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They sold different things when there was the lockdown.

I doubt whether "there was the" is correct. Is it wrong? If yes, how else can the idea be expressed?

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2 Answers 2

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I've most often heard it referred to as 'in lockdown' or 'during lockdown'.

Strange times indeed, & people weren't even quite sure how to refer to it, so things were made up on the spot. Some stuck, some didn't, but overall it didn't run long enough to fully establish itself in the language.
It seems to have survived mostly as an expression of a 'time period', oddly similar to the rather more mundane 'lunch hour', or Merry's 'second breakfast'.

So

They sold different things when we were in lockdown

or reduced still further to

They sold different things during lockdown.

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  • "where there was the" is wrong?
    – user1425
    Aug 19, 2023 at 15:53
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    It's not specifically, 'wrong', but it's awkward. It's just not the way people would say it. [I also would never use 'the' lockdown, because apart from anything else, there was more than one. If you wanted to get specific you'd call them first, second & third [though third was barely acknowledged as having happened, even at the time.] Aug 19, 2023 at 15:56
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I don't know if your version is wrong, or why, but the word you are looking for is during.

They sold different things during the lockdown.

Whether you include the might depend on which side of the Atlantic you grew up on.

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  • Is 'the' left-pondian? I've not really heard it used with 'the' on the right shores. Aug 19, 2023 at 15:52
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    I'm a ways further to the left (west) of the pond's left shore and 'the' sound natural to me. I would also say 'the hospital' which I know from TV you would never say on the right shore. Aug 19, 2023 at 15:56

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