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The same sentence as in question Articles in conjuctions:

As a result, hosting in IIS 5/6 is notorious for instability and the frequent need to reset the server or IIS 5/6.

As far as I understood from comments on my other questions, hosting requires no article because it's an activity. And I think that the word server follows the definite article because it's not just any server, but the one something has been hosted in. On the other hand, the result of something not being quoted here is sole, absolutely specific and given later in this sentence. However, the indefinite article is used in front of the word result. Could you explain why?

It would also be very cognitive to know why the definite article precedes the need.

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2 Answers 2

up vote 6 down vote accepted

Here, "as a result" is a conjunction and a set phrase. Contrary to what Ralph says, it doesn't really imply that the result is one of many and that there is no special reason to single this one out (in fact, it is being singled out immediately). Nor does the conjunction "as a result" mean that the result is unknown or unspecified. Much rather, it is just yet another way of saying "therefore", "thus", "hence", "consequently". Even if there is just this one sole, specific result, it doesn't matter. Set phrases are called "set" for a reason.

As to why there's a definite article before the need (and none before instability), that's what your other question is about, so I won't be addressing it here.

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See my answer on your other question about omitting the article before instability and having one in the need.

As for a result: There were possibly many results, and one of them is this. There is no special reason to single this one out, or one would say the most important result or something like it.

Edit I stand corrected by RegDwight and agree that as a result is another way of saying therefore.

Hosting is an activity, but the sentence is talking about hosting in IIS 5/6 in general, therefore no article.

Reset the server would be pointing to the fact that IIS 5/6 are hosted on a server, and it is that server that needed rebooting. Rebooting any other server would not help the situation.

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