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A/The car made in Japan is popular

hirashin

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Dear native English speakers,
I have a little question.
(a) would sound right, but how about (b) and (c). If they are used, would
they have a different meaning than (a)?
(a) Cars made in Japan are popular.
(b) A car made in Japan is popular.
(c) The car made in Japan is popular.

I believe (c) refers to a specific car.

Thanks in advance.
Hirashin
 

Lothor

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As you said, (a) is correct.
(b) sounds wrong. Although the singular is sometimes used for general statements - 'a cat has four legs', it doesn't here because everyone associates cars with mass production.
(c) may be possible in a very specific situation but is unlikely to be heard. For example, a bar stocks two whiskies, one made in Japan and one made in Scotland. A customer asks for a recommendation. The bartender replies 'The whisky made in Japan is popular with our customers'. However, I can't think of a similar situation for cars.
 
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