life/ a life

  1. Despite his disability, he tried to lead as normal life as possible.
  2. Despite his disability, he tried to lead as normal a life as possible.
    Which is correct one?
    If anyone is wrong, please explain its grammar involved.

#2 is correct. In my opinion #1 is incorrect (albeit probably widely used). In the pattern “lead … life”, an article is needed with “life”, and that does not change with the insertion of “as normal … as possible”.

I agree that #2 is correct, but I disagree with the idea that #1 might be widely used. I have never noticed people making the mistake in #1 – at least not here in the US.

In the phrase ‘as … as possible’, you can use an adjective or an adverb to make a simple comparative:

  • He wanted a life that was as normal as possible.
  • Please come as quickly as possible.

You cannot simply insert a noun into ‘as … as possible’. However, a noun can be inserted along with an adjective as long as the adjective is used first. From there, the use of the indefinite article basically depends on whether the noun is countable and singular:

  • He wants a piece of cake.

  • He wants as big a piece as possible. (‘piece’ is countable and singular)

  • He wants cake.

  • He wants as much cake as possible. (‘cake’ is uncountable, and the indefinite article cannot be used)

  • He wants cookies.

  • He wants as many cookies as possible. (‘cookies’ is countable and plural)

[size=75]“For me, the cinema is not a slice of life, but a piece of cake.” ~ Alfred Hitchcock[/size]

Well, there seem to be plenty of Google hits (though arguably you can type almost any bad English into Google and get a lot of hits).

“Despite his disability, he tried to lead a life normally.”
Is it OK?

‘He tried to lead a normal life’ or ‘he tried to live his life normally (in a normal way)’.