Use this tag for questions about the usage of articles (e.g. a, an, and the).

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5
votes
3answers
405 views

When to say “a proof”, “the proof” and just “proof”?

My friend asked to check his work, and he had written: I think Asimov is proof that being prolific is at least as valuable as being talented. He writes simply is proof. Did he write correctly ...
-1
votes
0answers
12 views

Question about usage of the article “the” [duplicate]

Although I have learned English for over 20 years, using articles is still confusing for me. Sometimes I do'nt understand why the is used like in these cases: Shoot for the stars -> This is ...
-1
votes
0answers
38 views

Why attend college not a college? [on hold]

I realised that actually people say attend college not attend a college and I would like to know why you should not use a here. This is might be a simple question but it makes me pretty difficult to ...
1
vote
0answers
32 views

Indefinite article before an adjective in form [number]-[something]

Which one of these is correct? We use two-stage compilation process. We use a two-stage compilation process. The second looks more formally correct, but feels strange. Perhaps this is better? ...
0
votes
0answers
35 views

What's the meaning of 'The search has been anything but smooth'? [migrated]

I'm a student who studies English, and I have a sentence I do not understand. The sentence is from the article which about the search for aircraft that vanished from radar last year. The article said ...
0
votes
0answers
26 views

“The Internet” vs “Internet” [duplicate]

I've read about Articles: THE is called a definite article. "Definite" means "specific". A and AN are called indefinite articles. "Indefinite" means "not specific". Use A (AN) when you are ...
0
votes
0answers
3 views

Usage of 'one of the' [migrated]

Usually we prefer to use 'The' with single entity, but in case of 'one of the..', collection is used. E.g. On of the movies... Can anyone explain is it correct usage?
2
votes
1answer
257 views

Is it acceptable to say “the why”?

Is it proper English to say, The why? An example: I need to find out the why. To me, the, doesn't belong in this sentence. Note: TV personality Dr. Oz often says "the why".
-2
votes
1answer
36 views

with a high density or with high density? [closed]

I wrote this sentence. We study large-scale graphs with a high density or with high density? Which one is right? Thanks in advance!
0
votes
0answers
23 views

Using an indefinite article with ability

Which is correct? His artwork is outstanding. He has a natural ability. or His artwork is outstanding. He has natural ability.
1
vote
1answer
29 views

Which is the correct article here? [duplicate]

1 An n-dimensional generalisation OR 2 A n-dimensional generalisation. I would like to say the first is correct but my friend insists the second. Which is the correct way?
1
vote
0answers
34 views

“In the Philippines”, or “In the US” sounds okay, but why not “In the Japan”, or “In the China”? [duplicate]

Random thought earlier. I am basing my question on my memory of what seems to be normally used, but I am unsure of the actual correct grammar usage. Which is correct, and if one is wrong, what is ...
0
votes
1answer
37 views

“A group leader” or “the group leader”?

When I have an expression comprising two nouns does the article (a/an/the) refer to the first or to the second one? E.g. when talking about some group (we introduced it, there's only one), we would ...
0
votes
2answers
30 views

Should a definite article be used when referring to a line of an algorithm

In scientific articles an article is usually omitted when referring to figures, tables, etc. and a capital letter is used. For example I would state: "The data are shown in Figure 1." I have an ...
4
votes
1answer
75 views

We did it at exactly the right time vs We did it at the exactly right time.

I know the first example is correct and I'm pretty sure the second is incorrect, but I wonder why. So, we can say "I saw an extremely angry dog", but not "I saw extremely an angry dog." When do we ...
-1
votes
1answer
104 views

Use of “THE” article in passage

In some passage, I've noticed that the "the" article is used before some words at the first time but it is not used at the second time before the words. As example, In this passage: You ...
2
votes
1answer
66 views

Articles - When don't we use them? [closed]

Why don't we use any articles before the countable noun "chairman" in the following sentence? Potts was appointed chairman of the education committee. or Camera was invented by X. I ...
0
votes
0answers
26 views

Add “the” before “of” [migrated]

I am confused with the usage of "the" before an of". City of Pain A City of Sadness Why the first example does not add "a" or "the" before the word "city"? Actually, the first one is a ...
0
votes
2answers
48 views

Mars orbits Sun [duplicate]

Why do we call the star in our solar system "The Sun" when all other celestial bodies are addressed simply as Jupiter, Neptune, or Sagittarius A Star? Ex: The Saturn has many rings. Incorrect Ex: ...
1
vote
2answers
53 views

Why is the British tv show “the Undatables” not called “the Undatable” without 's'?

There is a tv series on Channel 4 called "The Undatables" which I have just started watching. The title keeps me wondering why it's not just called "the undatable" like the poor or the rich? Last ...
1
vote
3answers
156 views

Why is it “a President” when it's clear to anybody that it's refering to the present President? [closed]

The New York Times (January 20, 2015) carries an editorial board article under the headline, “At the State of the Union, a President outgunned in Congress is still combative.” It begins with the ...
2
votes
3answers
39 views

Warning message when user navigates away from a page [duplicate]

In my software, If user edits some content of a document and clicks close icon without saving the changes he made (i.e. without clicking the save icon first), the text of message that I display to the ...
2
votes
2answers
44 views

Definite article before specific product names

I would just like to know: Do we use the definite article (the) before specific names of products like iPhone and iPod? If yes, is there any specific rule as to when and when not to use the article ...
2
votes
2answers
54 views

Repeating determiners: “the X and (the) Y”

I have a problem with the use of "the" after "and" where you would basically be connecting words. For example, which of the following is better: The table and the chairs? The table and chairs? ...
0
votes
1answer
47 views

“Go to the bank” in a where question

An excerpt from an ESL material but I find it unconvincing: A: Excuse me. I want to go to the bank but I'm lost. B: Turn that corner. The third building is the bank. A and B are strangers. The city ...
0
votes
3answers
54 views

Can “first” be used with indefinite article?

