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Do I need an article in these sentences (marked in bold)?

And in the message, I asked for her e-mail address and suggested the time and place.

A list of items required at the interview (such as a resume, medical records, personal and family assets...)

What is the rule for articles that follow such as?

A few weeks ago, I asked that girl out for hot chocolate after we had been bantering for a few days. And in the message, I asked for her e-mail address and suggested the time and place. Only today she sent a reply, consisted of her e-mail, without any indication if she was willing to make plans or even acknowledge my request. "C'mon lady – you're only boarding 7, ah, barely. And in that range, I already have a queue of girls on OKC waiting for their turn!" Nothing is more exciting than dealing with, as ever, revolting flakes of mass proportions. I am considering to accumulate flakes, and send out a mass e-mail; obviously CC’ing all them. In the e-mail, I will indicate available time slots, requirements, and a list of items required at the interview (such as a resume, medical records, personal and family assets, recommendations, copy of IQ test, etc).

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2 Answers

up vote 3 down vote accepted

Yes, you need an article or some word in both places. You could have used:

...suggested a time and place

...such as your resume, medical records, ...

I would probably have written a few things slightly differently:

A few weeks ago, I asked that girl out for hot chocolate after we had been bantering for a few days. And in the message, I asked for her e-mail address and suggested the time and place. Only today she sent a reply, consisted [either which consisted or consisting] of her e-mail, without any indication if she was willing to make plans or even acknowledge my request. “C’mon lady – you’re only boarding 7, ah, barely. And in that range, I already have a queue of girls on OKC waiting for their turn!” Nothing is more exciting than dealing with, as ever, revolting flakes of mass proportions. I am considering [whether] to accumulate flakes, and send out a mass e-mail; obviously CC’ing all them. In the e-mail, I will indicate available time slots, requirements, and a list of items required at the interview (such as a resume, medical records, personal and family assets, recommendations, copy of [an] IQ test, etc.).

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thanks for suggestions. –  Anderson Silva Jan 19 '11 at 20:14
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The rule about using the definite article, the, or the indefinite article, a, does not depend on the preposition being used, it depends on the type of information that comes after the article. There are certain places where one is required, but most of the time, the use depends on discourse information you want to convey.

Using the definite article usually means that the noun represents "known" information — things that the speaker and listener know about, either because the thing is already mentioned, or because it is unique. The indefinite article is used for new information, or something not particularly identifiable.

Saying "the time and place" suggests that the time and place have been decided, because we are referring to a time that is mutually known when we say "the time". If the sentence were "a time and place", then it is ambiguous. (Because it is in the past tense, the time could have been unknown when it was asked, allowing the indefinite article for the sentence, even if the time is now decided. Or it could mean that the time is still undecided.)

So, saying "such as a resume" means that the person isn't talking about one specific resume — there is no reference to any particular previously-mentioned item from the discourse, and the item is not intended to be anything unique or individually identifiable.

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Well, what about the case of the street called "Wall st"? In a conversation both people know about the street, however, "the" is omitted. –  Anderson Silva Jan 19 '11 at 20:13
    
When it comes to using the articles there are general rules but there are a LOT of exceptions. So you should just remember each particular case on a subconscious level. Trying to remember each exception consciously won't help you unless you're a linguist or an English teacher. IMO. –  axk Jan 19 '11 at 20:40
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@Anderson You can find a nice summary of the use of articles here: owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/540/01 Included on that page is a discussion of geographical names and which need "the." –  ghoppe Jan 19 '11 at 20:52
    
@Anderson Silva: I guess I should give the caveat that proper names are different, and they often follow rules of their own (i.e. they are usually consistent, but defined on a case-by-case basis). –  Kosmonaut Jan 19 '11 at 23:59
    
@Anderson: If you say "On Wall Street", you are using a proper name, and I wouldn't use any article, any more than I'd say "If I address a comment to an [or 'the'] Anderson Silva, he will respond" - because there is only one Anderson in this context. I could use "I wonder which of the 20 people named Anderson Silva living in [some country] will respond; it would be fun to have an Anderson Silva talk to me". Then the article 'an' is appropriate. –  Jonathan Leffler Jan 20 '11 at 17:00
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