"Go to a beach"


We all know we should put 'the' in 'go to the beach' and 'go to the park', etc, but I was wondering if we also can say 'go to a beach' and 'go to a park' in some context? Well...actucally I searched for them and I have found some examples, but not many. So could you tell me when we can put 'a' in front of beach and park, etc.


(Sentences I made)

ex) I am in the middle of a park, but I am not sure.


      I went to a beach in the country with my friends.






Thank you so much as usual and take good care.

edited Oct 23 '12 at 00:47 Hans Contributor

1 answer


In one sense, your question is backwards. You are asking about a specific case when a more general understanding of articles might be more helpful.


Let's start with the basics. English has three articles -- two indefinite (a and an), and one definite (the). Articles are part of a larger class of words called determiners (pssessives, possessive pronouns, this, that, some, many. and so on).


Okay, when do you have to use a determiner?


In the singular, count nouns must have a determiner, such as an article. The dog is happy, or This dog is happy, but not, Dog is happy.  But in the singular, non-count nouns do not require a determiner.

 In the plural, count noun may require a determiner, depending on context. Non-count nouns are not usually used in the plural.


Beach is a count noun; beaches is the plural. So beach requires a determiner to be placed before it.


So if the determiner before beach is an article, which type of article can we use? Both! We choose the appropriate article based on the meaning we wish to convey.


We use the indefinite article (in this case, a) when we want to refer to a general, non-specified, or non-defined entity -- in your example, a beach can be any beach. When we want to refer to one specific beach, we say the beach.


I hope this helps.

link comment answered Oct 23 '12 at 03:14 Jeff Pribyl Grammarly Fellow

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