1

Consider a sentence like

The method does not need the extra parameter.

Now, assume that we want to add "such" to the sentence. What will the result be?

The method does not need such the extra parameter.

The method does not need such extra parameter.

The method does not need such an extra parameter.

  • Why do you feel the need to squeeze the word 'such' in there? It just doesn't belong at all. – gone fishin' again. Aug 5 '18 at 10:21
  • if you really have to use 'such', it goes before the indefinite article - The method does not need such an extra parameter. – Michael Harvey Aug 5 '18 at 10:25
  • @MichaelHarvey: Why an? Doesn't it change the meaning of the original sentence which had the? – Shayan Aug 5 '18 at 10:36
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    You can't say 'such the'. After 'such' must be an indefinite article. If you use 'the' (definite article) before the noun phrase 'extra parameter' then there is nowhere for 'such'. Look at your original question. – Michael Harvey Aug 5 '18 at 10:43
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    See excellent answer by CJ Dennis. – Michael Harvey Aug 5 '18 at 11:31
4

such means "[any] one like this", so it is indefinite ("[any] one"), not definite ("the one").

Your choices are:

The method does not need the extra parameter. (this particular parameter)

The method does not need an extra parameter. (any extra parameter, including this one)

The method does not need such an extra parameter. (any extra parameter like this one, but possibly a different type of extra parameter)

Using such makes the sentence more specific, e.g. it could be a text parameter or a numeric parameter which is not needed, but an extra boolean parameter might be acceptable. Often, you don't need to be so specific and can leave such out of the sentence (e.g. the second sentence above), in this case meaning that you don't want any extra parameters, regardless of what kind they are.

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    +1 for being correct... but I still don't think 'such' wants to be in there at all. I think it's an 'ELL thing' to try squeezing 'such' into many places it doesn't naturally fit. A lot of my Japanese friends do it all the time; I'm constantly telling them it's not needed. – gone fishin' again. Aug 5 '18 at 11:01
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    @Tetsujin It definitely shouldn't be overused, but it's not incorrect per se. It should be used when warranted, and hopefully my answer explains when that is the case. – CJ Dennis Aug 5 '18 at 11:03

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