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The sentence, at the beginning of a new paragraph, goes:

"A collaboration with Dr. xxx and his colleagues would yyy".

Is it "A collaboration with" or "Collaboration with"? Microsoft Word is unhappy with the article.

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The answers below address the primary question. I'd add that you may want to say "Collaboration of X and Y" –  GetzelR Jul 30 '13 at 18:40
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2 Answers

up vote 3 down vote accepted

Microsoft Word should not be trusted. Collaboration can be either a mass noun or a count noun, depending on context. So the sentence is correct either with or without the article.

"A collaboration ..." would be more appropriate if you are talking about a specific project where you work with Dr. xxx, while "Collaboration ..." would be more appropriate if you are talking about working with Dr. xxx in general. But there are lots of situations where both are appropriate, and I suspect your situation is one of them.

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Very nice, complete answers. Thank you both! –  Costanza Jul 30 '13 at 17:50
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If dropping the article sounds strange, you could rephrase, e.g., "A collaborative effort with Dr. xxx and his colleagues would yyy," or, "Collaborating with Dr. xxx and his colleagues would yyy."

I don't, however, know the technical reason for MS Word complaining about the article.

I included the following originally, but it's not relevant if someone else (the author) is also part of the collaboration: As an aside, I would say, "A collaboration between Dr. xxx and his colleagues..." (Or, "Dr. xxx's collaboration with his colleagues...")

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What if it is me the one who is supposed to collaborate with Dr. xxx and his colleagues? –  Costanza Jul 30 '13 at 17:38
    
Edited my answer. You have other options in addition to the examples I provided if your style of writing permits the use of personal pronouns, e.g., "I could collaborate with Dr. xxx and his colleagues to yyy," or, "My collaboration with Dr. xxx and his colleagues would yyy." –  Michelle Jul 30 '13 at 17:49
    
Yes, I like the "My collaboration" option. Thanks! –  Costanza Jul 30 '13 at 17:51
    
Although I am still not sure. "A collaboration with Dr. xxx and his colleagues would help me master yyy". It's a job application, I can't say I am already collaborating. –  Costanza Jul 30 '13 at 17:52
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"Collaborating with Dr. xxx and his colleagues would help me master yyy"? –  Michelle Jul 30 '13 at 17:54
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