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Look at the sentence and if there is an error, correct it:

You can listen to music, go to the cinema or read the book.

The answer is: change "the" into "a".

My opinion is: "a" is correct, but "the" is also correct.

What do you think?

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Hi,

Look at the sentence and if there is an error, correct it:

You can listen to music, go to the cinema or read the book.

The answer is: change "the" into "a". Yes. The indefinite article means 'an unspecified book'.

My opinion is: "a" is correct, but "the" is also correct. No. That would mean 'some previously specified book', ie a book mentioned earlier in this context. This is clearly not the intended meaning.

What do you think? I think the definite article in the phrase 'go to the cinema' may be confusing you.

"Go to the cinema' here means 'go to some unspecified cinema'. The use of 'the' in this particular phrase is idiomatic.

I note that you say 'I am a Chinese'.

English native speakers almost always say eg 'He is a Chinese person'.

Or eg 'He is Chinese'.

Best wishes, Clive
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Although both "a" and "the" are grammatically correct given an appropriate context, this context is one of suggesting various activities that any person, in general, might do. As such, there is nothing in the context that specifies which book is meant to be read. Therefore, "the" is not appropriate.

Remember: "the" is an indicator that tells us that the speaker believes that the listener knows which one of a given entity is being referred to. The speaker knows exactly which one he is referring to. "a" is an indicator that it doesn't matter which one of a given entity is envisioned by the listener.

Here, reading is the activity, and that activity can be done regardless of the particular book that is read. It doesn't matter which book the listener imagines; the reading activity remains the same.

As Clive has mentioned above, "the cinema" is a different case. Here, I would say that the expression "the cinema" refers to whatever cinema is the cinema in your area that you customarily go to. It is up to the listener to find out which cinema is meant -- that is, to resolve the reference -- by thinking of the cinema that he customarily goes to.

This usage is possible for entities like cinemas, banks, and buses, where you may normally go to or make use of one particular entity of that kind, but this usage cannot be used for books because it is not at all plausible that there would be only one book that you normally read.

CJ