English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I have a sentence where I am not sure about the word order, and if the definite article should be used or not.

Which version is correct:

  1. It is a system which includes all equipment necessary to create a network.
  2. It is a system which includes all the equipment necessary to create a network.
  3. It is a system which includes all necessary equipment to create a network.
  4. It is a system which includes all the necessary equipment to create a network.
share|improve this question
I reckon all those variants are correct. – Andrew Leach Jul 18 '12 at 14:00
@AndrewLeach: Thanks, English is not my native language, and I got a suggestion to remove the definite article from the second sentence (which was the original one), so I basically wanted to check if an exact rule can be applied in this case. – Groo Jul 18 '12 at 14:04
@RegDwightΒВB: Thanks, that's helpful. – Groo Jul 18 '12 at 14:10
What AndrewLeach said. But I would add that for me at least, including "the" suggests there may only be one such "set of equipment". Without it, there's more of an implication that other combinations of (potentially different) components could be used to create a network, but at least the reader can be assured that this particular system doesn't require any additional components. Also, I'd use the word components (which can comfortably apply to both hardware and software) rather than equipment (which often only and specifically applies to "hardware"). – FumbleFingers Jul 18 '12 at 15:55
up vote 1 down vote accepted

They are all correct, but I feel 4. is the most appropriate.If equipment is necessary, it will most probably be unique, hence the "the", I feel, should be there. And for some reason "necessary to create a network" sounds awkward... "required" sounds better if you want that ordering.

share|improve this answer
I can't really agree with that. I think all four variants are "acceptable", but I find #2 to be the most natural, and #4 the most stilted. – FumbleFingers Jul 18 '12 at 15:58

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.