Forums · General English Grammar & Vocabulary, Listening & Speaking · General English Grammar Questions
Anonymous:I'd appreciate it if someone would answer my questions. Thanks in advance.
＜Q１＞Concerning the sentence A, even if we change "a tiger" to "any tiger", is the meaning still the same?
A: A tiger is a strong animal.
＜Q２＞Concerning the sentence B, even if we change "a tiger" to "any tiger", is the meaning still the same?
B: A tiger is an animal that lives in the jungle and has fangs and nails.
Anonymous:-- Do you mean in both sentences "A tiger" and "Any tiger" are both OK, but in both sentences "any tiger" is not so natural as "a tiger"?
Anonymous:－－Hi, Mr. Micauber. Thank you for your answers. But I'm not quite sure. B is a sentence for stating a definition of a tiger, so I too think "any tiger" would be unnatural. But A is a sentence for stating an attribute of a tiger, so "any tiger" is not so unnatural, I suppose. Please give it a second thought.
pkr:The generic use of alan picks out ANY REPRESENTATIVE MEMBER OF THE CLASS.
Thus any can be substituted for alan in examples like:
The best way to learn a language is to live among its speakers.
"any" sometimes has a similar but more emphatic meaning.
The greatest threat to any actor is the presumption that knowledge can be automatically transposed into experience.
You can not use this pattern when you want to talk about the location or existence of a type of animal,thing or person. For example, you can not say "A ring-tailed lemur lives in Madagascar"; you would have to say "Ring-tailed lemusr live in Madagascar" or "The ring-tailed lemur lives in Madagascar".
This use is common in explanations of meanings and in some dictionary definitions.
A mountain is bigger and higher than a hill.
In Grammar, a noun is a word which is used to refer to a person, a thing, or an abstract idea.
Grammatically,"A tiger is a strong animal " may fit the generic sense at the sentence level, but it does sound odd on its own.
Eventually, the context tells it all---not grammar rules alone.
Anonymous:---Thank you, Micauber. Can I conclude "any" can't possibly be used in statinig definition?
Anonymous:--Hi, pkr. You said 'Grammatically, "A tiger is a strong animal" may fit the generic sense at the sentence level, but it does sound odd on its own.'
Do you mean this sentence, generic as it may sound, sounds natural only to some people －－those who don't know the animal well?
Or do you mean it's possible that this sentence might mean there is a certain (specific) tiger that is strong?
And do you mean "any" is not suitable for stating definition in most cases?
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