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Hi,
I've got some problems.

Scary Movie. It's a/the title of a movie.
Daisy. It's a/the name of a flower.
Etc.


I understand that when you say, for example, "It's the title of the movie", you are talking about a specific movie, and when you say "It's a title of the movie" you are considering one of the titles a specific movie could have... But when I am talking in general and I have structures like the above, what should I do? I think either way is ok (a/the), even though I feel "the" might be more common.

Thanks a lot in advance Emotion: smile
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Comments  
Hello, Kooyeen.

I think "the name" is the right choice.

— What's Quazatron?
— It the name of a computer game.

It doesn't matter whether you say "a movie" or "the movie" — the movie has only one name anyway.
KooyeenHi,
I've got some problems.

Scary Movie. It's a/the title of a movie.
Daisy. It's a/the name of a flower.
Etc.


I understand that when you say, for example, "It's the title of the movie", you are talking about a specific movie, and when you say "It's a title of the movie" you are considering one of the titles a specific movie could have... But when I am talking in general and I have structures like the above, what should I do? I think either way is ok (a/the), even though I feel "the" might be more common.

Thanks a lot in advance Emotion: smile

Each movie/flower has only one name: "the". If by chance a flower has more than one name, "a" or "one" would be appropriate.
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PhilipEach movie/flower has only one name: "the". If by chance a flower has more than one name, "a" or "one" would be appropriate.
Thanks Philip.
But... if you can say "It's a title", why can't you say "It's a title of a movie"?
In order to build our little nuclear weapon, we need some beans, a rubber band, a needle, a piece of paper and a/the handle of a door. Then we just need to send it to MacGyver, he knows what to do.

I understand "the X of a Y" is probably better and more common, but I don't think "a X of a Y" is completely weird, is it?
Thanks again Emotion: smile
KooyeenBut... if you can say "It's a title", why can't you say "It's a title of a movie"?
X is a title of a Y. [= X has more than one title.]

X is the title of a Y. [= X has only one title]

"Cockroach" is the name of an insect.

A cockroach is a large brown insect.
I see it differently. There's more than one X if I say:
It's a X of the Y.
not if I say:
It's a X of a Y.

I'm confused... Hmm
Try out our live chat room.
«I see it differently. There's more than one X if I say:
It's a X of the Y.
not if I say:
It's a X of a Y.»

You are not right. In both cases there's more than one X.

If some writer was published under different pseudonyms, you can say:

"It is a pseudonym of a famous writer", meaning he had more than one pseudonym.

Otherwise (one pseudonym) you should use "the".

Hope that helps.
Hi,
who told you so? I understand that "the X of a Y" ("the name of a flower") sounds best, but I don't believe "a X of a Y" implies that there is more than one X for every Y. I just asked a native speaker, they told me that's not true, and that I can say "Daisy is a name of a flower, cow is a name of an animal."
Does anybody have any thoughts? Thanks again Emotion: smile
Hello, Kooyeen:

«...but I don't believe "a X of a Y" implies that there is more than one X for every Y»

It implies that there may be more than one X for Y.

«ݖI just asked a native speaker, they told me that's not true, and that I can say "Daisy is a name of a flower, cow is a name of an animal."»

Who told it? Phillip wrote:
«If by chance a flower has more than one name, "a" or "one" would be appropriate.»
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