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Could you please help me! I am never sure which article I should use. I know the basic rules etc. but still always doubt whether an article I used is correct or not. For instance: "I've got A house viewing appointment with you or I've got THE house viewing appointment with you. As far as I understand it should be ''the'' since I am talking about one specific appointment? I would be very grateful for clarification.

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I'm not surprised that you're not clear: it is difficult.

I would say that the criterion for using the definite article is more than whether you're talking about "one specific appointment": normally it's also that you expect the other party to know which specific one you're talking about.

That is why very often the first time something is mentioned in a discussion it will be "a", and only "the" thereafter, once it has been brought into the conversation. If you start a conversation with I saw a friend of yours the other day, then you're certainly talking about a specific person, but at that point you don't expect the other person to know who you saw, so it's a.

However, in this case, even though you presumably do expect the other party to know which appointment you are talking about, you would still most often use "an appointment" at the beginning: "I have an appointment to view your house at 2pm".

I'm not sure why this is. I think it is partly because I have acts as a sort of "presentative" - like a personal form of there is - and it is unusual to use "the" in presentatives, because their function is to bring a new topic into the conversation.

If, rather than this "presentative" you went straight in with talking about it, assuming they did know which appointment you meant, you could use "the" - Can we talk about the appointment for me to view your house? - but actually, there I think people would be more likely to use a possessive: Can we talk about my appointment to view your house?

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  • Thank you for your prompt, clear and concise respond. I really appreciate it! Mar 7, 2021 at 11:38

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