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Articles with Personal Names

No article is used with personal names in their orientating function, i.e. when due to their fixed meaning they identify the same person in different situations.

e.g. The sale of a portrait claimed to depict William Shakespeare is reviving the debate what the bard really looked like (The Times).

In contrast the definite article is used with personal names to refer to the deceased in the pattern 'the late + personal name',

e.g. You asked for the late Mrs. Ferrars? (A.Christie). Articles with personal names are also used:

- to denote situational features of a single person (§1);

- to denote the position of a person in a family (§2);

- to denote the position of a person in society (§3).

§ 1. The use of articles to denote situational features of a single person

1. The indefinite article is used with personal names:

a) to show that a person isn't familiar to the addressee,

e.g. / have never treasured the likeness of a Mrs. Covman against my heart (A.Christie).

b) to denote temporary (Pattern 1) and new (Pattern 2) features of a

Pattern 1. A beaming Mario handed his wife a bundle of flowers (New Idea).





a + Personal Name





Pattern 2. I've seen a new Bart, a Bart whose tenderness had quenched his passion (D.Cusack).


a different + Personal Name


2. The definite article with names of persons denotes more or less
permanent situational features of a person expressed by an attribute
(Pattern 3 and Pattern 4):

Pattern 3 (with adjectives and participles). They carried the wounded

Worldly (J.Cooper).







the + Personal Name







Pattern 4. (with subordinate clauses)

The Dorian Grey I knew ...

The Shaw Gould I was ...

The Georgiana I remember ...

Note: Sometimes the choice of articles to denote temporary or permanent features of a person depends on the wish of a speaker.

§ 2. The use of articles to denote position of a person in a family

1. No article is used with names of family members if they are used as orientating names to identify members of a family - Mum(my), Dad, Mother, Father, Aunt, Uncle, Grandmother, Baby, Nurse, Cook,

e.g. 'I'm going to marry Ralph,' she went on. 'Uncle, is very pleased. It keeps me in the family, you see (A.Christie).

2. The definite article with personal names in the plural denotes the whole family (cf. the use of the definite article with orientating names in the plural),

e.g. I was absolutely sure that the^ Cunninghams lied (Conan Doyle).

3. The indefinite article with personal names may denote one member of a family,

e.g. John is like me and like my brother - he is quite a Gibson (Sh.Brontc).

§ 3. The use of articles to denote position of a person in society

1. No article is used with personal names preceded by nouns denoting titles, ranks, or social standing of a person in the patterns:

Queen Elizabeth, Baroness Thatcher, Prime Minister Blair.

2. The definite article with certain attributes denotes a person famous in society (Pattern 5).

Pattern 5. / made sure that I was really an object of interest to the celebrated Mr.Sherlock Holmes (Conan Doyle), great famous celebrated

the illustrious + Personal Name immortal fabled legendary

3. The indefinite article denotes:

a) a person with features of a famous man,
e.g. 'Do you think this man Poirot is clever?' 'He doesn 't look a Sherlock', said Rhoda (A.Christie);

b) a piece of work by a famous person,

e.g. A complete Wordsworth stood at one end of the longest shelf (J.Joyce).


Exercise 60. Explain the use of articles with personal names in the following sentences.

1. There was a Grimes buried in the cemetery (I.Shaw). 2. I asked a waiter if any one had been to inquire after a Miss Eyre (Sh.Bronte). 3. I announced to my servants that a Mr.Hyde (whom I desribed) was to have full liberty and power about my house in the square (R.Stevenson). 4. I'm not a Michael Angelo but I have something (W.S.Maugham). 5.1 wish we had a Napoleon (E.Hemingway). 6. Not even a Rembrandt has the right to ruin someone else's life (J.Fowles). 7. The unlucky Rip was routed by his wife (W.Irving). 8. It was three days later when the invaluable George said it (A.Christie). 9. A frustrated Truman wrote that he tried to eliminate the strike (US News and World Report). 10. This brought an irate Mr.Shore to his feet (MS). 11. It was almost impossible to recognize the seedy Acher in this smart young man (A.Christie). 12. It was a new Mr.Walker.

Exercise 61. Fill in the blanks if necessary.

