Does "an historic routine" in the following mean a famous repeated part of a performance that figure skaters generally conduct, or that Valieva often conducts? If the latter is the case, I think "her historic routine" or "one of her historic routines" could be appropriate, not "an historic routine". I guess "historic" here means "famous or important in history."

The sentence comes at 3:00 in a news clip, https://archive.org/serve/KPIX_20220211_023000_CBS_Evening_News_With_Norah_ODonnell/KPIX_20220211_023000_CBS_Evening_News_With_Norah_ODonnell.mp4?t=809/869&exact=1&ignore=x.mp4

Valieva was on the squad that finished first in Monday’s team competition, ahead of the US with an historic routine that included two quad jumps.

  • You are really asking two separate questions, so they should be asked in separate posts. Both should describe your research. (Did you look up "historic" in a dictionary? Did you search ELL for the many posts that already ask about "a" vs. "an"?) Commented Feb 9, 2023 at 4:12
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    @MarcInManhattan I edited my post to include only one question and found there are already a lot of QnA's about "an historic." Thank you for letting me know. Commented Feb 9, 2023 at 8:23
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    I think the sense is that Valieva's routine was so remarkable that it will be remembered in history (at least, in figure skating circles!). Commented Feb 9, 2023 at 10:02

1 Answer 1


The definition that you propose is the first one given at M-W online:

famous or important in history

However, I doubt that the routine had acquired historical significance so quickly. I think that M-W's next definition is more likely:

having great and lasting importance

The author is suggesting that when people in the future look back on the routine, they will recognize it as very important.

The indefinite article works well in that sentence. We don't need a possessive pronoun because it is obvious that the routine is that of the squad (or perhaps of Valieva). Including "its" or "her" would be redundant.

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