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No article or the 'a' article Options
Born Villain
Posted: Monday, July 8, 2019 4:35:40 AM

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What is it:
It was some kind of miracle. OR It was some kind of a miracle.
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Monday, July 8, 2019 4:45:02 AM

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Hi!
I have heard similar phrases to both.
In my opinion it sounds better without the article.

"some" acts as the determiner for "kind of miracle".

You would not say "It was a kind of a miracle" - there are redundant determiners.
It was a kind of miracle. or "It was kind of a miracle." (colloquial)
chris62
Posted: Monday, July 8, 2019 5:34:07 AM

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Hello,
no indefinite article should be used here. "... kind of miracle"
My favourite source to look such things up ist the Oxford Learner's Dictionary (OLD). Follow the link and see under + Grammar Point.
https://www.oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com/definition/english/kind_1#kind_idmg_3
Chris
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Monday, July 8, 2019 5:43:57 AM

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chris62 wrote:
Follow the link and see under + Grammar Point.
https://www.oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com/definition/english/kind_1#kind_idmg_3
Chris

Thanks Chris.
lazarius
Posted: Monday, July 8, 2019 6:24:36 AM

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chris62 wrote:
no indefinite article should be used here. "... kind of miracle"
My favourite source to look such things up ist the Oxford Learner's Dictionary (OLD). Follow the link and see under + Grammar Point.

I followed the link in spite of your making it so difficult to follow. :) And there's nothing about using the article in this expression.
And what will you say about the following quotes?

Quote:
It was rather difficult to say all this quietly, but Molly managed to do it, quite aware that Cynthia would not rest till she had extracted some kind of an opinion out of her.

Wives and Daughters, by Elizabeth Gaskell


Quote:
That very evening, while he and Mrs. Sellars were talking over the likelihood of picking up some kind of a tutor for Terry, she asked irrelevantly: “By the way, do the children know of our engagement?”

The Children, by Edith Wharton


Quote:
This was in answer to a joke on the part of Mr. Cockey. Nor yet a daughter. The waiter thought she was some kind of a cousin, though he did not know what kind.

The Vicar of Bullhampton, by Anthony Trollope


Quote:
The next he knew, he was dimly aware that his tongue was hurting and that he was being jolted along in some kind of a conveyance.

The Call of the Wild, by Jack London


Quote:
She didn’t seem to be on to the details, but she knew that he had been hit pretty hard. He was paler and thinner, she said, and he had some kind of a remembrance or keepsake of the lady in a little rosewood box that he kept locked in his desk drawer in his study.

The Voice of the City, by O. Henry


Quote:
Thus Morton, to the glowing Mr. Wrenn, as they turned into St. George’s Square, noting the Lipton’s Tea establishment. Sir Thomas Lipton — wasn’t he a friend of the king? Anyway, he was some kind of a lord, and he owned big society racing-yachts.

Our Mr. Wrenn, by Sinclair Lewis


Quote:
The end of it was that Captain Randall knocked over with some kind of a fit or stroke, and the priest got in his goods after all.

An Island Nights' Entertainment, by Robert Louis Stevenson


-
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Monday, July 8, 2019 7:57:18 AM

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Quote:
Grammar Point
kind / sort
Use the singular (kind/​sort) or plural (kinds/​sorts) depending on the word you use before them:each/​one/​every kind of animal - all/​many/​other sorts of animals.
Kind/​sort of is followed by a singular or uncountable noun:This kind of question often appears in the exam. That sort of behaviour is not acceptable.
Kinds/​sorts of is followed by a plural or uncountable noun:These kinds of questions often appear in the exam. These sorts of behaviour are not acceptable.
Other variations are possible but less common:These kinds of question often appear in the exam. These sort of things don’t happen in real life. (This example is very informal and is considered incorrect by some people.)
Note also that these examples are possible, especially in spoken English:The shelf was full of the sort of books I like to read. He faced the same kind of problems as his predecessor. There are many different sorts of animal on the island. What kind of camera is this? What kind/​kinds of cameras do you sell? There were three kinds of cakes/​cake on the plate.
OLD

None of the examples show "kind of a . . ." - there is normally no article used after "kind of" or "sort of".

N-gram

What I say about those quotes? - you had to go back as far as R.L. Stephenson to find seven examples of the redundant "a" - all in fictional literature.
There are actually quite a few more recent ones - "some sort of" is a very common phrase, and that means that even the 3% of writers who add an extraneous "a" make up a noticeable crowd.

lazarius
Posted: Monday, July 8, 2019 8:30:26 AM

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Drag0nspeaker wrote:
None of the examples show "kind of a . . ."

But there is nothing like no indefinite article should be used there.

Drag0nspeaker wrote:
What I say about those quotes?

I didn't ask you. Just was a little discombobulated by our friend's lie. :) Though I don't mind having your opinion.

Drag0nspeaker wrote:
you had to go back as far as R.L. Stephenson to find seven examples of the redundant "a" - all in fictional literature.

There were more but I culled out direct speech and denied myself the pleasure of presenting an excerpt from James Joyce because I couldn't find the beginning of the sentence. :)

The problem is that you will not find that many with a kind of a. Can not it be that some kind of a has a particular meaning?

I'm looking at this quote from Elizabeth Gaskell

Quote:
It was rather difficult to say all this quietly, but Molly managed to do it, quite aware that Cynthia would not rest till she had extracted some kind of an opinion out of her.

and methinks it would be different without the article.

-
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Monday, July 8, 2019 9:04:19 AM

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lazarius wrote:
denied myself the pleasure of presenting an excerpt from James Joyce because I couldn't find the beginning of the sentence.
Applause I understand perfectly.