1. ... present Mr.Rochestra has not been very long in possession of the property. 2. 'I don't think we can save her,'... exhausted Wheeler told them. 3. ... said Edward Hyde should step into ... said Henry Jekyll's shoes without further delay. 4. They will make a pretty couple. She and ... dark, handsome Captain Parton. 5. ... garrulous Mr.Blenksop had really gone to London. 6. ... Miss Leman, ... efficient Miss Leman has let him down. 7. Residing in Paris I became acquainted with ... Monsignor Dupin. 8. ... cautious, scholarly Row is turning India into something akin to a snow­capped volcano. 9. 'Quite an extraordinary interruption', said ... astonished Sitgreaves. 10. ... delighted Caeser closed the door.

Exercise 62. a) You are sure to have read the book about Robinson Crusoe. But do you know who was the real Robinson Crusoe, a prototype of the fictitious Crusoe described in the novel?

b) Read the following passage and compare the life story of the real Robinson Crusoe and the Robinson Crusoe described by D.Defoe.

For an hour our small fishing-boat moved along beneath the naked cliffs of the island some 400 miles off Chile. Then as we rounded an enormous rock, a wide valley stretched before us.

'Look!,' my companion exclaimed. 'Here is the cave of the real Robinson Crusoe'. Here Alexander Selkirk, a 28 year-old Scottish seaman, was abandoned in 1704 following a protest against his ship's bad condition. For four years and four months he remained in custody on this island. Later, after his rescue, his strange, surprising adventures inspired Daniel Defoe's classic novel 'Robinson Crusoe' (ABO-K).

d)Discuss who of your fellow-students would survive as easily as a Robinson Crusoe.

Exercise 63.

a) Do you know anything about a Doctor Oliver? Ask your friends if they do.

b) Read the following passage and explain what helped Dr. Oliver make a discoverv.

The discovery of adrenalin came about through a mistaken impression. A Dr.Oliver had developed a gadget which he thought measured the diameter of that artery at wrist which is used for feeling the pulse. But instead he discovered adrenalin (RJD).

c) Find information about some other discoveries and inventions made by the people who are not famous and introduce them to your fellow-students using the indefinite article.

Exercise 64. Read the following sentences and determine the occupation of the people mentioned in them. Justify your opinion.

Model: -The energetic Slack often produced that effect on the people he interrogated.

- The energetic Slack must be a detective.

1.The sinister Nicholson was at the bottom of this.

2.The decent Mrs. Wakefield will raise a hue and cry through London streets in pursuit of her lord and master.

3.The watchful Austin has thrown open the door.

4.The thoughtless Sarah said in reply: 'How pleasant it must be'.

5.The taciturn 43 year-old Sam got his career break in Margaret Fruh's 'My Brilliant Career'.

6.The impatient Henry had adopted the disguise we have mentioned.

7.And so he is engaged to the charming Miss Flora.

8.She entered into a discourse on Botany with the gentle Mrs. Dent.

9.You can explain the circumstances to Dottore Quodrocelli. The good Dottore has a villa not far from here.

Exercise 65. Characterise your friends and fellow-students using patterns from the previous exercise.

Model: - The watchful Austin has thrown open the door.

- The watchful Boris has never missed a single remark of a teacher.

Exercise 66. Ask your partner if s/he knows the following characters from various books:

- a Mr. Makintosh. If s/he doesn't advise her (him) to read the story 'Makintosh' by .S.Maugham;

- a Mr.Kemp. If s/he doesn't advise her (him) to read the novel 'The Invisible Man' by H.Weils;

- an Evans. If s/he doesn't abvise her (him) to read the novel 'Why didn't they ask Evans?' by A.Christie.

b) Using the same pattern ask your partner 5 other ques­tions about the characters from different books you have read.

Exercise 67. Speak on the following situations.

1. Introduce to your partner the people with whom you got acquainted during summer vacation.

2. Tell your partner whom he should call at if he happens to be in your town but you and your family turn out to be away.

3. Compare the character of the young and middle-aged Dorian Grey.

4.Give names to the photos depicting your friend during various periods of his life.

Exercise 68. Speak on the following situations.

1.Dramatize a morning from the life of your friend's (teacher's) family.

2.Ask your fellow-students what they know about the life of the McCartneys.

3.Do you remember the characters from 'The Gadfly' by E.L.Voynich. Decide if Arthur was really a Burton.

