# Can the indefinite article be omitted in “watch solar eclipse”?

I have read the following passage, and I wonder whether watch solar eclipse is correct.

On July 22, 2009, there was solar eclipse in the sky. In the morning, we got up early. After we had breakfast, my Father told me to take sunglasses to watch solar eclipse on the playground. Many people arrived there early because it appears every 500 years. At about 9:00 am. We saw the bright sky became gray. It also became much colder. After a while, the sky was bright again. We are lucky to watch solar eclipse.

• I'd write it like this: “On July 22, 2009, there was a solar eclipse. In the morning, we got up early. After we'd had breakfast, my father told me to take my sunglasses to watch the eclipse on the playground. Many people arrived there early because it only appears every 500 years. At about 9:00 AM, we saw the bright sky become gray. It also became much colder. After a while, the sky was bright again. We are lucky to have witnessed the eclipse.” – Tyler James Young Aug 20 '13 at 17:56

The first sentence should be "On July 22, 2009, there was a solar eclipse in the sky." (In the sky is probably not necessary.) In the other sentences, you should then use "watch the solar eclipse," or simply "watch the eclipse" since it is already clear it was not a lunar eclipse.

As for the last sentence, I would rather write it as "We were lucky to watch the eclipse."

Since you are talking of a past event, the Simple Present is not the tense I would use. Alternatively, if you want to say that you were lucky to see the eclipse, and you still feel lucky, you can use the Perfect Present. Probably this is a better choice.

As side notes:

• Instead of my father told me to take sunglasses, I would say my father told me to take my sunglasses
• "At about 9:00 AM." is not a complete sentence, since it is missing the subject and the predicate; probably you meant to use the comma instead of the period

The text as I would write it is the following.

On July 22, 2009, there was a solar eclipse. In the morning, we got up early. After we had breakfast, my father told me to take my sunglasses to watch the eclipse on the playground. Many people arrived there early because it appears every 500 years. At about 9:00 AM, we saw the bright sky became gray. It also became much colder. After a while, the sky was bright again. We have been lucky to watch the eclipse.

• Why "have been lucky" and not "were lucky"? – Peter Shor Aug 20 '13 at 15:12
• I'd say, "We were lucky to have watched the eclipse" or "We were lucky to see the eclipse". – Jay Sep 22 '14 at 18:57
• Just to nitpick: "My father told me to take sunglasses" is perfectly acceptably. If the sunglasses do not belong to the speaker, then "my sunglasses" would not be right. Perhaps the father's meaning was that there were several pair of sunglasses in the house, maybe none belonging to the son, but he should get one of them. Or he should go buy a pair. Etc. – Jay Sep 22 '14 at 18:59