Definite vs. Indefinite

For most people, grammar is not something to think about as more than an abstract concept, something we’re vaguely aware of but don’t really pay attention to.  But what many people take for granted is how important are the sneaky little rules and idiosyncrasies inherent in the structure of our everyday language.

I know you’re just dying to revisit those fond memories of doing spelling and grammar exercises in grade school, but I am going to keep it brief this morning and briefly remind you of a most basic and fundamental element of speech: the definite vs. indefinite article.

We use “definite” to mean sure, certain. “Definite” is particular (ie, “the”).

We use “indefinite” to mean not sure, not certain. “Indefinite” is general (ie, “a”).

Isn’t grammar fun?!

Okay, stop rolling your eyes. Grammar rules aside, these articles are really important to you.  They could mean the difference between your “blah” life, and the life you have always dreamed of living! From an excerpt from my book, here’s why:

 

Making “A” Difference Vs. Making “The” Difference

 

I meet with a lot of people who are exploring their next career moves.  The one thing I hear more often than not is, “I just want to make a difference!”

 

I do think most people are really sincere when they say this, but I have to wonder if it’s actually the truth!  Because everything you do makes a difference.  If you drop a pebble in a puddle, you will see ripples – you’re making a difference in that puddle.  But there’s an important distinction between making “A” difference and making “THE” difference you want to make.

 

For example, let’s say you’re a talented baker who loves serving people chocolate treats.  If you bake a batch of brownies and take them into the office, thereby knocking three co-workers off their diet –instead of appreciating you, they might end up resenting you!  That’s making “A” difference.

 

If, however, you bake a batch of brownies that you then sell in your very own bakery – and everyone who walks through the door is there because your delicious brownies make them happy…  then you’ve made “the” difference you want to make.

 

Where would our world be if Ghandi, Mother Theresa, or Martin Luther King hadn’t made THE difference they set out to make?

And where will the world be if you don’t?

I hope you’re sold on the importance of discovering your perfect work.

The world needs your gift – let’s give it!

 

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