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

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1answer
35 views

out of the reach or out of reach

I have seen the following on different products. Keep out of the reach of children. Keep out of reach of children. What is the difference between the above statements?
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1answer
64 views

“I went into a restaurant, and the waiter…”

"We went into a restaurant. And the waiter introduced us to seats upstairs." In this sentence, when the speaker said "the waiter," does it necessarily mean there was only one waiter and he/she showed ...
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2answers
41 views

“It was new experience for me” - without “a”? [on hold]

I know that "experience" can be both uncountable and countable. In the former meaning (i.e. knowledge, such as gained by practice), would be valid to say: It was new experience for me. //e.g. ...
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0answers
19 views

“A” or “an” before a word starting with a fraction [duplicate]

Which of the following is correct? a ½-approximation algorithm an ½-approximation algorithm What is the rule? I have tried to find the rule for numbers, but I don’t know how to apply this to ...
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0answers
23 views

Definite article usage from exercise [migrated]

I'm learning articles and doing some exercises. Here are my problem sentences: A: What is a "capital city"? B: Well, a "capital city" is the political center of a country. My question is ...
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1answer
27 views

Is the word “the” required in “…fundamental for the successful functioning…”

The sentence is this: I believe that contributing to the scholarly community is fundamental for successful functioning of academic institutions and progress of scientific research. Does ...
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0answers
52 views

The best time to go out for (a) dinner [duplicate]

I'm not sure why in some situations articles are not going before a noun. E.g. I found this sentence: The best time to go out for dinner. Why is not here a dinner? This link says that we don't ...
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0answers
11 views

When “and” connects two subjects, can we remove the article pertaining to the second subject?

When “and” connects two subjects, can we remove the article pertaining to the second subject (as in the following example)? Original sentence: The implementation of the algorithms on the CPU and ...
1
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1answer
51 views

when do we omit the article in an OF-phrase?

When do we omit the definite article THE at the beginning of a phrase and for what reason? Removal of skin or the removal of skin. Could someone give some examples?
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2answers
55 views

“In this paper, we describe the/an environment…” — should I use “the” or “an”? [closed]

I am trying to decide which should be more correct grammatically in the abstract of my paper. In this paper, we describe an environment. . . . or In this paper, we describe the environment. ...
3
votes
1answer
102 views

Article necessary with “secret”?

Is it necessary to use an article with the word secret? For example: Teach your children not to keep problems, games, or other activities a secret. or Teach your children not to keep ...
-1
votes
1answer
48 views

A century ago vs. century ago [closed]

I would like to know which one is correct and if both are correct what is the difference. I want to say that some work was done more than 100 years ago. Do I say "This was done more than a century ...
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3answers
30 views

“Productivity app” vs. “a productivity app” vs. “the productivity app” [closed]

I need some clarity about giving subheadings to a title. I have named my android app "Da". I thought it would be simple to remember and use. Also it is short for "distraction arrester" (I'm not sure ...
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votes
2answers
71 views

It is time for “a next step” or “the next step”?

Which form is proper: it is time for "a next step" or "the next step"?
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2answers
1k views

Why do people support/oppose the death penalty (with article), but oppose/support abortion (no article)

Why is the article the used when talking about the death penalty, but isn't used when discussing abortion?
3
votes
0answers
51 views

What does “quite a” (as in “He’s quite a guy”) mean, and when should one use it? [migrated]

What does the following sentence mean? He is quite a guy. In which situation would quite a be used?
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1answer
44 views

“A person” versus “some person”

What is the difference between: There is a person in the room. There is some person in the room.
1
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1answer
43 views

Indefinite Plural VS Indefinite Singular for stating general facts, properties, etc

Is there any nuance in the two sentences below if I want to state a general fact about cars ? A) Cars have 4 wheels. B) A car has 4 wheels. The question above is also a question to itself. So can ...
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4answers
253 views

“Took the Russia out of Vodka” or definitive articles with country names

I'm trying to better understand the meaning of the phrase in the Skyy Vodka ad ("Vodka so filtered we even took the Russia out of it"). AFAIK the name Russia is never used with a definitive article, ...
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votes
1answer
31 views

Using “the/a/an” with “and” and “or” [duplicate]

Suppose I need to mention two nouns in a phrase so that they are joined with either "and" or "or". Do I use "the/a/an" with the both of the nouns or just with the first one?
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0answers
29 views

Should I use an article? “Forum 2014”

I and my friends have a groop chat in a social network, one of them called it "the forum 2014". But i think it should be just "forum 2014" without an article. What do you think?
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vote
2answers
77 views

another term for “ 'international' hotel” [closed]

I have an article which informs the readers that our company [a local provider] helped a "foreign hotel". This "foreign hotel" is not an international hotel. My original article title: A Local ...
0
votes
2answers
63 views

What's the difference between the grape, a grape, grapes? [closed]

I'm a non-native English speaker. If I want to say, "The green grape is my favorite fruit." is it okay? And is the sentence above different from these two? "A green grape is my favorite fruit." ...
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1answer
44 views

Articles with “calls” and “stories”? [duplicate]

I'm responding a test. I write a correct answer: I was telling the stories this time yesterday. He isn't answering the calls at the moment. Is the use of the definite article in these ...
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4answers
98 views

Articles for words that function as both a verb or a noun

Do I need to include an article (if yes, which one) before words that can be either a verb or a noun? For example, consider "install." Do I say "After inserting the disk, you need to run install" or ...
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votes
1answer
56 views

Definite article or none in “…at Taipei Zoo” or “… at the Taipei Zoo”?

"Come see the baby panda, Yuan Zai, at Taipei Zoo" "Come see the baby panda, Yuan Zai, at the Taipei Zoo." In my opinion it should be the second choice. It belongs to a specific location ...
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votes
1answer
26 views

Do I use an article if the word is combination of a proper noun and a common noun?

