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Hi,

When do I need to use "a" with the word, part?

For instance, "Part of the castle was destroyed by fire." It's from a dictionary but I don't know why the article is not necessary.

Would you explain the difference?

Thanks,
M
Comments  
Part of and a part of are sometimes used interchangeably but a fairly good rule is that part of usually means the same as some of: He took part of / some of my money.

A part of should be used when the part can be more or less clearly outlined and/or has a contour. A typical example of a part of are geographical areas: Hawaii is a part of the USA.

CB
"clearly outlined"

Thank you. clear enough.
M
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Hi, CB

Excuse me for re-replying this late. I know this post is more than two years old, but I come to realize you were talking about something I should've paid closer attention.

Aside from a-part-vs-part part, would you describe the difference between an outline and a contour? Since you said in the explanation above, "A part of should be used when the part can be more or less clearly outlined and/or has a contour."

Understanding these two words precisely seems critical to draw the line between countable words and uncountable words.

Thank you, M
Please, Please reply, CB. I have been waiting. Emotion: crying
out·line
–n.
1. the line by which a figure or object is defined or bounded; contour.

con·tour, n.
1. the outline of a figure or body; the edge or line that defines or bounds a shape or object.
(RHUD)

CB
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Thank you for the reply, CB

It seems they essentially mean the same.
M