Tell me please which article I have to use in the following sentence.

The man told me to turn off the app so that my device works properly, but I didn't have such an/the option on my phone.

I think I have to use the definite article there because it is clear what option -- to turn it off.

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    Such modifies noun phrases, both mass and count, but with count nouns, it requires an indefinite article: I don't have such troubles (mass noun), but I don't have such an option (count). This is much like the rule that requires an indefinite article on predicate nouns when they are count: This is logic (mass), but He's a doctor (count). Commented Jun 3, 2019 at 22:30
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    BTW, in general, don't put much faith in "definite" articles being required where you might consider the noun as definite. English articles are assigned by rules -- many of them, almost all having to do with idioms like these. Rules for using English articles are almost always arbitrary, and rarely have anything to do with meaning. Be warned. Any book that tells you otherwise is lying. Commented Jun 3, 2019 at 22:33

1 Answer 1


The normal form here would be:

... but I didn't have such an option on my phone.

An indefinite article is used because the missing option is one of several options that the phone might posses (but doesn't). Indeed there might be several possible options with the desired result. The clause might be recast as:

... but I didn't have that option on my phone.

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