I was taught that the word "first" always comes with a definite article - the first. I never really questioned it and most of the time, it really seems natural to use it. However, sometimes I feel ...
1
vote
2answers
55 views

Which article is used between a “name” and a “tagline” [closed]

Suppose, I am selling a new product named as: "Innob" and there is a tagline followed by it: "___, new breath in (the) town". Which article shall I use between the name and the tagline ("the" vs ...
1
vote
1answer
44 views

Use of the articles [closed]

I’ve been learning English for ages and I believe I’m reasonably familiar with most of its grammar. However, I’ve never been able to figure out precisely when to use the articles, especially the ...
1
vote
1answer
73 views

What kind of noun is “iPhone”? [duplicate]

I've always found it a bit peculiar that Apple's marketing refers to iPhone without an article. There is a question here which discusses why it feels more natural to use an article, but I'm wondering ...
1
vote
0answers
66 views

Is “an s-t-r-e-e-t” correct? [duplicate]

For example, is the following sentence grammatically correct in terms of the usage of the article? There was an s-t-r-e-e-t in London.
1
vote
1answer
36 views

successive “the” in connected words

I am wondering if it is possible to use only a "the" at the beginning of some successive nouns instead of using "the" for all the nouns; by the way of illustration: the system and law both contribute ...
0
votes
2answers
65 views

Correct use of 'the' in a sentence [closed]

Which is correct: He is playing the cricket or He is playing cricket?
-2
votes
2answers
345 views

Wish you happy new year or (a) happy new year

I always use google with double quotes to get the answer for similar questions by looking at results number (assuming that the majority are correct), well, it is not the case here. In these days, we ...
7
votes
3answers
328 views

Definite article before “cinema”?

I'd like to speak about cinema as an invention. Do we say The cinema was invented in 1895. or Cinema was invented in 1895.
1
vote
1answer
37 views

Non-use of Determiners

I have reviewed several related posts here but am still quite confused with the use of determiners. Say, in this sentence - "They reviewed the forms again to ensure completeness and accuracy." What ...
4
votes
2answers
88 views

1 % of (the) GDP - with or without the article?

What is the correct form? I have consistently encountered both forms. Definite article: required, optional or wrong?
2
votes
2answers
68 views

Dropping articles in confirmation messages

When writing a confirmation message, (i.e. from a computer system) is it correct to say: "Item was modified" or is it necessary to include the determinate article: "The item was modified".
2
votes
1answer
475 views

Why do we use the article “the” with the Matterhorn (a mountain)?

The rule is that we don't use an article before the name of an individual mountain, only with the name of a mountain range. So why do we say "the Matterhorn" (a mountain in the Pennine Alps)?
1
vote
1answer
48 views

Question re: use of “the” before government?

Should one use "the" before government? Bringing change in government and its policies" For a country's government's policies, should one use "the" before country name only for US and not India? ...
1
vote
1answer
110 views

Example where article reverses meaning

Adding "the" reverses the meaning in these two sentences: Alice is in charge of Bob. Alice is in the charge of Bob. What is the formal grammatical explanation of this difference?
1
vote
0answers
51 views

Is there a difference between articles and determiners?

I have heard the, a, and an referred to as both articles and determiners. Do these two terms mean the same thing, or are there some differences between them? Can a word be an article but not a ...
1
vote
1answer
47 views

Indefinite article with a superlative in case of ties

Imagine there are several paths through a maze. Some path are shorter than others, and there can be several different paths with the minimal length. If I talk about a path with the minimal length (I ...
0
votes
1answer
40 views

Can indefinite article refer to anything within a list?

Please, help.. "There are pens on a table. Take a pen and write down the text" = Take one of those pens? "Here are some books. I know you like reading. Take a book and read it" = Take one of those ...
-1
votes
1answer
56 views

Missing article?

Should there be an article before the word cruelty in the sentence below? Nevertheless, Gandhi knew that cruelty was not the answer and stated, “An eye for an eye will only make the whole world ...
1
vote
1answer
35 views

“life” vs. “the life” [closed]

my first question here. "The life seems to work for them": why did the author of this phrase use "the" before "life"? Does it have to do with meaning, vernacular or what else? Thanks
1
vote
3answers
57 views

Do I use “the” or “a”? [closed]

Example: "Time for the/a big one (referring to a big (important) rugby match)! Do I use the indefinite article a or the definite article the? Thank you!
0
votes
1answer
34 views

Usage of article while separated from noun

Folks, being non-native speaker, came across a phrase, and trying to figure out correctness: An Options Regulations Records Request has been issued by our company for your Firm. Should or should not ...
4
votes
2answers
80 views

Can we omit the definite article, *the*, in front of two musical instruments?

My sentence is He plays the piano & the violin. Is it correct to say He plays the piano & violin?
1
vote
1answer
41 views

Usage of comma and articles

I am not sure if the usage of comma and articles are correct in the sentence below. More specifically: is the comma justified in '... a Master of X degree, from XYZ ...' does 'a Master of X degree' ...
0
votes
1answer
45 views

Article usage and of phrase

Here are two examples: A: I heard there were those in this town who collect the LP. B: Yes, over there, Tom and Gina. They are the collectors of the LP you are looking for. In general, the ...