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Which way is grammatically correct, using it as an adjective ("native") or as a noun ("a native" or "the native")?

Alice Shimmer, native of Shiksenburg, was less forthcoming about the unconstitutional coup in Ukraine of February 2014.

or

Alice Shimmer, a native of Shiksenburg, was less forthcoming about the unconstitutional coup in Ukraine of February 2014.

or

Alice Shimmer, the native of Shiksenburg, was less forthcoming about the unconstitutional coup in Ukraine of February 2014.

?

I think I've heard all of these three so I don't know which one is correct.

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You can use either—with the caveat that if you drop the article, you should use the preposition to.

So:

Alice Shimmer, native to Shiksenburg, was less forthcoming about the unconstitutional coup in Ukraine of February 2014.

Or:

Alice Shimmer, a native of Shiksenburg, was less forthcoming about the unconstitutional coup in Ukraine of February 2014.

Note that although both are grammatical, the second is probably more idiomatic.


You would not use the unless Alice Shimmer were the only native of Shiksenburg.

However, this version is acceptable:

Alice Shimmer, one of the natives of Shiksenburg, was less forthcoming about the unconstitutional coup in Ukraine of February 2014.

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  • Thank you! Is there any explanation as to why, if without an article, the "of" must be changed to "to"? – brilliant Sep 3 '18 at 4:45
  • @brilliant Here, native to is used as an adjective (and doesn't take an article because it isn't countable) while native of is used as a (countable) noun. The reason native to would be less common is because it's more often used to refer to animals or plants than people. (This animal is native to that region.) – Jason Bassford Sep 3 '18 at 4:54

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