Indefinite article problems


I’ve tried every combination of object description or defining indefinite article I can think of and can’t get this to work properly, I must be missing something silly.

My code:

Small plastic bag is an openable container.

Small plastic bag contains some white powder.

The game replies:

In the small plastic bag are some white powder

How do I force it to say “IS some white powder”

I tried the white powder is in the small plastic bag. The indefinite article is "some". and it seems to work…though oddly enough it seems that you have to say “the white powder” and not just “white powder”?

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Thanks, that works, Must be an implicit rule that I’m not aware of.

See WWI 3.18 Articles and proper names for details.

Not so much a rule, but an assumption by the parser – the compiler’s parser not the game’s. If you use the showme command, you’ll see something like:

>showme powder
white powder - thing
location: in the small plastic bag in Lab
plural-named, improper-named; unlit, inedible, portable
list grouping key: none
printed name: "white powder"
printed plural name: none
indefinite article: none
description: none
initial appearance: non

The compiler is assuming you want “some white powder” to be plural-named, which you do not. You can change that manually, however, for some reason, you still need to manually add in the indefinite article “some.”

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The reason you have to do it this way is that you’re aiming to define something that is:

improper-named → so define it with an article ‘a’ or ‘the’ or ‘some’ before it (otherwise it is created proper-named and won’t get printed with any article, even if you define one explicitly)
singular-named- so that associated verbs are used in their singular not plural form → so define with ‘a’ or ‘the’- not ‘some’ (otherwise it is created plural-named)
but nevertheless with the indefinite article ‘some’ → so define this explicitly

hence 'The small bag contains a/the white powder. The indefinite article of the powder is “some”.

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