+0
Hi,
I have a question. Should I say I spend a few hourse in a pool or in the pool? and Why?
There is a dilemma. To me, i know which pool, so I should "the". But to the reader, they don't know, should I use "a" instead?

Thanks,
+0
clee62But to the reader, they don't know, should I use "a" instead?
Ah! That's a really good question! You are touching on certain literary techniques for telling stories. I'm assuming that your sentence occurs in your text at a point where the/a pool has not been mentioned yet.

I spend a few hours in the/a pool (every day).

It depends how you want to present this to your reader.

the

If you use the, you are telling the reader that you have a particular pool in mind, and the reader will have to assume something about which pool it is. The reader will not know which pool, so he will have to assume that if he continues to read your story, it will become more clear which pool you mean. If you go on to say that the pool is at a gym where you exercise, that will fix which pool you mean in one way; if you go on to say that the pool is located at the back of your house, that will fix which pool you mean in another way; if you go on to say that the pool is at the hotel where you are staying, that will fix which pool you mean in yet another way.
_______

a

If you use a, the reader will assume one of two things:

1. You may be saying that you spend time in a certain pool -- one particular pool that you use -- but that you recognize that the reader doesn't know. The reader will expect you to describe the pool later.

This works almost the same as with the, explained above. The difference is that the writer hides more from the reader with the. He talks as if the reader knows which pool, all the while knowing that the reader does not know which pool, and will have to guess. By using a, the writer is being more sympathetic to the reader, recognizing that the reader does not know which pool yet.

2. The other thing you may be saying with a is that you change which pool you use. It is not always the same pool. On any given occasion you might not know until the last minute which pool you are going to spend time in.

CJ
Comments  
Use "the" instead of "a" because it is first person. Unless, you wish to make the character who is talking seem mysterous when talking then use "A".

Correction that should be made: I spent a few hours in the pool.
 CalifJim's reply was promoted to an answer.