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I still have difficulty using the indefinite article.

1.

There are two banks near my house. I use both of them.

If I am on my way to one of the banks and somebody asks me where I am going, what should I say?

1) I'm going to the bank. (I know which bank I am going to but the person I am talking to does not know it. Is it okay to say this?)

or

2) I'm going to a bank.

or

Could you suggest what answers are appropriate?

2.

Similarly, there are two libraries near my house. I use both of them.

What should I answer in the same situation?

3.

In similar situations, I know that I can say, "I'm going to the City Hall, Ward Office, District Court, etc. because they are specific ones.)

If it is a restaurant, I would probably say, "I'm going to a restaurant," (not the restaurant though I always use only one restaurant).

Then what about "bookstore," "department store," and "supermarket"? (There are several bookstores, department stores, and supermarkets around here.)
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Hi Snappy,

Whether it is "the" library or "the" bank, the -- is a definite article pertaining to a noun in particular

i.e. The man mowing the lawn is my father. Likewise, if you said you are going to "the"bank (to take care of ceratin banking matter), no one is interested which bank you are goign to, unless they have reason to. Then you may say, " one" on Pine and Spruce.

About City hall, we normally would simply say: " I am going to City Hall to ....". No article is necessary.

When you walked out of the theater with your friend, you said "the movie was great ! I want to see it again". "the" refers to the movie you just saw. However, if your friend asked you "where are you going tonight?", and you said " Um...probably going to see a movie". Notice the atrcile is "a", not "the" because you have no particular movie in mind. "A" is an indefinite, whereas "the" is definite.
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GoodmanWhen you walked out of the theater with your friend, you said "the movie was great ! I want to see it again". "the" refers to the movie you just saw. However, if your friend asked you "where are you going tonight?", and you said " Um...probably going to see a movie". Notice the atrcile is "a", not "the" because you have no particular movie in mind. "A" is an indefinite, whereas "the" is definite.

Do you mean I could say, "I'm going to see the movie," if I have a particular movie in mind regardless of the person I am talking to has no idea what movie I am going to see?
SnappyDo you mean I could say, "I'm going to see the movie," if I have a particular movie in mind regardless of the person I am talking to has no idea what movie I am going to see?
I say this with the expectation that this dialogue, or something like it will ensue:

Me: I'm going to see the movie." (emphasis on the)
Friend: "Really? What movie is that?"
Me: "You know, the movie!"
Friend: "Oh, tell me more - I can't guess."
Me: "Well, I heard that this movie is opening today and it has been nominated for 4 oscars, and my favorite stars are playing in it. I read the book last year and really want to see how the director portrays the main character. "
Friend: " Oh, yes, I'd like to see it too, let's go together, OK?"
You always go to
the bank
the library
the supermarket
the gas station
on any given occasion if it's one you regularly go to.

It doesn't matter how many others of the same kind you frequent during the course of a month or year, or even lifetime!

I say "go to City Hall" (no the), because I think of it as a proper noun, and they never take articles.

With the others, like restaurant, use the normal criteria to decide whether a or the is more appropriate.

I'm going to a restaurant where they serve Chinese food.
I'm tired of waiting for the others, so I'm going to the restaurant without them.

CJ
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Thank you for your information.
Please tell me if the following undersanding is correct.

It seems that I should use "the + place" in the following cases when I have a conversation with somebody:

1. The person I am talking to and I know where that place is (I understand this logic very well and I am sure that learners of English will easily understand this).
2. The place is closely related to my daily life (e.g., the bank, library, supermarket) and where I usually go to. I can say to somebody, "I'm going to the bank," if I have it in mind, and it does not matter whether the person I am talking to know where it is.

On the contrary,

3. Even if the place is closely related to my daily life but it is not where I usually go to, I should use "a" (e.g., "Recently I found a good supermarket in town").
4. If the place is not closely related to my daily life and where I seldom visit or I don't know where it is, I should use "a" (e.g., "I must go to an electrical shop to buy a LAN cable. Do you know any electrical shops around here?")shops around here?")
Use "a" when you mean "one of several possibilites"

3. "Recently I found a good supermarket in town" -
Yes, because there were several supermarkets in town, and among these you found one that was good.

"4. I must go to an electrical shop to buy a LAN cable. Do you know any electrical shops around here?")shops around here?"
Yes, because there are several shops to choose from, and you need one of the several LAN cables that the shop might have in stock.
SnappyPlease tell me if the following undersanding is correct.
Yes. You seem to have a good understanding of the situation.

By the way, it's ... does not matter whether the person I am talking to knows where it is.

CJ
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ooos! "knows where it is"

Thank you!
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