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Proper names

Proper names are used without the article, unless they are modified.


Modification characteristically occurs if the proper name does not have a unique referent. The dialogue below provides an example of the use of a proper name with and without the definite article:

a. Vra maar vir Steenkamp
ask but for Steenkamp
Just ask Steenkamp
b. Die Steenkamp van die Finansiële Departement
the Steenkamp of the financial department
The Steenkamp of the Financial Department

Proper names behave like nouns if they do not have a unique referent. Some examples are given below:

a. Dit is al die Steenkampe wat ek ken.
that be.PRS all the Steenkamps that.REL I know
Those are all the Steenkamps that I know.
b. Ek ken twee van die drie Steenkampe
I know two of the three Steenkamps
I know two of the three Steenkamps
c. Ek kan sien dat jy 'n Steenkamp is.
I can.AUX.MOD see that.COMP you.SG a Steenkamp be.PRS
I can see that you are a true Steenkamp.
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