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Here are two complete sentences

This is the weirdest case of scientific field.

This is the weirdest case of a scientific field.

I just want to know which is grammatically correct, with an "a" or without one?

I am talking about a particular scientific field within science (there are many). The question can be simplified as follows: a given particular scientific field, say biology, is it

a case of scientific field

or

a case of a scientific field

Thanks!

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  • @user354948 - In general, if you want to help us understand your question better, you should edit your question and add more details, not remove details. Just a hint; see our Details, Please meta post for more helpful information. – J.R. Jul 22 at 11:37
  • @J.R. In my experience, simplifying goes a longer way towards understanding than making it more complex and convoluted by adding... – user354948 Jul 22 at 11:42
  • When it comes to a language question, additional details won't usually make a question more complex or more convoluted. Instead, the addition information typically makes the question more focused and more understandable. – J.R. Jul 22 at 23:26
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I'm not so sure that the first sentence is grammatically correct so let's try breaking down the second sentence:

This...

This indicates that a context has been established (or will be established) - i.e out of 3 weird cases, the second case is the weirdest and by establishing context you are making it very specific (non-generic) - not any other case but this particular case: the 2nd case out of the 3 weird cases.

This is the weirdest...

When using superlatives, you normally use an indefinite article (the) because using a definite article (a) wouldn't make sense, i.e you wouldn't say "This is a weirdest...". You can take a look at this answer for more clarification.

This is the weirdest case of a scientific field.

Now we start to deal with countable vs uncountable nouns. Scientific field is a countable noun (i.e you can count how many fields there are: Physics, Chemistry, Biology, etc) - I'm grouping the word "scientific" with the word "field" but the important part here is "field" because we have many scientific fields and using a means you are picking a particular field (out of the many fields we have).

Summary - go with the 2nd sentence, because it would mean:

Out of the many scientific fields we have, we'll be focusing on a particular field: Physics. And, out of the 3 weird cases we have established (or will establish), case #2 is the weirdest.

But with most things in English, you will find exceptions.

  • So, the "a" has to be there, I thought so, thanks. That was my only doubt. I wonder why the user David answered me that "neither sentence is English". I hope he would explain why he thinks that the 2nd sentence is not English. Anyway, for now your answer is accepted! – user354948 Jul 19 at 14:29

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