Usage of 'a' and'the'


I am in a mood for eating out. VS. I am in the mood for eating out.


I am in a bad mood. VS. I am in the bad mood.


Do you native English speakers feel any difference in meaning and usuage between them respectively ?


Thank you so much as usual and have a good day and take good care.

asked Mar 16 '13 at 01:14 Hans Contributor

2 answers


You would say, in this instance, 'the mood'. It's a specific mood, the eating out mood. You are 'in a bad mood', because there are many different bad moods. That's the simplest way I can explain it.

link comment answered Mar 16 '13 at 01:23 Lewis Neidhardt Grammarly Fellow

Great question.

"Mood" has several meanings but the two which are relevant here are:

(1) a state or quality of feeling at a particular time

The pattern for this meaning is always a/an + adjective + mood.

"Be careful: the boss is in a bad mood this morning!"

(2) a frame of mind disposed or receptive to some activity or thing

The pattern is either (a) the + mood + for + noun/pronoun/gerund

"I'm in the mood for ice cream/it/eating ice cream"


(b) the + mood + to + verb

"I'm in the mood to eat ice cream"

I hope this helps.

link comment edited Mar 16 '13 at 17:04 Shawn Mooney Expert

Your answer

Write at least 20 characters

Have a question about English grammar, style or vocabulary use? Ask now to get help from Grammarly experts for FREE.