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Please help me understand.

Recently she presented me with a sweater... ...I was happy to get a sweater from her.

In the second sentence can the indefinite article be used to emphasize the fact of receiving one?

Am I correct that the second sentence doesn't necessary mean that I introduce another sweater?

I'd appreciate your help.

1 Answer 1

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You are correct. The sentence (slightly) implies that a sweater (as a class of potential things) was a good choice.

Imagine Recently she presented me with a sweater. I know how long it takes her to knit large items, so I was happy to get a sweater from her.

Or: Recently she presented me with a sweater. I am leaving for a three-week trip to Greenland, so I was happy to get a sweater from her.

Recently she presented me with a sweater... ...I was happy to get the sweater from her would have a bit of an implication you were happy to receive that particular sweater, as opposed to other unspecified possible gifts. (other sweaters or non-sweater items.)

Contrast: Recently she presented me with a sweater. Given that my sibilngs received knit woolen underwear, I was happy to get the sweater from her. There is a slight sense that she had three gifts to disburse - someone got the sweater, and two other people got the underwear.

With: Recently she presented me with a sweater. Given that my sibilngs received knit woolen underwear, I was happy to get a sweater from her. Now, there is a sense that she could have given each person either underwear or a sweater - there was no limit on the number of sweaters disbursed, and the speaker is glad she chose to give him a sweater.

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  • Adam, thank you. You say "I was happy to get the sweater from her would have a bit of an implication you were happy to receive that particular sweater, as opposed to other unspecified possible gifts." <- Can I say then: "I was also happy to be given the socks from her" Would it be contradictory? ; And I thought that saying "I was happy to get the sweater from her" means that I talk about that specific sweater, like that particular sweater was a nice gift, but don't compare it with or oppose to any other sweaters or gifts.. Is it also correct? Dec 8, 2014 at 21:32
  • Basically, I don't understand if saying: "I was happy to get the sweater from here" can have nothing to do with any comparison or oppositions to other gifts, but just show that I talk about that sweater? Could you clarify it, please? Dec 8, 2014 at 21:39
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    Yes. I was happy to get the sweater from her can be used simply to state that you appreciated the gift.
    – Adam
    Dec 8, 2014 at 21:45
  • Adam, this is what I wanted to hear! :) Thank You very much! Dec 8, 2014 at 21:46

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