-- What is "The Catcher in the Rye"?

-- It's a novel by the American writer J. D. Salinger.

In the example above, the answer is given with using the class noun ("novel") and the identifying specification ("by the American writer J. D. Salinger").

I wonder what option would be best to give an answer with using only the class noun (or a noun phrase), that is, without the identifying specification?

Should it be like:

-- What is "The Catcher in the Rye"?

-- It's a novel.

or

-- What is "The Catcher in the Rye"?

-- It's a kind of novel.

or

-- What is "The Catcher in the Rye"?

-- It's one novel.

or

-- What is "The Catcher in the Rye"?

-- It's one such novel.

or

-- What is "The Catcher in the Rye"?

-- It's one specific novel.

or what?

  • The best will vary, depending on your criteria for evaluation. – Davo Nov 14 at 15:09

The correct answer is:

It's a novel.

"A kind of novel" and "one such novel" don't pair with that very generic question. They deal with types and categories. Those answers would be appropriate for something like this:

What is an example of a coming of age novel? The Catcher in the Rye is one such novel.

Or

The Catcher in the Rye is a kind of coming of age novel.

"One novel" answers quantity:

The Catcher in the Rye is a trilogy, right? No, it's one novel.

"One specific novel" clarifies:

Are you looking for a book about coming of age stories? No, I'm looking for one specific novel.

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