0

It seems to me we can use "a" not only as "one of many" but also as "all / any / every / each".
Is it so?


To check it, I came up with the following sentence:
If a headache is accompanied by fever, a man should see a doctor.

I think we can't say "man" here without any article.
"The man" would mean a specific man.
But if we want to talk about a man in general, we must use "a".
So "a man" here doesn't mean "one of men" but means "all men" or "any man" or "every / each man". Am I right?


For the same reason, I wrote above: "if we want to talk about a man in general".
That is, "a man" here doesn't mean "one of men" but "all men (people) in general". Am I right?

1 Answer 1

1

I would see it in substitution of pronoun one:

If a headache is accompanied by fever, one should see a doctor

Anyway you are right, in the example the single is used to talk of the multitude in general circumstances.

2
  • Yes, it would be frowned on nowadays to use 'a man' to mean 'people in general' - but the grammar is correct. Dec 6, 2022 at 11:51
  • Or less formally, "... you should see a doctor."
    – gotube
    Dec 6, 2022 at 17:00

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .