The ladder is a reference to the family name (Scala), in its turn symbol of various types of ascent.


Is an article required in front of symbol?


What about the following examples:


The dove is a symbol of peace.


In the picture the tree is the symbol of life and the snake the symbol of evil.


Why is A used in front of symbol in the 2nd example and THE in the 3rd example?

asked May 15 '13 at 09:17 Ema Kis New member

1 answer


In all the examples you've given, you should use either "a" or "the" before the word "symbol", because "symbol" is a singular noun.  They are both types of articles; "a" is an indefinite article, and "the" is a definite article.  Use an indefinite article when you are talking about something in general.  In the second example, you use "a" because a dove is one of several symbols for peace, not the only one.  In the third example, "the" is used because it is referring to a specific tree--the one in the picture.  You could just as correctly say that "a tree is a symbol of life" if you were talking about trees in general, rather than the tree in the picture.

link answered Jun 06 '13 at 05:17 LC Plaunt New member

I asked why was ''A'' put in front of ''symbol" in the second sentence and ''THE'' in front of ''symbol'' in the third sentence?

Ema KisMay 30 '14 at 10:10

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