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Example 1:

(1) She is a daughter of a policeman.

(2) She is the daughter of a policeman.

Does the (1) imply that her father policeman has more than one daughter?

Does the (2) imply that her father policeman has only one daughter?


How about this Example 2:

(1) This is a wheel of a truck.

(2) This is the wheel of a truck.

These two sentence doesn't quite give me the feeling that the truck has only one wheel.


So, why is that?

Is it because the number of children is something hard to predict while the number of wheels on a truck are usually more than one?

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She is a daughter of a policeman just doesn't sound natural. I can't explain why. We would say either She is a policeman's daughter or She is the daughter of a policeman. It has nothing to do with how many girls there are in the family.

I think that to say This is the wheel of a truck implies that it's a part of the truck, and This is a wheel from a truck names the object and then adds what kind of wheel it is as an afterthought.

Does that make sense?

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  • "The truth is that, as a daughter of a police officer" from this news report (link below). The author uses "a daughter of a police officer". If we look at this sentence only, we can say we don't really know how many girls in the family, right? michigandaily.com/section/columns/… – vincentlin Apr 22 at 16:11
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    OK, maybe some people would say it. However, none of these expressions implies anything about the number of daughters. – Kate Bunting Apr 22 at 16:25

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