I have come across it in the program 6 minute english from BBC. It is at 2 minute and 17 second. Here it goes:

He says a white lie is just a distortion of the truth. Distortion here means (a) changing or bending of the truth.

Why was a used before the word changing. Would it be grammatical if I the speaker omitted the article?

  • 2
    In the exact context as given here, the definite article (a) and the indefinite article (the) AND the "zero article" (nothing at all) are all perfectly valid. It's really just a stylistic choice which of those three options to use (and you could repeat the article before the second noun bending, but most writers usually wouldn't). – FumbleFingers Apr 20 '18 at 17:43
  • It is a stylistic choice as pointed out above. It is also situational. – Lambie Apr 20 '18 at 17:45
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    @FumbleFingers - note that you got "definite" and "indefinite" backwards in your comment. – Canadian Yankee Apr 20 '18 at 19:56
  • Is this the whole sentence? I wonder whether it isn't a list, as in distortion here means (a) changing or bending of the truth, and (b) [something else]. – phoog Jan 27 '20 at 18:16

"changing the truth" is a verb statement. "changing of the truth" is a noun statement.

Two valid sentences: "Distortion here means bending the truth". "Distortion here means a changing of the truth".

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