I've been told that the article for 'same' is always 'the', but sometimes I think it feels right to say 'in a same way' when I have not yet but am going to talk about the way or when I won't talk about it at all because that is not important.

For example, I just said (at another place)

A and B are used in the same way, A+ and B+.

but could I say it with 'a' instead of 'the'?

A and B are used in a same way, A+ and B+.

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    RE: I think it feels right to say 'in a same way' when I have not yet but am going to talk about the way... This looks like another case of DAMS to me. :-) – J.R. Apr 20 '15 at 8:49
  • Thanks for the link. I enjoyed the Q&A. Kind of my symptom.. definitely the absence of the articles in my language is causing it. I think I'm getting it.. the formula is 'in a way' + 'same' = 'in the same way'. – karlalou Apr 20 '15 at 22:13

No, you can't use "a" and "the" in the same way here. "The same way" need not refer to any way that has already been expressed, but can be used to refer forward to a way you're about to explain… or even simply imply a way from context.

Fundamentally, the problem is that using "a" breaks the idiomatic "the same". "A same" makes no sense, and "a way that is the same", while grammatical, is quite clunky. So instead, the definite article takes over for both and it's merged to become "the same way".

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    However, you can, and we often do, use "in a similar way". – BobRodes Apr 19 '15 at 22:40
  • @BobRodes: Indeed. I think I've correctly addressed that now. – Nathan Tuggy Apr 19 '15 at 23:07
  • Yes, you have. My comment was not intended as a contradiction, just an observation. – BobRodes Apr 19 '15 at 23:55
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    @karlalou: "The same", as a phrase, is used in essentially the same way as "similar", although it's tighter: you would say that two things are the same, or that they are similar. You wouldn't say that two things are same. That just doesn't work. English grammar isn't exactly strict, but there are certainly some fairly firm lines about what things do and do not work well, and there's a lot of hidden complexity. – Nathan Tuggy Apr 20 '15 at 2:27
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    Also, either things are the same or they are not. There is only one same therefore it is the same. But there can be many variations on similar, thus, a similar denotes one of many. – Jim Apr 20 '15 at 4:50

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