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While doing the task, I came across an interesting question.

She spent some time in Asprey’s considering the latest slimline watches, a gold statue of a tiger with jade eyes and a Faberge egg. She regretted that her close friend, Tina, was not with her, she needed her advice badly. From there she walked to a next/nearby shop which despite a determined salesman who showed her almost everything the shop had to offer, she still left empty-handed.

To me, nearby sounds better, but I can't get it why next is not an option. My best guess is that the case is in an indefinite article before nearby/next. I would have chosen next if there was 'the' before it. Again, just because it sounds better that way.

To tell the truth, it doesn't really suits me to 'feel' it. I want to understand the reason.

I'd be absolutely grateful if someone helped me out.

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She spent some time in Asprey’s considering the latest slimline watches, a gold statue of a tiger with jade eyes and a Faberge egg. She regretted that her close friend, Tina, was not with her, she needed her advice badly. From there she walked to a next/nearby shop which despite a determined salesman who showed her almost everything the shop had to offer, she still left empty-handed.

In this context, a nearby shop is just a random shop in the area that is not far away. (The indefinite article "a" suggests it is not a specific shop).

The next shop suggests that she was in some other shop before and then went to the next one. In this case, it would need to be preceded by a definite article "the", because only one shop was the next one. Anyway, the problem is not in the article (a, the) but in the word "next" itself. If there is no previous shop mentioned something near in the story, you can't say "next shop."

When you use "next" as an adjective + noun (next shop) then "next" is not a synonym for "near" or "nearby" but for the object that follows another object of the same kind. So, you can go to one shop and only then to the next shop. If you did not go to any shop before, you can't go to the next shop but only to a shop (or a nearby shop). You can eat one apple and then the next apple, but if you have only one apple that happens to be nearby, you can't say it's the next apple.

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  • If I get it right, 'a next shop' is nonsense as 'next' implies some definite shop in this context. So, it should be 'the next shop' to make the sentence logical? Am I right? – Vladimir Nazarenko Mar 11 '20 at 18:56
  • @VladimirNazarenko, it's not about the article (a, the), but about the usage of the adjective "next" that doesn't work there. I have edited the answer and explained this. – Jan Mar 12 '20 at 7:37
  • You’re my hero! Thank you very much!:) Now everything is clear! – Vladimir Nazarenko Mar 12 '20 at 8:09
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The X means you expect the listener/reader to know which X is meant (it has nothing to do with anything else other than the understanding between speaker/writer and listener/reader).

Talking about the next X typically doesn't work if you don't know which X that is. Otherwise how would you know it's next?

Next can't be used to talk about things that are simply near each other. You have to have an existing plan to go to A, then B, and A and B don't have to be "next to" each other.

Next can't act as a determiner by itself.

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  • The first sentence in your answer may be confusing, because the reader/listener does not need to know which exact shop "the next shop" is. "They went to one shop, bought something and then went to the next shop." The reader does not need to know which any of these shops are. – Jan Mar 12 '20 at 7:47

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