4.Make up a list of world-famous families. Decide if all the members of these families have their typical features.

Exercise 69. a) Do you know where the famous Stevenson spent the closing years of his life? Inquire if any of your fellow-students knows.

c) Read the following passage and decide why the famous 'Stevenson lived so far from the place of his birth.

In December 1894, R.L.Stevenson died at his home, Yailima, on the Pacific Island of Upolu in Western Samoa.'It is a destination a world away from the chilly Scottish city of Edinburgh where he was born in 1850.

d) Decide if the famous Stevenson managed to do much during his short life.

Exercise 70. a) Have you heard about the mystery of the death of the celebrated Glenn Miller?

b) Read the passage and decide what may have happened to the celebrated Glenn Miller.

In December 1944, we were stunned to learn of the disappearance of the celebrated Glenn Miller. The Glenn Miller Band arrived at Orly Airport in Paris on Monday the 18 th expecting to be met by Miller who had flown ahead from England several days earlier. But Miller was not there and nothing had been organised for the arrival. Where was he?

There was no record of a crash landing but it began to seem likely that the unfortunate Miller had disappeared over the English Channel. The weather had been poor and the plane was illequipped for flying in such conditions. The news of his disappearance was eventually released on Christmas Eve (LC).

d)Decide why the news of Glenn Miller's death wasreleased on Christmas Eve.

Exercise 71. a) What do you know about the discoveries of the great Robert Fulton?

b) Read the following passage and point out the facts about the great Robert Fulton which are new to you.

Robert Fulton is one of the most important names in steam navigation. Fulton joined with another American, Robert Livingston, in designing and building in Paris a steamboat which in 1803 made a successful trip on the Seine River.

Eventually he and Livingston returned to the USA and in 1807 launched the Clermant, a sidewheeler which sailed 150 miles up the Hudson River from New York to Albany in 32 hours. The Clermant went into regular service from New York to Albany and became a serious rival to sailing boats (B-USA).

d)Discuss how R.Fulton's contributions have changed the world.

Exercise 72. a) Can you make up a character sketch of the famous Harrison (The Beatles)?

b) Read the following passage and decide what new features can be added to the character sketch made up by you.

Ex-Beatle George Harrison and his wife Olvia plan to adopt a deaf seven-year-old boy from Romania. So far Vasile Gammon has lived a life of deprivation, but by enchanting the Harrisons he has secured the best of everything for life (NI).

c) Decide what other famous families may follow the example of the Harrisons.

Exercise 73. Speak on the following situations.

1.Write a passage about the famous Kasparov for the Financial Times.

2.Write a letter to the BBC asking for more information about the great Napoleon.

3.Try to compare the humour of the famous Jerome K. Jerome and the outstanding M.Twain.

Exercise 74. Read the story 'The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr.Hyde' by R.L.Stevenson and do the tasks concerning the use of articles.

1.Take a note of the use of articles with personal names in the book.

2.Make up a character sketch of the real Dr. Jekyll.

Exercise 75. a) Do you know anything about the immortal Sarah Bernhardt?

b) Read the text, fill in the blanks if necessary and do the tasks after the text.

... Immortal Bernhardt

The most enduring mark left by a performing artist on the history of the last hundred years was imposed by ..." Sarah Bernhardt. Every actress today yearns to be what ...2 fabled Sarah was.

Her note of pathos touched ...3 Queen Victoria and ...4 Victor Hugo who knelt before her in gratitude for her playing of Dona Sol in 'Hermani'.

She was born in ...5 Paris, the illegitimate daughter of a Dutch-Jewish mother and a Belgian. She made her debut at ...6 Comedie-Francaise in 1862 playing a small role. Her initial success came later in 1869 at ...7 Odeon and during ...8 Franco-prussian war she converted the theatre into a hospital for the wounded. She was in the midst of rehearsing for a new play and making a motion picture when death overtook her.

c) Explain the use of the definite article in the title of the text and in No.2.

d)Explain the use of the definite article in No. 6, 7.

e) How will you account for the use of the definite article in No. 8?

f)Speak about the immortal Sarah Bernhardt. What other immortal actors of the past do you know?

g)Make up a list of famous theatres besides those mentioned in the text. Decide which of them you would like to visit.

Part 6

Date: 2015-02-03; view: 2725

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