re not relevant. – Robbie Goodwin Jun 5 '18 at 0:16

It depends. If you've decided that you're just going to go to any concert that is occurring on a certain day, you should use the indefinite article (a).

We're going to a restaurant tomorrow. Okay!

Wait, where are we going? To a restaurant.

If you are going to a particular concert, or you're en route to a particular concert, you should use the definite article (the).

We're going to a playground tomorrow. Okay!

Wait, where are we going? To the playground.

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I know what you are thinking. B plans to go to a specific concert so to him it is "the concert". B has mentioned "a concert" to A, now it should be "the concert" to A too. The important word here is "should".

In the second dialog A's question suggests that he has forgotten or did not understand what B said earlier:

A: Where are we going now?

Since A does not seem to know about the concert, B must start from the beginning and introduce it as "a concert":

B: To a concert. I told you we are going to a concert today.

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  • At the beginning I wanted to use "a" but still had doubts because in the dialogue A had said "a concert" before B asked the question. It is clear now. – applepie192 Aug 28 '17 at 18:16

To keep the matter simple, whenever describe something in your discourse, narrative, writing or dialogue, if the word requires an article make it indefinite by using A /An when it first comes in the reference notwithstanding such words that specifically require use of article THE.

  • There was ( a ) king. ( The ) king was kind./ But not in this case.

Do you have a copy of ( the )Times. I'm referring to the news paper.

It has ( the ) even at the initial reference.

So let us first make an indefinite reference ( A/An ). Hereinafter it will find a place in our acquaintances and we are are bound to use only THE whenever mentioned .

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  • So you think I should you only "the"? – applepie192 Sep 1 '17 at 16:24
  • Yes, my submission is, in a way, an acknowledgement of your teacher's advice. Use ' the ', 'to the concert', keeping "a", in the last sentence for reminder. – Barid Baran Acharya Sep 1 '17 at 19:16

Those are correct. It could also go down like this: A) Where are we going? B) We're going to the concert we talked about yesterday. (A reference to a specific concert.)

A) Where are we going now? B) We are going to the playground. (Usually families have one nearby playground). A) Which playground? B) The same one we went to yesterday!

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