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There are tables and figures in a document, uniquely identifiable by their numbers.

We want to refer to them in several places. Which one is preferable in academic English writing and why?

  • In figure 1 ...
    In the figure 1 ...

  • With the help of table 1 ...
    With the help of the table 1 ...

  • Lemma 1 helps ...
    The lemma 1 helps ...

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Tip: do some research first, and tell us what you found. For example, search Google and Google Books for each phrase. – Hugo Jan 26 '12 at 6:30
up vote 10 down vote accepted

Do not use an article in such a case. This is a common error made by non-native speakers.

You do not use articles with proper names. For example, you would say "I went to a grocery store", but "I went to Smith's Grocery Store". Numbered figures or tables are generally treated as proper names. So, "See the second figure below" — descriptive, not a proper name; but "See Figure 2 below" — a proper name.

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Additionally, don't forget that proper names are capitalized. For example: "In Figure 1..." is correct, not "In figure 1..."; "With the help of Table 1..." is correct, not "With the help of table 1...". – andytilia Jan 26 '12 at 2:09

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