"a part of" vs "part of"


Could you point out which sentence sounds better, please:

Thanks !

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I’d personally stick to Number 2. And I’d also replace “at” by “by”.
“I sold a big part of my land by auction”.

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The use of ‘at’ with auction sounds fine to me. I would prefer ‘a’ with ‘big part’ but it is becoming more and more common to omit the article when the noun is qualified (at least here in the UK) and it’s not unusual to hear things like: ‘I had terrible time last night driving home because of the heavy traffic.’


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Hi, Alan

Thank you for your suggestions!
What worries me is that I found out that the word part might be in one case countable (and hence using of the indefinitite article is in order) or overwise, uncountable (and there’s no indefinite article). I just can’t get my head round where it is countable and where not
The dictionary gives these explanations:

I figured that if we use any qualifier before the word part, we should consider part uncountable, right?

  1. I don’t feel part of the team anymore
  2. He decided to take home a big part of the pie

Do you find this reasoning plausible ?

Thanks again !

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The very fact that it is preceded by an adjective makes it countable, surely.


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Hi Alex

In your first example, ‘part’ might be considered uncountable I suppose, but the use of the word ‘a’ (as in in your second sentence) is generally a reliable indicator that something is countable.

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Hi, Amy

Hmmm. I’m confused. :o You’re insinuating that we can say both I don’t feel a part of the team. and I don’t feel part of the team. , aren’t you?
Could you tell me then what is the difference between the two, please?

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Hi Alex,

‘Feel part of’ has to be considered as a whole indicating ‘having membership of’. ‘Feel a part of’ probably makes more sense when used in a negative construction as in: ‘I really don’t feel a part of the team’ and the article ‘a’ stresses the idea of being separated/separate from.


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which is right

sport is an important part of today’s society

or is important part of… ?


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Sports is an important part of today’s society.

Yes, despite that “s,” believe it or not, “sports” takes a singular verb when it means athletics.

You need the article because “part” is countable.

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What about “Sports is part of today’s society.” without “important” or qualifiers?

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That’s fine, Haihao.

so … why do i say ( i am part of that team)

without (a) ?

and what about

i and my friend are effective part in the team

(a )or without (a)

as to what you said “sports”

does this apply to (games) also ??

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You can say “part” or “a part” without an adjective.

Steve is part of the team.
Steve is a part of the team.
*Steve is integral part of the team.
Steve is an integral part of the team.

When you use part without the article, you are looking at it as something closer to a quality.

Good nutrition is part of a healthy lifestyle.

When you use the article, “part” means a specific component.

Your sentence would read like this:
My friend and I are an effective part of the team.
My friend and I are effective parts of the team.

“Games” will always take a plural verb.

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Steve is part of the team.
Steve is a part of the team.

that’s confusing because i found it in a (choose) question …

Good nutrition is part of a healthy lifestyle.

in this , if i use an adjective like (great) then i will put (a) ??

or not?

the meaning will not change as i see and it will not be a component

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You will have to use the article with “great.”

The meaning will be essentially the same. This is splitting hairs.

i still didn’t get it but i will write some examples and please correct them if i am wrong:-

i ate a part of the cake (right)

i ate part of the cake (wrong)

sports is important part of our everyday life (wrong)

sports is an important part of our everyday life (right)

france is part of europe (right)

france is a part of europe (right)

if i put (one part) instead of ( a part) would it help ?

sorry for disturbance

With this word, just use an article whenever you use an adjective before a singular noun. That best simplifies it.

  1. Both are correct
  2. The first is wrong and the second correct
  3. Both are correct

I don’t see how “one part” would improve these sentences unless you were emphasizing that something was merely a single part of something else.

The man said his problem is inattention to detail.
Well, that’s one part of his problem, but he also needs to review the materials more regularly.

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I am really interested in this topic and satisfied with the above paraphrase and conclusion. To think it another way, I’d feel,

“a part of the society” sees the society as an apartment composed of {room 1, room 2, … room n}, and “sports” is room x. Thus “a part” = a room.

“part of the society” sees the society as a body of water which portions have no distinct boundaries. Thus “part” = partial water.

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Haihao, that’s actually quite the analogy.