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Here's the sentence from Wall Street Journal:

...eight individuals have been deported on grounds of national security.

Instead of this, if one says,

...eight individuals have been deported on the grounds of national security.

Any difference?

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1 Answer 1

I can find two rules to define this :

  1. No article is needed before abstract nouns used in a general sense.
    2.Articles are not needed in more abstract expressions of situation like to/at sea, to/at/out of work, in/out of town, in/out of office, etc.

I have a feeling that your expression on the grounds of would fit in as an abstract expression, as grounds is an abstract idea, not literally the ground.

Thus, whether or not you have the definite article doesn't matter. The meaning doesn't change, and there's no difference.

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The only difference to a reader is that "on the grounds of" could mean in a physical location, so there may be a slight mental jolt when they hit the words "national security". Omitting "the" eliminates this since "the" is required in phrases like "on the grounds of the National Mall". –  David Schwartz Aug 30 '11 at 0:21

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