Do I use an article if the word is a combination of a proper noun and a common noun? For example, “Microsoft website.” Would I say “I need to go on the Microsoft website” or “I need to go on ...
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votes
2answers
70 views

Is the use of the indefinite article 'a' with the word 'staff' considered standard [closed]

The word staff can apparently refer to a member of a group of service personnel. (Dictionary.com mentions this as one of the meanings of staff: a member of a staff.) I was wondering how native ...
3
votes
3answers
95 views

There are seven days in a/the week [closed]

What is correct and why? Both, or only one of the following sentences? 1 - There are seven days in a week. -> One single week consists of seven days. 1 week = a week = 7 days. 2 - There are ...
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0answers
39 views

Which article to choose in this situation?

On our company's website there's a list of projects. One of them can be chosen by clicking on the button Choose the project. In my opinion there should be a instead of the, because we are not pointing ...
3
votes
2answers
210 views

Why the indefinite article in “my son has a swollen left eye”?

"My son has a swollen eye." is correct English, meaning only one eye is swollen, out of two. But why do we say "My son has a swollen left eye" rather than "the swollen left eye", even though he only ...
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2answers
28 views

Theorem about uniqueness of solution

I want to write down such a theorem. Theorem. Strong existence and pathwise uniqueness hold for Equation (8). A unique solution is a continuous Markov process. I have a question concerning the usage ...
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0answers
29 views

Definite article – usage of 'the' dependent on context [duplicate]

Which of the three articles (a/an/the) would the blanks in the following sentence take? It is not unusual for ____ editor to tamper with _____ writer's manuscript. I think it should be 'an' and ...
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0answers
26 views

Problem in recognizing correct definite/indefinite articles out of context [duplicate]

I have read some grammar points about definite/indefinite articles, but I still have problems recognizing the right choice in questions requiring them. I know sometimes I can omit articles but I don't ...
0
votes
2answers
116 views

Which is right and why: Why do people go (to zoos/to zoo/to the zoo)?

I couldn’t find these explanation of exactly how the rules of articles apply in questions like this: Why do people go to zoos? Why do people go to zoo? Why do people go to the zoo? It’s not a ...
2
votes
2answers
47 views

Zero vs. definite articles in “filial piety of son to father”

Patriotism that glues together a state is a natural extension of filial piety of a son to his father. I want to mean the general piety a son feels for his father. Can I say directly "filial ...
0
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2answers
95 views

English Article [duplicate]

I have come across a sentence where 'Niagara Falls' is used without an article. I seem to remember that there is a basic rule of the English language that there should be an article before any ...
3
votes
2answers
82 views

Is he “a hero” or “hero”?

Edward Snowden's leak of classified government documents has provoked mixed reactions: is Snowden hero or traitor, patriot or coward? So is hero here used as an adjective? If not why is there no ...
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0answers
84 views

What concepts are formed in a mind of a native English speaker when using the articles a, an, the? [closed]

I have been learning English intensively for 8 years and have been living and speaking in the UK/USA for the past 5 years. It has been 7 years since I have been thinking in English without the need of ...
0
votes
1answer
78 views

Play piano vs. play the piano [duplicate]

When I describe my hobbies, should I write I play piano or I play the piano Are both forms acceptable? And how would you handle the phrase I am an amateur musician, playing the ...
1
vote
1answer
52 views

A or An in “a (relatively) obscure meaning”?

I've just come across this sentence here at "english.stackexchange.com". "The writer should have taken care not to hide such a (relatively) obscure meaning underneath an obviously silly one." ...
0
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1answer
48 views

Which nouns should include an article after “go to [noun]” in AmE and BE?

When referring to a non-specific instance of a place (hospital, theatre), there seems to be a strange inconsistency as to when you use the. Is there any sort of pattern, or is there any reference site ...
0
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2answers
43 views

Articles in captions (tables, pictures, etc.)

I have some awful problems with editing picture and table captions in a paper I'm working on. Maybe some native speaker could give me a hand. One of the captions is for example: Figure 14. The ...
0
votes
1answer
68 views

Two types of the definite article

I have a question regarding the usage of the definite article. Here is an excerpt: Those were the days of lofty promises made by a hopeful candidate. Today, we are faced with the disappointing ...
0
votes
1answer
52 views

Which one is acceptable in an academic paper? Fig 4. show or Fig 4. shows? [closed]

Is it right to say: Fig. 4, Show the wireless transmission of data. Shouldn't it be: Fig. 4, Shows the wireless transmission of data. By the way, another question would be, is it right to ...
1
vote
1answer
76 views

OO language - no article?

However, we haven't gone through the details of OO language in PHP. A friend of mine, who is a native English speaker, says that this sentence sounds okay to him - you don't need an article. ...
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vote
2answers
57 views

“Going to Maldives” or “going to the Maldives”?

The phrase "going to the Maldive Islands" is quite common and it fits the rules. However, when it comes to using just "Maldives", both "to the Maldives" and "to Maldives" are used. Which one is the ...
1
vote
1answer
66 views

What is the difference between “in ascending order” and “in an ascending order” [closed]

If "an" is required here? All records in the dataset are sorted in [an ?] ascending order, based on their distances to the hub node. If it matter or context sensitive, please let me know about the ...
0
votes
1answer
70 views

Necessity of “in” and “the”?

Please let me know which sentence is correct. I have faced the first and third one in the Longman dictionary, but dictionaries are prone to typos and errors. So I couldn't be sure which one is correct ...
0
votes
1answer
49 views

the 2014-2015 academic year

Can someone advise on whether the definite article "the" is necessary in the following sentence? Though normally completed in one year on a full-time basis, allowances are made to extend that to ...