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Hi,

“He’s the type of a person who asks for a favour every time he talks to his friends.”

I know that it’s supposed to be ‘the type of person’, but would ‘type of a person’ be possible to emphasise that I’m annoyed by it?

Thank you.

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Ann225would ‘type of a person’ be possible to emphasise that I’m annoyed by it?

No, I doubt very much that that's going to work. 'type of a person' is extremely rare, so it seems to convey oddity more readily than it conveys emphasis.

CJ

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Okay, thank you.

One follow-up question - is ‘rare’ in this case equal to ‘incorrect’?

Ann225

Okay, thank you.

One follow-up question - is ‘rare’ in this case equal to ‘incorrect’?

No, not at all, but I think to many people it sounds just a bit "off".

CJ

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Why is the "type of a person" construction rare in English? Doesn't English grammar dictate that countable nouns whose nature is unspecific are supposed to be preceded with "a/an"? So, why do native speakers say "he's the type of person who does these things", instead of saying "he's the type of a person who does these things"?

ExisterDoesn't English grammar dictate that countable nouns whose nature is unspecific are supposed to be preceded with "a/an"?

English grammar doesn't actually dictate anything, and even if it did, English speakers wouldn't obey anyway.

There are quite a few expressions like 'type of' that are not usually followed by the indefinite determiner.

Found online:

type of ____: service, review process, animal, team, product, nut
kind of ____: campaign, device, loan, competition, earthquake, bubble
sort of ____: day, experience, thing, tradition, madness, trauma, detail, oil
form of ____: juice, cancer, logic, therapy, promotion, disease, war

ExisterSo, why do native speakers say "he's the type of person who does these things", instead of saying "he's the type of a person who does these things"?

For the same reason anyone says anything a certain way rather than another, regardless of language. Because everybody else is saying it that way. Most people want to fit in, not to stand out.

ExisterWhy is the "type of a person" construction rare in English?

Well, when you look it up in a corpus and you find quite a lot more hits for "type of person" than for "type of a person", it means many more people are saying or writing it one way than another. That means the lesser used expression is rare.

CJ

Ann225One follow-up question - is ‘rare’ in this case equal to ‘incorrect’?

Yes. People who don't care will not notice. The rest of us will be jarred.

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