Think Think - ". . . Cynthia would not rest till she had extracted some kind of opinion out of her."
Seems to mean pretty much the same to me.
I found an entry for "some kind of" but nothing separate for "some kind of a".

An answer on Stack Exchange says:
Quote:
I, just like you, tried to answer this question many years ago, but sadly to no avail. I think there is no such rule per se, but to the best of my knowledge and according to most English grammarians, though I won't give you any references, the expression some kind of something actually takes no article. And you actually should say some kind of conspiracy with no article in front of the word conspiracy. But you will, of course, hear both forms used by native speakers. However, the version with no article is by far the most common. So, I recommend you stick with it.


A user (Thomas Tompion) on Word Reference.com thinks that there's a difference in usage in Britain.
Quote:
We say both to go on a. some kind of trip and b. on some kind of a trip.

Both are vague general terms for a trip. In BE, I think the main difference is that b. is more often used in a pejorative sense than a.


I did find a comment in the Collins COBUILD English Usage book on Articles (book 3) -
Quote:
2.9 Converting count nouns to uncount nouns

Count nouns can be converted to uncount nouns when they are preceded by expressions like 'a type of', 'a kind of', 'a sort of', 'a variety of', or 'a breed of'. These expressions are followed by a noun with no article, so you say 'a type of cigarette' not 'a type of a cigarette'.

...a certain type of p͟l͟a͟y͟e͟r͟.
...a sort of t͟o͟w͟e͟r͟.
...a kind of d͟a͟n͟c͟e͟.
...an exotic breed of d͟o͟g͟.

Note that after plural expressions like 'types of' and 'kinds of', you can use either the plural form of a noun or the noun with no article: 'different types of chemicals' or 'different types of chemical'.

Occasionally, conversion of this kind can also happen after expressions like 'a piece of' and 'a bit of' when you are referring to something that you are regarding on this occasion as a substance, although it is normally regarded as an object.

Another child proffered a piece of b͟i͟s͟c͟u͟i͟t͟.
She took a piece of b͟e͟e͟f͟b͟u͟r͟g͟e͟r͟ from his plate.
lazarius
Posted: Monday, July 8, 2019 9:29:55 AM

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Drag0nspeaker wrote:
Think Think - ". . . Cynthia would not rest till she had extracted some kind of opinion out of her."
Seems to mean pretty much the same to me.

Ok. Probably it was a phantasm.

Drag0nspeaker wrote:
I did find a comment in the Collins COBUILD English Usage book on Articles (book 3) -
Quote:
2.9 Converting count nouns to uncount nouns

Count nouns can be converted to uncount nouns when they are preceded by expressions like 'a type of', 'a kind of', 'a sort of', 'a variety of', or 'a breed of'. These expressions are followed by a noun with no article, so you say 'a type of cigarette' not 'a type of a cigarette'.

But there's nothing about 'some sort of' and it is this that rankles me. I think I understand all the other uses. And there are some with the article that I love.

-
NKM
Posted: Monday, July 8, 2019 5:57:21 PM

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I think the two forms are essentially interchangeable, but the "extraneous" article may sometimes affect the shade or flavor of the meaning.

(Of course, some may think that I'm some kind of a nut!)

Just sayin'….  Whistle

Adyl Mouhei
Posted: Tuesday, July 9, 2019 4:24:16 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 5/1/2017
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lazarius wrote:
chris62 wrote:
no indefinite article should be used here. "... kind of miracle"
My favourite source to look such things up ist the Oxford Learner's Dictionary (OLD). Follow the link and see under + Grammar Point.

I followed the link in spite of your making it so difficult to follow. :) And there's nothing about using the article in this expression.
And what will you say about the following quotes?

Quote:
It was rather difficult to say all this quietly, but Molly managed to do it, quite aware that Cynthia would not rest till she had extracted some kind of an opinion out of her.

Wives and Daughters, by Elizabeth Gaskell


Quote:
That very evening, while he and Mrs. Sellars were talking over the likelihood of picking up some kind of a tutor for Terry, she asked irrelevantly: “By the way, do the children know of our engagement?”

The Children, by Edith Wharton


Quote:
This was in answer to a joke on the part of Mr. Cockey. Nor yet a daughter. The waiter thought she was some kind of a cousin, though he did not know what kind.

The Vicar of Bullhampton, by Anthony Trollope


Quote:
The next he knew, he was dimly aware that his tongue was hurting and that he was being jolted along in some kind of a conveyance.

The Call of the Wild, by Jack London


Quote:
She didn’t seem to be on to the details, but she knew that he had been hit pretty hard. He was paler and thinner, she said, and he had some kind of a remembrance or keepsake of the lady in a little rosewood box that he kept locked in his desk drawer in his study.

The Voice of the City, by O. Henry


Quote:
Thus Morton, to the glowing Mr. Wrenn, as they turned into St. George’s Square, noting the Lipton’s Tea establishment. Sir Thomas Lipton — wasn’t he a friend of the king? Anyway, he was some kind of a lord, and he owned big society racing-yachts.

Our Mr. Wrenn, by Sinclair Lewis


Quote:
The end of it was that Captain Randall knocked over with some kind of a fit or stroke, and the priest got in his goods after all.

An Island Nights' Entertainment, by Robert Louis Stevenson


-
Adyl Mouhei
Posted: Tuesday, July 9, 2019 4:27:34 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 5/1/2017
Posts: 6,527
Neurons: 1,833,713
Location: Casablanca, Grand Casablanca, Morocco
Thank you Mr lazarius, that was a very good effort to clarify the issue.
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