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Hi, teachers.

Would you please tell me what difference between a and the in the following case?

I’m sorry. You’ve got a/the wrong number.

Thank you very much.
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norwolfYou’ve got a/the wrong number.
the wrong is the combination you want. You can almost think of the two as a fixed pattern. the wrong.

The police arrested the wrong man. They've got the wrong man.
I dialed the wrong number. I went to the wrong address.

You don't understand my true motives. You've got the wrong idea about me.
I misunderstood the procedure. I've got the wrong end of the stick.
Stop! You are ironing that suit on the wrong side!
The stew was terrible. Susan added the wrong spices to it.

the right and the same work pretty much the same way.

CJ
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Logically, "a wrong number" makes sense, because of course there are more than one possible wrong numbers. Idiomatically, though, we almost always say "the wrong number" -- it's a fixed phrase, as CalifJim has explained. Whether or not I think the caller realizes his mistake has nothing to do with the choice of article (at least for me).
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Peace be upon you,

We usually use the sentence you mentioned as it is in the following form: you've get the wrong answer. That is beacause that numberis talked about is already known for the speaker and the hearer, so it is defined. Usually 'the' is used before nouns that the speaker and the hearer know about.
Thank you, tranquility.

So the is more common.
 CalifJim's reply was promoted to an answer.
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What follows is the correction of 'you've get the wrong answer': you've got the wrong number.
You asked about 'the wrong number' not 'the wrong answer', right?
tranquilityWhat follows is the correction of 'you've get the wrong answer': you've got the wrong number.You asked about 'the wrong number' not 'the wrong answer', right?

Yes.
CalifJim
norwolfYou’ve got a/the wrong number.
the wrong is the combination you want. You can almost think of the two as a fixed pattern. the wrong.The police arrested the wrong man. They've got the wrong man.I dialed the wrong number. I went to the wrong address.You don't understand my true motives. You've got the wrong idea about me.I misunderstood the procedure. I've got the wrong end of the stick.Stop! You are ironing that suit on the wrong side!The stew was terrible. Susan added the wrong spices in it.the right and the same work pretty much the same way.CJ

Thank you, Jim.

You gave me so many big examples.

I copied the sentence from a grammar book. It allows the two articles alternative.
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To my ear, when I think the hearer hasn't realised he is phoning someone wrong, I will say " You’ve got a wrong number.". But usually, we believe the hearer has realized it, so we say “the wrong”.

Right? Please.
 khoff's reply was promoted to an answer.
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