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I need a smartphone which allows me to check my email and use Facebook. I really want a phone with good battery life.

A tutorial suggest to use "a", but I think I should use "the" because the reader know which phone I am talking about and it is mentioned before.

Also why it is not a good battery life?

  • Regardless of whether the specific phone is known, "phone with good battery life" is a general description that could be applied to many smartphones. And, "good battery life" is a quality, so don't use an article. – user3169 Oct 28 '18 at 1:30
  • @user3169 This is comment would make a great answer! – Tashus Oct 29 '18 at 17:08
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Here is the sentence we are talking about, again:

I really want a phone with good battery life.

You wrote, I think I should use "the" because the reader know which phone I am talking about and it is mentioned before.

Well, both of the following sentences are correct, but they have slightly different meanings:

  • I really want the phone with good battery life. - This sentence answers the question "Which phone do you want?" If you say this sentence, then you are saying exactly which phone you want, and you are using the phrase "the phone with good battery life" to identify that phone. However, you are not saying that battery life is an important quality to you.
  • I really want a phone with good battery life. - This sentence answers the question "What kind of phone do you want?" If you say this sentence, then you are saying that in your opinion, good battery life is an important quality, but you are not saying exactly which phone you want.

As for your other question:

Also why it is not a good battery life?

Because "battery life" is an uncountable noun.

  • It countable see dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/battery-life and I think this is because battery life can be counted in hours. – Costa Nov 2 '18 at 12:35
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    The phrase "battery life" is sometimes countable, but in the phrase "a phone with good battery life", the phrase "battery life" is uncountable. It's true that battery life can be counted in hours, but that just means that the phrase "hour of battery life" is countable; it doesn't mean that the phrase "battery life" is countable. (Water can be counted in liters, but "water" isn't a countable noun.) – Tanner Swett Nov 2 '18 at 14:32
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I need a smartphone which allows me to check my email and use Facebook. I really want a phone with good battery life.

Your example itself doesn't indicate that the specific phone is known. Even if it was, using verbs like "need" and "want" indicate general desires and not specific ones without context.

So if you mean a specific phone already mentioned, you need to refer to it. Use "that":

I need a smartphone which allows me to check my email and use Facebook. I really want that phone because it has good battery life.

And, "good battery life" describes a quality, so don't use an article.

  • Could you provide a link talking about articles and quality because I could not find any? Also this is copied from Cambridge dictionary: "My new phone has a much longer battery life." – Costa Nov 2 '18 at 12:34

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