1

Let's say that you are reading an article where you find the following sentence.

Everybody wants to have the possibility of washing in the washing machine and drying in the dryer.

It is ok if I will use the definite article before the words - washing machine and dryer even if I have mentioned them in the article for the first time? I think that everybody has only one washing machine and dryer. Or the indefinite article would be better?

  • 1
    If you wanted to emphasize that each person is using their own personal washing machine and dryer, then I would use the phrase "their own" instead of the article "the". – Canadian Yankee Feb 7 '18 at 18:29
1

Depends on what you want to say.

Everybody wants to have the possibility of washing in the washing machine and drying in the dryer.

- there's a single washing machine and a single dryer that everybody wants to use

Everybody wants to have the possibility of washing in a washing machine and drying in a dryer.

- everybody wants to use any washing machine and any dryer, in general (as opposed to, for example, washing their clothes in a sink and hanging them to dry).

  • 1
    Exactly right - if you use the definite article, then I picture a situation like a single laundry room in the basement of an apartment building where every person in the building is sharing the same two laundry machines. – Canadian Yankee Feb 7 '18 at 17:27

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.