4

In this YouTube video from 1:00 to 1:06 the following sentence is said:

I can take anything that inspires me and make it part of our music.

Should there be the indefinite article a before part? Is it missing because music itself is uncountable? That doesn't make much sense because music can have many parts to it, so it seems that the indefinite article a is necessary.

  • 1
    Part of me is contemplating an answer now... As ODO shows, part does not always have to have an article. I don't think it depends on whether the following noun is countable or not. – oerkelens Sep 15 '14 at 14:26
4

The difference between part and a part has to do with the context and intent of the sentence, not the noun that the part is referencing.

According to ODO, the two most common definitions of part are:

  1. An amount or section which, when combined with others, makes up the whole of something:
    'divide the circle into three equal parts'

  2. Some but not all of something:
    'the painting tells only part of the story'
    Source: Oxford Dictionaries Online, "part"

Definition 1 comes off as more segmented and distinct than definition 2. Imagine definition 1 as talking about slices of a pie, and definition 2 as talking about ingredients mixed into a cake. Both are parts, but one is separable, the other is not.

When you say something is a part something, you are using definition 1. So to make something a part of our music means that we want to incorporate that specific element (dubstep wobble, or cowbell, for instance) into our music.

When you say something is part of something, you're using definition 2. So to make something part of our music means that we want to make it integral to our music, an inseparable defining element.

Hope this helps!

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.